||[Sep. 16th, 2006|04:42 pm]
Never go to the grocery store when hungry, they say. You know why, right? The ice cream will start calling your name; so will the chips, the candies, and even the healthy food that you enjoy. |
You know what's even worse? Going to my local Thriftway when hungry.
See, they're a gourmet grocery store; good wines, fancy beers, great cheeses, amazing baked good, wonderful breads, etc.. They have ordinary food as well, but you'll pay a premium for it.
I don't think it was just hunger, though. Part of it was that I hadn't been able to go see Pat this weekend, and one of the things Pat and I often do is buy some special foods for the weekend.
I had to buy some Drunken Goat cheese, because that's one of Pat's favorites. I also bought some Cotswald, because I didn't get to eat any last time I visited her place, and bought some at the new grocery store near her place. I picked up some blueberry Stilton, because it looked interested, and then some blue Stilton because it was there. Then I saw they had some double Gloucester, and I couldn't resist. Gloucester is the base of Cotswald, and it's an incredibly yummy cheese. If you like cheddar, you'll probably love Gloucester.
None of these cheeses comes in at less than $15 a pound, so I was already giving myself a reason for sticker shock when I checked out, so I avoided the flatbread they have. It's really nice stuff; crackly and tasty, but never really interfering with the taste of the cheese. But, at $5 a bag, when I can get more cheese eating out of a $2 box of Premium saltines, I couldn't justify it.
Stopping at the bakery doomed me. They had a chocolate banana tart that I couldn't resist trying; once I had that, I had to buy some coffee to make a latte to go with it. It was amazing; fluffy, yet so rich it felt like I was eating ice cream, and a good, ripe banana flavor. Not a lot... you wouldn't want to wolf one of these down or you wouldn't appreciate the banana or the chocolate, but eaten slowly, mixed with sips from a really frothy latte, it was amazing. I'm glad I got the chocolate macaroon for later.
I bought some relatively reasonably priced beer. Ah, for the innocent days when a "reasonably priced" six pack was only $5! But out here in the Pacific Northwest, where there are dozens of wonderful microbrews, $8 is the new "reasonable". It's a stout that I've never tried before. I like a good stout; when I drink a beer, I want there to be no mistaking the beer that's going in with the beer coming back... okay, too crude. Nevertheless, I like a good, dark beer.
And then, I found some soft smoked salmon; I have cream cheese, and onion ,so all I needed was some good bread, and a tomato or two.
Warning: supermarkets now put their tomatoes under a colored light. They look redder than they are. Alas, Thriftway is no different. Worse luck, they didn't have any good heirlooms. The tomatoes did have a distinct smell to them, but I haven't done a lot of tomato sniffing in my life, and they didn't smell like a good tomato tastes... but I'm not sure if that's normal or not. These are either going to be really good, or terrible. The good news is, they did smell very strongly of tomato vine. That's why I bought them. Gads, how hard it must be for people who never grew up around a garden!
I bought a loaf of swiss peasant bread, which is a french style bread that I've had before. I think with the cream cheese, salmon, and tomato and onion, it'll make some awfully good sandwiches.
Finally, on the way out, I saw the one thing that no Narnia fan can easily pass up... Turkish Delight.
Now, I've had several people comment on Turkish Delight before. They said "think gel style toothpaste. But fruit flavored." Several have been scandalized that Edmund would sell his family out for this stuff (even though C. S. Lewis makes it clear that the candy was enchanted to be addictive). At the same time, I've heard that there is good Turkish Delight, and, honestly, I had to try it, even if it was awful. I had reason to be hopeful, because it was in this Thriftway, but I was willing to waste the money if I had to.
The legend I heard is that a Turkish prince demanded a brand new confection, one that had never been known anywhere else, and Turkish Delight is what they came up with. Viewed from that perspective, I'd say that this is a fine example of the breed. It's not the tastiest candy I've ever had, but it was pretty darn good stuff. Jellied, of course, and softer than a Swedish fish, and not quite as sticky. It's lightyears away from a gummi, though you might think that there was a family resemblance. If so, Turkish Delight is the rich, famous uncle and gummis are the black sheep cousin. It's got several fruit flavors, and each one I've tried is kinda-neat.
I'm going to ignore how much I spent; if I do that, maybe I won't feel guilty about it :-).
I figure I'm allowed to overspend a bit... it's kinda-sorta my birthday weekend, so I think I can allow myself to splurge a bit. Speaking of which, does anyone know anything about monitors? I've gotten an Amazon gift certificate, and I think a new monitor (a 19" to replace my 17") might be the best use for it.
I've been hearing about bad choices in LCD monitors. I didn't know they were all that different.
I'm seeing times; I'm guessing that's a refresh time, and that low is better... kind of an inverse frame-rate?
I know contrast, and know that higher is better; what's good?
And I know that I need VGA, not DVI.
And does anyone know what they'd tell their best non-power-gamer friend to expect to spend? I don't play any games where framerate makes a huge difference. If it's fast enough to play a movie without ghosting (or whatever problems LCDs have), I'm probably good to go.
I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend, as good as I am, or better.