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Anxiety Woman tries every peppermint product of the holiday season!

BE MERRY!  The season demands I comply. Peppermint disappears from the shelves like eggnog and its predecessor pumpkin spice. It dies a cruel death even though you and I know it will bloom in every crevice of free soil come June.  I need PEP to get through the winter. PEP smells good and it comes with sugar and chocolate. It is spirited!

Although I do worry a bit about diabetes, I worry more about depression, Donald Trump’s impact on my life and my own sanity so this year I tried peppermint. Lot’s o’ peppermint.  Here are the results.

Product number 1:  Peppermint cocoa or mocha.

I make it at home with the cheapest cocoa packet, almond milk and peppermint extract.  I never used to buy the packets because I always have baking cocoa on hand but you  have to put 5 minutes of work into that.  When I buy it at a coffee stand it better be great because I make this all the time and I want a treat. Give me the Goddamn whipped cream please!

Kaladi’s Brothers hot chocolate was too sweet so I could not taste the peppermint at all. Steam Dot was not sweet enough, more like chocolate mud.

The winners:  Starbucks in Anchorage for its  “treaty-ness” and Peet’s Coffee overall because of customer service, ambiance and superlative everything.

Product number 2:  Peppermint ice cream

The overall winner is Tillamook. Both creamy and pepperminty, you can’t beat it.  I couldn’t even find it this year!  I tried others which were just bad. Peppermint oil is very strong and cheap but some places use artificial flavor anyway, yuck! It also doesn’t have to be pink, thank you!

Product number 3: Candy canes

The expensive ones are no better than the cheap ones but I stick with peppermint or crème de menthe. Then there are those gigantic gourmet canes they sell at ACE Hardware. Go expensive if you must get a fruit flavor, pumpkin pie or coffee flavor or make some kind of impression. All the flavored ones at Fred Meyer’s are just citric acid and run off from Monsanto. Look at this $1 pack off the sale rack.


I also keep a pack in my Subaru for earthquakes and getting lost in the wilds of Wasilla. I must have bought them a long time ago as the price reads 19 cents!


Product number 4: Peppermint chocolates.

This part of the experiment has been most fulfilling. Ghirardelli?– NO!  Too much packaging, too little peppermint. Lindt white chocolate peppermint balls – YES! Know that handsome beardless chef they have on their advertisements? Somehow the chocolate is as smooth and shiny as his face!


Chocolate peppermint bark from Walmart – okay but chocolate bark from Alaskan Sweet Things – MUCH BETTER. Walmart’s bark tastes like it could have been almond bark or toffee bark and they had some left over candy canes. It’s not even cheap. Alaskan Sweet Things is less smooth- thus less corporate, beautifully colored, tasty and uses -GLACIAL WATER, (perhaps from Anchorage taps).

I confess I would eat any of the above laying around but making your own white and dark chocolate peppermint bark is the best. See’s used to have some white peppermint truffles but I could not find them this year. They are GREAT! Andes After Chocolate Mints and York Peppermint Patties will do in a pinch.  They don’t really say “Happy Holidays!” , more like, “All I could afford was these.”

Winners:  Tie between  Lindt White Chocolate Peppermint Balls and Alaskan Sweet Things White Chocolate Peppermint Bark.

Product number 5: Peppermint popcorn. Yes, it tastes good but it isn’t really worth it because as I get older everything sticks in my teeth.

Default winner: Boom Chicka Pop White chocolate peppermint popcorn

I have a headache now. Too much peppermint, sugar and Bold Italics. So much money and calories spent on research. I panicked and signed up for a “You can be a copywriter” website to increase my income and an Online Dating Site to improve my self esteem.  I wonder what the flavor of 2019 will be. Any suggestions?

Apple Cider Vinegar – the secret to your success!


Not that we’re “Bragg-ing”  but……


Let’s talk about the best news you’re going to hear today. Apple cider vinegar is like apple cider, but disgustingly sour!

It’s good for you, like prunes, but much less delicious!!

A good dose of Apple cider vinegar can make you grow hair wherever you want it!

A teaspoon in the morning will make Donald Trump appear sweet by comparison. That’s a miracle!!!

