This year apparently marks the 75th birthday of Fritos corn chips -- the origins of junk food in this country go back further than you might think. (They were invented in Texas, which was no doubt decades ahead of the rest of the country in appreciating the combination of corn, oil and salt) It's been years since I had a Frito -- I replaced them in my snack food diet with the more modern tortilla chip years ago.
But there are two things for which Fritos are essential. One is the trick of lighting them on fire. It's an old camping emergency tip -- if you have no kindling or it's damp, just light a few Fritos on fire, and they'll blaze up and get things going in no time. Lotsa oil in one of those little chips, which is one reason I don't feel much like eating them. I haven't tried this in awhile, though. I wonder if the new non-trans-fat formulation has changed their flammability at all.
Another good use for Fritos is the pie of the same name. My brother who lives in New Mexico introduced me to this recipe years ago, but it's even older than that. The Frito-Lay press release says it was invented in the late 1930s by the mother of Elmer Doolin, who invented the Frito. Of course it's not really a pie. Here's how you make it:
1 bag of fritos corn chips (1 1/4 ounces)
1/2 cup Hormel chili no beans (heated)
1 tablespoon chipped onion
1/4 cup shredded American or Cheddar Cheese
Open the bag. Pour in the chili, add the onion and cheese. Eat out of the bag.