Monday, March 31, 2014

Oh Hi

Just a quick update.

I'm still here and I actually do have some new food pictures that I'll get to posting.

As always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Holes in My Hostess Part II

So I received a response from Hostess regarding the 20 pinholes in the package of my Hostess fruit pie. The response kinda freaks me out, I gotta say:
"Recently we began perforating the product film with pin holes to reduce moisture in the package.  We feel this enhancement will provide a flakier crust and is not considered damaged packaging.  Your concerns have been forwarded to our Quality Managers and you should receive follow up correspondence via U. S. mail."
Dude...what??? Okay, I don't know much about food packaging but I have to assume that if they've got the balls to poke holes in their pie wrappers then there must be a "logical" reason. But I'm sorry, I wouldn't buy a candy wrapper with holes poked in it, I wouldn't buy a box of cereal with holes poked in it, and I certainly wouldn't buy a pie that has holes poked in it. Whoever's working in their brand management is a moron for thinking this is actually a good idea. If you know me then you know how much I love sweets, but I will absolutely not be purchasing this product any longer and I told them as much.

This is almost as annoying as when Poking on Facebook was mainstream

Seriously, with all the germs and other crap that supermarket shelves inevitably pick up, and you're gonna basically carve a way for them to get onto your products? Disgusting. "Sweetest comeback in the history of ever"?  I could think of a few different adjectives to describe it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Holes in My Hostess

I haven't posted any sort of food-centered blog in a while, but today's incident got me so angry that I simply couldn't resist.  I'm not going to say that this is my triumphant return to food blogging, but...it's something.

So, Hostess.  A little over a year ago they went bankrupt, then they were bought over, then Twinkies and other like products returned to the shelves.  I like Twinkies.  I like pies.  I like Chocodiles, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, Sno Balls, Zingers, Donuts, Donettes, etc.  Some of those I don't think they've brought back yet but I digress.  A couple weeks ago at Albertsons I reached for one of the Hostess pies when I noticed something really frickin' creepy: all of the packages had little pinholes pricked all around them like a kid with zits all over his face.  Every.  Single.  One.  I took one of the packages to customer service with the theory that someone had deliberately poked holes the pie packages with a needle or something.  They were then promptly removed from the shelves.

Fast forward to today.  I again reach for one of the pies only to find that the packages are littered with pinholes.  Every.  Single.  One.  And the holes are all in the same spots, so this wasn't deliberate.  No, this is on Hostess.  So I purchased one to take home, take pictures of, and write directly to Hostess.  Here, my friends, is the specimen:

The specimen

Look closely

If this pie were a camera it would be a pinhole

Seriously, what the hell is this?  I counted TWENTY of these tiny little holes around the package.  Now, unless some butthole is coming into Albertsons and meticulously poking the same pattern of holes in every single Hostess fruit pie, then clearly something is going wrong during the manufacturing process.

I'll update you on my correspondence.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Just an FYI

Just an FYI to people coming to this blog (and according to my numbers apparently a good few still do), no, this blog is not very active at the moment but no, I have not abandoned it.  I actually come here everyday and I still read all the comments from old posts.  I'm just not posting as much.  Blogging is hard.  Blogs will return at some point.

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I know I don't update this site as much as I used to but naturally I have to show off the important meals:

Turkey drumstick, mashed potatoes, stuffing, dinner roll, and cranberry sauce - the meal of champions

Gnarly brownies and chocolate chip cookies - all homemade

All American Dessert - Christmas Version

Okay, so last year I made this same dish but forgot to put the grapes in.  Honestly though, this version doesn't really do it for me.  The grapes just aren't sweet enough, and the canned cherries to match the red Jello aren't exciting enough.  You may ask "well, Greg, why don't you just put strawberries to match the red Jello?  Are you stupid or something?"  Yeah, strawberries aren't in season this time of year, jerk.  I'm not putting sub-par fruit in my dessert, thank you very much.  Anyway, in addition to the fruit and Jello (lime and cherry) you've also got the layers of pound cake and whipped cream. 

Aerial View

The top layer consists of more whipped cream, the rest of the Jello, candy cane shavings, maraschino cherries, and kiwi.  

Christmas Sandwiches!

Hope everyone had a great holiday season.  And ate lots of good food.  Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  Best meal of the year right here:

Giant turkey leg, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a dinner roll - you can't go wrong

And lest we forget one of the best parts of Thanksgiving: the leftovers and the opportunity to make CHRISTMAS SANDWICHES!!!

CHRISTMAS SADNWICHES!!!

Christmas Sandwiches: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy packed into a buttered dinner roll.  So.  Freaking.  Good.

Oh...oh yes.

Splurging with food is fun.  Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was great.  If you went shopping afterward then you suck.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Why is Blogging so Damn Hard?

It's funny, even after switching things around on this site I'm still having trouble finding motivation to blog about stuff.  About anything.  I was gonna write about how the Detroit Tigers are the biggest chokers in the game, but that's boring.  Then I thought about listing the top 5 worst franchises in Major League Baseball, but that really would have been just a bunch of bashing on the Dodgers and Angels, and everyone already knows those franchises totally suck.  Then I just kinda sat there and picked my nose.  What the hell am I gonna write about?