It also fights cancer, fake news and climate change!!

You can substitute a daily drink of apple cider vinegar for your colonoscopy!

Apple Cider vinegar voters alone can elect Bernie Sanders!

Add a splash to your contact lens liquid for an early morning eye opener and vocal alarm drill!!

Boiling apple cider vinegar on the stove can clear out a home of unwanted roommates or relatives!

Use as a gargle to create a more authentic “burning throat” sound before calling in sick for work!

Employ as a threat to children when they swear or don’t do their chores!!

Apple cider vinegar can be used as an all purpose substitute for Catholic Holy Water!!!

Makes a thoughtful wedding or engagement gift!

Is the other ingredient in Soylent Green!!

Apple cider vinegar is only tangentially related to Acid Rain.


This post was written in loving response to my roommate making an apple cider vinegar sauce on the stovetop and my sister who, for the 266th time, encouraged me to drink apple cider vinegar in water even though it burns my throat like hydrochloric acid. Bon Appetit!!!



Stop losing weight, looking younger and making more money with the new human being plan!

Let it go!

Let it go!

1.  Wear shorts this summer!

Stop worrying about how you look and what the dress code is.  There are amputees out there in shorts. Don’t go telling me they’re lucky because they don’t have your ugly legs.   I won’t go as far as saying you have to wear a bikini, speedo, micro-mini or short shorts.   Just take the challenge to let those legs breathe, varicose veins, sun starved, rashy, hirsute whatever.  I have a rosy red birthmark in the shape of a human hand on the rear of my thigh. You can imagine the comments I get. Since I have grey hair I no longer get asked if I knew I was bleeding.  Remember when shorts weren’t allowed in school so we couldn’t wait for summer to start? Shorts mean fun. My mother always said, no one can really get a look at you on a moving horse.  Don’t just lie outside, get a move on.  For those of you with doubts, just try running out to get the mail in your shorts. I do it in Alaska, even in the winter.

2. Eat something bad for you everyday.

Not arsenic, but give your healthy diet and the rest of us a break.  Do you really want to be the last one standing? When I obsess about  food, my figure, my health or try to change the eating habits of others, I’m just advertising my anxiety.  Eating healthy also means enjoyment and flexibility. You may be allergic to gluten or a carbo-holic but you might enjoy a treat of some sort now and again. Please make enough for everyone else while you’re at it.

Sooner or later someone will feed you something with gluten, meat or sugar inadvertently and you can thank them for reminding you that you are human but not made of glass. Yes, you could die from peanut butter or clams or leftover souffle but  hypervigilence is also toxic. I should know.  I went to Walmart and bought some kale today. The checker had no idea what it was. Meanwhile, at the other check stand a 7 year old was enjoying a fried chicken leg and Mountain Dew because he couldn’t hold out until they paid. Is that my business? No. Neither is the emaciated man who I saw walking into the health store parking lot earlier. Was he alive because of his health food or dying from it?  No clue.

I would rather be the chicken boy. He looked happy.   My mother followed every health trend she could find – no butter, then no margarine, water to drink, no coffee, alcohol or cigarettes, restricted meat, raw veggies, jogging, swimming. She died  in middle age. It must have been the chocolate and ice cream.  Just saying, at least she had some fun.

3. Throw some money away.

Down the toliet, into the hands of someone you don’t know or trust, or just drop it in the street.  I was in a bank today and another customer told me that we don’t get interest on savings accounts anymore because money isn’t really worth much.  Let’s celebrate.  Maybe it’s time to investigate the power of barter?   I just visited a friend who told me that her son had conducted a brilliant experiment in college. He dropped money and had an observer tally the reactions.  More people returned it than he thought would.  Think how good this would make you feel.  Yesterday a man called to me, ” You dropped your pocket”. I was carrying a purse so I thought perhaps he meant my “pocketbook” was open. He was just trying to make me laugh.


4.  Be real bad at some form of art

Enjoy your bad ass attempts.   Sign your paintings Madonna or  Justin Timberlake.  See if you can get a group of friends to have an bad art show and donate the money to the charity of your choice or just buy or trade each other’s work and have a big party!



