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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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this is because i was raised to like kraft macaroni and cheese i think
children of dune - leto 1
Okay,, so you wouldn't know this, but when it is not allergy season (four days a year or so) I have working sense of smell that manifests in only smelling unpleasant things. One of those lucky days, I went into Whole Foods for organic coffee and my God wtf was that smell. So now every time I go in there, I remember the smell, which is is indeed organic but also what the hell. It reminds me of Sam's, which was the overwhelming smell of tires, as they had a lot of tires, and I really don't want to relive those charming childhood memories.

This is really the only way I can describe how I cannot go into that store, because no one in the world notices and frankly, in a choice between nose hallucinations and being special, I'm going with special or something. Also, I had that reaction at a All Natural Food Store as well, so maybe I am just against nature. Also, and let me just take a minute, Whole Foods is the snobbiest food ever and fuck off, I am all about support organic and local but some of those cashiers act like it's a criminal offense to like frozen pies, and if I am that desperate for delicious (local, organic) meat I will order from Taylor Meat, which is organic-ish, local, and it's possible I used to play with the cows' ancestors as a child. So you know, it's like eating family if that was a sweet sentiment and not grounds for psychiatric evaluation.

(Taylor meat is the only place I can buy hot dogs from, because they are not mushy and wrapped in a bright red casing (and came from cows I played with as a child, literally). I mean, it was most of my life before I saw hot dogs that were red-casing free and that still freaks me out, like something is wrong with them.)

Note: I love Central Market, but they are hit or miss with some things and apparently are a miss when I'm looking for something specific; also, I go there and buy ten pounds of cheese and ridiculously overpriced coffee and tea and once, a metric ton of water crackers for brie. I love brie. But I ate a lot of brie and crackers that week and that really shouldn't happen again.

(There's nothing that makes me feel so weirdly uncomfortable as wandering around saying "Where is your organic free-trade Sumatran medium roast? No, not the decaf, please," because no matter how often I get it, I never, ever find it the next time, and then add "And the monkey tea?" which is this tea that is actually harvested by carefully trained monkeys in Brazil, and also, I'm a person who is this goddamn specific in how my tea is gathered? It's not even pretentious. It's like, being pretentious about being pretentious. It's embarrassing. And I don't know why I like that tea. Except mixed with my cherry tea, it's really good. And I get these mixed looks of pity like, is she being environmentally friendly but bad at it, which no, it's just I can't read the original packaging on the tea and I really like it and that's all I can remember except it was on the fifth shelf, surprise, they moved it again, why do you do that? I'm really mainstream, actually. I buy vegetables out of season. I like frozen dinners. A lot.)

And they sell blocks of chocolate just--in rough edged blocks, like there's some huge chocolate mountain they're excavating somewhere and I'm always tempted to grab a clerk and threaten them until they tell me where is Chocolate Mountain or actually a range of Chocolate Mountains in Various Darks, Milks, and Whites. It's disastrous. And kind of embarrassing, because it just doesn't look right to wander around nibbling on a block of chocolate. Worth it, though.

I didn't think I'd have to go into my embarrassing food issues to ask this question.

Is there anywhere online that's a good, consistent place for baking goods? I'm mostly looking for vanilla powder and cocoa for baking and hot chocolate purposes (yes, I can get that here, but if I'm buying vanilla powder, might as well expand my range of cocoa experience), but at this point if I'm ordering baking supplies online, might as well go for enough to make it worth the effort. Also, saffron, vanilla bean, and actually no idea otherwise, now I'm getting hungry. I really need to feel less pretentious about food and doing it secretly online where no one will know will make me feel better the next time I buy McDonalds. It's one thing to go and be "I am going to support local and organic farmers for all time and shop here!" and another to sneak in among those awesome people like a poser to get my sumatran coffee fix with Burger King shoved in my purse-like bag. I live in Austin. Even the Republicans are greener than I am. And judge me. I need to think about my self-esteem food issues for a while, I think.

Vanilla powder, right. That. Help?

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/62394.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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It doesn't matter that it's teeming with fresh fruit and herbs and spices and freshly roasted coffee beans, every time I go into Fresh Market, it smells like, about 40 years ago, someone spilled a barrel of sour pickles, and the wood floors soaked it up. It doesn't matter that Fresh Market has been open here for less than two years. It just doesn't matter because when I go in there, I want to barf. So much for getting a real Mexican Coke.

*winces* Yes. Ouch.

And I"m sorry about Mexican coke. And now i feel bad because our convenience stores all carry it in glass bottles. I can send you some if you want? I love it too.

Oh, man. Thanks for that link. *bookmarks*

And now I want everything in their Secret Ingredients section.

I think that ginseng extract tastes like fresh clean car tires. Maybe there's been a spill.

The vitamin aisles were my waterloo for awhile; Id' go in and come out with things I couldnl't even pronouce that required two drops in my water or something and man.

