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At Sixes and Sevens

I love this phrase because it’s just obscure enough that people think they should know what it means. (To be in a state of confusion or disarray.)

This post was intended to be about things that give me pause, but while checking on the phrase’s origin, I found some things to add to the list.

I had thought that the expression referred to numbers in a game of chance that were the riskiest and therefore led the gambler to some confusion about whether or not to make the bet.

That is true, but the better story comes from the possible second origin. I am still slightly at sixes and sevens about the whole thing.

England has something called an order of precedence for their livery companies. A livery company is a trade association and does not have anything to do with horses (which confused me very much the first time I read through the description of the dispute.)

The livery of Merchant Taylors (tailors) and the livery of Skinners were both chartered in 1327. They became the sixth and seventh trade associations in England. There is no surviving record of which was chartered first, but they started fighting about it almost immediately. Wouldn’t they have had to be chartered at the same place? Did someone bribe the clerk to change a date? The English were pretty fussy about their hierarchies.

It got so bad that in 1484 the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Robert Billesden, decided that at the Feast of Corpus Christi (how many know when that is?) the associations would swap places and feast in each other’s halls. It seems to be that skinners and tailors would attract a completely different type of crowd. Perhaps leg of boar one year and pheasant the next? Whiskey and mead? I love the mayor’s title.

The associations still swap places every year. They are still known as liveries. Both are part of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies (the top 12 in the listing). Sadly, the armor makers did not make the cut. English hierarchy remains alive and well in 21st century Britain.

One last note: the liveries maintain the word “worshipful” in their title (e.g., Worshipful Company of Fishmongers – #4). It’s not clear who they were worshipping, God or King. I think it was basically the same at the time. I would guess neither today. We just don’t have that kind of tradition here in the U.S.

Why do medieval English feasts always make me think of a bunch of people sitting around in the semi-dark eating greasy joints of some animal? Somebody there had to be eating the rest of it.

Moving on:

Was there anyone else whose first reaction to last week’s mega-storm on the east coast was to make sure it wasn’t going to hit them before it got to its destination? And be happy that it was going somewhere else?

Do politicians running for President get as tired of listening to themselves as the rest of us do? I think it should be like Family Feud: two candidates go head to head to see who can guess what Americans really want. Then they’ll know what they should promise (well aware that they won’t be able to do it.)

Why would someone come into a mega-store and ask whether we carry Amazon Fire Sticks? Do they not understand the concept behind Amazon?

Also unclear on the concept: the lady who returned her slow cooker saying that it cooked too slowly. (Yes, it did work correctly.)

If an airline can claim that they have arrived on-time even though they have to sit in queue for an hour and a half, why doesn’t that principle apply for arriving for the meeting they scheduled around your flight?

It’s ironic that they originally built Washington, D.C. on a swamp. I think some of the original residents may still be wandering the government halls.

I did not realize that there are Lego sets now that need to be locked down because they cost more than $100.

I think I need to buy one of the tablets they make for toddlers. They look totally indestructible.

How many kids appreciate (or can even see) the color gradations in a 156-color box of Crayons?

Why can you buy (really) inferior brands of chocolate at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter that are not available the rest of the year? Is it just a sideline for a wax company?

Is your beloved cheap, broke, or chocolate-blind if he/she buys you one of those atrocities? Is it worse to be cheap or chocolate-blind?

Why can’t I find any cards to send for Groundhog Day?

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2

The Easter Bunny Explains All

Hello, I am the Easter Bunny; the animal you see every spring. I would like to thank Cat for the opportunity to clear up a few things before Easter this year. I would also like to thank Kommando Kitty for giving up her spot as this week’s guest writer.

I am a rabbit; a real rabbit.

I look like this:

rabbits are everywhere don t worry i don t mean that literally they ... (not a photo of me)

Not like this:

The Easter Bunny Shoplifter Due In Court The Day After Easter [Video]

I understand that children like to see who brings them candy. However, I think it is important for adults to understand that I do not walk on two feet or have plastic eyes.

I use magic to deliver eggs.

If your children wonder how one rabbit can get eggs to everyone within 24 hours, tell them they don’t have to worry that I will get tired before I get to your house. I do pretty much the whole thing from home.

I used to be a regular rabbit. One day I was running from a small child and jumped down a hole. But it wasn’t a rabbit hole. The place was full of faeries. One of them flew over to me and said, “Thank goodness you made it! We were almost finished.”

