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Author Topic: Our favorite, once-in-a-while guilty pleasures...  (Read 2193 times)
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PeteRock
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« on: June 19, 2008, 04:29:24 PM »

This morning while working from home I brewed a pot of fabulous freshly-ground organic Bolivian coffee, organized my work around me on the couch and ottoman, provided the dogs with something tasty and fun to chew on, and settled in for a long day of project budgeting.

Normally I don't eat breakfast as there is rarely time and I'd rather just enjoy a cup of coffee while working, but today I wanted something to snack on with my coffee.  Rarely do we have any type of junk food in the house, but because the wife recently went grocery shopping I wondered if she picked up any "impulse buys" as they are typically the most fun.  Impulse buys could be anything ranging from beef jerky to Japanese mochi ice cream to fresh cheeses and cured Italian meats.  They can be almost anything. 

While exploring the cupboards I came across something I haven't seen in years.  A box of Pop Tarts.   icon_eek  It could very well have been 10 years since my last Pop Tart.  Now that is a fun impulse buy.

Being that it has been close to 10 years since my last Pop Tart, eating them raw just wouldn't provide the full experience.  And since I am working from home, I have a little extra time to toast them to perfection, standing over the toaster to avoid any potential for burning such a guilty culinary delight.

Within moments the welcoming aroma released by the toasting treat wafted through our kitchen.  As a child my culinary skills began their development as I learned to determine when a Pop Tart was toasted to perfection simply by smell.  There is a very specific moment when a Pop Tart reaches its ideal toasting temperature, but any longer and it begins to burn.  It is a very delicate balance between risk and reward.  But once you cross that apex into burning sugars a perfect Pop Tart is quickly destroyed.  The closer you are able to come to that apex without going beyond the closer your Pop Tart comes to toasted perfection.  But as you near perfection the danger of inedible charred remains becomes more and more risky.  One must refine their senses to be able to identify that perfect moment merely by scent. 

Even though it has been close to a decade since toasting my last Pop Tart, I was confident that with a little focus my senses would return to their original refinement.  As a child I could handle Pop Tart toasting while blindfolded, but today I decided against restricting my sense of sight just in case backup senses would be required.

But, as with riding a bicycle, all came back to me that very moment my Pop Tarts reached toasted excellence.  It was as if a subconscious light bulb clicked on the very second that "perfect" scent reached my nostrils.  I then ejected my bounty and returned to the living room to once again settle in for a long day of tedious work.

My first bite validated that I've still "got it."  I cannot believe that it is has been so long since I enjoyed such a satisfying childhood treat.  I was immediately brought back to lazy, summer Saturday mornings full of cartoons and an entire day of imaginative opportunity.  For a few brief moments I felt like a child again, with not a care in the world beyond catching my favorite cartoons and an afternoon trip to the local penny candy store.  I of course was immediately brought back to reality when I noticed the stack of files before me, but for a few brief moments a once-in-a-while guilty pleasure helped me to once again experience the joy of childhood.

And it was fabulous.  Fabulous 
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 04:38:23 PM »

Only PeteRock could fill a page describing toasting a pop-tart.

Seriously, you put Mary Shelley to shame. thumbsup
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 04:40:15 PM »

All that and you don't mention what KIND of pop tart?

For shame.
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008, 04:42:41 PM »

Quote
While exploring the cupboards I came across something I haven't seen in years.  A box of Pop Tarts.

those things must have an impressive shelf life  icon_wink
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008, 04:45:56 PM »

Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch.

Recognize.
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2008, 04:47:59 PM »

Quote from: kratz on June 19, 2008, 04:45:56 PM

Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch.

Recognize.

I too enjoy the occasional meal of razor blades  Tongue

My occasional guilty pleasure?  buying a whole cheesecake and a half gallon of milk to eat in one sitting.
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PeteRock
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 04:49:43 PM »

Quote from: DragonFyre on June 19, 2008, 04:40:15 PM

All that and you don't mention what KIND of pop tart?

For shame.

Doesn't matter.  As the author, it was my intent to allow some room for personal interpretation.  Everyone has their own favorite flavor of Pop Tart.  Some are purists and prefer the fruit variety without any icing, others appreciate the sugary crunch provided by the icing.  It can be any kind of Pop Tart.  The point is understanding the childhood joy a Pop Tart can provide but the type of Pop Tart that provides such an experience is person-specific.  
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 04:51:21 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2008, 04:49:43 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on June 19, 2008, 04:40:15 PM

All that and you don't mention what KIND of pop tart?

For shame.

