I was on my break from work this morning when I saw a text message from my brother: “So… any party plans for this weekend?” He, of course, was referring to my thirtieth birthday and wanted to know if I was going to have a party in which he would be able to eat some of my dad’s tasty cooking. (Wink!) But since my pops is exhausted from our week in California, I decided to plan this one. I decided to follow my theme of Thirty till Thirty and #californiaforthirty and have a Thirty for Thirty Taste Test.
What’s that? You ask. I’m so glad you wanted to know. I came up with the idea a few days before we drove to California. But once I got back from California, I was already a few days older than thirty and I didn’t want to put time and energy into planning it. Then I woke up thanks to Shane’s text. When I got off of work, I drove to the grocery stores and started buying stuff. This stuff included thirty items that my family had to taste for my birthday party. There were to be fifteen beverages and fifteen food items. But once in the store, I changed it a bit.
Here’s the write-up I’m providing to the folks who will want to read something my long-winded mind produced the night before the function. Take it as you will.
Welcome to the Thirty for Thirty Taste Test! I’m glad you showed up. You’d think that after I visited the Sonoma County Wine Country that I would understand how important food pairing is and how to plan the meal around the beverage, etc. This taste test isn’t about that. In fact, the thirty items I have chosen are pretty random and I picked them when I was shopping at the Dollar Tree, Grocery Outlet, and Safeway after working at Lowe’s only yesterday. So you see, things were a bit thrown together on a whim. But to help some of you with analytical/organized minds, I have placed the thirty items in brackets to help you organize them in your mind. If you’re up for it, taste all thirty. If not, skip a few. I won’t be offended if you skip any of the tastings, but I do expect you to lie to your young male friends about my age to the amount of tastes you followed through with.
Before I get to the list of tastes, I wanted to tell you something important: though the choices may appear random, it’s not that random. I’ve explained the history or point of each choice in the upcoming list. But I also skipped a few tastes I thought most of us would gag through. These were: Vienna sausage, oysters, corned beef, spam – you get the gist. I skipped the sardine aisle to preserve our sanity and keep the upchuck, chucked.
Ok. Now for the list.
Thirty for Thirty Taste Test List
The Candy Flight (Tastes one through five)
1. Butterscotch discs – One of my favorite books is Maniac Magee. I read it a bunch in grade school and I still tell people about that book. The main kid, Maniac Magee loved butterscotch discs. Whichever teacher read it to us for the first time during read aloud brought us these candies after we finished the book. I don’t eat these much, but they remind me of the simple days of grade school.
2. Boston Baked Beans – These are mentioned by Ethan Embry in All I Want For Christmas when he’s trying to flirt with the girl from Boston. Ethan Embry was one of my major crushes in grade school through now. ☺
3. Toostie Rolls – I had forgotten how good these were until last summer when we had Shanna and Mark’s wedding reception in Wilsonville. I took the leftovers and ate them when I worked at the wine packaging warehouse to relieve stress.
4. Tootsie Pop Drops – I have never eaten these before, but they looked fun. Plus, I like gummy things.
5. Mallo Cup – I’m guessing these are gross because they have marshmallows in them. Maddie will love them because they’re probably like peeps. I wanted to get Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups because they’re my favorite, but then I figured, why not finally try these things with my beloved family members. That way if they are awful, we can suffer together.
The Fruit Flight (Tastes six through ten)
6. Sunny D – It’s orange flavored. And I have too many beverages to try so I’m calling this fruit. When I was in Bible quizzing in 5th and 6th grade and Daddy had to help me get lunch food, he’d buy me little Sunny D’s to take on my journey. Momma NEVER DID THIS because it was too much money. Thus, Sunny D became a special treat that I appreciated whenever Pa Bunn had to take care of me.
7. Fruit Roll-Ups Mini Rolls – Did you know that these are made with real fruit? That doesn’t mean they’re healthy or that they come straight off of a tree, but all the cool kids eat them so you should too. Plus, most of the food came in packages of 12 and I wasn’t sure if Ayla could come or if people would want seconds and this was the only package of fruity snacks that had 18 items.
8. Pop-Tarts Strawberry without Frosting – Strawberry Pop-Tarts with frosting are one of my favorite guilty pleasure foods. Ethan Embry talks about them in the movie Can’t Hardly Wait, a movie Shell and I watched a bunch in 1999. I wouldn’t ever let Maddie or Mags watch that show, but it reminds me of high school so it creates a worthy diversion on occasion.
9. Canned pineapple – Not as good as the real fresh stuff, but it just sounded good in the aisle.
10. California oranges from a guy’s orange booth off of Highway 101 after the California border – Ma has a great story to go with these ones. The guy who sold them had a unique marketing scheme.
The Bad Carby Flight (Tastes eleven through fifteen)
11. Blueberry Waffles – Granted these are not brand name waffles, but they’re still tasty. I ate Eggo brand waffles and Fred Meyer brand frozen waffles a lot during my fifteen months in Eugene during grad school. Yum!