I tried to tell her that I wasn’t her rabbit. But before I knew what was happening, she turned me into the Easter Bunny. My job was to find a band of bunnies from everywhere they celebrate Easter.

Those bunnies tell me how many children there are in their neighborhood who will be receiving treats. (Here’s where the magic comes in.)

I conjure enough treats for each bunny to deliver and make sure they get there in plenty of time to be sorted and tagged. (It’s a trade secret how the baskets actually get to the children.)

I don’t know Santa Claus.

I’m hibernating when Santa visits down here. I would never visit a place with that much ice and snow. Rumor has it he has a private island for his down time in the spring and summer.

I don’t have the same job as Santa Claus.

I understand where this idea came from. The Germans were the ones who dreamed up both Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. They decided that we would each decide who was naughty or nice. Then we would bring all kinds of goodies to the nice children.

They got Santa’s job right, but were way off on mine (rather surprising considering how precise they usually are). I originally was responsible for coloring (hen’s) eggs and distributing them. More recently, they added chocolate eggs and jelly beans.

Modern baskets are a combined effort.

Sometimes the parents help me by adding other types of candy to the basket. The home-made cookies and candies are particularly nice.

Any brand-name candy is not from us. I would never buy commercial candy to hand out. My bunnies are busy enough as it is. However, it is very kind of people to buy this candy for children (particularly someone else’s).

And a word about chocolate rabbits. We work hard to get the eggs and candy out. I really don’t appreciate people putting chocolate rabbits in the baskets to be gobbled up. Perhaps you could replace them with dogs or hawks, or something else that harasses rabbits.

Those pre-filled baskets that have been appearing in stores the last few years? An abomination! Not the pretty chocolate ones filled with chocolates. The big ones filled with ugly toys. No child should ever believe that the Easter Bunny is responsible for something that commercial.

If you want your child to have a toy for Easter, buy your child a toy for Easter. Let them appreciate that we both care for them.

Thank you for your time. If you know a rabbit who might be interested in joining my network, please pass their name along to Cat. We’re always looking for good help.

And of course:

Happy Easter Bunny Images Background HD Wallpaper Happy Easter Bunny ...

8

Easter Dinos? Seriously?

The store has an interesting ad running over the public address system. I don’t remember the exact words, but it says something like, “Chocolate bunnies are nice but why not do something a little more special? Give an Easter basket full of toys this year.” They are trying to get people to buy those cellophane-wrapped baskets that are in the center aisle of most stores this time of year.

I think they’re sending us down a slippery slope. If you give your child a basket full of toys this year, will he want to pick out what toys he wants next year? Then he will want cash because he doesn’t play with toys anymore. Or your daughter will want a new sweater. Before you know it, we’ll have Christmas in December and also in the spring.

Of course, they think that Jesus was actually born in the spring…..

As a chocolate addict, I’m probably prejudiced. But chocolate has no age limit. I asked my teenagers if they were too old for Easter baskets this year. They said they didn’t need the baskets, but still wanted the chocolate. My mother made Easter baskets for us well after the Easter Bunny stopped coming by the house.

Of course, Easter candy has degenerated some too. It used to be that the stuff in the basket had at least a passing relation to the holiday. Chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans. I guess jelly beans are a bit of a stretch – are they supposed to represent eggs?

Now the candy section has Nerds and Smarties and Airheads and all sorts of generic candy. Maybe they’re going for a run against Halloween. Wouldn’t it be great if Easter became some sort of cross between Halloween and Christmas? Conspicuous consumption and gluttony. What could be more American?

Actually, when the kids were little, I put together Easter baskets and topped them with a stuffed animal. It worked out well. My son’s favorite animal was a rabbit. Back then, Easter was the only time you could find them. (Once he outgrew it, they were everywhere.) You had a choice of three animals: lambs, bunnies, and calves. Logical. All springtime animals.

Our display is expanded. You can get puppies, kittens, pigs, cows (adult), or pretty much any animal you might want.  My favorite are the stuffed dinosaurs. Are they included because they come from eggs so were probably born in the spring? Out of some sense that reptiles were not adequately represented in the Easter menagerie? Or is someone really confused and thinks there might have been a few hanging around Jerusalem a couple thousand years ago?