Doesn't matter.  As the author, it was my intent to allow some room for personal interpretation.  Everyone has their own favorite flavor of Pop Tart.  Some are purists and prefer the fruit variety without any icing, others appreciate the sugary crunch provided by the icing.  It can be any kind of Pop Tart.  The point is understanding the childhood joy a Pop Tart can provide but the type of Pop Tart that provides such an experience is person-specific.  

Still doesn't answer the question... disgust

I'm going to have to go with Napoleon Torte or my mom's Cheesecake.

OOoooo, or maybe Lindt dark chocolate. Mmmmmm.
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PeteRock
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 04:54:37 PM »

Quote from: Purge on June 19, 2008, 04:51:21 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2008, 04:49:43 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on June 19, 2008, 04:40:15 PM

All that and you don't mention what KIND of pop tart?

For shame.

Doesn't matter.  As the author, it was my intent to allow some room for personal interpretation.  Everyone has their own favorite flavor of Pop Tart.  Some are purists and prefer the fruit variety without any icing, others appreciate the sugary crunch provided by the icing.  It can be any kind of Pop Tart.  The point is understanding the childhood joy a Pop Tart can provide but the type of Pop Tart that provides such an experience is person-specific.  

Still doesn't answer the question... disgust

Cookies 'n' Cream

I've always enjoyed the iced fruit variety, but holy hell these were good.  Crisp chocolate crust, creamy filling, it just went so perfectly with my cup of coffee as my coffee had some sweet undertones.

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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 05:01:36 PM »

I didn't get a whole lot of "guilty pleasure" type of foods when I was a kid.  We were really poor, so we got cheap granola and corn flakes a lot.  I mean, we had lots of times where the only thing we had for supper was reheated lentil soup, or when we had more money, vegetable barley soup.  So, in other words, my childhood sucked.

However, when I moved out with my older sister, one of the first things I did was buy a box of Lucky Charms, the Cereal That I Was Never Allowed To Eat Because Lucky Charms Are Superstitious.  My plan was to eat all of the oats first, leaving nothing but sweet, crunchy marshmallow-y goodness.  It was going to be AWESOME.

As my plan unfolded, I noticed something.  No matter how many oat bites I ate, my amount of marshmallows never increased.  I kept shrugging it off until I came to a horrible, sinking realization:  My older sister had picked all of the marshmallows out.  I had specifically told her not to touch my cereal, and they were all gone.  I could try again, but she would do the same thing again, and around we would go.

To this day, I've always wondered what it would be like to have a bowl of pure Lucky Charms marshmallows.  It would probably be disgusting, but an awesome disgusting.
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 05:03:28 PM »

Hostess fruit pies, usually lemon.  Also known as "death pockets" (don't read the nutrition info on the label), hence the "once-in-a-while".

Oh, and the cereal that actually needs a warning label is corn pops.  I know more than one person that has started bleeding from the mouth while eating those things.
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 05:04:35 PM »

Does anyone have the CliffsNotes for this post?
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 05:06:25 PM »

Quote from: Zimix on June 19, 2008, 05:04:35 PM

Does anyone have the CliffsNotes for this post?

Pete likes coffee and pop tarts.
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 05:07:25 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock
Within moments the welcoming aroma released by the toasting treat wafted through our kitchen.  As a child my culinary skills began their development as I learned to determine when a Pop Tart was toasted to perfection simply by smell.  There is a very specific moment when a Pop Tart reaches its ideal toasting temperature, but any longer and it begins to burn.  It is a very delicate balance between risk and reward.  But once you cross that apex into burning sugars a perfect Pop Tart is quickly destroyed.  The closer you are able to come to that apex without going beyond the closer your Pop Tart comes to toasted perfection.  But as you near perfection the danger of inedible charred remains becomes more and more risky.  One must refine their senses to be able to identify that perfect moment merely by scent.

Nice--Your Pop Tart heating description serves as a metaphor for the process of many things in life.
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 05:10:25 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on June 19, 2008, 05:01:36 PM

I didn't get a whole lot of "guilty pleasure" type of foods when I was a kid.  We were really poor, so we got cheap granola and corn flakes a lot.  I mean, we had lots of times where the only thing we had for supper was reheated lentil soup, or when we had more money, vegetable barley soup.  So, in other words, my childhood sucked.

However, when I moved out with my older sister, one of the first things I did was buy a box of Lucky Charms, the Cereal That I Was Never Allowed To Eat Because Lucky Charms Are Superstitious.  My plan was to eat all of the oats first, leaving nothing but sweet, crunchy marshmallow-y goodness.  It was going to be AWESOME.

