July 30, 2008

Ghirardelli Never Knew This Chocolate: review: Kellogg's Live Bright Bar, 4-Count, 4.9-Ounce Box (Pack of 4)

Ghirardelli Never Knew This Chocolate
Kellogg's Live Bright Bar, 4-Count, 4.9-Ounce Box (Pack of 4)

Peeling the wrapper from the sun-melted bar, I saw Chicago's heat showed it was stronger than naturally and artificially flavored chocolate. Hours at the door, waiting to be taken in, it was no match. Did the quality diminish in the swelter of mid-July, reduced by an eager delivery man's desire to relieve himself of product?

Tolerating the misshapen bar, having conformed itself to gravity's pull, I imagined a glorious vision of Ghirardelli or Godiva. What might the Kellogg's Live Bright bars have been compared to in their fully formed prime? Just my imagination, I learned in one bite. Nothing here would Domenico Ghirardelli recognize. It was an adequate, not satisfying flavor.

Deliberately, I chewed, longing to find in this brain health bar wisdom. I found mediocrity. It reminded me of a 1970s Marathon Bar that has missed its caramel filling, leaving behind the masticatory endurance test.

Not qualified to assess the nutritional result, I cannot say how the Omega-3 or other vitamins worked. I can say I enjoy chocolate Slim Fast more, and it goes down quicker. May you eat so well in your daily dining that supplements are unnecessary.

Taste a finer chocolate and worse tasting vitamin elsewhere.

--Brockeim

July 29, 2008

The Sad Maiden and Only Voyage of the Bodum Chocolatiere: review: Bodum Chocolatiere Glass Hot Chocolate Maker/Frother

The Sad Maiden and Only Voyage of the Bodum Chocolatiere

Bodum Chocolatiere Glass Hot Chocolate Maker/Frother
Wrapped securely in giant bubble wrap, in a box within a box, she, my Bodum Chocolatiere, rested comfortably in a packaged womb as she found her way into my home. Her curves were undeniable, more svelte than the chocolate jugs made for ordinary use, bringing me hope. My use, though, was not plebeian.

Ground chocolate. Sugar. 2% milk. Vanilla. Filtered water. Heavy whipping cream. These were the ingredients of pleasure. These were to join as an elixir of morning ecstasy. These were what God designed, and what I would mix.

Mechanically, as I swished the plunger, all blended, but inefficiently. Chocolate powder remained at the bottom, unreached by the swirl liquid. At the top, other problems ensued: partially harmonized flavors pulled out with the plunger. All grace was lost as hot chocolate spilt upon my counter.

Though my struggle was true, my recipe was sure, and so, when all was meted generously between my Monday brunch guest and I, we enjoyed.

Was a better method of preparation available? Could the spillage be averted through a careful and exact portioning of ingredients? This I will not know. While drawing water to rinse, she clashed with a favorite coffee mug and left this world in several pieces.

Hot chocolate deserves to made with ease, and the Bodum Chocolatiere was not easy. Her virtue was her sophistication, but her vice was her fragility. She was beautiful to see, but not sturdy enough to love me back. There are better ways to make the hot chocolate you need.

--Brockeim

July 01, 2008

The Hunting of the Snark: What I tell you three times is true.

Not normally snarky, nor appreciating those who pride themselves in such narcissism, I noticed Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem in the news and decided to post the true snark. I have bolded the quoted line in stanza one.

The Hunting of the Snark
by Lewis Carroll
about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunting_of_the_Snark

Fit the First - The Landing

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.
"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."


The crew was complete: it included a Boots--
A maker of Bonnets and Hoods--
A Barrister, brought to arrange their disputes--
And a Broker, to value their goods.

A Billiard-maker, whose skill was immense,
Might perhaps have won more than his share--
But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,
Had the whole of their cash in his care.

There was also a Beaver, that paced on the deck,
Or would sit making lace in the bow:
And had often (the Bellman said) saved them from wreck,
Though none of the sailors knew how.

There was one who was famed for the number of things
He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
And the clothes he had bought for the trip.

He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
They were all left behind on the beach.

The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pairs of boots--but the worst of it was,
He had wholly forgotten his name.

He would answer to "Hi!" or to any loud cry,
Such as "Fry me!" or "Fritter my wig!"
To "What-you-may-call-um!" or "What-was-his-name!"
But especially "Thing-um-a-jig!"

While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,
He had different names from these:
His intimate friends called him "Candle-ends,"
And his enemies "Toasted-cheese."

"His form in ungainly--his intellect small--"
(So the Bellman would often remark)
"But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,
Is the thing that one needs with a Snark."

He would joke with hyenas, returning their stare
With an impudent wag of the head:
And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw, with a bear,
"Just to keep up its spirits," he said.

He came as a Baker: but owned, when too late--
And it drove the poor Bellman half-mad--
He could only bake Bridecake--for which, I may state,
No materials were to be had.

The last of the crew needs especial remark,
Though he looked an incredible dunce:
He had just one idea--but, that one being "Snark,"
The good Bellman engaged him at once.

He came as a Butcher: but gravely declared,
When the ship had been sailing a week,
He could only kill Beavers. The Bellman looked scared,
And was almost too frightened to speak:

But at length he explained, in a tremulous tone,
There was only one Beaver on board;
And that was a tame one he had of his own,
Whose death would be deeply deplored.

The Beaver, who happened to hear the remark,
Protested, with tears in its eyes,
That not even the rapture of hunting the Snark
Could atone for that dismal surprise!

It strongly advised that the Butcher should be
Conveyed in a separate ship:
But the Bellman declared that would never agree
With the plans he had made for the trip:

Navigation was always a difficult art,
Though with only one ship and one bell:
And he feared he must really decline, for his part,
Undertaking another as well.

The Beaver's best course was, no doubt, to procure
A second-hand dagger-proof coat--
So the Baker advised it-- and next, to insure
Its life in some Office of note:

This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
(On moderate terms), or for sale,
Two excellent Policies, one Against Fire,
And one Against Damage From Hail.

Yet still, ever after that sorrowful day,
Whenever the Butcher was by,
The Beaver kept looking the opposite way,
And appeared unaccountably shy.