Speaking of animals, there’s still time to get your small pet their outfit for the Easter parade. They have furry ones if your dog or cat wants to be a chick or a bunny. They have butterfly wings. (It seems those were around at Halloween, but I could be confused.) There are also raincoats in the same display. I guess they wear it over the outfit if it rains on Easter.

There is an accessory with a picture of a cat on the hanger. It goes around the neck and looks like a clown collar made of tulle. At the points of the tulle are little bells. The cats I know (and have known) would be out of it before the bells would be of any use in announcing their presence.

Nothing for hedgehogs. Probably has something to do with the quills.

Our cats will be sleeping away most of Easter (like every other day), so I’m saving that money. I can spend it on molds to make Easter goodies (as the box says). These look like small cakes or cookies that then get decorated with fondant and icing. Which makes them more work than Christmas cookies.

There’s a cute cake pan. It says it’s for making a 3-D cake in the shape of a lamb. Aren’t all cakes 3-D? The problem with that type of cake is that you can’t slather frosting on them. You have to use a pastry tube to cover it with little rosettes of frosting. Various colors of frosting.

Thinking all this through is giving me a headache. I’m going to go eat some Cadbury eggs (the really, really sweet ones that look like they have a yolk inside) and fall into a sugar coma. I’m sure someone will wake me in time for church on Sunday.

5

Dollar Disappointment

My family has always exchanged stockings on Christmas morning. When I was little, the goodies always included a red apple, a yellow apple, an orange and a tangerine. I remember being disappointed that Santa was so health conscious. All I’d ever seen him eat were cookies. Years later, my son commented on always receiving shampoo and body wash in his stocking. You never see Santa bathing or changing his clothes either. I’m guessing Mrs. Claus has some influence on what gets included.

At one point, I spent a lot of money on stocking stuffers. (The amount I spend has never had any direct correlation with the amount I have, by the way.) I would wander the malls looking for things that would fit in a stocking. There are more than you might imagine. One day, a friend finally explained to me that the concept behind a stocking was that it was filled with little inexpensive things like candy canes and chocolate Santas. Oh. Like the idea that you break up with someone before you give him the expensive gift. I never was good with money.

Enter the dollar store. My first experience with dollar stores was not positive. It was located in a strip mall where I worked. The neighborhood had seen better days (I hope). It was poorly lit, crowded with merchandise, and not very clean. From what I looked at, the reason it was crowded with merchandise was that no one would take that stuff at any price. I could not understand why everyone was raving about dollar stores. Were my friends really that cheap?

A few years went by. I got another job, and drove past a dollar store every day on the way to work. One day I stopped to look around. It was incredible. There were office supplies, craft supplies, school supplies, candy, wrapping paper, all sorts of things. They even had the metallic pipe cleaners my son used to make rabbits (they look better than they sound). I’m not really a shopper, but I looked at everything. I was totally hooked. At Christmas, I fully stuffed all the stockings for under $50.

My dollar store was not part of a chain, so you can guess what happened next. I drove by one day and the owner had sold the shop. The new owner must have been related to the first shop owner I encountered. I was traumatized. I was not going back to spending $7.95 for a Mylar balloon. I had to find a replacement.

My next stop was what I’ll call a pseudo-dollar store. It’s a national chain. A lot of the stuff was one dollar, but the rest was brand-name at discounted prices. This store was the source of most of the health and beauty supplies I bought for a few years. They even had fashion-name make-up for a dollar. It had to be labeled ‘discontinued color’, but in Michigan who knows the difference? The odds of running into Beyonce wearing last year’s eyeliner are pretty low. Alas, I had just made the full commitment when it disappeared.

They opened a dollar store a few miles away from our house. Coincidentally, it’s the same chain that has a store on my way to work. My daughter wanted to stop by one night. It was great! The candy, the pens, the wrapping paper. All was well in the dollar world again. Last Christmas I even bought some nice wrapping paper at the one close to work.

Things were a little crazy this year getting ready for Christmas. Both my daughter and my mother have been ill, so shopping took a back seat to that. I didn’t get to stocking stuffers until two days before Christmas. No big deal – I’d just stop by the dollar store on the way home and I’d be set. We’d have a few more pens and pads of paper than usual, but it’d be OK.

