Thursday, March 29, 2012

Boston Fruit Slices

Quick update: I'll be back with the gourmet soon. Still doing my own thing at the moment that needs my concentration. But...

I wanted to make a quick posting about a very unique kind of candy: fruit slices. You've probably seen them - they typically look like orange slices and come in a variety of flavors, normally cherry, lime, lemon, and orange. They're a hard gummy candy topped with sugar and generally cost a good amount for a fixed number of slices. I guess it's like 5 bucks for 12. Probably more since the price of candy is going through the roof. This is what they look like:

Source: Walter Drake

These are a popular item for Passover but it's always a crapshoot as to where to find them. Sometimes a certain market will have them, sometimes not. Sometimes it depends on if they carry things specifically for the holiday. I've received a couple leads as to where to find these and if you have some ideas I'd be happy to hear them. 

I know CVS regularly carries them in the candy section so, naturally, I decided to give them a try today. I've avoided them up until now because of their ridiculous price; the CVS in Pacific Beach has them for like $4.50 The one on Balboa has them a little cheaper for $3.50 and I was lucky today cause they were also on sale...for $3.50, saving me exactly zilch. Sometimes I wonder if these people are just messing with me. 

Anyway, discovered they're actually called Boston Fruit Slices. And these slices SUCK!

Adjusted the brightness/contrast since the lighting here is poor just so you can see the pure filth that are these Boston Fruit Slices

First of all, the good quality slices are dry. They're a gel coated with tons of sugar. These? It's like using shampoo that attempted to congeal with goat intestines. They're wet, they're cold, and you can't take a single one without getting the sticky crap all over your fingers. Terrible. 

I'd rather listen to James Blunt than eat this crap

If you look at that green slice on the upper left it has this kidney stone of pure sugar growing off it. Or mold since these things smell like they're probably cooked from the valves of rotting moose flesh. If you haven't guessed already, these things taste terrible. How is it even possible that a candy made mostly from pure sugar can taste so awful? Sugar is our friend. It's one of the essential ingredients of Greg's Gourmet. I'm speechless. I have no speech. But check this out:

This picture has not been doctored in any way

That blur on the container isn't because of the lighting or my phone's camera. That is actually there due to the slimey sludge that these fruit slices have left behind. It's like a pool of decomposing slug carcasses. 

Okay, so these are put out by CVS' own brand. I don't even know what it's called. On the package there's something called CVS Gold Emblem but I don't think that's it. Just says it's distributed by CVS Pharmacy. I've bought a couple of their own brand of candy before and it's been hit and miss. The peach rings are pretty good. The gummy worms are meh. Eating their Swedish fish was almost like eating mummified trout from one of the oceans surrounding the former Pangaea. I'm seriously stunned that anyone can put out such a poor quality candy. Like whoa. So if you ever see these:

Absolutely disgusting. Speaking of disgusting...

This isn't what's disgusting.  This next one is...

Best by July of last year? Was this sitting in the back all this time or does no one cook duck anymore?

I'll end this on a good note:

This never EVER gets old

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quick Update

So I've been busy lately and have taken a quick break from the Gourmet but will be back before you can say President Santorum. My stomach has actually been giving me issues lately so I haven't been as extreme with my eating habits as I sometimes tend to be. But we'll get back to that soon.

In the meantime here's some content I've been working on since you obviously idolize me:

Here's a video I filmed and edited for the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services working with the fine staff of the Carlsbad shelter. Last month there was a retriever who was shot and abandoned by the Viejas Casino and news of the incident spread like a wildfire. The dog, named Chance, received the best care and was formally adopted today. This video we worked on as a way to show his recovery as well as the happy nature of the shelter and the folks who work there.

Why, after all these years, does YouTube STILL not let you pick your own thumbnail?

And in case you missed it, here's a game I programmed called Nazi Hunter for your vengeful enjoyment.

And here's another one: Greg's Gourmet: The Matching Game!

I was thinking of posting links to a couple pieces of writing, but I'd rather keep those to myself until they're off to competition.