As my plan unfolded, I noticed something.  No matter how many oat bites I ate, my amount of marshmallows never increased.  I kept shrugging it off until I came to a horrible, sinking realization:  My older sister had picked all of the marshmallows out.  I had specifically told her not to touch my cereal, and they were all gone.  I could try again, but she would do the same thing again, and around we would go.

To this day, I've always wondered what it would be like to have a bowl of pure Lucky Charms marshmallows.  It would probably be disgusting, but an awesome disgusting.

This made little baby lildrgn cry. crybaby
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 05:14:02 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on June 19, 2008, 05:06:25 PM

Quote from: Zimix on June 19, 2008, 05:04:35 PM

Does anyone have the CliffsNotes for this post?

Pete likes coffee and pop tarts.

That or he's working from home - and he's procrastinating!
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2008, 05:17:19 PM »

Or he is bored

Or he is one of those people that cannot work from home or shouldnt work from home as they dont get any work done.

On another note I and my son had bowls of Lucky Charms as a snack while Mom was out of the house; good times goooood times.
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2008, 05:21:20 PM »

I was running late so I ate untoasted (raspberry) Poptarts on my way to work.
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PeteRock
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2008, 05:28:25 PM »

Quote from: drifter on June 19, 2008, 05:17:19 PM

Or he is bored

Or lonely without people to chat with at work.

Quote
Or he is one of those people that cannot work from home or shouldnt work from home as they dont get any work done.

20 complete cost proposals submitted in the past two hours.  I probably wouldn't have finished that many in an entire day with my usual office distractions which involve an hour here strategizing with business development, an hour there dealing with invoicing problems, two hours here for a marketing meeting over lunch, an hour there participating in conference calls, and before long 8 to 10 hours have come and gone.  I've accomplished any number of other tasks, but the one at hand continues to be pushed aside. 

I also don't post any more or less at home than when I do at the office.  Only in this case I don't have the usual office social conversations taking away from my focus and concentration, leaving GT as my only distraction.  Given that GT would be a distraction whether I was at the office or at home, taking away social distractions, phone calls, invoicing questions, business development meetings, etc, I am far more focused and productive at home.  Not to mention that I worked fairly steadily until about midnight last night, making me a little less concerned about how productive I am today.  I put my 50 or more hours in each week.  Whether those hours fall between 8 and 5 really doesn't matter.  Results are what matter.

Sorry boss.  I'll get back to work.
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2008, 05:42:00 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2008, 04:54:37 PM

Quote from: Purge on June 19, 2008, 04:51:21 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2008, 04:49:43 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on June 19, 2008, 04:40:15 PM

All that and you don't mention what KIND of pop tart?

For shame.

Doesn't matter.  As the author, it was my intent to allow some room for personal interpretation.  Everyone has their own favorite flavor of Pop Tart.  Some are purists and prefer the fruit variety without any icing, others appreciate the sugary crunch provided by the icing.  It can be any kind of Pop Tart.  The point is understanding the childhood joy a Pop Tart can provide but the type of Pop Tart that provides such an experience is person-specific.  

Still doesn't answer the question... disgust

Cookies 'n' Cream

I've always enjoyed the iced fruit variety, but holy hell these were good.  Crisp chocolate crust, creamy filling, it just went so perfectly with my cup of coffee as my coffee had some sweet undertones.



That is an acceptable answer to the question of kind of pop tart. It allows me a deeper analysis into your psyche. By saying you enjoy a cookies and cream pop tart, I know you enjoy delicious, semi-exotic flavors for breakfast. It means you're exciting and adventurous, and that you're eager for the day to start so you can enjoy all it's sweetness.

If you said Blueberry, then you're a tart.
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2008, 05:55:16 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2008, 05:28:25 PM

Quote
Or he is one of those people that cannot work from home or shouldnt work from home as they dont get any work done.
I put my 50 or more hours in each week.  Whether those hours fall between 8 and 5 really doesn't matter.  Results are what matter.

As someone who started telecommuting about 9 months ago, its really hard sometimes to focus on what you have to do.  But one of the nice things about working from home is the ability to walk away.  Its nice, as PeteRock said to be able to take the time to get a good breakfast and not have to rush out the door.  I'm also blessed with a Boss that seems to value results more than hours worked - although I have to report my hours, I am working more than the 40 hr week - probably closer to 60, but I get to choose when to get it done, as long as it gets done.  PeteRock - when I'm Phoenix (and telecommuting) we should meet up at a coffee shop (as long as it has internet access smile)
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2008, 06:02:16 PM »

Quote
Whether those hours fall between 8 and 5 really doesn't matter.  Results are what matter.
Your boss and my boss should talk.  I'll provide the bat.
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2008, 06:04:27 PM »

I have never eaten a cooked Pop Tart. I have eaten hundreds of raw Pop Tarts. I know that is strange, because the whole POINT of Pop Tarts is that they're supposed to be toasted.