Imagine the look on my face when I opened the door to find that the only wrapping paper left was covered with Justin Bieber. (I didn’t need paper, but it was still traumatizing.) I moved on to the candy. It was appalling – I could only get chocolate-flavored or chocolatey. There was no actual chocolate! Luckily I did have a back-up plan for that – I had bought some of the family’s favorites at work because I knew I would never find it in the dollar store.

I went to toiletries. No nail clippers. No floss. Icky toothbrushes. No body wash for men. No make-up. Large bottles of lotion from some company I’d never heard of, in a scent I didn’t know. This was totally unacceptable. What was I supposed to do?

I went to office supplies. Very few pens. A few memo pads. I tried to think of where else I might go as I wandered the aisles. I finally found some snacks – trail mix, peanuts, etc. Stain remover pens. Socks (not even from China). Packaged, non-Christmas candy. At the counter I found some lip balm.

When I filled the stockings, all was well (although there was LOTS of candy). I’m already planning to stake out the dollars stores next fall to find the best place to go.

In the meantime, I’m going to size up the fruit.

2

Holiday Indulgences Don’t Have to End With the Holidays

Back in the days before kids, I bought my husband a membership in a wine-of-the-month club. It went well, so the next year I tried the spa-item-of-the-month. That was nice too, although I think we may still have a container of powdery stuff that’s supposed to go on like lotion (or something like that).

In case you might be interested in sending this type of gift, I have done you the service of researching a few. You don’t have to thank me, chocolate will be fine. If you’ve been paying attention the past few months, a couple of these should come as no surprise.

“When Pigs Fly: American Bacon Club” is brought to you by the Ann Arbor-based Zingerman’s deli. What could be better – bacon from the home of my alma mater? You can get 3 months for $99, but you might want to go for the 6-month plan at $189. It includes Balinese Long Pepper Bacon. I assume that the long pepper is from Bali, not the pig. But the recipient would never know.

Next we move on to Murray’s Cheese of the Month Club. You can get a four-month membership starting at $275. Each month the recipient will get 1.5 pounds of cheese from various sources (cow, goat or sheep). I would make sure your loved one likes to eat almost anything. One year a friend got us cheese hand-made by monks in some famous abbey. It was a soft cheese and when we melted it, it smelled (and tasted) like dirty socks.

My personal favorite is the 12-month, $480 plan from master chocolatier Jacque Torres. Once a month, they send something something chocolatey to your chosen recipient. The gifts range from brownie mix to truffles and everything in between. (Men: this may sound like the perfect monthly gift to your wife. Just make sure she’s not planning a major diet for after the new year. Unless you don’t think she’ll mind you eating top-notch chocolate in front of her.)

Want something sweet but not chocolatey? I’m not sure what’s wrong with you, but try a quarterly shipment of Capogiro’s gelato. (It’s kind of a creamy sherbet for you provincials.) They send six pints at a time in what they call hyper-seasonal varieties. I’m not cosmopolitan enough for these flavors, but perhaps someone you know is. They include honeysuckle, rhubarb and sweet potato. Only $240 for the year.

Then we have the above-mentioned wine clubs. The most cost-effective (cheapest) option I found was a $29.98/month club offered by wine Library TV. You get a red and a white for that price. It is the same price I paid 15 or so years ago. I’m guessing these are not of that quality. But I could be wrong.

Looking for something stronger? Stirrings offers a 12-month plan of drink mixers for $180. They are advertised as flavorful, original, and all-natural. Once again I would recommend that you only send this assortment to someone who will try almost anything. Flavorful and original mean different things to different people.

Not a drinker? How about the Counter Culture coffee plan? The beans are fresh-roasted and seasonal. Don’t all coffee beans come from more-or-less the same part of the world? The hot part? How seasonal can it be? You can get a 3-month subscription for only $79.95.

These final three clubs are for those of you who really want to impress. We start with the Organic Vegetable Club. (Disclaimer: The ad is addressed to people shopping for a woman. If you are shopping for a man, this is not an appropriate gift.) It’s kind of an open-ended offer. You can choose how much you want to send (5-15 pounds) and the number of deliveries per year. Five pounds for 3 months costs $119.99. It doesn’t say anything about being seasonal (or local), so you might need to keep an open mind.

A little more indulgent? Holy Smoked Salmon has a smoked salmon of the month club. There are more types of smoked salmon than you might imagine. Once again remember the open mind about flavors. It is described as silky, spicy, salty, supremely good salmon. Hopefully it is as good as its copywriter.