12. Pizza Snack Rolls – Abby Duran and I used to have a monthly tradition. We’d have slumber parties at her house and watch chick flicks, 80s movies, and Disney movies while eating chocolate and pizza rolls. We always at the pepperoni flavored ones. We could have eaten salads or something, but for some reason at 16 years-old, we didn’t care about health food. Go figure.
13. Four Cheese & Basil frozen pizza – Ma and Pa traveled a lot during the 1998-99 school year. It seems like Shelli and I were alone a lot during that year or perhaps both of them worked late and she and I were home a lot, but we had a routine similar to Abby and my routine: we ate frozen four cheese pizzas and watched 80s movies and dance movies. Shelli hated pepperoni pizza; that’s why we went for the four cheese kind.
14. Newman’s Own Fig Newmans – Paul Newman was awesome. He made salad dressing in a bathtub. Plus – he was cute. I hated the taste of fig newtons as a kid. But then I liked the flavor and they were too expensive. When I saw these in the store, I figured, why not try them once again.
15. Bugles Original – We didn’t really have the in vogue junk food as kids, but I remember other kids eating these in their lunches. I only realized they still existed at the Putt’s closing party in the summer of 2012. I figured it would be fun for everyone to try them again.
The Food Pairings Flight (Tastes sixteen through twenty)
16. Kix with Milk – Kix is one of the best cereals. We rarely bought it was I was a kid because it was a General Mills cereal, but when I went shopping with Ma, I often got her to buy some.
17. Juanita’s Tortilla Chips with Herdez Salsa – I totally prefer Pace salsa, but I saw this one at Grocery Outlet and I figured, why not support Mexico and Stockton, CA by buying this salsa. Oh and Juanita’s chips are the best!
18. Ready to bake breadsticks with a jar of pasta sauce – Throwback to college days and your early twenty’s with a meal in three packages. Woohoo!
19. Breton Cabaret Crackers with Rose City Pepperheads Holy Habanero Jelly – The jelly is from McMinnville’s The Sip and the crackers are good any day.
20. Ants on a log – In case you thought this Taste test would be vegetable free, you were wrong. Try this classic prepared by either me, Ma, or Pa Bunn (whoever had the time to fix it between one fifteen and one thirty PM. ☺
The Beverage Flight (Tastes twenty-one through twenty-five)
21. Jarritos Mandarin – Mexican soda. Why not?
22. Arizona Sweet Tea – Sweet tea is awesome and sweet though I’m not sure if they really make or drink it in Arizona. But Louisiana or Alabama sweet tea isn’t always around in our grocery stores.
23. Vitamin Water Revive – This beverage is purple and though this sugary drink is not as good for you as taking an actual vitamin with water, the marketing team rocks and writes cool stuff on their bottles. Read it. You might not appreciate it, but you might also not always appreciate my sense of humor so there.
24. G2 Thirst Quencher Lemon-Lime – Shanna drinks a lot of Gatorade when she takes road trips or when she goes camping. I don’t. Gatorade does, however, remind me of Grandma Bunn and our long-term savings jars.
25. Caffeine-Free Diet Coke – Shane doesn’t drink caffeinated beverages. And originally, I had planned to do fifteen beverages and fifteen food items and then I went to the store and my whole plan changed. I got the soda so Shane would at least drink one thing. It’s an oldest-youngest sibling thing.
Miscellaneous (Tastes twenty-six through thirty)
26. Diet Pepsi – This is my favorite soda beverage. Yes, I like Pepsi better than Coke. I also like the Ducks better than the Beavers. I was always going to rebel against Papasita in some way, you know. (Wink!)
27. Oakshire Brewing Overcast Espresso Stout – It wouldn’t be a Rece birthday shindig without at least one taste of beer. Oakshire Brewing is a Eugene Brewery and if you didn’t know this because you were skim-reading and skipped over number 11, I used to live in Eugene, Oregon.
28. House Wine – This is my favorite wine. It’s not that it’s totally awesome and that it moves mountains. It’s that it has an awesome label and that it’s pretty decent. Try it or don’t. (By putting alcohol on the list, I at least lowered my age to the under-age folks!)
29. Ben & Jerry’s Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt – So you missed the blog post on Friday? You should subscribe to Peanut Girl so you know what’s up. It’s very organized these days. I discovered this amazing yogurt in San Francisco. It reminds me off all of those DELICIOUS lemon cakes we ate for Shane’s, Shelli’s, and Ma Bunn’s birthdays.
30. Lucerne Birthday Cake Ice Cream – I know – you are having so much fun tasting random foods and beverages that you forgot I had a birthday. This will bring you back to focusing on me. Just kidding. The truth is that Safeway doesn’t carry Goo-Goo Cluster Ice Cream anymore so I got this because at least it would be semi-festive.
That’s the list. I hope you enjoy trying the stuff. I’ll check in with you for a brief survey/rating list as you go so be ready for that. (Wink!)
Tata for now.