Average Joe

juandunkin

I’m relatively new to the adult world of coffee-drinking, so forgive my naiveté. There is a wide range of coffee blends and brands out there, but I can’t say that I really taste a whole lot of difference. Maybe I’m too inexperienced and haven’t developed a distinguished palette for java, but with a soon-to-be barista in our midst that will likely change. As far I’m concerned right now… Joe is Joe.

Lord of the Rings

LordoftheRings

Everyone had a first job. If you were ‘fortunate’ enough to work in the food industry, you understood the word ‘hustle’. I never did labor in the kitchen, but bussed and watered tables during lunch and dinner rushes at a local sit-down restaurant. It didn’t take long to learn that working hard and being pleasant to people were lucrative skills in life. Getting great tips from the wait staff certainly reinforced this lesson.

Zoinks!

shaggy
Believe it or not, Hanna-Barbera did an anti-drug PSA in the 1970s. The overall vibe was very groovy and ‘Scooby-Doo-like’ –  right down to the trumpeted outro. No trademarked characters were used in the piece, but the intent was to warn their primary audience about the dangers of drug use. Imagine how powerful a Scooby-Doo PSA for childhood obesity would be if it actually featured Shaggy and Scooby.

Pumpkin Spice

witch
The onset of fall brings about many seasonal changes. 
The leaves change colors, the temperature dips and it’s mandated that pumpkin spice be added to everything. I don’t recall this flavor obsession as much last year, but now it seems to have saturated everything we eat and drink. The standard Thanksgiving pie flavor has now invaded lattes, creamers, alcohol, waffles, oatmeal, toaster pastries, soda, peanut butter, margarine, coconut milk, almonds, gum, marshmallows, ice cream, pudding, greek yogurt, M&Ms, Hershey’s Kisses and even Oreos! What’s next?

Happy Trails, Kid

America’s snack aficionados said adios to the beloved Twinkie over the weekend. Hostess Foods’ recent bankruptcy has the former snack cake sensation hitting the trail along with Captain Cupcake, Fruit Pie the Magician and Happy Ho Ho. Apparently the country’s growing health consciousness led to the bakery’s lagging sales. I’m not exactly lamenting the loss of a food stuff known to have a shelf life longer than grandma’s canned beets but I’ve heard hundreds have begun hoarding the remaining supply hoping to turn a profit selling the snacks to the highest bidder on eBay. I wonder what the margin is on expired Twinkies.

Hot Dogs

hotdogs

Nothing beats food over a campfire. There’s just something about preparing your meals over the open flame that makes it taste better. Probably the easiest food to prepare is the hot dog. Granted it’s not the most sophisticated of meats, but a nice convenient serving fit for being prodded and suspended over the pit. Camping ensures that everyone makes their hot dog quota.

Memorable Weather

smores

Today we kick-off the eighth annual Memorial Day camping weekend with my in-laws. In that time we’ve experienced all kinds of weather which, if you’re tenting, can make all the difference. Most years the nightly lows would hover just above freezing. Other years we’ve nearly been carried away by the rain and high winds. And two years ago we endured the entire weekend sitting in inches of rain without a campfire due to the ridiculous county-wide fire ban. This year, despite the forecast, looks to be warmer and, for the most part, drier than years past. Regardless of what the weather forecast holds, the tradition has built some amazing memories over the years and continues to be one of the highlights of summer.

Tater Tots

Ore-Ida should lobby to make tater tots one of the food groups. Well, at least according to my youngest and Napoleon Dynamite. It’s funny how much a kid’s taste buds will change over the course of a few years. It wasn’t that long ago that you had to beg our boys to eat tater tots – and, no, they weren’t part of any funky, church potluck hot dish (though admittedly I recall despising tots in this form as well at their age, but have grown to love them) – and now they crave them. In fact, just recently, our youngest begged every night for a full week to have tater tots for supper. I wonder if asparagus, Brussels sprouts or beets will be removed from their food embargo anytime soon.

Easter Leftovers

With the Easter holiday over, our household has been “suffering” the elimination of the sugary leftovers. For the kids this doesn’t pose much of a challenge, but I’ve never been much of an Easter candy connoisseur. My faves tend to be pretty run-of-the-mill standards that you can get anytime during the year. So, go ahead and keep the jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs and give me the kisses and peanut M&Ms. I won’t be much help if you’re looking to unload Cadbury Creme Eggs or Peeps (my wife could survive on these alone) but if you have any milk chocolate in the form of Peanut Butter Cups or Snickers bars, I can possibly help you out.