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April 28, 2007

Eat Prince Charles' Biscuits

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If you like you can spread his jam on them and serve with his tea.

Kim Severson, in an entertaining April 25, 2007 New York Times Dining section story about how the Prince has become the poster boy for the U.S. organic food movement, noted that his farm in Gloucestershire (about two hours west of London) produces organic foods sold under the Duchy Originals name.

In the U.K. some 250 products are available.

Those in the U.S. can find a selection at duchyusa.com.

Pictured up top are his ginger biscuits (stamped with the crest of the Duchy of Cornwall) and damson plum preserves.

April 28, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bongo Ties

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I love the name, that's why they're here.

From the website:

    Bongo Ties™

    Extra-strong, natural rubber bands with patented wood closure pins organize everything from electronic and computer cables to extension cords, power tools, and more!

    They're economical and reusable.

    5" long.

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20 for $12.99.

April 28, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Alex Witchel's Tribute to Wonder Bread

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Reading it made me want to run down to 7-Eleven and get a loaf before the next draft pick.

It appeared in the April 25, 2007 New York Times Dining section, and follows.

    A Soft Spot for the Anti-Artisanal

    I believe in God, organic produce and sustainable foods. I believe that an apple purchased in a Greenmarket will always be better for me than one purchased at a supermarket, even though it may look like a potato with a skin condition.

    I will also pay a fortune for almost anything called heirloom or artisanal, knowing that some dedicated soul devoted more attention to a Camembert in a week than most mothers do their own children.

    Handmade. Individual. Nurtured. Can’t beat it, right?

    Well, sometimes, I think you can. Into every life some Kraft Singles, Hostess Sno Balls and Snickers bars must fall. Could you possibly substitute a wedge of that pampered Camembert for a workaday Kraft Single on a tuna melt? Never. And equal only to the fetishistic satisfaction of eating the filling of an Oreo before you eat the cookie is peeling the Sno Ball’s coconut-sprinkled dome of marshmallow from the chocolate cupcake beneath it and saving its creamy center for last.

    These products are sui generis in our great American culture where variety rules; you can’t find a real substitute for any of them. Mallomars are health food compared with Sno Balls, a Milky Way is only a Snickers denuded of protein and as for orange-colored cheese food, once you’ve grown up with it, you’ll be hungry for it until the day it kills you. Which is why, all agricultural improvements aside, the taste memory of anyone over 30 cannot be satisfied by Greenmarkets alone.

    So I believe there is still an argument to be made for sodium stearoyl lactylate, dicalcium phosphate, ammonium sulfate and ammonium chloride — and not just for cleaning the bathroom. I’m talking Wonder Bread here.

    Builds strong bodies 12 ways, remember? For bodies that are already built, the label’s not even that scary — once you get past those ammoniums. No cholesterol. No trans fats. No saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. Fiber? Well, O.K. Less than one gram.

    But ever since I took a tour of a Wonder Bread factory in third grade and they gave us each a package of two fresh slices, which we wolfed down on the bus home, it has been love. Certainly, peanut butter and jelly is the echt Wonder Bread sandwich, the jelly staining the bread like church windows. A close second was my mother’s tuna fish sandwich.

    And while we’re at it, let’s hear it for the glories of white food! Remember the old days, before chicken salad turned into fruit salad (Raisins? Grapes? Nuts? Why?), and it was only finely diced white meat chicken, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, salt, pepper and maybe some finely diced celery? Fine dice has never been my talent, so I run out of patience after the chicken and skip the celery. This simple salad, bound by the inimitable seal Hellmann’s makes with the bread, yields perfect triangles of gourmet spackle. I defy you to eat just one.

    My mother knew a woman who used to make thin sandwiches of cream cheese and Swiss cheese on Wonder Bread. You can’t eat just one of those, either. I knew a woman who lived in Chicago who used a cookie cutter to make circles of Wonder bread, then mounded them with cream cheese and crowned them with caviar. If she had offered, I would have moved in.