Finally, for the well-off Ernest Hemingway types, I recommend the Kobe and Cab Club. It is offered by Signorello Vineyards in Napa Valley. Three times a year someone would receive “a rich, buttery, marbled piece of Kobe beef (note single serving) and a tremendous glass of Cabernet (I assume they send an entire bottle).” At $390 per shipment, it’s probably too expensive to send to get even with the evil vegan who just broke up with you.  But it might impress the father of the new one.

Upside to these gifts: you don’t have to wrap it. Downside: if they don’t like it (or you), they will be reminded every few weeks throughout the year.

0

Give the Gift of Love…Give Bacon

I love looking at catalogs, particularly the ones that come at Christmas. Some of them are beautiful, like the ones that come from art museums. But those ones aren’t any fun; I might actually buy that stuff for someone. The better ones are the catalogs with items whose recipients I can only imagine. What’s a little scary is that several of those catalogs have the same items. Are there really that many people out there who want Poop Soap? (rhetorical question, I don’t want to know.)

Every year, there are a couple of trends in these catalogs. Squirrels, cows, and rabbits have each had their time. But if you want to give a cutting edge gift this year, it seems you will have to go to the pig. The deceased, cut-up, and smoked pig. Everywhere I looked, there was bacon. Not the low-fat, low-salt semi-healthy type. We are celebrating the artery-clogging, fat-laden real thing you may remember from years past.

We can start with Bacon Strips Adhesive Bandages. They are advertised, “These bandages look like real bacon strips.” It comes with 15 bandages and “a prize to help take your mind off your boo-boo.” Nothing screams sterility and healing like bacon fat on your finger.

If your loved one is a fashion follower, he’s sure to want a bacon Sticky Tie. “Peel, stick, wear and re-wear these outrageous sticky ties.” They are promised not to tear, being fabric rather than paper. Just the thing for the next big presentation. You can also get ties that look like duct tape and beer. (No price break for a set.)

Tie not a bold enough statement? Get your loved one a bacon t-shirt. “Printed using a sublimated (?) ink process, resulting in crisp detail and vivid colors that look good enough to eat.” Actually, it is pretty realistic. There seems to be an emphasis on the fat in a slice of bacon and the grease will remind you of why it is healthier to put the bacon on the outside of your body.

Still looking? How about a bacon scarf? “A delish fashion accent for guys or gals, with everyone’s favorite rich marbled pork product knit in soft 100% acrylic.” Guess Spam isn’t considered marbled pork. Living in Michigan, I know it’s not going to be of any use in the cold weather coming up. I’d recommend it for someone who want’s to dress down that overly formal outfit they plan to wear on New Year’s Eve.

Even less formal? An “I’d Wrap that in Bacon” t-shirt. The write-up pretty much says it all: “You could fry it in butter. or smother it with gravy. But if you really want to go all nine yards, there’s only one thing for it. Bacon.” In other words, we know it’s unhealthy. We know it could kill you. But let’s celebrate it because we really, really like it. (Note to catalog editor: the phrase is ‘the whole nine yards.”. An early sign of too much bacon fat in the brain?)

Loved one more of the artsy type than fashionista? How about a couple of bacon ornaments for the tree? They are made of hand-blown glass, so don’t hold them after indulging in your favorite snack. The catalog says that it “makes a great gift for fellow members of the “Brotherhood of the Bacon”. There’s a great “fat” joke in there, but I can’t find it; insert your own.

This next gift could be used as a sign that you want to take your relationship to the next level. Nothing says I want to be close to you more than a matching bacon throw and pillow. “There’s nothing a little salt-cured pork can’t cure. And that includes the trauma of having a dull, drab, un-bacon-ified living space.” How the recipient responds will give you a good indicator whether you want to be on any level with this person.

Finally, for the purists among you, there is hand-dipped Marini’s Chocolate Bacon. “Premium thick-cut bacon is oven-baked until golden and crispy, then expertly hand dipped in Marini’s 34% cocoa Dutch milk chocolate or 54% French vanilla semisweet dark chocolate, creating a sweet, savory taste sensation unlike any other.” They say dark chocolate is good for you, so you can brag about the healthy gift you gave if you go with the French vanilla semisweet dark chocolate. (I wonder if being semisweet takes away the healthy. Maybe you should skip the healthy and go with the extravagance of the gift.)

