September 30th, 2016

storyteller doll

Graze Box #10

Three new snacks, including one of the brand new superfood items.

Snack #1 – Veggie Caesar (new): This is a mixture of sour cream & onion half-popped corn kernels, cheddar bruschetta, and edamame beans. It’s 120 calories. It’s tasty and crunchy, which is about what one wants from a savory snack. The half-popped corn kernels are particularly good. Graze has definitely mastered the whole sour cream and onion flavor thing. The bruschetta are a bit on the large side relative to the other ingredients, but that isn’t a big deal. Overall, I was pleased with this snack and upgraded it from "try" to "like."

Snack #2 – Lightly Salted Popping Corn (repeat): This is a 130 calorie bag of microwave popcorn, which makes a good serving size. It took about a minute and a half to pop in my microwave. There’s not really much to say about it beyond that. It's not too bad as far as sodium, goes, by the way. It’s 200 mg, which is the same as a comparable amount of Newman’s Own (the best commercial microwave popcorn I’ve found) and a lot less than most of the other brands out there.

Snack #3 – Soy Roasted Seeds (repeat): This is a mixture of roasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds with soy sauce. It’s 200 calories and 90 mg of sodium. Its real nutritional virtues are Vitamin E and protein. I’ll characterize this as innocuous. There’s nothing wrong with it and it’s a perfectly fine thing to snack on, but it’s neither unusual nor exciting.

Snack #4 - Sweet Rhubarb Jam (repeat): This mix of rhubarb slices, dried apple pieces, and dried cranberries has 100 calories, almost all due to the 20 grams of sugars. It’s really quite tasty and one of the best sweet snacks they offer. Before I started doing Graze, I had never eaten rhubarb, so I count it as a real discovery. I also hadn’t really eaten dried cranberries, so it’s quite a revelation how much I like them.

Snack #5 – Malaysian Laksa (repeat): This is one of the better Graze broths, but at 140 calories the most caloric of those (though still not at all bad). It has a strong coconut flavor, with notable mushroom undertones. It comes with a side snack of chili and lime cashes and coconut flakes. There’s a bit too much coconut in that, but it does provide some nice crunch to go with the broth.

Snack #6 – Natural Energy Nuts (new): This is a 230 calories mix of nuts – raw almonds, blanched almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts. There’s not a lot to say about that, as these are just plain nuts, not even salted. That’s fine with me, though not to everyone’s taste, of course. It’s not very exciting, but it is filling and high in protein.

Snack #7 – Chia Coconut Cookie with Turmeric & Ginger Tea (new): This is one of Graze’s new superfoods snacks, so I was particularly excited to try it. The packet has two cookies and a teabag, with a calorie count of 120 and only 5 grams of sugar. The tea has turmeric, ginger, licorice, and rose petals and is fragrant, but fairly mild. I’d prefer somewhat more ginger, but that’s pretty much a general statement from me about life. As for the cookies, they taste very buttery, though there is obvious coconut flavor. They were good both on their own and dunked into the tea. Overall, I was impressed and I’m looking forward to trying more of Graze’s superfoods offerings.

Snack #8 – Peanut Butter & Jelly (repeat): This consists of salted peanuts, raspberry strings, and vanilla fudge. It’s 220 calories. It works best if you eat all of the components together. The raspberry strings are particularly good, assuming that one likes fruit leather type things.
storyteller doll

Other Updates Including Quarterly Things

Celebrity Death Watch: The only death that crossed my radar this time out was that of Shimon Peres. He served a couple of terms as Prime Minister of Israel, as well as holding several other prominent political jobs there, notably Foreign Minister. I’d say his most significant accomplishment was the peace treaty with Jordan. But he also deserves a lot of credit for Israel being as much of a technologically advanced nation as it is. He also wrote poetry, but I am loathe to list that as an accomplishment for any politician after having heard praise for Stalin’s poetry at his house museum in Georgia.

Baseball: The Red Sox clinched the American League East. Yay! I am also reasonably pleased that the Nationals won the National League East. As for the wild card slots, I’d kind of like to see Detroit pull things out and beat out Toronto, just because the Tigers have some appealing history.

Quarterly Movies: Well, make that "movie," singular. The only movie I saw over the past few months was Seven Psychopaths. I chose it because it was written and directed by Martin McDonagh. Like pretty much all of McDonagh’s work, it is weird and violent, but funny. At any rate, it held my attention.

The Quarterly Goal Update: I didn’t make much of an attempt over the past few months, largely because I’ve been so swamped at work. My email inbox at work is ridiculous – back up over 6000 items. The only other thing I’ve made any actual progress on is dealing with papers, having handled about 2/3 of what had migrated to the bedroom floor.

Speaking of Paperwork: I went to pay my county property tax bill for my car on-line. And I discovered that they had changed my address to some address in a town I’d never heard of that isn’t even in the same county. I called and got it changed back, but the point is that they should notify people when there is an address change so they can verify that they did it. (Apparently, someone did it by phone and the clerk typed in the wrong property number.) The whole thing was bizarre and the security implications are scary.

New Years Rosh Hashanah is Monday and Tuesday, so let me pass along my wishes for a happy, healthy 5777. I will also pass along wishes for a happy fiscal year 2017 for all of my friends who have some sort of U.S. government affiliations.

Two, two, two new years in one.