August 24th, 2013

A Purple Straw Hat

We are Back from the Cape

We stayed, once again, in East Falmouth, and it was the exact same group the second year in a row. The novelty this time arose in me being unpleasantly ill for a large fraction of the trip (cold/respiratory/viral blah) and thus inevitably passing it along to my own daughter and probably both of my nieces and who knows, eventually everyone else there. Fortunately, everyone there was really nice and let me rest and it was a fairly good environment to be sick in (with a kitchen, good weather, beach and bike rides for the kids, etc.).

We got the groceries pretty close to right (tossed less from the fridge at the end than I think any other trip of that approximate length that I've been involved in), and I only had one meal out (ignoring fast food on the way over and the way back), which was intentional: there was no way I was going home without my fried clams.

We're almost entirely unpacked and put away. I still need to do grocery shopping on this end. The lovely woman who cleans our house took our garbage out and put it back for us while we were gone, so we have returned to empty, rather than full and reeking, trash and recycling bins. The Roomba bashed itself under a piece of furniture on probably its first cleaning trip while we were out, thus its been was uncharacteristically not full and its battery very dead.

There were few messages on the answering machine (three, one from me attempting to reach T. while she was here, and failing, which was fine because the issue I was going to ask her to take care of had unbeknownst to me already been handled).

The painter came and Did Stuff while we were gone, and the worst thing about having this done while we are on vacation (which we've now done four or more times) is that we really like him as a person and thus missing seeing him (the kids like him a lot, too). The front door and side panels are now purple, and the trim looks wonderful, and should continue to do so until it gets beat up by a winter or two.

The mini-trampoline/kiddie rebounder we bought at Toys R Us while on vacation (because we forgot to bring the folding Needak. D'oh.) went home with my sister (along with my CD collection and a decent fraction of my DVD collection); they don't have one.

It looks like the biggest loss of the trip is T.'s lanyard, which had on it a garage door opener, a key, and a couple other odds and ends. I was really hoping it would turn up while we were unpacking. I'll take one last pass through the cars. [ETA: It turned up in a seatback pocket. Woot!]

We even remembered not to try to drive into the garage with the bikes still on top of the cars.

ETA: A. and I went to the toy store to pick up something I'd called them about a week and a half to two weeks ago; the order they had been expecting arrived and what I wanted to buy was in it. So that was great. Since that toy store is right next to Donelan's, I figured I'd do the grocery shopping there, rather than drive over to Roche Bros. On the one hand, I felt like I was cheating on a significant other. On the other hand, Wow, was that a great experience. Previous efforts to buy groceries at Donelan's have Failed: they never seemed to have whatever it was I wanted or, often, even a close approximation to it. This time, they had everything I was thinking of buying, so I started shopping for all the stuff that I was no longer able to find at Roche Bros. And it was all there. Freaky. Wonderful.

Lesson learned. The grass _is_ greener over there, for realz.
A Purple Straw Hat

Packaged Food Review: Bold Organics Turn on the Flavor Meat Lovers Pizza

I don't normally do this. However, when I decided to cheat on my regular grocery store and try Donelan's because I Was Right Next to It Anyway, I stumbled across a milk-product free pizza line: Bold Organics Turn On the Flavor. I picked out the Meat Lovers (there was a "Cheese", a "Deluxe" and a "Veggie Lovers", IIRC), which really has meat in it. The "Cheese" option is vegan, and I think the Veggie Lovers is as well, but there's actual animal product in the Deluxe and the Meat Lovers.

If you're allergic to soy, you are S.O.L. However, this has an endorsement from the Celiac Sprue Association. It's for real gluten free.

The ingredients list is long, which you would expect in any pizza, as it contains a bread product, a sauce, and various toppings. In this case, there are meat toppings that are processed -- but the pepperoni is "Uncured" and nitrate/nitrites not added so only what is naturally present in the ingredients.

It's a thin crust pizza; I put a baking pan one rack down from the pizza to catch drips. Your best bet is to cook this thing without allowing it to thaw At All, because it'll droop on your oven rack. It does not, fortunately, glue itself to the rack. I didn't broil the top to make the cheese bubbly. The cheese is convincing, but definitely Not Cheese. There's a real soy-y flavor going on. The rosemary in the sauce and sausage is the dominant spice, but all the usual suspects are present.

If you are committed to a thick, doughy crust, this is not going to make you happy. If you cannot ignore the soy-y note to the "cheese", likewise. If you eat the whole thing, it'll run you 750 calories (box pretends this is 3 servings. I laugh.) and 1500 sodium, so not low sodium by any stretch of the imagination.

All that said, it's really good. I often don't like gf/cf stuff; I'd rather eat vegan with actual wheat product than gf/cf with animal products. Ideally, obvs, I'd like to just take out the milk products, but my people are few compared to gf/cf and vegans. The fake cheese is apparently "Vegan Gourmet Cheese Alternative" brand mozzarella. Whatever that means.

I'll try the rest of the line, but maybe spread this out as a once a week treat, because I suspect the sodium would get to me if I did this too often.

Looks like the crust is a potato starch, Brown Rice Flour, Yellow Corn Meal mix. "Organic Certifiers" provides the organic cert.

I'm tagging this autism not because of any kid connection, but because gf/cf is a classic dietary strategy for autism (we don't follow it).