    Note to the uninitiated: bars of Philadelphia cream cheese must be banned in the presence of Wonder Bread. It’s Temp Tee Whipped out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes or bust. Because when you tear a slice, couldn’t you just cry?

    As I write this, a loaf of Wonder Bread sits beside me, growing steadily smaller. For a mass-produced product, what a delicate creation! I’ve left a half-eaten piece on my desk for 20 minutes and it has already gone stale. One bite, though, and the heat of my mouth melted it right back to freshness. No, I don’t find that scary. I find it magical.

    Which brings me to another point: to toast fresh Wonder Bread is a crime against nature. The fresh Wonder Bread experience, something like eating Play-Doh shot through with air and flavored with milk, cannot be truly appreciated when it assumes a form other than squishy. (Except perhaps as French toast when the edges get delectably crispy.)

    The squishiness does have a downside, however, as I discovered as a kid, when we used it as bait. I remember balling up slices of Wonder Bread to stick on fish hooks, which worked brilliantly — until the fish started flopping around my feet, which was perfectly awful. After that I made sure to pretend to put the bread on the hook but ate it instead. The fish and I were both happier.

    Anyway, don’t get me wrong. I’m genuinely glad about the progress being made in the culinary world, and I’m grateful that our daily diets are improving thanks to the tireless efforts of local farmers and obsessive compulsives who have chosen heritage pork as their final frontier instead of space. I salute them.

    All I’m saying is that sometimes, people, you’ve still got to remember the wonder.

April 28, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Book Shade

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From the website:

    Book Shade

    Book shade eliminates sun glare!

    If you’ve ever tried reading at the beach or lake, by a pool, on a boat or in the backyard on a bright sunny day, you already know how hard it is to combat sun glare.

    Solve the problem instantly with this clever shade that clips onto any book to eliminate glare and reflections on pages, and help reduce eyestrain.

    Lightweight plastic and nylon.

    Folds to store.

    9" x 7".

$4.98.

April 28, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Best cartoon of the year

Anythingnice

April 28, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ultimate iPod Boom Box

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From the website:
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Portable PA Audio System with iPod Player

Our Portable PA Audio System is perfect for use at outdoor or indoor parties.

This professional-quality sound system provides the perfect mobile music solution without the typical tangle of cords.

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Play favorites the crowd can hear loud and clear through this iPod player's high-efficiency amplifier.

• Sing or address a crowd using the pro-quality microphone, or hook up an instrument to play live music

• Built-in rechargeable battery plays high-volume levels of music for over six hours; lasts even longer at lower levels

• Rugged, suitcase-style wheels make the speaker easy to roll anywhere the party goes

• High-output two-way speaker system provides high-quality acoustics

• Heavy-duty aluminum construction stands up to wear and tear

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• Retractable top handle allows easy portability

• Easily connect to CD/MP3 players

• 15"W x 11"D x 18"H
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$299.

April 28, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

involver.com — twitter with a future

In the latest Wired magazine (May 2007) the "Playlist" features involver.com, which started in August of last year and is now in beta.

"Sure, Twitter's fine if you must know what your friends are doing right now. But what are they doing next week? Try involver.com, which lets you list events you plan to attend and tag them with keywords."

Sign up here.

Me, I don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows and I don't need involver to let you know where I'll be next week and the week after that, ad infinitum: see the YouTube video up top for details.

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And that's the way uh huh uh huh, I like it.

April 28, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Breakthrough Bicycle Seat

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The only problem is you have to buy the whole bike to get it.

It's a 17"-wide bench seat with a back.

In Burgundy or Cobalt Blue Metallic.

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Memo to whomever dreamed this up: bag the bicycle and offer the bench seat with the back and you'll sell so many it'll make your wheels — and head — spin.

$699 for the bench seat, seat back and bike.

April 28, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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