5. Rejoice in your errors!

I let a cart run into a motor coach the other day. I also misrouted Mr. John Smith’s luggage to another Mr. John Smith.  I said something stupid on Facebook to someone I didn’t even know.  This is progress for me. I’m used to alienating people with my anxiety to get everything right and please the world.  People like me better when I’m human.

Help me figure out the % of my being which is okay

I got an email  yesterday which saved my life.

“Good fitness”, he said, “is 90 % food, 10 % exercise.”      I ‘ve heard this before, (with the percentages upside down and sideways), but never before in an application for a roommate.  If he did live here I might have had to bop him over the head and go to jail. So thanks very much for the info.

I am entrenched in my belief system about fitness, food, and  life.   What you eat, drink, believe, smoke is your own business. I’ve got enough problems to worry about.  Perhaps I am gravely mistaken. So here is a poll about life saving statistics. You can help me with a reality check on how to live a better life and perhaps become my roommate.

Berkeley California – The Place where God shops

The Berkeley Bowl - A local house of worship

I’m currently blogging from a cafe in Berkeley where there is a poetry wall and a man with hair like Tiny Tim (the singer), who is laughing hysterically in periodic spurts at his library book. Blogging in Berkeley is one of those things everyone should do at some point, unless they actually have a job or family to support. I’m on vacation so I have an excuse. Oops I just scared the laughing man away. I kept trying to read the title of his book but all I could see was that it was from The San Diego Public Library which isn’t very close to here at all. I lived in Berkeley for about 10 years, before there were laptops in coffee shops, before there was a Buddhist bookstore across the street in the old car dealership but not before it became a mecca for the food obsessed.

Now that I live in Anchorage Alaska I am startlingly aware of how sad we must look when God is hungry. Alaska is a destination for giant vegetables but what are giant vegetables in comparison to a gigantic variety of wonderful tasting locally grown organics. It’s kind of like comparing a giant dictionary to a book of sonnets. Let me begin  with my visit to The Berkeley Bowl which is the place to go to be overwhelmed with the organicity of things and the parking. I would guess you can get every ingredient in the world if not the universe here and it is all labeled with point of origin info. My friend Dove and I counted 10 types of mangos. We bought the tiny baby ones for the teens she has a home. I don’t have teens but I noticed it’s a bit like feeding fish, they will continue to eat as long as they are not sleeping. These particular teens also consumed potstickers, cut up oranges and candy bars for a snack, (the candy bars were my idea). This is before dinner. They are also extraordinarily healthy looking just in case you are wondering. They appeared to have grown a few inches taller just between the oranges and the potstickers. I could not help taking photos at The Bowl. Below find the shrine to the miniature tomato. There was another entire aisle of large tomatoes.

If you have been to The Bowl you will remember that the parking is quite restricted, it’s a former Safeway marketplace but now a one of a kind destination,  like Disneyland. I agree with Dove that it is unthinkable to even enter the parking lot unless you are handicapped. The checkout lines are also a bit long but not because they are few but because they are so friendly. Yes, the most friendly checkers in the world work here. We even met a friendly petitioner on the way in who got Dove to sign 4 petitions. She refused to sign the last one which addressed genetically engineered foods. He was incredulous as he was standing in the sacred mouth of The Bowl. “She’s an engineer,” I explained. We both agreed that vegetables and fruit have been genetically engineered since farming began. At least since that guy who grew the peas.


Is this what I’ve been eating so much of? It looks a little like maggots. This reminded me a bit of how my friend Fred reacted to me picking and serving fiddlehead greens in Alaska. “Your’e not supposed to eat food that comes from the ground”, he growled. Fred is from Canarsie.

Later on we saw this truck while walking. I want one or at least I want a snow cone from this truck. I think we need one in Anchorage. How could it not make money, just sugar syrup and water. It’s all in the presentation. I will pay for nostalgia, for a childhood I can’t buy back.

It’s about time for me to sign off on my free internet at The Sonoma coffee shop on the corner of Durant and Fulton but I have many more Berkeley stories for you which will just have to wait until the next post. Until then -Eat well and prosper!