Demented Ramblings life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar


comfort food

Often, when I have an awful, no good, terribly bad day I want comfort food. For me that means snooty cheeses. Sometimes with a little fruit on the side, sometimes not. If I'd remembered that I had grapes in the fridge last night I totally would have eaten those, but I forgot.

Our Kroger is in the midst of expanding into a Super-Mega-Kroger that can be seen from space. They've finished the first section of the renovations and have added a Murray's cheese shop. Last night, I finally gave them a proper perusal instead of just glancing as I walked past.

The first thing I found that caught my eye was a Fromager d'Affinois. While I was reading the sign, the fromagiere (ok, I might have made that word up, like a sommelier but for cheese) offered to give me a sample. It was a Prima Donna gouda with a tiny bit of strawberry basil jelly. I was immediately in love!

Prima Donna gouda is drier and sharper than a regular gouda. It's reminiscent of a parmesan, only not quite that sharp. I got a wedge of that and a wedge of the fromager d'Affinois and a jar of that strawberry basil jelly and headed home.

I think that a good cheese plate will always have three cheeses. Any more and you start getting confused, any less and you don't have enough variety. Each cheese should be of a different type, too. One needs to be creamy, one stinky, and one somewhere in the middle. So, I dug in the bottom of the fridge and found a chunk of stilton that had been there for at least a year. No worries, it was still vacuum packed, so it hadn't even molded. Well, it had no more mold than stilton usually does. I added these rosemary crackers from Kroger that I've been grooving on for quite a while.

Lo' back in the stone ages, when I was but a girl, I loved a TV show called Twin Peaks. If you haven't seen it, check it out. In one of the very first episodes, Jerry (who has been overseas) introduces his brother Ben to a butter and brie sandwich on a baguette. It sounded so good at the time, that I just had to try it. I'd never even had brie at that point. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever put in my plebeian mouth. I still love that combination and it's another of my comfort foods.

Fromager d'Affinois is like butter and brie already mixed together. It's creamy and mild and buttery and scrumptious. It is absolutely wonderful. This will definitely become one of my favorite cheeses, and I do lurves me some cheese.

After partaking of my cheese plate and a couple of cans of the "house wine" (otherwise known as Pepsi for me or Mountain Dew for Sparks) I felt a lot less frazzled. I went to bed and read for the next few hours until it was time for sleep. A very relaxing evening indeed!


A surprise to the palate

Sparks and I went away to one of the state park lodges for a couple of days. We were celebrating both Valentine's day and our second anniversary. Being that we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, the lodge restaurant was the only game in town for acquiring dinner.

Their Valentine's special dinner was a special salad (which we never saw), prime rib, twice baked potatoes, parmesan tomato, and a special dessert. The prime rib was quite overcooked, per both our tastes, but was still tender. It was served with some sauce named for the Louisville chef who created it. It might have been wonderful on ribs, but prime rib needs horseradish. Luckily they accommodated us there. The twice baked potatoes were ok, but tasted like they'd just split the potato and then piled on instant mashed potatoes.

The big surprise of the meal, especially to a non-tomato liking girl, was the parmesan tomato. It was halved and topped with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese then toasted under the broiler. It brought out the sweetness in the tomato and was very tasty. Of course, the two of us being slight food snobs, we discussed how we thought that we could do it better, but it was very tasty.

Dessert was dry cake with way too much royal icing and a quite yummy strawberry.

I wouldn't drive up there just for the dinner, but for being the only option it was quite good.


Self Heating Latte

Product review time, since I haven't been doing much cooking lately beyond the magical brownies. (My ex thought that they were the best brownies of all time, but they come from a mix. Martha White Chewy Brownies = super easy, super cheap, and damned tasty)

Yesterday, the Lokipie and I were grabbing some groceries when we came across the Wolfgang Puck Lattes in the Self-Heating Can. We almost picked up a four pack, but there was no price on them and when we discovered that they were $2.50 EACH, we decided that curiousity could part us from $5, but not $10. It's a good thing too.

How these work - you turn the can upside down and open the bottom. Then you press the plastic button down, releasing the liquid into the other chemicals in the outer can. This causes a reaction (much like the heat pack in an MRE) which heats the beverage. You then turn it upright and wait 6 or so minutes for the "hot spot" to tell you that it's warm. Then open the top and drink.

Notice I did not say enjoy. I guess that one should not have overly high hopes for a coffee beverage in a can. I tried the caramel and Loki tried the vanilla and we both agreed that they were crap. In my opinion, it tasted much like a watered down bottled frappucino, or like creamora mixed with water and a hint of coffee extract. Where was the caramel flavoring in this?

Overall, I'd say that you were paying for the novelty of the self heating can and the "Wolfgang Puck" name. One would think that I would eventually learn that just because a celebrity chef puts his name on a product does not necessarily mean that it is worthy. If the man served me this product in his restaurant, I'd probably call him a punkassbitch.

My final judgement - get off your butt and walk/drive to the starshmucks, you'll get much better coffee and pay about the same price. Better yet, go to the local non-chain flurfy coffee shop.