You're right about gingeng extracts. They had a liquid mix of Really Important Brain Vitamins that smelled like feet once. My God.

What, exactly, is vanilla powder? I always use Real Vanilla Extract so I've never heard of a powdered form.

The pod is powdered instead of turned into liquid I think. There's an explanation of the process, but the gist is grinding it.

Strangely enough, I (literally) get knocked out whenever I smell vanilla, so imagine how much fun baking gets!

Sooo... when you have allergies there's no sense of smell, right? You don't suddenly have a weird flavour of synesthesia kick in?

Not no sense of smell, but easier to filter and ignore (muted, I think? Or more patchy), but I have a ridiculously strong smell memory or even associative smell memory. And unpleasant, when I say that, isn't necessarily sewage either; it's something that is utterly wrong and I loathe, even if it isn't actually that bad. Whole Foods = really wrong scent. Tires == not so much, actually, but pretty wrong. Sewage = horrible and nausea inducing, but not wrong. And once a wrong scent association happens, even if I go in there and it smells like roses, it still smells like eau de wrong. Which I admit is kind of funny when I'm staring at Whole Foods hatefully while longing to shop their pumpkin sale.

I'm trying to think of an example since wrong smells are just wrong and that's their characteristic, but it's like my reaction to red snapperfish or crab, which I actually like but I never get, because nothing about them smells, tastes, or feels right, so it's a trifecta of wtf, even though snapperfish is blander than white chicken and I love bland. More complex flavors means higher probability of hitting wrong, even if I know and like all parts, and associating can turn me off some parts for a while (phase known as Things That Are Related To Peas). This doesn't happen often but I lost popcorn for like, years, and I still have to really absorb the scent now to forget the association.

You don't suddenly have a weird flavour of synesthesia kick in?

I'm going to go out on a limb and ask if smells aren't usually supposed to have an associated taste? I mean, not like flavor explosion of the week all the time, but it's there, and again, it's not separable from smell-associated memory either. It's one of the reasons I like coffee so much; the smell has an associated not-quite-taste that's cool while the taste-taste doesn't match the smell but is awesome on it's own, and the combination is fantastic. Even when it's really horribly bad, it's still good.

Probably not what you're talking about? I've had severe allergies since fifth grade on and off, so I don't actually remember how it works when one is not hampered by a faint sense of mild congestion five days out of six at least.

I don't know if they have vanilla powder, but for beans and extracts and cocoa and saffron (and, like, IDEK, four kinds of cinnamon at least, the likes of which they must serve in Nirvana--but be warned, you will never ever be able to go back to grocery store cinnamon again because it will be like, what is the point of cinnamon if it isn't this cinnamon), I have to point you at Penzeys.

My sister swears their Sandwich Sprinkle is a life changer, and I really like the BBQ 3000, but my favorite stuff is the baking spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, anise, cloves. Going into their stores is almost overwhelming, they smell so good...I have to step outside and take deep breaths in between explorations.

Another vote for Penzeys--best coca powder ever.


I dream one day Willy Wonka will come for me, too. Since I was like, seven. I still have hope.

I suspect that smell may be the carefully crafted dreadlocks of trust fund recipients who pretentiously think stank is unpretentious. But, then, I'm probably still all bitter about that time in the 1990's I spent as the token Altrawk writer grrrrl waiting tables at a vegetarian cafe otherwise staffed and frequented by slumming Phish fans. God damn, I do miss the 20th century. *sigh*

It's like you've been to Sun Harvest, which is like Whole Foods For Those Who Feel Whole Foods Is Way Too Corporate. I mean, it's lot of normal granola people, but then come the ones that just--well, that.

I just stumbled on your LJ from your SGA fic? And this is the first entry I read and I laughed so hard I thought I wasn't going to be able to start breathing again.

Not only is your fic awesome, but clearly every time you put your fingertips on your keyboard, something magical occurs.

Just wanted to let you know how much you tickled my fancy. :)


I would be so bemused by this entry except I visited California for the first time this year (first time out of Australia! Woot!), and I completely understand your aversion to Whole Foods!

I went there and was like, this is what is considered healthy food? It was all, lettuce leaves individually peeled by a highly trained giraffe or something, crazy specific and random.

Having said that, I cannot help you with your powder problem. I know where I can buy it in my country (guilt free!), but not online. Sorry!

Oh God, it gets just--there are levels of feeling inferior and like you are destroying the world and just looking at it makes me feel guilty.


Also, this whole post reminded me about how I THINK YOU'RE AWESOME AND HILARIOUS. And I shared bits with the boy. He laughed a lots.

I have issues, okay? I don't even care for live music all that much, but God help me if I can't discuss it like I live the scene. God.

Hi :)

I've been trying to access your site with no luck over the past couple of days in order to reread some of your SGA fics. Is it down permanently?

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