Happy Thanksgiving!I am currently parked on the couch in my sweatpants, glancing occasionally at the parade balloons on TV, and mentally calculating when I have to get off my butt and start assembling the stuffing (unstuffing, dressing, whatever you call it.)
My grandma died yesterday and I am sure I will have more thoughts later on that. It was expected and I am grateful her suffering is over, but damn if it doesn’t still really hurt. A lot. Thanksgiving in my extended family is always scattered across the country, but it feels even more so this year with the somber haze. I think there will only be a dozen people at my parents’ and that seems so strange and small. Also I will be the only girl in my generation present, so fingers crossed I can force my boy cousins to chit chat more than their habitual grunting.
Earlier in the week I got into a fun discussion on Facebook about this article on Thanksgiving Bingo. Wow, that describes my family’s antics to a tee and I love it. We are loud and obnoxious and no one makes me laugh the way they do. In our discussion we also brainstormed items that were missing, such as
- Dig about declining fertility/GRANDBABIES
- Significant other being called by wrong name/former S.O.’s name
- Spilling a drink
- Breaking a glass
- Burnt or forgotten dinner rolls
One of the items on the bingo card that really hit close to home was complaining about the stuffing. My mom grew up with bagged/preseasoned stuffing with pork sausage added. It is made in a casserole dish so the top gets crispy. My dad was raised in a household where the stuffing was from scratch and actually stuffed inside the turkey so it was downright wet. The fights over stuffing run rampant in my house. This year I am making 2 types of stuffing to accommodate vegetarians, but neither will be stuffed inside the bird (yuck, in case you were wondering where my loyalties lie.)
I am grateful that even on the worst days I am incredibly blessed. I will get a drumstick since my dad will carve the turkey. He will complain about the stuffing but not hold a grudge and deny me my beloved meat on a stick. I am thankful my aunts make the pies so I don’t have to feel bad about myself and my inability to make or like pie crust. Today I will be surrounded by family, even if so many are missing from our table.
It all started with Late Afternoon Pancakes and an innocent question about competing brands of delicious cookie butter/spread. This called for a faceoff.
Head-to-head (er, spoon-to-spoon) competition
I fell in love with Biscoff-style spice cookies decades ago on a now defunct airline, and the concept of making it into a fatty delicious spread has only made my love grow. I am familiar with Trader Joe’s cookie butter, but have never purchased the Biscoff brand. That all changed last week when curiosity got the best of me. Was I letting value (cheapness) stand in the way of better taste?
I would like to say I was inspired by the pancakes, but “in the interest of science” good intentions were slayed by laziness and I never got to making the pancakes. The spoon test was not even a real race. Biscoff won by a landslide with both creamier texture and amazing flavor. I should be thankful that splurging the extra dollar for the premium jar turned out to be worth it, but then I turned the jars over. EGADS. There is a reason for it. The Biscoff spread contains twice as much fat as a spoonful of TJ’s. No, wait, Biscoff cleverly states a serving is 2 tablespoons compared to the Speculoos stingy 1 tablespoon.
Fatty Fatty Bo Batty
I was perfectly content with my TJ’s speculoos spread and then fell hard for the more expensive, more guilty (slash honest serving size) indulgence. What am I going to do now? Since I have 2 open jars of deliciousness (DANGER DANGER) I am telling myself I cannot buy another jar for a long while. That’s good since it will take me a long time to decide which one will be repurchased.
Sooooo, as I agreed to post every day in February (though I don’t even remember who to blame besides myself), I thought I should at least put up a blog to start with. I’m compiling ideas for future posts but figured there is no reason I couldn’t put some random content up beforehand.
Back in September I went to Germany for Oktoberfest (post idea!), and this trip highlighted my need for new footwear. I was looking for a casual, walkable shoe that would work with pants and capris and was not a sandal or a sneaker. Heidi happened to post a discount link for Lucha shoes and since they came so recommended I took a shot.
A week later I still didn’t have my new shoes and realized I never even got an order confirmation. I checked my bank account and sure enough they processed the payment. What? I signed onto the website and could pull up my order but all it said was “in process” and there is no phone number to call. Normally I am a phone avoider and all for online contact, but when a company has taken my money and not delivered, I am more than willing to orate my displeasure. I sent a friendly email basically inquiring “What the hell?” and got a response a couple days later simply stating my shoes were on their way with no further explanation.
I finally received the shoes the day before I was to leave on my trip with no ability to break them in before tromping around cobblestone. No worries though, because I couldn’t wear them anyway. The seam on one shoe was completely missing where two important parts of the shoe come together. Whomp whomp. I have a terrible photo of the problem but basically it is like the machine ran out of thread and whoever was sewing decided “aw, fuck it,” and let it go.
By the time I returned from Germany, made contact (again with the email) to explain the ongoing situation, and got a replacement pair of shoes, it has since turned arctic in Wisconsin. That will happen when it takes 45 days to get a shoe order. I don’t even know if we even HAD summer temperatures for 45 days during June-September this year. Anyway once that temperature drops I require socks for my ice cube feet and canvas shoes are not going to cut it. Boo. Well, now I am ahead of the game for 2014 summer solstice fashion. I am fully expecting terrible blisters from them after all this.
Ridiculously poor quality control.