Saturday, December 30, 2006

Southern Comfort Vanilla Spice Egg Nog Coffee

I've been supping away on this coffee since Christmas Eve and I'd like to tell you all how good it is. It's a decent tasting coffee that has a nice but not overpowering egg nog flavour. We don't get too many flavoured coffees here in the U.K. but it does seem to be gaining in popularity. I'd imagine that we're some years away from the concoction above though. Egg nog seems to be simply used as an ingredient in a snowball cocktail over here.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jones Soda Holiday Pack 2005

It's my 100th post on this blog and I've got something special. This is a Jones Soda Holiday Pack. Admittedly it's from 2005 but you have no idea how hard this was to obtain in the U.K. It's not readily available over here and the shipping costs from ebay sellers made in more expensive than gold. However, I frequented a skateboard shop in Essex that sold Jones Soda and happened to mention the Holiday Pack to the guy behind the counter and he said that the Jones Soda rep had been trying to fob them off on him but he didn't think there would be any interest. Isn't it strange how things just fall into place occasionally? For the princely sum of £25 (still overpriced) I got my mitts on one. This pack has been blogged to death, but not by a Brit, so this is a vaguely unique entry in the blogosphere. For the unitiated the Jones Soda Holiday Pack contains flavours that you may associate with a holiday meal. For example; turkey and gravy, smoked salmon pate, corn on the cob, broccoli casserole and pecan pie. I had some friends visiting so I decided to rope them into the fun.We started with the turkey and gravy flavour. It smelled like meat fat and it tasted like meat fat. It's like drinking the juices from the turkey tray. It's disgusting. My first reaction was to suppress a gag. My friends were all looking at me like they wanted to kill me after taking a sip. It even felt like it left a fatty coating on the inside of my mouth. It's the foulest thing to pass my lips ever!
Realising that nothing could be worse that the turkey and gravy we moved on to the brocolli casserole. It was a very sweet taste and I could detect no broccoli whatsover in there. That's not a grumble though, at least it wasn't repulsive.

The smoked salmon pate was passed over by myself as I really can't stand fish and my stomach was still weak from the turkey and gravy soda. Those that did drink it said that it tasted just like Skips, which is a brand of prawn cocktail flavoured crisps over here. I'm still not going to try it.
The corn on the cob proved to be a strange flavour, mixing a sweet, almost toffeeish, taste with salt. It definately smelt like corn and my friend Paul declared it; "better than the fish one."So, it was a relief to all when I passed around the last drink for sampling; pecan pie. At least this was pudding flavoured. The general consensous was that it was ok, if a little maple syrupish. As disgusting as it was, this was great fun. I'm glad I wasted so much money and effort getting hold of one. I'm not sure my friends are though.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Holiday Messages M&M's

We've got some friends coming over today for a Christmas killer double bill (Christmas Evil and Black Christmas), so we're rolling out some holiday candy to help enhance the experience. I have a packet of M&M's with holiday messages on them.These are basically your standard M&M's in a white shell with a green M on one side and a picture of a tree or a short word like joy on the flip. Very festive.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Chocolate and Banana Sandwich

I picked up this sandwich from Tesco's on Christmas Eve, then stuck it in the fridge and forgot about it. Any sense of adventure that I originally had regarding the eating of this sandwich has gone, especially seeing as it's two days out of date. Nonetheless I marvel at the fact that such a sandwich exists. The bread is even made with cocoa.

Tylenol PM

This is slightly off the beaten track for this blog, but I'd just like to offer praise to the genius who thought up Tylenol PM. Ever had pain that made you toss and turn and struggle to get to sleep? Well, Tylenol have married a pain killer with a sleep aid to help with such moments. I had a stinking headache last night and I took a couple of these and wham! I'm out like a light and when I woke up? No headache. Brilliant.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

What did you get for Christmas? Anything cool? I did!

