Earl Grey and “Perfect Oatmeal”

September 25, 2008

Anyone who knows me well, knows that even entering a Starbucks is a very big stretch in my values and beliefs. Sadly I work at a university and both establishments are Starbucks or sell their products but I still manage to bypass it except for maybe 3-4 times a year for various poorly thought out reasons. The last time was a totally enticing photo of a new tropical fruit turnover which was oozing with mango and other gooey tropical goodness… It turned out to be totally devoid of filling and the tiny bit that was oozing out the sides was what apparently had been intended for the center. Shame on you Starbucks.

So, in the mail I received a card for a free “Perfect Oatmeal” which displayed golden raisins and seemed intriguing for a cool morning breakfast and since it was free I was able to justify it slightly. Today was a suitably cool morning and I am still a bit sick… I shouldn’t have. I watched as the worker tore open a brown packet not unlike the standard instant Quaker Oats and stir it with some tepid water from the coffee machine. Oh this is just screaming “Perfect Oatmeal” isn’t it? Then he hands it to me and takes my card. When I open it I quickly realized it was just water and instant oatmeal, no fruit, no brown sugar, nary a nut, nothing. I asked if this was correct and he said that was all they had and how they were trained to do it “it’s new.” Shame on me.

To make matters worse I was offered a free cup of tea. I chose Tazo’s Earl Grey as it was my guess for the least offensive. Stee-rike Three. Just a total mess of strong bitter bergamot (not in a good way) and strong bitter tea which was just abysmal. When “free” can be screwed up to the point that it was more costly than anything I could have bought save maybe a breakfast roller dog at a convenience store and day old coffee *that* is saying something. How and why this company became part of American life is beyond me for many reasons, I can only hope that their recent floundering and financial problems drags them down for good. “Perfect Oatmeal” sure as hell isn’t going to save them.

Breitsamer Imkergold Honig Honey

September 24, 2008

I’ve been a bit under the weather of late and I tend to bypass the subtle fancy teas and go for some basic black tea with a good honey. I normally get great local raw honey from a beekeeeper my mother knows but I was out so I went in search of a reasonable alternative. I skipped over the bear-shaped squeeze bottle section and went for the ethnic isles. I thought some sort of Greek honey might be good, but nearby the German section was flush with amazing looking raw honey.

Breitsamer had some great looking honey in a few varieties that instantly caught my eye in how natural they looked. A Forrest Honey which was very dark and claimed to be aromatic, an Acacia Honey which was very light, and Imkergold which was the Goldielocks “right-in-the-middle” option and had a very thick granuated/natural thick layer settled at the bottom. I couldn’t resist the pull.

Imkergold Honey

Imkergold Honey

The verdict: Totally Impressed. This is great honey! Well priced at about $6.00 for 500g and supremely flavorful and natural. I will admit it doesn’t stack up perfectly to my two favorites Red Bamboo or the local beekeepers raw offering, but it is available in the local market and a very close third. I plan on snapping up one of each of the two remaining types, especially the dark Forrest Honey. There is no English imformation available on this honey online so I figured I’d share, and technically it is in my cup right now.

Rocket Science

September 24, 2008

I recently came across an unknown, to me, newer film called “Rocket Science.” I knew virtually nothing about the story going into it and kept it that way as I like to be surprised every now and then. It is a tale – of all things – a high school debate team and a kid with a stutter. Don’t worry that is about all I knew as well and I won’t reveal anymore. I have to say it was a bit helter-skelter and it won’t be for everyone but if you like the occasional oddball movie you could do worse.