BlathrWayne Lorentz

Showing blathrs with the tag “Food.”

Recact-o-matic

Saturday, October 1st, 2022 Alive18,785days

H.E.B. notifying me that my groceries will arrive in 17 minutes

When H.E.B. says the grocery delivery person is 17 minutes away, thatʼs how I know he's standing outside my door unloading his cart. It's always exactly 17 minutes. I get the text message, look for the cat acting up, and can see the shadow of the delivery person outside my door.

Consistency is a good thing. And “consistently wrong” is a type of consistency, right?

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“Thanksmas?”

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 Alive18,781days

A package of H.E.B. Holiday Stuffing potato chips

An object can be both well done, and not good at the same time. To wit: “Holiday Stuffing” favor potato chips from H.E.B.

The San Antonio supermarket chain has leapfrogged pumpkin spice season and landed firmly in the fuzzy, nostalgic quagmire of Thanksmas season.

Opening the bag, I took my usual deep breath of snackmosphere to preview what was ahead, and I nearly gagged. It really does smell very much like Stove-Top stuffing. It also tastes more like stuffing than a lot of brandsʼ actual boxed stuffing does these days.

So H.E.B. gets an A+ for execution, because when someone said “make stuffing-flavored potato chips,” someone else made it happen. But as food goes, itʼs just not good, because when you eat it, you expect one thing and get another.

Iʼll still finish the bag, though. And let the “Holiday” term slide because stuffing is traditional for both Christmas and Thanksgiving.

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We named the dog Pepita

Sunday, September 25th, 2022 Alive18,779days

Two packages of pumpkin seeds from H.E.B.

I havenʼt lived in Texas long enough to consistently remember that some items in the supermarket are cheaper if theyʼre labeled in Spanish.

For example, here are two packages of bulk pumpkin seeds from H.E.B. The ones I bought on the 17th were the Spanish-labeled ones and cost $6.98 per pound.

A week later, I bought more pumpkin seeds, but accidentally got them from the English-labeled bin, so I ended up paying $7.98 a pound.

I initially noticed this while in the store because the two bins are near one another, which is why I picked the Spanish ones last time.

I suppose there are plenty of ways to get all angry and political about this, but Iʼm not. I find it amusing, and yet another one of the quirks of living Lone Star.

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Sold by weight not number of crackers, blah, blah, blah…

Sunday, September 25th, 2022 Alive18,779days

Two sealed sleeves of Ritz crackers from the same box

The delightful thing about the Fresh Stacks version of Ritz crackers isn't that by putting the crackers in smaller sleeves, they stay fresher longer. It's that you never know how many crackers there are going to be in each sleeve.

In the photograph above, you can see that one sleeve has 14 crackers, while the other has 11. It's all the fun of a food lottery, but with a bonus side of vaguely feeling like you're being cheated.

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For your pleasure

Saturday, September 24th, 2022 Alive18,778days

Both ridged and wavy potato chips

Today I learned that there are both “ridged” and “wavy” potato chips, and theyʼre not the same thing.

Clearly, there are people who prefer one over the other, or both wouldnʼt be on offer.

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Brain freeze

Thursday, September 15th, 2022 Alive18,769days

A package of H.E.B. frozen cheese ravioli

This H.E.B. frozen cheese ravioli is “ready to cook.” Is there another option? Does H.E.B. sell “some assembly required” cheese ravioli?

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Smells like Autumn

Thursday, September 8th, 2022 Alive18,762days

Iʼm old enough to have lived in a world before “pumpkin spice” everything.

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Coffee math

Sunday, August 21st, 2022 Alive18,744days

After months of research involving 1,0000 Splenda packets, 400 H.E.B. “Sweetener” packets, and 1,640 cups of coffee, I can personally confirm that it takes three H.E.B. packets to do the same job as two Splenda packets. You're welcome.

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Coffee underachiever

Sunday, August 14th, 2022 Alive18,737days

A repair guy working on the super-duper high-tech coffee robot machine. Which is almost always broken.

