Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Boulder Canyon Turkey & Gravy and Pumpkin Pie potato chips.

Holy Mother of Turkey! Thanksgiving is almost here. I refuse to believe that it's been nearly three weeks since Halloween, the calendar be damned. I'm not that upset though, because I'll be celebrating one of my favorite holidays in just 4 short days. A day full of brie, and dips, and turkey and stuffing, and oh my god I'm getting hungry right now. I still have just under 96 hours before I can dive into T-day dinner, so I picked up some Boulder Canyon chips to try and take the edge off.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thomas' Cranberry English Muffins

I'll admit, cranberries are rarely my first choice when it comes to small spherical fruits.That honor almost always goes to blueberries. Still, I can buy foods stuffed with blueberries any day of the week. Cranberry infused baked goods aren't exactly common, so I couldn't help myself when I stumbled across the Thomas' Limited Edition Cranberry English Muffins.

The packaging on Thomas' English Muffins never had much real estate, so they had to get creative in order to stand out from all the other packs of baked hockey pucks. I actually love everything about this tray, from the cranberry laden muffin half, to the fruit bunch just under it. Speaking of that bunch of cranberries on the side there, at first glance I thought it was the top of a Christmas tree. It wasn't until I got them home that I realized it was just a cluster of berries. Look at it from the corner of your eye and tell me you don't see a Christmas tree there. I love how the writing reminds me of the title of a DVD of a straight to Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. Actually, I wouldn't be that  surprised to learn  Limited Edition: Cranberry was the name of an actual Hallmark movie. It could be about two people that get together due to their mutual love for seasonal holiday foods. Starring Harry Connick Jr. and Lauren Holly, probably.

Also, I have to mention that the entire package is the same color as eggnog. Thomas' covered all of their subliminal bases with this packaging.

As with all foods, Thomas' Cranberry English Muffins aren't nearly as beautiful as they are on the box. The muffins may not look pretty, but there's no denying that they are just loaded full of cranberries. Open the package, and you'll think you just stepped into the middle of a cranberry bog. There's a hint of citrus that brings back memories of the Panettone my parents used to buy from a local Italian eatery. I really don't like raisins hiding in my bread, but if you substituted cranberries in there, I would probably devour the whole thing. I'll be the first to admit, Thomas' English Muffins look rather unappetizing right out of the box. Sure, you could eat them untoasted, but what kind of savage are you? No, to properly enjoy them, they need some toaster time..

Now that's gorgeous. A couple minutes in the toaster, and they go from being pale and chewy to crispy golden brown discs of deliciousness. Even the nooks and crannies seem to open up, allowing them to really hold on to all that butter you are going to slather on top. I don't know if it's from being cooked in a toaster, but the cranberries seem fresh, rather than dried. The muffins have a slightly citrus-y flavor, without the sourness I usually expect from cranberries. If you're the type that likes some fruit on top of your muffins, you can probably hold the jelly with these. Speaking of toppings..

It's not exactly Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner leftovers, but it's close enough. Throw some leftover turkey on there, with some stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and you have the makings of a mini holiday feast. There's just enough cranberry flavor in the muffins that you can leave off the cranberry sauce, and save yourself some mess.

So go out and get yourself a pack of Thomas' Cranberry English Muffins. They're the only way you'll be able to enjoy a McThanksgiving.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Christmas soda? Sprite Cranberry Zero

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a fan of Sprite. I hear it's great for hangovers, but it tastes one step removed from regular seltzer water. It's not something I actively avoid, but it's also not my first choice in carbonated fizzy drinks. Still, I'm a sucker for season specific food stuffs, so there's no way I could resist having at least one or two cans.

I've always had trouble discerning whether cranberry is a Thanksgiving or Christmas specific flavor, and I honestly still have no clue. I know cranberry sauce is a staple of both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day dinners, but I feel like neither holiday has really claimed it like Halloween has with pumpkin. Sprite doesn't come right out and say this is supposed to be a Christmas edition, but there's no arguing with that color scheme. The only thing missing is Santa Claus dancing around a lit Christmas Tree while snowmen and polar bears look on. I guess they could have wrapped some cranberries around that lymon up there, too, but then it might end up looking like a diseased fruit. Besides, do cranberries even wrap around things?

A drink that sounds as fancy as Sprite Cranberry Zero deserves to be drunk out of a fancy glass. So I took one of my finest goblets and poured out a can. Right away, I was hit with a slight aroma of cranberry. I can't say I was instantly transported to a winter wonderland, but I thought I might have heard jingling bells off in the distance.