But then again, I haven't eaten cereal with milk in 25 years either, even though we go through a box of cereal a week.
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2008, 06:09:01 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 19, 2008, 06:04:27 PM

But then again, I haven't eaten cereal with milk in 25 years either, even though we go through a box of cereal a week.

No milk for 25 years?


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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2008, 07:05:16 PM »

Quote from: Zero on June 19, 2008, 06:09:01 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on June 19, 2008, 06:04:27 PM

But then again, I haven't eaten cereal with milk in 25 years either, even though we go through a box of cereal a week.
No milk for 25 years?

This needs a Venn diagram.

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2008, 05:28:25 PM

I put my 50 or more hours in each week.  Whether those hours fall between 8 and 5 really doesn't matter.  Results are what matter.

...and you look good doing it! Fabulous
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« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2008, 07:13:21 PM »

I bought a whole box of these:


I love em
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« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2008, 07:50:17 PM »

I'm not a fan of strawberry, but if it was grape I'd be all over em
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« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2008, 07:52:57 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on June 19, 2008, 07:50:17 PM

I'm not a fan of strawberry, but if it was grape I'd be all over em


... like a fat kid on
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« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2008, 08:01:18 PM »

I can't buy stuff like this much, because I have poor eating impulse control and if it's in my fridge, I will eat it all in one sitting.  But I've always wanted badly to try some Carrot Cake Soup.

Quote from: Penny Arcade
Long story short, I'm getting my chicken soup on, it's Sunday afternoon, and Gabe's reading some Preacher in the Den, which is also the living room, the bathroom, and the foyer. I am interacting with pasta dough in what I think is a stern way, when I hear him say that he might like the soup better if it were, in fact, carrot cake. It hits us, hits us both, simultaneously, like a semi made out of lightning which is also a professional boxer. Carrot Cake Soup. You cube the carrot cake, some pieces have frosting and some don't, and you put a handful of these chunks into a bowl full of milk. So let's go do it. We'll do it later this week, he says. But I know that's the same as not doing it. Why not now, I say? I know a store where we can get all the stuff. You can just buy it, the way you can buy stuff in the household cleaners section and make a bomb big enough to kill God. The stuff is just lying around there and nobody's doing anything with it. It's not a crime to buy them separately, and what we do at home isn't any of their fucking business.

I think someone might have been following us as we pulled into the parking lot, we walked toward the grocery store and tried to keep the conversation natural. We certainly didn't discuss carrot cake or the soup one might make by cutting it into cubes and swimming islands of it in cold milk, pleasure islands, like you'd see in a magazine. At the bakery counter, a woman asks if she can help me, and I'm so nervous that as I'm pointing to the carrot cake behind the glass, my finger starts to tap in Morse Code that reads:

I AM ABOUT TO COMMIT A CRIME AGAINST GOD AND MAN STOP

And where is Gabe with that Goddamn milk? There he is, in the self-checkout. Idiot. There's cameras all over that thing, it's like a Goddamn surveillance tree. It doesn't take a genius to put two and two together. A red light flashes on, and off in my mind. At another checkstand, I pay with untraceable cash, assuring the woman that I will eat the cake by myself, without assistance from cows. I smirk. This woman has no idea that she's just sold me the trigger to a flavor gun. Carrot Cake Soup is like the taste of watching girls make out. It has an extraordinary power that oscillates between gentle and overwhelming, between light and dark, between pleasure and more pleasure. When it was over, I realized that I was panting. I was in possession of carnal knowledge. And I knew that, somehow, every taste beyond this point was in the service of the one that still lingered, waited, to remind me that nature has laws, and those that break them are criminals, and though they roam free enough the knowing will hold them, and keep them, until the last.
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« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2008, 08:11:46 PM »

While growing up, every Sunday meant reading the newspaper comics, getting a box of donuts and going to Church. I never really cared about Church and lets face it, rarely does a newspaper comic generate more than a smile. Donuts on the other hand, mmmm, sweet delicious donuts...
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« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2008, 08:42:00 PM »

Quote from: USMC Kato on June 19, 2008, 07:13:21 PM

I bought a whole box of these:


I love em

Nerds come in boxes with only one flavor?
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« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2008, 08:43:02 PM »

Pete what I wrote was meant tongue in cheek; but thats hard to get across in text.  You certainly do not seem to have any issue getting things done.

have you worn out any keyboards?
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« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2008, 09:00:55 PM »

Quote
No milk for 25 years?

