Friday October 23
It was the second-to-last day of our vacation, and the parents and I actually went on a fun, family outing…
WE WENT OUT TO TRADER JO’S! Aaaaaah ha ha ha ha ha ha! Like I said on the post about Day-1, the parents and I are the most boring fucking vacationers we know. We’re devout Aldi and Publix shoppers—especially cheapo Aldi. Venturing off to pricier places with a selection of exotic goodies, like Trader Jo’s and WholeFoods, is like the Safari experience of grocery shopping.
It’s been a Tuscany Resort tradition for the past decade, to make an outing out of going to one of these higher quality stores, and loading up on unique foods that weren’t usually available at our everyday stores. Coming back to our condo,, with eco-friendly bags overstuffed with things like, Hibiscus soda, beers from obscure microbreweries, weird flavored cheeses, and interesting pasta alternatives, was always one of my favorite parts of the trip.
WholeFoods is the all-time family favorite. One of their best variety destinations was the bulk bins. Their assortment of bulk bins was overwhelming, at times, but with this covid issue, I wonder if bulk bins are still allowed. I couldn’t get enough of their chocolate covered espresso beans, and carob covered almonds. They had some rock’n good crystalized ginger too. Hot, nose juicing, crystalized ginger. I was also hooked on these dried mangos that were delicious, despite how much they smelled like stinky library books.
Trader Jo’s is the next best option. They’re a lot smaller, and they don’t have as insane of a variety of all things out-of-the-ordinary. But we love that place, because, of course, it’s cheaper.. For a store with less inventory, they still have a generous array of good quality coffees, which is my favorite part.
I made it a mission to find coconut pancake mix, and these white chocolate-coffee dunking cookies. We used to get these things from Trader Jo’s, years ago, and I never forgot them.
The coconut pancake mix was one of those “healthier alternative” things, because it was grain-free. However, it sure didn’t taste like health nut chow. It was so coconutty, with a buttery undertone, and just the right amount of sweetness. When dad made pancakes or waffles with it, they tasted like coconut macaroons, or buttery coconut cookies. They weren’t just coconutty, more like coco-naughty.
As for the dunking cookies, they tasted like they were flavored with real coffee. Not that imitation coffee flavoring shit that kind of tastes like second-hand smoke and Honey Smacks. These cookies had a good, strong, bold coffee flavor.. Each had one half dipped in rich, creamy white chocolate, When you dipped it into your hot coffee, the white chocolate instantly turned gooey and melty. If some of your coffee melted into it, oooooweeee, it was a mouth’s wet dream.
We searched just about everywhere in Trader Jo’s, except on the roof, but we didn’t find the cookies or the pancake mix, but I wasn’t too disappointed. They had other exotic treats that I just had to have, like coffees from Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Honduras. I won’t ramble on about every single item in our cute little Trader Jo’s cart, but I was thrilled that they had Asian pares. For a while, it seemed like grocery stores stopped selling them.
For those of you who never had an Asian pare, they are very different. They’re shaped more like round apples, and their skin—which I think is brown—has more of a potato skin texture. How they taste, I guess, depends on where you buy them. Christa says that the ones they sell in Panamanian stores don’t have much of a flavor. But the Asian pares I always bought, here in America, taste like rum.
There were these grapes that I couldn’t help buying, just because they were Moon Drop grapes. They tasted like grapes, but looked like little purple weaners.
After Trader Jo’s, it was back to good old Publix, for some aspirin. Dad had a gout flare-up that gave him a severe case of balloon-hand. We had to get some dinner stuff for the next couple of evenings too. While moseying among the frozen pizzas, mom spotted this pizza that sounded disgusting, so I had to try it. Cauliflower-cranberry pizza!
When we got home, it was time for Friday’s Write-In. I sure liked Christa’s idea to move the second Write-In of the week, from Thursday to Friday. The way my quirky brain operates, having these meetings at the beginning and end of the week, is less disruptive on my natural flow. Christa, who juggles writing, blogging, a writing course, her husband, household and dogs, AND a full-time day job, feels the same way. Sadly, however, the other group members seemed not into this change, and Friday’s Write-In was a bust.
Since the Writers’ Mastermind has members from all over the world, it’s hard to figure out what the perfect Zoom meeting schedule should be, whether it’s Write-Ins, or monthly meetings about what we members learned from Christa’s monthly workbook. I wonder if having Friday’s Write-In at the same time as on Mondays, would be better. People seem to prefer the morning Zooms, especially our members from European countries, where 11:00 A M over here, is early evening on their side of the Atlantic. One of our members is from Norway, which I was told, is six hours ahead. Christa caught her dozing off one time, during one of our 3:30 meetings. On the other hand, 3:30 is a good time for our members from places like, new Zealand, because it’s a decent hour of the morning, over there.
Boy, am I making our writing group sound like something glamorous, with all this around-the-world talk. I wouldn’t bullshit you. Christa and I do get the privilege of digitally hobnobbing with outstandingly brilliant writers, but we haven’t reached any level of literary glamor…
It had been almost two weeks since Christa went back to Panama, enough time for a build-up of happenings to catch up on. So we spent the Zoom meeting, just hanging out. I told her about my dilemma with Sandra. Ah, man, when she told me what Sandra was really asking for, I felt like a total air-head.
Sandra wasn’t expecting me or Jo to spend twice the cost of my book on mailing her a paperback copy, all the way to Québec, free of charge. What she was really requesting, was a digital A R C! So it was a misunderstanding on both ends of our Facebook Messenger. Oh, hell, I didn’t even know what a digital Author Review Copy is until that day. Sandra, along with other people I know on social media, assume that I’m just as technically advanced as them. I messaged her, apologizing for my misunderstanding, and promised that Christa would send her an A R C soon. I really want that review.
Trying to make it as an author, while still having loads more to learn about social media, and about how the digital writing business operates, makes me feel like such a silly, naïve little girl, sometimes. Aaaaaaah!! What the hell have I gotten myself into!!
Ending the second-to-last day on a positive note, the cauliflower-cranberry pizza was amazing. Whoever came up with that recipe, is a true flavor artist. It didn’t have the typical pizza stuff on it, like tomato sauce or Italian spices. Instead, it had a cream cheese-tasting sauce that was not spicy, but not bland either. It was kind of a go-between flavor that balanced out the conflicting flavors of the cauliflower and spinach, and the sweet and tangy, cooked dried cranberries. It was a savory pizza that was a perfect ending to the day’s adventurous food journey, after rum flavored pares, and weaner grapes.
Love you all! Post you tomorrow!