The Costa Coffee machine at Whole Foods is broken. Again. I've been to this particular Whole Foods in Midtown Houston nine times. The coffee machine has only been online and functional once.

It's either bad timing for me, or a bad machine from Costa. Either way, it's bad news for Whole Foods.

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I do not want fries with that

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive18,733days

A “Ham Quicke” at the Lavazza cafe inside The Drake Hotel

I used to live in a state where prostitution is legal, and even Iʼm not sure what a “ham quicke” is.

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L of a shop

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive18,733days

A boarded up kiosk in the CTA Red Line Monroe station

I was surprised to learn recently that a good number of people in Chicago donʼt know what this is. And many people donʼt even notice that theyʼre there.

Iʼm old enough to remember when these underground kiosks thrived at CTA stations all over Chicago. Some were newsstands. Some were Dunkinʼ Donuts shops. Some sold other kinds of food to passengers. I always thought that was funny, because at the time, you werenʼt allowed to eat or drink on a CTA train. But the CTA was happy to sell you both inside its own stations.

I remember lines at the Dunkinʼ Donuts kiosks would sometimes be long enough to block the turnstiles.

Today, theyʼre all boarded up with stainless steel plates. Some, like this one, are decorated. As if to pretend that they never existed at all.

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Transportation artery

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive18,733days

An ad for Butcher Boy cooking oils

If you see an advertisement for cooking oil while on the subway, you might be in the Middle West.

Very wholesome.

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Nibbles

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive18,733days

What $18.50 buys at Midway Airport

Big city mayors like to talk about promoting the health and welfare of their people. Then they allow the airport to sell passengers hamburgers for $4.00, while the healthy snacks cost $17.50 plus tax.

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Somethingʼs fishy

Sunday, June 12th, 2022 Alive18,674days

My old package of frozen salmon filets, and my new one

The last time I bought Orca Bay salmon fillets, the package weighed a pound. Now it's just ten ounces. Thatʼs 37½% smaller.

Either my supermarket switched to carrying the smaller package and kept the same price, or the fish company is putting fewer fish in the package.

Since thereʼs a different photo on the package, it doesnʼt seem like the fish company is trying to pull a fast one, so I blame the supermarket.

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Me mine

Saturday, May 28th, 2022 Alive18,659days

Amtrak chocolate mousse cake thing

Dessert tonight is some sorta chocolate mousse cake. Amtrak makes a fine sorta chocolate mousse cake. If my wife wasnʼt sitting right there, I would ask this sorta chocolate mousse cake to marry me.

Wait, I found the description:

Flourless Chocolate Torte: The perfect paring of bittersweet chocolates, topped with semisweet chocolate truffle ganache and drizzled with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

I donʼt know why it has a hole in. Maybe thatʼs where the calories go.

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Nothing to crab about

Saturday, May 28th, 2022 Alive18,659days

Amtrak crab cake

Tonightʼs Amtrak appetizer is going through an identity crisis.

“Lobster crab cake: Pan-roasted lobster crab cake served over a Farro, butternut squash and craisin salad with Sriracha cream.”

So itʼs got lobsters pretending to be crabs, and cranberries pretending to be raisins. Doesnʼt matter — it was really good.

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Since 1840

Thursday, May 26th, 2022 Alive18,657days

Creole Andouille Au Gratin at Antoineʼs

I had dinner at Antoineʼs. Because when youʼre in New Orleans, you have Dinner at Antoineʼs.

I am sad to report that time, economy, and pandemic have not been kind to the place. It seems to have lowered its standards in order to bring in more foot traffic.

There are dinner specials. The wait staff is spread thin. Tourists are allowed in all dining rooms not only without a jacket, but in T-shirts and sockless. Any of this would have been absolutely unthinkable not that many years ago.

The food remains solid, if smaller. On the plus side, the baked Alaska remains among the best I've tried, even if it's been tarted up for the Instygram age.

Then again, when Iʼm 182 years old, I will probably make some concessions, too.

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