I know you want to get on with your shopping. So, to do comparison shopping, you can find these items in the catalogs from Spilsbury, The Lighter Side, Wireless, and Hammacher Schlemmer (guess which one came from there?) There is also a huge selection on Amazon (you can even get a set of bacon and eggs for you and your bed-mate).

And if you find yourself on Christmas Eve with no present, just go down to the corner market and get a pound of bacon. If you really love them, get hickory smoked.

2

The Return of Roka Blue

If I can get raspberries in February in Michigan, why can’t I get Kraft Roka Blue Cheese spread? Or pumpkin-flavored cream cheese spread? Or eggnog? If everybody hates fruitcake, why do we still sell all of that candied fruit? If there are still people out there who like it, why are they only allowed to like it at the end of the year?

A true indicator of the holiday season at Ralph’s is the arrival of the Roka Blue spread. It comes in one of those little 7 oz. glass jars that are so small in diameter that getting out anything past the first inch is a major accomplishment. I usually give those projects to my husband who has much more patience at it than I do. Don’t suggest that I just break the jar. I have dropped it from various heights at work, and the jar is indestructible. It’s easier to break a cream-cheese tub. Trust me.

Anyway, I digress. These spreads come in three flavors: Pimento, Old English, and Roka Blue (oddly, I couldn’t find pimento on the Kraft site). The Pimento and Old English are available year-round. We carry the Roka Blue for about four months around the holidays. Why the difference? Because people like to make blue cheese balls for the holidays. Huh? They also like to make cheddar balls for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean we only carry that part of the year. I can’t remember the last time someone offered me something with pimento as the main ingredient (but I think I was still in grade school). Pimento sells more poorly than either of the other two flavors. The Kraft website carries 20 recipes for Roka Blue and only 8 for Old English. I figure there must be a conspiracy against the blue cheese, keeping it off the shelf. Or parochialism. The “real” bleu cheese gets to stay all year.

The customers who are upset about the absence of blue cheese spread in the summer have kindred spirits with the people who like pumpkin cream cheese. It is an eagerly anticipated October arrival each year. I don’t really understand the attraction. But I don’t understand the attraction of vegetable cream cheese either. If I’m going to eat something as decadent as cream cheese, I don’t want it to taste healthy. It isn’t like the pumpkin industry isn’t doing it’s part to keep it on the shelves. There are recipes for pumpkin pancakes, soups, chili, and lasagne. Canned pumpkin is available all year. But pumpkin can’t seem to break out of the “seasonal food” category.

The one food that appears this time of year to the most fanfare is eggnog. You can’t go anywhere social without someone offering a glass of it. There are recipes for pancakes, cookies, cakes, and other treats. However, if there was ever a product that is associated with Christmas, it’s eggnog. Probably some leftover tradition from the days when people could only afford something that extravagant once a year (back when they actually used eggs and cream to make it – the alcohol continues to be authentic). You never see anyone being kissed under mistletoe in July either. Or having a cup of wassail.

We can’t have chestnuts roasting on an open fire anymore. Most of us don’t have open fires. And most of the chestnut trees were killed by a fungus at the beginning of the 20th century. But that’s OK with me. When I was little, my mother bought some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. I don’t know whether it was the vendor or the chestnuts, but they were soggy and bitter.

I think marzipan has suffered a similar decline in popularity. My mother’s mother and aunts used to make mountains of marzipan oranges, strawberries, and other fruits. They were absolutely gorgeous. And tasted like bitter almonds. I do not have the time or patience to make something I don’t want to eat. Besides, who would want to eat something that looked like a fur-ball (which is as close as I’d get to making an orange)?

As I’ve been writing this, I realized that I don’t like most of these foods. I love bleu cheese, but think that cheese spread is mutant. I have tried eating various treats over the years and always gagged at the taste of pumpkin even when it wasn’t identified (a major surprise since I love squash and am addicted to sweets). Eggnog contains two of my least favorite food (eggs and milk/cream). I love almonds as a nut, but find them overwhelming in a lot of recipes.

So I’m wondering. Is there a way to make horseradish seasonal and get it out of my coleslaw (where it makes my tongue swell)? How about arugula? Of all the greens in the world, who decided that bitter was needed in salads for diversity? Maybe chocolate-tasting (not chocolate) foods?