Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary
Snack time is hard. You are a little hungry, but don
t have the time to whip up a full meal. Or maybe you have the time, but this really isnt the time or place. I know it is complicated, so just bear with me. The point is, sometimes you need food. Because food is a good thing to have.
I know that I love snack time. It
s almost like Im never not having snack time because, well, it
s true. Im always eating some little tid bit. Every three hours, or two if my energy is low, I`ll take a mini meal. It is rather filling, and good for the soul.
The concept of a mini meal may seem foreign to some of my readers. Oh, sure, many cultures thrive on such a thing. The Thais are well known for strolling along the street to one of about a million street vendors for a tasty bit whenever the mood strikes them, and the spanish peoples (of Spain, not South America) are famous for picking up a few bits and pieces before dinner in tapas bars. I can
t say I blame them, as I would rather starve if I had to wait until eight or nine for my dinner. Seven is already pushing it, and only happens as a result of a very long day. Im one of those old fashioned Americans that eats a good farmer
s dinner at five-thirty, and has a light supper at about seven to keep me going a few hours more. I dont know about the rest of my countrymen (or women, considering I am one) but I prefer to wake up at 8:30, classes start at 9:30, and bedtime happens at about eleven. I need to follow some habits, and those seem to be the prime schedule for optimal alertness and mental acuity. I don
t need that so much for my classes, per se, as for all of the fun plotting and planning I indulge in! I think one of the greatest joys of life is in being a shameless matchmaker, though Im proud to say that I
ve cut back on actively trying to pair people up. Im really proud of that step in my personal development, actually! To be fair, though, in actuality I probably spend far more time simply socializing and doing good works than planning them. The main point here being that, though I appear to be incapable of multitasking, I seem to have found a way around it. Student, matchmaker, and organizer extraordinaire, at your service. Just a bit of a warning to my few friends who bother to read my blog I suppose.
One thing that Americans do well, for the sake of friendliness and camaraderie, is the act of watching a sport on the television. I don
t think any sports event, including the Olympics, is as well partied over as the (in)famous Superbowl. For those of you who somehow have managed to have less information on the odious sport stuffed into your head, a 'Bowl' is like a really important game for the overall competition to win a season. Im pretty sure the Super Bowl is the most important one. Actually, the only reason I know that much about it is that I attend a Superbowl party each year. There`s games and conversation, and a rather odd excitement to watch the commercials between game plays. I think the commercials are actually more important to most viewers than the game itself, can you imagine?
But my favorite part of the whole event is the snacks. There seems to have evolved a rare-to-the-country strain of little bites that are accepted as a whole meal when eaten en masse. While lack of research or awareness has led many to feel isolated and dejected when seeing the buffet table at these parties, I can assure you there is food to eat no matter your diet. It is all a matter of ingenuity!
For one solution, you can call ahead and share your diet and allergy needs, if for nothing more than the host or hostess
s information on what foods, already planned to be set out, can safely be eaten. A greater possibility, if you are visiting close friends or family who aim to accommodate you, is to give the party planners some ideas on what foods they can make and be sure of the lack of ____ allergen/ animal products. My Grandma, for one, seems to keep her pantry better stocked than mine in gluten free ingredients and cookbooks, and always is sure to have a safe alternative, at the very least. She even made me a separate stuffing and pumpkin custard for last Thanksgiving. I love that woman! :)<a href="https://thegreatzambini.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/p2050065.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-1376" alt="OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA" src="https://thegreatzambini.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/p2050065.jpg?w=300" width="300" height="225" /></a>s friends are similarly dedicated to going above and beyond. When we visited them for the big game tailgate last night, there was almost nothing I couldn
<h2 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#28d767;">Helpful Hostess
t</em> eat! That happens so rarely these days, I always end up feeling so blessed. (As I should, judging by such loving and accommodating people as Ive mentioned, and the fact that I live with such comparative wealth that I even own a computer!)
