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Ask The Back Of A Gourmet Potato Chip Bag

Dear Back Of A Gourmet Potato Chip Bag,

Help! My kitchen is turning into an Internet café. My husband and kids have started to haul out their laptops right at the breakfast table, checking their e-mail or finishing up homework before we all rush off in the morning. I admit that breakfast isn't an elaborate affair around here, but what happened to sitting down to a nice meal together? What's your opinion?

—Irked In Irvine

Dear Irked,

Take a moment to savor the delicious taste of Crackle Creek Farms old-world-style kettle chips. What makes them so good? Ever since my great-grandfather, Cyrus P. McVitty, brought the secret of taterliciousness to America from Bremen town way back in 1912, we've made them the very same way he used to. They're thick-cut from the finest Water Gap russets, hand-salted by master chipsmen, then slow-cooked using our special family recipe until they're good through and through. I'm fully confident you'll enjoy them. That's why you have the Crackle Creek Farms Quality Guarantee Seal right on the front of every bag. If our potato chips aren't the best you've had, my name isn't Kevin J. McVitty.

Dear Back Of A Gourmet Potato Chip Bag,

Boy, am I steamed. My dry cleaner ruined one of my favorite blouses. Of course, he pointed to the "not responsible" clause on the ticket, but as a longtime valued customer, I think the shirt should be replaced out of common courtesy. My friend says I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but I think it's downright crummy of them not to at least offer a discount on future cleanings. Should I consider taking my business elsewhere, or am I overreacting?

—Miffed In Middlebury

Dear Miffed,

According to legend, the Milwaukee potato chip was born in 1854 when steamship captain and restaurant patron Heinrich Van Der Linus sent his fried potatoes back to the kitchen, saying they were too thin and salty. Annoyed, the chef hacked a baking potato with his wife's pinking shears, tossed the angular chunks into carefully spiced saffroot oil, and fried them to a crisp... and the Munchwaukee Wunderkrunch was born! Since 1996, our family has strived to recapture that spirit of adventure in every bag of our Munchwaukee Wunderkrunches. By using only all-natural ingredients, hand-stressing every batch, and testing at every stage, we ensure that the quality and taste of the original live on. Enjoy.

Dear Back Of A Gourmet Potato Chip Bag,

My husband and I are in the midst of planning a family vacation for this summer, and we were thinking of inviting a group of my son's friends to join us. Troy has leg braces, and many of his friends have minor physical disabilities, as well. Any suggestions for great historical destinations that would be fun and accessible for special kids with special needs?

—Planning In Plano

Dear Planning,

When Ellie founded Ellie's Chips more than 25 years ago, she wanted to bring her ancestral Lithuanian cooking secrets to the people of the Taos area. She succeeded beyond her wildest dreams! Now, the folks here at the Desert Bloom Chip Foundry salute her achievements with the new Ellie's White Chili Earth-Apple Crisps. Only the finest native hybrid white chilis are hand-infused into the robust Cossack Golden potatoes. Then, they're slow-cooked in loom-pressed flaxseed oil and mineral water, and suffused with cilantro, sea salt, and peppercorns. Finally, they're sent to our quality-control specialists, who personally inspect each and every chip for imperfections. The handful of chips good enough to pass muster emerge into the light as our clean, clear, spicy Earth-Apple Crisps. Sure, they might take a little more time and cost a little more than ordinary chips, but we think you'll taste the difference in every bite. We know Ellie would approve. We hope you do, too.

Confidential To Lonely In Lodi:

Includes: Select Potatoes, Vegetable Oil(s): (Sunflower, Canola, Cottonseed, Corn/Cottonseed, Corn, Expeller-Pressed Oleic Canola), Salt, Sugar, Dextrose, Barley Malt, Citric Acid, Spice, Spice Extracts.

Gourmet Potato Chip Bag is a syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask The Back Of A Gourmet Potato Chip Bag, appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.

More from this section

Deep Blue Quietly Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Garry Kasparov’s Ex-Wife

PITTSBURGH—Red wine and candlelight on the table before them, Deep Blue, the supercomputer that defeated reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, and Kasparov’s ex-wife, Yulia Vovk, quietly celebrated their 10th anniversary on Wednesday at a small French restaurant near Carnegie Mellon University, where Deep Blue was created.

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