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Friday, November 30, 2007

Wild Encounters

I'm a huge animal lover, have been all my life. When I was really young I wanted to be a veterinarian & one of my young sons wants to be a zookeeper. Over the Thanksgiving holiday our family took a trip to Michigan where we were greeted not only by snow (!) but also hunting season. My thoughts on hunting are a little complicated. When I see deer walking in the woods, I slow down to look at them or let the kids take a photo. I certainly don't feel like shooting them. That being said, I understand that deer can be pests & I'm definitely a meat eater. During our vacation I saw something that I've never seen before. After eating lunch at McDonald's (thank goodness we'd already eaten!) I saw an SUV at the drive-thru with a dead deer strapped to the roof (not something you're likely to see in Southern California). Try explaining that to your kids!
When we arrived home, we found that a coyote had moved into our yard. We have a large yard that's totally fenced & somehow he's gotten in & can't get back out. I've called animal control, department of fish & game, etc & no one can seem to tell us how to get rid of him (although their voicemail system did tell me how to get a hunting license). The coyote doesn't seem too afraid of me & comes right up to our backdoor & looks in. Of course, I'm nervous about our dogs & kids (although he's probably more interested in all the ground squirrels & bunnies). If any of you have coyote advice, I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

There's something kind of great about a holiday that seems to be almost totally based on food. Remember to take a minute before you slip into a tryptophan induced coma to think about all you have to be thankful for. Have a wonderful holiday surrounded by family & friends!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Edamame Update

Who would have thought that my post on chocolate covered edamame would cause me to receive over 100 e-mails? Many people agreed with me that it didn't sound good. Cooks & chefs said the combination would be fine (perhaps even delicious). I also heard from several Trader Joe's employees (& friends of Trader Joe's employees). I learned from them that TJ workers sample all the products that they carry (what a great idea!). The consensus was that since the edamame are dry roasted the taste is similar to a chocolate covered nut. Alright, I like chocolate covered nuts, so I decided to drive over & pick up a container so I could give a fair review. When I arrived, I headed straight to the edamame display & was gone! The edamame had been replaced with caramel covered popcorn. Oh well, I guess I wouldn't be able to do my little taste test after all. But then, I was approached by "Brad" one of my super helpful TJ "crew members". He told me that it had simply been moved to the "chocolate covered" section of the store. So. here I sit with an open container of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Edamame. What does it taste like? Let's see: dark chocolate, slightly salty & crunchy like a nut. It reminds me of the Trader Joe's milk chocolate covered soy nuts (& that makes perfect sense since edamame are soybeans, after all). Will I get them again? Probably not, but at least I can honestly say that they aren"t as horrible as they sound.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I'm a fan of Trader Joes. I'm sure I've mentioned it before. They offer good food, typically healthier stuff than at the grocery stores, that's easy to prepare & at reasonable prices. But today when I was on my weekly visit to TJ's to stock up on supplies for school lunches, I saw an item that made me say "Ewww" out loud! I'm a firm believer that almost anything tastes better with chocolate on it. But Trader Joe's may have gone too far with their latest creation: chocolate covered edamame! Don't get me wrong, I like edamame. I eat a little bowl every time I have sushi, but the thought of it covered with chocolate just seems wrong. I may take the plunge & try it. I hate to condemn a food I haven't tasted. If anyone has tried it & thinks it's delicious, let me know.