Nope. I don't do straight milk, not even chocolate. I think it's absolutely disgusting. I get calcium from other sources though - I'll drink milkshakes, eat ice cream, cheese, etc.
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« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2008, 09:08:52 PM »

Quote from: drifter on June 19, 2008, 08:43:02 PM

Pete what I wrote was meant tongue in cheek; but thats hard to get across in text.  You certainly do not seem to have any issue getting things done.

Understood.  I take a lot of pride in what I do and I take offense if anyone suggests that I don't put forth a reasonable effort.  That whole "first one in, last one to leave" cliche. 

Quote
have you worn out any keyboards?

Not yet, but I'm doing my best.
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« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2008, 01:34:34 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 19, 2008, 09:00:55 PM

Quote
No milk for 25 years?

Nope. I don't do straight milk, not even chocolate. I think it's absolutely disgusting. I get calcium from other sources though - I'll drink milkshakes, eat ice cream, cheese, etc.

If you pour milk over your cereal, doesn't it technically become a condiment and thus not "straight" milk?
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« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2008, 01:39:52 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on June 19, 2008, 06:02:16 PM

Quote
Whether those hours fall between 8 and 5 really doesn't matter.  Results are what matter.
Your boss and my boss should talk.  I'll provide the bat.

You forget, Pete is the boss.
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« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2008, 02:01:27 PM »

+1 on the carrot cake soup ... use 1% or higher though ... skim adds nothing to it.
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Calvin
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« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2008, 07:23:29 PM »

Quote from: kathode on June 19, 2008, 08:01:18 PM

I can't buy stuff like this much, because I have poor eating impulse control and if it's in my fridge, I will eat it all in one sitting.  But I've always wanted badly to try some Carrot Cake Soup.

Quote from: Penny Arcade
Long story short, I'm getting my chicken soup on, it's Sunday afternoon, and Gabe's reading some Preacher in the Den, which is also the living room, the bathroom, and the foyer. I am interacting with pasta dough in what I think is a stern way, when I hear him say that he might like the soup better if it were, in fact, carrot cake. It hits us, hits us both, simultaneously, like a semi made out of lightning which is also a professional boxer. Carrot Cake Soup. You cube the carrot cake, some pieces have frosting and some don't, and you put a handful of these chunks into a bowl full of milk. So let's go do it. We'll do it later this week, he says. But I know that's the same as not doing it. Why not now, I say? I know a store where we can get all the stuff. You can just buy it, the way you can buy stuff in the household cleaners section and make a bomb big enough to kill God. The stuff is just lying around there and nobody's doing anything with it. It's not a crime to buy them separately, and what we do at home isn't any of their fucking business.

I think someone might have been following us as we pulled into the parking lot, we walked toward the grocery store and tried to keep the conversation natural. We certainly didn't discuss carrot cake or the soup one might make by cutting it into cubes and swimming islands of it in cold milk, pleasure islands, like you'd see in a magazine. At the bakery counter, a woman asks if she can help me, and I'm so nervous that as I'm pointing to the carrot cake behind the glass, my finger starts to tap in Morse Code that reads:

I AM ABOUT TO COMMIT A CRIME AGAINST GOD AND MAN STOP

And where is Gabe with that Goddamn milk? There he is, in the self-checkout. Idiot. There's cameras all over that thing, it's like a Goddamn surveillance tree. It doesn't take a genius to put two and two together. A red light flashes on, and off in my mind. At another checkstand, I pay with untraceable cash, assuring the woman that I will eat the cake by myself, without assistance from cows. I smirk. This woman has no idea that she's just sold me the trigger to a flavor gun. Carrot Cake Soup is like the taste of watching girls make out. It has an extraordinary power that oscillates between gentle and overwhelming, between light and dark, between pleasure and more pleasure. When it was over, I realized that I was panting. I was in possession of carnal knowledge. And I knew that, somehow, every taste beyond this point was in the service of the one that still lingered, waited, to remind me that nature has laws, and those that break them are criminals, and though they roam free enough the knowing will hold them, and keep them, until the last.
Great writing, sounds disgusting  icon_wink
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« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2008, 03:39:58 AM »

Chocolate Pop Tarts are the shit.
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