I have stuff to write about, it's just getting that motivation to open the blog up and get to work.  I guess motivation was really the main reason my food blogging lagged.  So I started thinking about what happened and it's really actually pretty simple: blogging is hard.  I mean, even when I stopped marketing and would only post a few times a month, the website never went to waste.  It's going on three years which is a long time to stay active on a blog.

So I'm gonna do a case study on blogging and today's topic is:

 What the Hell Happened to Basketbawful?

Basketbawful (the best of the worst of professional basketball - and there's a lot of it) was the premiere blog to read up on the daily failings in the NBA.  Every morning there'd be a new post trashing Darko Milicic, the Charlotte Bobcraps, or how David Stern secretly controls the outcomes of all the games.  It was a pleasure to read because Mr. Bawful's writing was cynical, sarcastic, and just damn funny.  Reading Basketbawful was a great inspiration for keeping things entertaining here at Greg's Gourmet.

But then something happened.  Bawful, who had a real job writing about the Chicago Bulls (By the Horns), gradually stopped blogging everyday and it was following the 2012 Finals where he basically dropped Basketbawful and quit.  Since I was a loyal reader since 2007 or 2008, I saw the warning signs early that he just wasn't into it anymore.  You see, the NBA doesn't have much of a middle class anymore.  You've got some really good teams and a bunch of really bad teams and that's it.  Finishing at .500 has really become a mirage.  While it does happen (Dallas finished 41-41 last season), you generally have a huge gap between the 50 win teams and the 30 win teams.  There's just not a lot of middle ground anymore, and it's the big wigs and the player egos that have caused this.  Bawful saw it coming several seasons ago and didn't make it a secret at how dispiriting it was, that basically the NBA just pimps out a handful of "super" teams (where all of the league's best players team up) now and that's it.

So last summer following Bawful's departure, Evil Ted (Bawful's friend and number 2 guy) opened applications for new writers on the site.  Essentially you could write in about anything related to the past season: a season recap, a playoff recap, draft analysis, etc.  With Greg's Gourmet's popularity at an all-time high and being a loyal Basketbawful reader for years, of course I applied.  This is where things got stupid.

ET's plan was to pick through the best submissions and post them on the site and let the public decide who gets to be a new contributor.  Ultimately three writers had their work posted for public evaluation and all three became contributors.  I'm too lazy to go through the comments, but I'm guessing ET liked their stuff enough and may have made them contributors either way.  So obviously I didn't get picked, nor did my submission even make it onto the site for public consideration.  It didn't bug me that much until I saw this posting from ET.

Note: I'm leery of people with their own blogs...while that shows dedication to something, I am seeking someone (or someones plural) to be dedicated to Basketbawful and make it what it once was...a nasty, sarcastic place for semi-literate anonymous people to vent. HA! Kidding. But not really. 

So...one of the qualifications to blog at Basketbawful is that you can't be a blogger?  Oooooookay.  And thanks for the heads-up after the application process, that's great timing.

Anyway, three new writers were brought on paired with ET and a couple writers who were carried over from the Bawful days, so you had about 6 people contributing to keep the site active on a daily basis.  But that didn't last long.  The writers who contributed during the Bawful days quickly abandoned ship, so we were then left with the three new guys and I'm pretty sure ET is pretty let down on how that turned out.

Jason was supposed to be the savior.  His writing most closely resembled Bawful's and he was entertaining.  When he was first brought on he was submitting several things per week.  Unfortunately once the 2012-13 regular season started, Jason all but disappeared.  His posts became majorly sporadic, like once a month if anything.  Another guy who was brought on, Paul, whose submission I don't even think was that great, never actually posted after the regular season started.  So that left Glenn, who gets major props because he went into the trenches to try and keep Basketbawful afloat.  His writing style is much different than Bawful's in the sense that Bawful would make fun and make funny of people and teams.  Glenn just makes funny, and the difference is night and day.

For example, Bawful would refer to underachieving teams such as the Detroit Pissed-ons, the Charlotte Bobcraps, and the Toronto Craptors.  Players who only got to see a minute or two of floor-time were lauded (in a taunting way).  And if a player had more turnovers, fouls, or missed shots than any other contributing statistic then they were praised as Basketbawful heroes for being so horrible.  Basically the more someone or something sucked, the more attention it got.  Glenn's writing just didn't have that fast paced sarcasm to it.  But he still posted nightly recaps every damn day without any help from any of the new writers.  Toward the end of the season and into the playoffs his posts became more sporadic until he disappeared.  He openly mentioned how doing the nightly recaps were exhausting and I don't blame him.

Jason has since posted a couple things over the summer, but nothing much and honestly, who really gives a shit?  The site's readership has tanked.  Unless Bawful comes back I doubt there'll be much activity this season at all.  This brings us back to the original idea of this post: blogging is hard.  A team of three new writers couldn't do the job of what one guy was doing.  And seriously, Bawful is a spectacular writer.  And the NBA season goes from late October to early June and this guy blogged about it every single day.  It was a pleasure to wake up to.  But even he got tired of it.

Am I upset that I didn't get a chance to write for Basketbawful?  Not really.  With its readership as high as it was you'll always need to be on your game cause the readers will know if you're half-assing it.  I would have liked to give it a try, but I think like Glenn I probably would have just lost interest, just like everyone else did.  No hard feelings of course, though I'm still baffled as to why ET didn't want someone who was already a blogger.  Like, dude, what?