Friday, October 27, 2006


My friend Anne, who passed away earlier in this year, loved cheese. well, to be more to the point, she loved food. But she loved to try out new things and new foods when she came to visit me. Last year, when she came over to my house, we shopped at Genuardi's, a Pennsylvania-based grocery store that had opened a store in my area.

While it's only an okay grocery store for most items (they seem to stock a lot of premium items... and at premium prices, too! While ordinary items like dishwasher detergent stays on the shelf so long it freezes into a solid brick, but, I digress...) because they don't have the space to stock a great deal of stuff (despite being extremely large), the two places they really excel is in produce (they always have fruit and vegetables in the best (i.e. non-bruised and fresh) condition) and in dairy products like cheese. (The other area is in their food court... yum, yum!)

Well, last year, Anne discovered this particular cheese imported by Somerdale, a Britsh cheese importer. The Cheeses are from Wales, and, according to the Somerdale website, are made by a small manufacturer in the Welsh Heartland. Its name may be Abergavenny. They make both traditional cheeses, and specialty cheeses which seem to consist of a Aged (or Matured) Cheddar base with various additions.

The one that gave Anne the best cheesegasms was Tintern, named after the Abbey of the "White Monks" in Wales. They raised Shallots on the grounds, and one of the additions to the cheese is shallots, but also fresh chives and onions. Red Dragon is another cheese, this one made with Ale and wholegrain mustard seeds. Black Mountain is yet another cheese, named after a set of Mountains in Wales, and this cheese contains white wine, garlic and herbs. Last is Harlech, named after the famous fighting men of Wales, and this one is guaranteed to grow hair on your chest, containing Horseradish and Parsley.

Now, with Yule coming soon (and Christmas and all those other winter holidays), I have been looking into buying these cheeses for my cheese-loving friends. Maybe with wine. I'm giving cheesegasms for Yule. :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

What up wit dat?

My mom has been hurting lately. A bunch of physical problems have conspired to keep her house-bound. As a result, I have taken over doing 95% of the shopping for our household. And recently, trying to buy normal-sized rolls of toilet paper at the grocery store nearly turned into a fruitless quest, leading me to ask, "What up wit dat?"

Our grocery store has long rows of paper products at the back of the store. Trying to find ordinary (or I suppose they are called "single-size rolls") of toilet paper was darn near impossible! Everything was "Double size", "Triple size", "Mega size" and "Gi-normous size"rolls. Okay, I am just joking about that last one, but really! What's next? "Too big to fit on your toilet roll holder so you have to set it in the corner" size? "Fifty gallon drum size"? "Bigger than your house size"? "So Big your SUV won't be able to haul it home" size? Where does the insanity end?

As for me, I like using regular size rolls of toilet paper. Double and Triple rolls don't fit well in my dispenser, forcing me to chivvy it along until it gets to the point where you don't have to be Superman to be able to pull off more than a single sheet at a time. And I buy 24 rolls at a go, which allows me to store the rest in my under-sink cabinet.

Okay, I understand that families could use/need the bigger size. Fine. But what about the rest of us? I don't have the space to store those big rolls. If I keep them in my linen closet, the door won't close. And that's just with double rolls, let alone larger sizes.

What about those of us who don't need ginormous-sized rolls of TP? Are we doomed to be outsiders forever more?