This is one time I wish Sprite had thrown a little coloring in their formula. Even dark sodas like Cherry Coke and Pepsi manage to have a reddish tint, so it wouldn't have been hard for Sprite to toss a little red dye in the mix. I'm not talking a deep OceanSpray red, but a light pink would have been nice. The cranberry flavor mixes nicely with the lymon, with neither one really overtaking the other.  I'm betting it would make a great mixed drink, with some dried cranberries and an ounce or so of vodka mixed in. Or, make a big batch in a punch bowl, call it a Cranberry Smash, and watch your uncle get so trashed he hits on your girlfriend.

Of course, if your family is anything like mine, your uncles won't need any alcohol to start hitting on your fiance.

So, buy lots of Sprite Cranberry Zero and mix it with alcohols. Your family will love you for it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Zombie pumpkin

It's looking like it's time  to chuck the Turk-O-Lantern, though not everyone agrees with me. I hear it makes a rather nice Fall home, if you're into decaying walls and mold. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tis the season (almost)

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away. The past couple of months have just flown by,  and at the rate things are going, Christmas will be here the week after next. It's really unfortunate then, that I'm just not feeling it this year. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this time of year I'm usually feeling a bit more relaxed and happy, unless I know we're going to be traveling. Then there is a sense of dread that builds and builds until the actual day of the trip. It's not that I don't want to see people for the holiday, it's that everyone else has the same idea. And they all want to drive like jackasses.

I think I can blame my parents for this one. I can't remember leaving the Shore for Thanksgiving, not one time. Most of the time, dinner was held at my aunt and uncle's house in Exmore. I'm not sure how they ended up becoming the official Thanksgiving destination, but I have a feeling it's because their house was big enough  for all of us to get together, but still avoid someone if we didn't like each other.

My aunt and uncle had a lot of property, so I was always exploring the woods, messing around in my uncle's shop, or playing around on his tractor while I was waiting for dinner to finish up. If the cousins were feeling generous, I was allowed to hang out with them. My cousins were all quite a bit older than me, so I was the usual target for abuse. It was never anything too serious, at least not enough to leave any emotional or physical scars, but  I do remember being the victim of more than a few brutal headlocks. They made up for it though, introducing me to things like Nintendo, archery, and comic books. There may have been a Playboy or two in there as well, but I will neither confirm nor deny that. The cousins also had a kick-ass fort that I would envy for many years. It looked like the sort of thing people would build after the end of the world, but in a good way. It probably didn't hurt that their dad was a contractor. Access to materials and knowledge can really make the difference when it comes to those sorts of things.

It amazes me to think about how many people actually fit into that house. Once you add up all the aunts and uncles, their kids, grandchildren, step-children, co-workers,  etc..there were at least 30 people there for dinner, yet it never really felt crowded. They usually cooked a ton of food for everyone, but you still had to be quick on your feet if there was something particularly good on the table.  By the time I was 10 or 11, I had learned the best strategy was to hover around the table, that way I would have first pick when dinner was officially served. It also meant I got to do a little taste testing beforehand, as long as no one was looking.

Once the leftovers were boxed up and shuffled off to the refrigerator, it was time for dessert. Just about everyone brought a dessert dish, and once all the pies, puddings, cookies, and brownies were laid out on the counter, the kitchen looked like the corner bakery. I used to eat disproportionately for my size, meaning I weighed around 80 lbs but still ate like a pro linebacker. By the time dessert rolled out, I'd already had two or three platefuls of food, as well as an incalculable amount of crackers and cheese. Yet I still had room for a couple servings of each pie, cookie, and cake that were within arm's reach.. I don't remember ever feeling like I had eaten too much. I wish I could say that now, when a single deviled egg can push me over the edge and leave me feeling like I'm going to explode for the next 24 hours.

The drive home was always a surreal experience for me. I would always be in the back seat, worn out from running around outside and stuffing my face. The 15 minute ride home seemed to stretch out for hours, and I would almost always be asleep before we pulled up to the house. By the time I made it up to my bed, Thanksgiving would be a mere memory. My mind would already be shifted into Christmas mode, and I would be preoccupied with Sears Wish Books, egg nog, and wishes for snow.

I'll be away from my computer for a few days next week, but I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

See you 'round...

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