Foods I Miss From My Childhood

The other day I had a hankering for pudding, but not just any pudding – I wanted Laura Secord butterscotch pudding. I did a quick google search to find out what direction to set out to procure the snack for which I craved, only to discover IT NO LONGER EXISTS!!!

I thought back to the last time I actually bought pudding cups and I was at a loss. Did I stop buying pudding because they stopped making it or did I just stop eating pudding at some point? Growing up, these cups were a staple in our home for lunch boxes and after-school snacking. We used to buy them at Costco by the case.

I know I could have just gone to any grocery store and picked up a Snack Pack (I assume these are still around) but Laura Secord pudding had a particular texture. It was – I don’t know how to describe it? Silkier? Is that an accurate pudding descriptor? Anyway, nothing short of the real thing was going to fill this void for me so I just moved on, but it did get me thinking about some foods I would revisit if I had a time machine.

For a brief time while I was a McDonalds sold pizza in our area and it was legit. At that time my University residence was literally next door to a participating location. It was not only awesome pizza but also super cheap. The crust was just the right thickness, and it was crispy in all the right places. The sauce was sweet with a kick of spice and was topped with the perfect amount of gooey, stringy cheese. It was perfection.

Apparently, they stopped offering it because of the 11 minutes it took to get it out to the customer, which I find hilarious because, at the train wreck of a McDonald’s that I frequent these days, I’m sure I’ve waited more than 11 minutes for a black coffee and a hash brown (the staff is really nice though).

According to this relatively recent article, there are three stores in the United States that still make the pizza. None of these locations would be very convenient for a road trip though, nor are they near anywhere we would visit though. I’m sure it wouldn’t be nearly as good as I remember anyway.

While I’m thinking about McDonald’s, I also miss their deep fried (not baked) apple pies and the McDLT – which was the burger that was served with the meat and bottom bun packaged separately from the lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles, sauces and top bun, to keep “the hot side hot and the cool side cool.” The packaging was styrofoam and was phased out around the same time they switched to cardboard wrappers. I guess losing the McDLT was a small price to pay to keep what was left of the ozone layer.

These were the best chips ever. EVER!

In case you missed these, O’Grady’s were extra thick rippled potato chips liberally coated with a incomparably delicious cheese dust that would cake in the deep ridges. I think these disappeared sometime in the late 90s. I know I bought them into my 20s, as I recall they paired well with the economical Sawmill Creek Red I used to swill back then (apparently that still exists – 36 bucks for a 4 litre box!)

Someone told me that the Ruffles Au Gratin was a decent substitute. I recently tried them and after sampling an entire full-sized bag just to be sure, I can tell you, these are not the same thing. Not even close.

What foods do you miss?

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Seasonal Semantics

I didn’t want to have to do this, but before I really get into the holiday spirit, we need to talk about the alleged war on Christmas.

I’ve already been involved in two separate discussions about this, not to mention the comments on talk radio and Facebook statuses. I’ve heard rumblings about boycotting stores who don’t use their preferred verbiage and rants about how Christmas is at risk of being taken away, as though there is some real threat against the holiday and it’s Christian affiliation.

Every time I hear someone complain about this, I grit my teeth, smile and nod, while I use all my will to keep myself from kicking them in the shin (but I don’t, because it’s usually someone I like, and if I did actually kick them, our friendship might get awkward). I know I shouldn’t be getting worked up about this. After all, isn’t writing about it just fueling the fire. By addressing this, I’m acknowledging that it’s actually a thing. It’s my hope though, that if we just stop talking about it, it will just go away, and therefore, I’m going to plead my case regarding why this should be put to rest once and for all.

Let’s start from the beginning. From what I understand, this so-called conflict seems to have originated in the United States many years ago by one of those conservative groups that like to push their agenda of hate and intolerance under the guise of morality and family values. These groups are relatively small in numbers, but they make a lot of noise, and their brand of crazy makes great headlines. This is part of the genius of their marketing strategy, especially in this case. This manufactured conflict has spread like head lice in a kindergarten class, and has become an annual subject of debate around water coolers all over North America.

There’s no question the Christian aspect of Christmas in North America has waned over the years, but I that has less to do with underhanded plot against Christianity, and more to do with where are we are headed as a society. The number of people actively practicing Christianity, as well as the number of new Canadians from other cultures and religions, has changed overall. We are not same country were half a century ago. That being said, for those who are offended by a more secular approach to the season, I must ask you: is it really that big of a deal to recognize and respect the fact that not everyone celebrates Christmas?

Another important point to remember is that no one is planning to cancel Christmas. No matter how much the Christian aspect of this day fades, it will continue to be a day for you to celebrate, with or without the baby Jesus. Charitable organizations depend on it, along with our whole economy, and religious freedom and free speech is still in our Charter of Rights. Nobody is forcing you wish someone Happy Holidays. It’s not law, and subsequently, nobody is risking persecution for saying Merry Christmas.

Another interesting fact about Christmas is that Christians have never actually had the monopoly on it. Many of the Christmas traditions in North America are not religious in their origins. Most of our holiday icons have little to do with anything biblical. In fact, the Puritans rejected Christmas as an entirely pagan holiday, and choose not to celebrate.

Let’s also keep in mind that Christmas is not the only winter holiday. Often, when people say happy holidays, or season’s greetings, what they really mean is: Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve/Day. It’s and umbrella term encompassing the many celebrations and statutory holidays of late December and early January. These days could also include, but are not limited to: the Solstice, Hanukah, Festivus, and/or booked vacation days and trips. It’s not the re-branding of Christmas, more often than not, it’s an entirely different sentiment.

So there you have it. Now let’s move on, and enjoy all the wonderful things this season has to offer. Visit your loved ones, stimulate the economy, and overindulge. If you’re still feeling some holiday outrage, redirect it to problems that really exist, like poverty and hunger. Then, give generously to the organizations that help those in need. Most of all, just relax and enjoy the fact that we live such charmed lives that we have to make up things to get upset about.

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Hey, Let’s Talk About A Show I Didn’t Watch

According to my Twitter feed, the Emmy’s were on last night, which means the internets were loaded with dress porn today. I could really care less who won the awards. Let’s talk about the red carpet though.

Here’s what I loved:

Amazing. I love everything about this dress.

Little Vada Sultenfuss is all grown up! I’m not sure whats going on with the fabric but the silhouette is beautiful.

Adorable.

Now the WTFs:

She’s young, beautiful, and curvy and yet she wore this:

I don’t actually hate this dress. I could see it on some older and slight, but it does nothing at all for Lena Dunham.

Speaking of beautiful young women with curves – who did this to the lovely Merritt Wever?

Mindy Kaling, on the other hand, knows how it’s done.

Gorgeous.

Comme ci, comme ca:

This is a beautiful gown, and Kat Dennings is stunning. Sweetheart necklines are rarely the best choice for women with larger chests though. You can tell in this picture gravity is taking over, and I’m willing to bet she spent the rest of the evening hiking it up.

On anyone else, I would hate this dress, but I think Sofia Vergara pulls it off.

Apparently she split the back of this dress and tweeted about it.

This happened to me once too, except it wasn’t a hand-beaded Zuhair Murad gown at the Emmy’s. I was wearing a Joe Fresh sundress at the Moxies Bar and Grill in Yorkdale Mall. Also, I wasn’t wearing a sexy thong under my dress. Instead, my wardrobe malfunction exposed a spanx high waisted power pant.

So, I guess Sophia and I don’t really have anything in common after all.

Did you watch the Emmy’s or catch the highlights? Who’s dresses did you love?

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