I shared just a glimpse of the total offerings in these two pictures. (You wouldn
t believe the looks you get when you whip out your camera to take pictures of food. It was almost as if some people thought I had gone a little crazy!) There were also some things on the side, like some yummy San Peligrino <a href="http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=736138&storeId=10052&langId=-1">blood orange soda</a>. I rarely indulge in sodas, but I felt like there was no reason to restrain myself. I think the last time I had a soda was for Christmas, so I dont feel particularly unhealthy right now. I
m sure I wont have another until perhaps the fourth of July (Independence Day, the United State
s patriotism cheers-our-country day). And I havent tried a blood orange soda ever before, so I
m really not feeling guilty, though I guess Im defending this so much because some niggling thought in the back of my head says I should feel bad about it. To that thought I say, “That
s why you stay in the back of my head, as you clearly arent fit for the front!”
The buttery crackers and pretzels happened to be the average wheaty variety, but there are many tasty gluten free versions. I happen to love all things Schar, and their pretzels and buttery crackers are no exception.
d advise you not go with a few of the more famous, and lower quality, gluten free brands out there. Glutino happens to be available in most stores, and is usually available at a relatively decent cost, once you factor in the average cost of gluten free baked goods. They also happen to sell mainly junk, except for their amazing <a href="http://www.glutino.com/our-products/snacks/bagel-chips/original-bagel-chips/">bagel crisps</a>. (They shouldnt be called chips, as they aren
t light, crisp and slightly oily, or made of potatoes in any way!) Only good thing Ive ever gotten from them, and I`ve bought a lot to test this theory on.
I also don
t suggest buying stuff from <a href="http://consumer.kinnikinnick.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/consumer.home.html">Kinnikinnick</a>, as their stuff is pretty bad too. And that name! It is such a mouthful, and I can never really remember it. The best I can think of inevitably ends up being <a href="http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/">Kikkoman</a>, and soy sauce isnt very similar to baked goods at all!
None of it is terrible, but it tastes just like their over processed wheat twins, which is really not the taste I
m going for! Their frozen chocolate chip muffins taste good enough, and their cinnamon doughnuts are pretty nice, but I dont think they realize that consumers know there is amazing gluten free stuff out there, and they aren
t going to be willing to settle pretty soon.t actually care about the Football game at all)started out the evening with a rousing
<h2 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#1ae48f;">Fun and Games</span></h2>
We (being the majority of the group that didn
game of Dominion. I may be biased towards the game because I
ve won the few times Ive played it, but I really think it is enjoyable. The game stretched out for quite a while, so we only played the one round. I don
t mean to brag, but I ended the game with 49 victories, beating the second highest score of thirty by a mile. I suppose, for the sake of my ego, it is good that Ive lost every game of Monopoly I ever played. This may have happened because I became bored in the first five minutes of play time, but the fact remains that I
m not triumphant at all I attempt. I think it may be good for my character. Wouldnt want a swelled head donch` know, it would look really gross!
If you are interested in some other gaming possibilities, or perhaps even some ice breakers in case of the terrible awkward silence, you can look up an extensive list of games and descriptions that will help you match the games to the group playing them.
We finished the night cosied up with some faux fur throws and some pho beside the gas fire. (Well, actually, only the throws were there in any way, but I love the idea that you could furnish a whole room in the faux style, and even have fake food to boot! Love my little puns. :P) We watched Sherlock Holmes, the movie series made in the States, the first installment. I love how many tags this one thing fits under, rather like the way they taught taxonomy or the classification of shapes to us in our school days. (I don
t really think of college as school, it seems to be classified as a wholenother kettle of fish!)
I feel like I keep repeating some things. First of all, we
ve already talked about some aspects of being <a href="https://thegreatzambini.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/special-diet-allergies">special diet</a>, and specifically gluten free, at a party. Weve mentioned Schar and Glutino brands before, or at least I
m rather sure we have. The search bar seems to disagree, however, so feel free to do a blog style 'Wheres Waldo’ on that one. The subject of Sherlock Holmes has been discussed as well. Or should I say will be discussed, as that particular post has been delayed? It
s coming out tomorrow, I promise! Then the link will work perfectly, but it wont work until the post is actually published. Sorry about that! (I`m actually blushing, who knew?)