Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Oohhs & Aahhs Macaroni

I don't think I even took a photo of the macaroni I got from Oohhs and Aahhs, which is too bad, because it was one of the best macaronis I've reviewed to date.

Like all the best food establishments, Oohhs and Aahhs was a cramped little hole in the wall where you ordered your food at a counter. They had a dining area upstairs, but we got our food to go, and I don't even know if they had reusable plates or cutlery.

After an initial snafu in which we carried someone else's fish curry all the way home before realizing we'd gotten the wrong order, we succeeded in getting our food.

I was a little disappointed at the size of my macaroni and cheese, but it ended up being enough to spread out over two meals--it's just that carry-out containers are so compact.

It's also probably worth mentioning that the green beans were much too soft for my liking, but I gather that's how "soul food" green beans go. It's probably also worth mentioning that my browser crashed while I was browsing their website. Coincidence? Maybe, but the website wasn't very user-friendly.

I rate this macaroni (and the restaurant it came from): 2 happy noodles for delicious, one sad noodle for the technical difficulties.

1 happy noodle1 happy noodle  1sad noodle

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Social Skills--who needs 'em!?

When asked, "What is one thing you would change about yourself?" I usually say, "I would like to be better at making friends." Despite being sweet and agreeable and likeable, I am very bad at this.

At work, I marvel at how easily my coworkers interact with each other, while I usually cower in my office pretending not to hear them chatter. I made a vow to myself that I would try harder to be more outgoing. I would start simply, by merely taking a more proactive approach to greeting people. When I saw people I knew, I would say hello, rather than ducking into whatever nearby haven of solitude, wondering if my presence  had gone undetected. Yet, after a day, I realized that even this little baby step was beyond my capabilities, as I just have no idea of the protocol to follow in varying situations.

When you run into someone and you both see each other, you say hi. That's easy. But what happens when this simple scenario becomes more complex?
  • When two people you know are standing next to your building talking, do you interrupt their conversation to say hi to them?
  • When you first arrive at the office for the day, do you say hello to every person whose door you pass? What if two doors are on opposite sides of the hallway? Do you stop, turn to each side and say hi to both?
  • When someone you know is shouting distance away when you arrive, but they aren't looking at you, do you shout hello or just slip in like a thief? What does your shout signify to the other people who are within shouting distance but hidden by walls?
Is it even worth worrying about this any more?

My boyfriend, master of perception, observed that I don't talk much at parties. This is because I don't know who to talk to. The person on my left? The person on my right? The room at large? The aforementioned boyfriend typically chooses the third option, and often his off-the-wall comments go completely ignored, because the room at large is busy talking to the person on its left or right.

My unheeded yet unperturbed boyfriend says it's fine if I just show up, do the meet and greet, and read a book, leaving other people the option to approach me if they want. I would love it if I could do that, but I think it's just too rude. But being unable to do pretty much anything else, I mainly just don't go to parties.

After nearly 29 years of experience, you'd think I would have learned a little about interaction, but nope. That awkward girl who spent hours at day care leaning against the wall, watching the other kids play, is now the one, slightly taller now, leaning against the wall and watching the other people converse.

Maybe this year is the turning point.

No, not the one where I suddenly learn to be Miss Popular—I think that's a lost cause. I'm talking about the point at which I can I can finally stop worrying, throw up my hands and say, "All right! I'm socially inept! Deal with it!" Maybe I will just walk into a gathering carrying a book, read in a corner, and consider myself a success. I may never be the life of the party, but Librarian of the Party is a role I can handle.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Two cookie reviews: Larry's Chocolate Chip Pecan, and Busch Gardens dipped cookie

I had another opportunity to visit Larry's Cookies at the Old Post Office Pavilion, and I am happy to report that they really are $8.99 a pound, as I came to doubt in my last review. I purchased two more cookies on that visit—a chocolate chip pecan cookie and a multi-layered brownie. The brownie was truly amazing, but since it was a bar and not a giant cookie, I'll review the chocolate chip pecan one instead.

The texture did not disappoint, being firm enough to hold together, but soft enough to pass the crumble test.

Sadly, I wasn't all that taken with the flavor. Maybe it was because I ate it in a half-asleep stupor, or maybe it was because my olfactory receptors had taken a time-out as they sometimes do, but I just didn't experience that moment of bliss I was hoping for.

The cookie was good enough, but it definitely didn't compare to the white chocolate cranberry cookie I enjoyed on my previous visit.

Giant dipped cookie from Busch Gardens.

I really dropped the ball on this cookie, neglecting to pay any attention to its cost or to its weight—which is why I'm just tacking it on at the end of the Larry's Cookie review.

It is no surprise that the appeal of a giant cookie dipped in white chocolate and M&M's lies not in its taste but in its novelty value. I didn't expect much of this cookie, and I didn't get much.

It didn't have a lot of flavor, and its texture was just mediocre—that is, a little crunchy and a little soft. Of course, biting into the layer of creamy coating and yummy chocolate candies was fun, and filling, but I would never vote this cookie into my hall of fame.

As I said, I didn't notice the price, but considering I had to pay a 50 dollar admission fee just to be in a position to buy it (and that was after a discount), I would not say that it is the most cost-effective cookie out there.

The bottom line: Buy this cookie as a souvenir for a friend, but don't go all the way  to Busch Gardens just to partake of this gastronomic pleasure!