Well, okay, here's a little Gourmet action for you:

If you make Macaroni from the box, don't bother following the instructions.  Boil the noodles for at least 12 minutes. Mix in the real cheese after draining, then mix in the boxed cheese.  THEN you add the dairy. Butter first. Make sure it touches all parts of the pot, then add the milk to bring everything together. After that I add a barrage of seasonings including salt, pepper, smoked paprika, barbecue sauce, and a tad of hot sauce. Mix in some pizza rolls for a more filling experience. It's so awesome. 

And here's a club from the Mt. Soledad Market & Deli

New gourmet coming soon.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nazi Hunter

This new game here has nothing to do with food...unless you have a yearning hunger to blow up Nazis.  I just needed somewhere to share it.

Note: May not work on certain phones.  Also, if you see something such as "Missing Plugin", try downloading the latest version of Flash Player.  It's free!  Also note: after clicking "commence", click once more to wake up the controls.

So here's my latest programming venture, a game so stylish, so cool, so most bodaciously excellent that 1988 called and said it wanted it back.  I give to you: NAZI HUNTER:

The Allied sub with enough nuclear firepower to end WWII

Nazi Destroyer

Nazi Carrier...though technically Germany didn't have any during the war because they were all blown up by the Allied sub with enough nuclear firepower to end WWII.

Nazi submarine

Nazi speedboat captained by Moe and Larry.  Curly fell overboard

Nazi plane

SS row boat captained by Hugh Jass

The funny thing is I put a lot of effort into detailing each vehicle which was kind of pointless because you don't see much in the actual game.  I also want to alter the method of scoring to make it so if you blow up a row boat it's worth 10 points, a speed boat is 8, a carrier is 1, etc., etc.  Makes it more challenging that way.  But I'm still working on my coding skills so give me time.  As it stands this isn't the most challenging game in the world, but hey, it takes practice.  I tested a few different speeds but I started getting headaches with anything much faster than the current throttle.  But the cool factor is still through the roof!

This was done in Adobe Flash CS5.5 written with ActionScript 3.0.  

Thanks for playing!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Birthday Binge

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes.  Again, I know I've been lagging so far this month.  At the moment I'm focusing on getting my writing into competition, so that's taken priority.  But as many anticipated, I do have pictures of the stuff I jammed down my throat on the soon-to-be national holiday that is my birthday.  I thought about really spoiling myself, but I have a history of getting sick on and around my birthday, so I elected to not do any permanent damage to myself.

Let's get right into it.  For dinner my family and I went to the 94th Aero Squadron in Kearny Mesa, CA.  The Aero Squadron is usually solid.  Unfortunately, the guy who's usually our waiter, Kevin, wasn't working that night (you disappoint me, Kevin), so that was a letdown right out the gate.  The waitress we had was nice but...Kevin's a total G.  But anyway, naturally I had the prime rib, but also unfortunately the lighting in this place is about as bright as reading under your bed sheets, so it was hard to get good pictures. I did my best to brighten it up:

Got the nice slab of steak, mashed potatoes, and some cream corn.  Now...usually this is a delicious meal.  The potatoes and corn were fine.  But the steak had no flavor.  It was cooked perfectly, tender, moist, but it lacked the flavor that's usually bursting from it.  Lack of seasoning most likely.  Some people may ask "Greg, why didn't you just send it back?"  And here's the thing...I've been in this situation before and the reality is if you're at a restaurant then you're hungry.  You want to eat now.  Sending stuff back takes time.  It throws the whole meal off.  People at your table may be done with theirs and you've barely started because it was sent back.  I don't want to waste anyone's time sending back something for a lack of seasoning.  A chef should frickin' know how to season a piece of beef anyway.  And if it's not then I just complain about it on the Internetz. 