My ideal car is a Dodge RAM Mega Cab. An impossibly huge truck that would stick out like a sore thumb on British roads. My Wife decided to pick me up a toy version (although this is the 1500, not the Mega Cab). It's very nice bar the outlandish colour scheme and the fact that it plays the Village Peoples camp classic Y.M.C.A. when you press one of the many sound buttons on it. This gift is possibly a slur on my masculinity, but I like it.
High on my list for Santa were the Weird N.J. books and he delivered.
Usually, I get loads of DVD's for Christmas (mainly because that's all I ever ask for) but this year it was down to only two; Miami Vice season two and the new Superman II release with Richard Donner's fabled cut of the film included. Superman II has always been my favourite of the series and I'm itching to see how it was originally intended to be seen before the studio took it from Donner and gave it to Richard Lester. That's my post dinner film sorted out.
These camouflage slippers will come in handy should I need to suddenly engage in armed combat at home. I'm a big fan of C.S.I. (every flavour) and my Wife bought me this board game. Even better than that though, attached to the front was a letter that informed me that she had enrolled me at the local college on a part time forensics course.I also got loads of small gifts, all of which I love. It's been a good Christmas to me, I hope it's a good one for you. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

What's On The Tree?

Just to get myself further into the Christms spirit, I thought I'd give you a quick tour of the more esoteric decorations on our tree.This Mickey Mouse decoration was a gift from a neighbour who'd recently been to Disneyland Paris. The Sponegebob decoration was from a Shaw's in Boston. There are three decorations in the pack, Spongebob, Squidward and Patrick. I've lost the Patrick, though.

The I Love New York decoration is something that my Wife and I picked up on one of our Christmas trips to New York. We adore New York but especially at Christmas time and this is a reminder for us of our favourite place to be in December.This N.Y.P.D. car is on the tree for much the same principle except it's slightly more absurd to have a police car dangling off the tree.
The same goes for the F.D.N.Y. fire truck too.This fellow somehow eluded the box of Halloween decorations that were put into the loft so I decided to hang him on the tree (much to my Wife's chagrin, I might add).

Santa Hat Cat Bed

My Wife and I bought this cute looking Santa hat cat bed, which has been studiously ignored by all four of our cats (the photo above was staged, I hid a treat in there). They'll probably take a big shine to it just as we're taking down the decorations.

Marzipan Topped Mince Pies

I've struggled to get into the Christmas mood this year. Usually I'm really into it, enjoying all the trappings of the holiday season, but I've not felt it this year. I think partly it's due to my job becoming more and more difficult and stressful. However, I'm off for a couple of days now, so I decided to try and bring some Christmas zing into my day with a post about mince pies.
I've covered mince pies before when Mr. Kipling tried to make an extra buck by giving them an Easter twist. This time, it is a least Christmas but the marzipan topping is new.
The pies have good moist mincemeat in them. Mincemeat is a concoction of raisins, currents spices, various fruits and usually a bit of booze (cognac and port in this case). Mincemeat originally did have meat in it but it is much less common these days. Interestingly the first mincemeat factory was in Port Byron, New York which I find strange as mince pies are not part of the American Christmas tradition. Perhaps they were, once upon a time.
The pastry is up to Mr. Kiplings usual high standards and the marzipan topping is an interesting addition. The marzipan forms the lid and baked with the rest of the pie. It adds a subtle extra sweetness that really makes this very traditional, yet different and new at the same time. Nice pies.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Samuel Adams Winter Classics

As some of you may know from previous posts, I quite like Samuel Adams beer and I found this collection of Winter Classics irresistable. Inside each box are 2 bottles each of; bog standard Sam Adams, Holiday Porter, Cranberry Lambic, Black Lager, Old Fezziwig Ale and Winter Lager. I'll dispense with the standard Sam Adams and move straight onto the Holiday Porter.
Allegedly brewed to a recipe that dates back to the porters of
Victorian London (or some such, I read it on the label but didn't note it down) the beer has a complex malt flavour. Personally I thought it tasted just like a sweeter version of Sam Adams.
The Cranberry Lambic was very fruity and had a nice refreshing taste. I was quite impressed. There is a distinct taste of cranberries in there. The only thing is, I always feel kind of weird drinking fruity beers. It seems unmasculine somehow, like I'd just sunk a Malibu and pineapple or something. Nice beer, but I probably wouldn't drink it in public.
The Black Lager had me quite intrigued. Alot of people drink stout in England which is black and I wondered if this was a take on that. It turned out it was not. It was, in fact, a very dark and strong lager with a coffee aftertaste. This was easily my favourite from the collection despite having the least obvious tie to winter.
The label on the Old Fezziwig Ale says that it has been brewed with spices, caramel and orange peel. I could taste the orange and the spices in the brew and It had a definate sweetness to it. I'm also impressed with the use of a lesser literary character for the name of the beer. Nobody throws a Christmas party like Old Fezziwig.
The last bottle, the Winter Lager, is one that I'd had on previous trips to the States and I think my familiarity coupled with some rather more outrageous and distinctive flavours left me thinking this one was rather bland.
All in all this is a great box of beers and I'd be more than happy if Santa left this under the tree for me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Jones Soda Dessert Pack

