October 2011

NPR Wreaks Havoc With Emily Dickinson's Cake Recipe

What the eff is "coconut sap sugar"?
Now listen, I'm a big ol' leftist. I wouldn't listen to any radio station other than NPR if you paid me. In fact I am a second-generation NPR fan, on both sides. How many people can say the same?
 
But this? This is ridiculous. This is why people hate NPR. I totally get that, and I guess I have no choice but to embrace it. Oh NPR, with your lovable do-gooder wackiness!
 
Emily Dickinson is, of course, one of America's greatest poets. She was also one of America's greatest recluses. But while she was knocking around the house all by herself, she spent a lot of time doing domestic things. Baking, by all accounts, was one of her favorite tasks - and one of the things she was best at.

Safeway (Select) Peanut Butter Cups

 

I put the (Select) in parentheses because for some reason, Safeway has been slowly rolling back its "premium" generic store brand. Packages are gradually being changed from the classic black packaging with gold logo to a more prosaic look, complete with the red and white Safeway logo. 
 
It makes me wonder if the package change will make people more or less likely to buy these little treasures. More likely, I hope, because I've always felt that they were one of the great underdogs of the grocery store. They are always stacked on the very highest shelf in the candy aisle, where pretty much no one is ever going to see them. 
 
And it's a shame, because these things are DELICIOUS.

Mellowcreme Pumpkins

O unwelcome candies of the season, how I adore you. I can't be the only person who actually likes these, because Brach's keeps on selling them. But I have yet to find someone else who will admit to liking the Mellowcreme line of seasonal candy.
 
Part of the attraction is their seasonal nature. Unlike almost every other candy (including many formerly seasonal candies like Peeps and candy corn) Mellowcremes really are only available during their stated holiday. You get Mellowcreme bunnies and eggs at Easter, and Mellowcreme pumpkins at Halloween, and that's it.

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

 

I actually bought two bags of Jelly Bellys on sale earlier this week - the Coldstone Creamery mix that I reviewed yesterday, and a bag of just straight up classic "30 Flavors." 
 
Jelly Belly candies first entered our national consciousness in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan famously enjoyed them. I can't think of any other presidents who have openly admitted liking candy. We know that George W hates broccoli, of course. But what does President Obama like? I doubt any modern president would risk being seen as childish enough to like candy. Then again, maybe we should re-think this whole thing, given Reagan's status with regards to Alzheimer's disease.

Jelly Bellys: Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream Parlor Mix

 

Jelly Belly jelly beans come in a million billion flavors. (My personal favorite is pear. I was delighted to recently know I'm not the only one.) I don't often buy the bags of mixes at the store, partly because of the cost, and partly because they always contain a lot of flavors I don't like. 
 
Then again, picking out individual jelly beans is one of the joys of eating a bag of Jelly Bellys. (Bellies? I looked online and was not able to find the correct form for pluralizing "Jelly Belly.") I think it goes back to our prehistoric monkey urges to pick nits off each other. Who knows. At any rate, I found a bag of these candies on sale, and I was curious as to how they would work.