Sunday, August 14, 2011

How I Fall Down the Rabbit Hole - August 14, 2011

It has been a difficult weekend. The kid isn't behaving, much arguing is happening, and I slipped on a wet patch at the public pool while I was carrying the kid (because she can't walk, so I have to carry her, but I can't see my feet or concentrate when I'm doing that...) and hurt both of us. Great.

So I give you a recycled post, originally published in my super-secret-and-private blog. No, I won't tell you where that is, but perhaps some of you have read it already....

Image from by way of Pinterest
On Pinterest, I found a recipe for a homemade frappuccino that noted that when you make an ice, milk, and coffee drink in a blender, it separates. Hm, why, yes, that's actually true, I've found. I usually wind up with liquidy cold-and-sweet coffee at the bottom and a pile of ice on top. The recipe writer then goes on to say she asked at Starbucks and the secret ingredient is a tiny smidge of xanthan gum to make everything thick and not separated.

Authentic Foods Xanthan GumSo I go on a quest for it. Publix has it, but it's expensive for the amount will actually use (though XG, serving for serving, is cheap as cheap can be). So we go back out to an indie natural food store (stopping for bubble tea on the way - and having a giant argument with my husband in the process, which is always lovely, sigh).

At the indie market, I find the XG for about $2 more than I found it online (even with shipping) but I decide to support the local indie biz and have it in my hands right away.

And since I'm there, I look through the aisles. And I discover VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS - they're called Dandies and they're by Chicago SoyDairy.

Dandies Classic Vanilla Vegan Marshmallows 10oz BagI did not know they existed. I knew that there was one brand, actually (long ago I learned about them while learning about the Emes not-actually-vegan gelatin scandal - google it, it's fascinating) but not shelf stable ones. Um, yes, I'm buying them. Um, yes, I'll be making rice krispie treats and smores immediately.

And then I Google to learn more about the Dandies, and along the way I discover that there's a vegan store in Marietta. Which is far from me, but you know, still not California - not impossible to get to. But it's probably a pain to go all the way there for frozen stuff - which is the appeal, as they carry my beloved May Wah products, including citrus spare ribs (nomtastic, I swear). Shipping is...well, there's a free shipping threshold that maybe if I'm patient I can try for when the weather is a bit cooler (even with 1-day shipping and a cooler, I don't trust frozen stuff in this weather).

So then I check the much-closer used-to-carry-May-Wah indie health food store (not the same one that carries the marshmallows) and YES, a reviewer in June of this year says they do though they run out and don't always reorder very quickly. I actually can almost definitely drive to this one - a new destination, but not an impossible one. And we draw up plans to go.

And then I think...this is all Pinterest's fault. And I still can't entirely figure out how I got from yummy coffee to here.

And now the update: I wrote all of this yesterday. Today I discovered that:
  • Yes, Dandies vegan marshmallows are AMAZING and quite possibly better than traditional marshmallows - I've had them in hot chocolate and melted on top of a single-serving low-fat brownie and have plans for other things soon.
  • Xanthan gum DOES help create a fantastic faux-frappuccino and I only used about 1/16 of a teaspoon - mere grains of it - and wound up with a thick, delicious, non-separating coffee drink (I used cold brewed coffee, caramel Torani syrup and almond milk, if you're wondering).
  • Yes, the indie health food store does indeed carry May Wah - I bought my beloved citrus spare ribs (two packages), plus salted chicken, tuna, and beef chunks (this is all mock meat/vegan) and then tossed in another brand's fake shrimp and a package of Gardein's chipotle-lime crispy fingers (which I haven't found at any other store that carries Gardein - my favorite mainstream fake-meat product) (I had those for dinner tonight - YUM).
  • Yes, I can probably drive myself to that store (what, I haven't blogged about my driving issues?) and so can go once a month or so to stock up.
I have more serious posts to be posting soon about the chaos that is going on in my head, but this frivolity seemed like a good way to end the weekend.

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