This years Jones Soda Holiday pack is thankfully just a collection of desserts rather than the usual gross-out flavours. This pack is exclusive to Target and caused a great deal of excitement in me when I saw it, and made my Wife tut, sigh and wheel the trolley off towards womens clothes.The box looks great. It's got an old 50's stove vibe about it. There's hobs and knobs on the top and a collection of recipes on the side along with some information about how a percentage of profits from the sale of this collection of sodas will go towards St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. I'm always keen to alleviate my consumer conscience, so the charity angle is very welcome.
The flavours in the box are banana cream pie, blueberry pie, cherry pie, key lime pie and the all-American apple pie. I'll start with the banana cream pie. It had a nice natural smell and a creamy banana flavour. There was also a vague pastry aftertaste. A very impressive start.

Things went downhill though when I cracked open the blueberry pie. It tasted very grape-like to me. It also reminded me of the cough mixture that I was force fed as a child. The dredging up of traumatic childhood memories meant that this bottle had it's cap back on in a flash and was tossed in the (recycle) bin.The cherry pie had a very artificial flavour that was very bright and sweet. If you made a pie out of cherry twizzlers, this is what it would taste like. Twizzler pie? Now theres an idea.
Key lime pie was a return to more natural tasting flavours. The lime tasted good and wasn't to strong or sharp and there was just an underlying hint of coconut.
I would like to point out that I didn't just sit down and drink five sodas in a row. Even I don't have that kind of tolerance. I purchased it early in my trip and picked at them over a period of about a week. So, towards the end of the trip, I finished off with the apple pie flavour. Again it was very natural tasting and there was a strong cinnamon tang to the whole bottle. It also had the same pastry aftertaste as the banana cream pie.
I adored the whole set, from the box design to the disgusting blueberry pie soda. This is the kind of thing I love to blog about.

Pee Wee's Playhouse Calender 1990: December

It's December and Jambi is granting your wish that I update this blog. Mekka lekka hi, mekka heiny ho.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Doritos Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch

These Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch Doritos are unbelievably hot. I really couldn't discern any flavour other than hot when I ate these. It probably wouldn't have mattered anyway as I've never eaten buffalo and I'm only vaguely familiar with ranch. I gave them to the lady over the road from where were staying in the end.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

When I first travelled to the States some years ago, I was under the impression that beer brewed in America was weak and tasteless. In England we have some fantastic native breweries as well as the finest that Europe can offer on our doorstep. American beer is all about Budweiser and Coors isn't it? Well nearly...I tried a beer sampler in a restaurant that consisted of Budweiser (it's okay), Coors (tasteless, wouldn't serve it to a mule) and Samuel Adams.
As it turns out Samuel Adams is a great beer. It's strong and full of flavour. It claims to be a lager, but I would suggest that it's more of a light bitter. I fell in love with the stuff. So much so, that on a trip to Boston I visited the statue of Samuel Adams and had my picture taken in front of it. As it turns out, Samuel Adams didn't invent the beer, rather he started the revolution that saw my ancestors chased out of the country for raising the taxes on tea. Well I'll be. You live and learn, don't you?
Anyway, Samuel Adams, the beer, have brought out an Autumn variant which you know I had to try.
It actually tasted very similar to a standard Sam Adams, albeit a little maltier in flavour. It was very refreshing and I sunk all six bottles in the pack. I can't give it any more glowing praise than that really.
Learn more about Sam Adams the beer here, and educate yourself about Sam Adams the revolutionary here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lightning Pumpkins and Hubba Bubba Mummy Tape

I forgot that I picked up some Lightning Pumpkins and some Hubba Bubba Mummy Tape. The Lightning Pumkins are identical to the Lightning Bugs that I blogged a while back except that they are pumpkins instead of worms.
The Hubba Bubba Mummy Tape promises six feet of black raspberry bubble gum encased in a purple case with a mummy on it. It's a very nice flavour, which for some reason suprised me. I just figured it would be sour or something like that, but it's a very mellow flavour that lasts a reasonable amount of time before you have to pop another piece in your mouth. Mind you, with six feet of gum you don't even need to wait that long. I promise that I have no more Halloween items to blog.