However, one dish at the table did go back.  My sister hates red meat.  Me?  I love it when the steak is still alive.  But she hates it.  So she asked medium well, which should be mostly brown with a slight red hue.  When she cut into her steak it was still moving.  Very red, very rare.  That sucker went back.  That tells me that the usual chef wasn't cooking on that night because those are mistakes that no good chef should make.  Gordon Ramsay would have a pissy fit if that happened on his watch.  And it was too dark to get a picture so you'll just have to take my word.  I don't mean to sound like I'm ripping on it too much - the company was lovely, the restaurant is nice, I had a great time and I'd go back. 

Also included was this beer soup:

There was about a pound of cheese in this

Earlier in the day I was thinking of getting some In-N-Out for lunch, specifically a 4x4 with Animal Style fries. Instead I went to McDonald's.  The reason being is that I knew if I had that In-N-Out lunch then I would get sick with the steak dinner on top of it.  It was a trap.   So I'm saving that for another time.  I also chose McD's because it was a tradition for a while to get McDonald's on my birthday.  It's just a birthday kind of thing.  The last thing is that I guess this ends my temporary boycott of them.  In reality I did what I set out to do.  I resisted a few urges and spent my money elsewhere.  They apologized for the stupid commercial and acknowledged their stupid mistake.  That's really all I wanted.  But anyway, here's lunch:

Pair of double cheeseburgers and fries.  The problem, however, is that the McD's on Balboa seems to have some sort of phobia with salting their fries.  The amount of salt on these things couldn't even cover a jelly bean.  So I had to salt them myself.  Naturally I over-salted them and they tasted blah at best anyway.  Don't underestimate the amount of salt in those little packets.

The day wouldn't be complete without a scone of course from Charlie's Best Bread:

The McD's, the scone, and the steak (with 4 servings of cream corn no less) nearly made me sick that night to no one's surprise.  I think if I had In-N-Out I probably would have gotten sick.  It was also enough to give me a food hangover the next day where I barely ate anything at all. 

I guess I also ended another boycott:

Thankfully I haven't seen any of that "10% Bigger Bag Free" bullcrap since I complained.

All those years of my family asking what I want for my birthday and me responding with "food or drink" finally paid off.  Especially here:

Yes!  A pizza stone!  I am going to make my own frickin' pizzas and they're gonna be FRICKIN' DELICIOUS!!!  New Gourmet feature perhaps?  We'll see.  We'll touch pepperoni, sausage, ham, all that good stuff, but since I like to experiment I'm also thinking fried chicken, strawberries, Skittles, etc., etc.  I'm really looking forward to trying it out.  Also got these supplementary goodies:

Oh yeah!

With easy to read instructions because I get confused easily

Pretty cool, yeah?  I've always wanted to learn to cook.  In fact, on my Facebook it says that one of my hobbies is "pretending I know how to cook."  So yeah, I'm looking forward to this.  Thank you, family.  I love you!

Oh, and I also nearly made myself sick from these:

Bone Crusher always looks out for my best interests with 5 dozen donut holes.  Or she's trying to make me fat.  Either one.  

Great birthday.  Thanks everyone for the wishes.  I love you all!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Buffet Time!

Here's a breakdown of a recent trip to the most excellent Great Plaza Buffet in Pacific Beach, CA:

It looks like regurgitated mouse vomit but I assure you it tasted good.

Leading off I usually go for the steak, but today the roast was nearly gone so I elected to wait until they brought out a new one.  So leading off is Hawaiian chicken, pizza, mashed potatoes, and a fake chicken leg.

The chicken plate; teriyaki, orange, spicy, and honey.   Plus the rice.

Transition Plate gone wrong

So after the second plate I started hitting a wall and elected to go straight for the transition plate.  However, just as I was constructing this salad and preparing to shovel fruit onto my plate, they brought out another pork roast.  So, naturally, I had to have some.

Dessert-Transition Plate

Here we have some out-of-season strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, kiwi, Jello, and banana/chocolate pudding.

Dessert Trifecta

Chocolate cake, cream puff, and raspberry mousse.  The perfect combination of sugar and other toxic ingredients.

Thanks for reading!