Tag Archives: food

31 Days of Junk: Pumpkin Spice Jell-O Pudding (#31)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

Well, I really screwed the pooch on this final entry, ladies and germs.

While digging through my cabinets last month, I discovered a box of Pumpkin Spice Jell-O Pudding I totally forgot I had, though I remember purchasing it a few years back while in a pumpkin spice frenzy at the grocery store. Such a frenzy, in fact, that when I brought it home and put it up on the shelf, I completely forgot about it until now.

This pudding expired last month, after a year or two of sitting in the cabinet. But I thought, what the hell. This is for science. I’m eating this slop! That was strike one.

Strike two was the milk I used. On the side of the box it states: “this will not work with soy milk”. Hey, no problemo! I don’t drink soy milk. I drink almond milk. Should work fine, right? Wrong. Apparently, they need clarify their warning a bit more to the point: “this will only work with whole milk”. But since only complete savages drink whole milk, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. That was strike two.

The final blow was delivered when it came time to mix the batter. Forgetting that I’d thrown out our whisk for being too rusty (seriously, whisk, what the fuck, man), I poured the powdery contents and the almond milk into a mixing bowl, only to discover I had nothing to mix it with. I opted for a fork, but that proved to be a futile move, as I was unable to whisk fast enough. So I poured everything into a blender and hit 3.

I let the speckled, burnt orange liquid spin for awhile, until I thought “okay, I’ve definitely over blended this”, which is when I hit the off switch. Strike three.

I poured the silky liquid out into a bowl, which I then placed in the fridge to set. “Five minute pudding”, the box promised.

Over 12 hours later, I checked on the “pudding”, which was in the same state as it was when I transferred it from the blender to the bowl. Like slightly thick water. Incredibly runny. Totally not set in the least. This was not pudding; it was Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk. But it smelled great!

Oh, and there’s a fourth strike. I brushed my teeth right before deciding to finally try this pumpkiny goop. That was a really dumb idea.

I spooned some of the liquid out of the bowl and into my mouth. I kid you not that I ran over to the sink and immediately spat it out. It was not good. It tasted like a mix between the cinnamon toothpaste Aim, and an actual gourd. Super cinnamony and super earthy. No nuance. Just blech.

Was this because the pudding had expired? Because I used the wrong milk? Because I blended instead of whisked? Because I brushed my teeth right before sampling? Or a mix of two or all of those variables? Who knows, man! But what a bummer.

Well, this concludes my #31DaysOfJunk. I can’t believe I survived gorging on this crapola for a month straight, and I appreciate all of you who stuck along for the ride or just popped in to say hello. I gotta say: I liked last year’s #31FallBeers challenge much more.

Now to start planning what I should consume next October…

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31 Days of Junk: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Mousse Pumpkins (#5)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

Trader Joe’s outdid themselves this year with the spooky-themed treats. In fact, I have a few more on the roster for this month, but there were several I skipped simply because there were too many; I didn’t want this becoming #31DaysOfTraderJoe’sJunk.

These are probably as fancy of a treat as I have planned this month, too. Chocolate mousse! Like I’m in some fine, Parisian restaurant.

Perhaps it’s the Indian summer happening here in L.A. (then again, it’s always this warm, isn’t it?), or perhaps it’s the fragile nature of these delicate little treats, but they were soft to the point of almost being melty. But between the softness of the cake and the thickness of the orange frosting, it made for an enjoyable bite.

They smell of chocolate, obviously, but the flavor isn’t pure chocolate—there’s a weird artificial flavor on that first chew. I think it’s the dye in the frosting. But hey, there’s something nostalgic about eating junkfood with a subtle plastic taste.

These are essentially showy Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. Surprisingly substantial and rich.  Would pair well with a nice glass of 2010 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac.

MORGUE MUNCHIES!

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Horror is an incredibly chummy genre. With every horror movie released, there’s a good chance – whether intentional or not – that it pays homage in some way to the films that came before it. It could be as obvious and generically broad as the color red, or it could be more intentional – something playful and cheeky like a J&B bottle on a liquor cart in the background.

These nods and flourishes are part of what make horror movies so fun and endearing for us, the rabid fans. They’re also probably part of the reason the movies themselves endure so long – at least partly so – even after multiple viewings. And spotting these homages doesn’t just make for an entertaining watch, it also makes for good internet: look at any horror blog today and I guarantee a majority of their film reviews, articles, and dissertations will make mention of just how referential horror movies are. Continue reading MORGUE MUNCHIES!

What’s in Doc’s Candy Bucket?

I’m far too old to go trick-or-treating anymore (according to everyone but me), but the trade off is that, as an adult who earns a paycheck, I can go to the store and buy as much Halloween candy as I want, whenever I want. And no one can tell me I’m too old to do that. So there.

The thing I miss most about the prospect of free candy was the random hodgepodge assortment that would be unveiled at the end of the night. Sifting through the sweets and chocolates, the hard candies and wrapped mysteries, the cheap stuff and the primo stuff. That is an element I long for. But as I said before, I’m adult now and I can do whatever I want (wahoo!), so I’ve decided to compile a list of treats I haven’t had in decades. This is what grown up Doc would want in his candy bucket. Continue reading What’s in Doc’s Candy Bucket?