And you understand that for me this is saying a lot. I have a whole drawer full of bags. I also have a whole huge tupperware-ish bin full of bags. I have bags hanging out on hooks in the bedroom, porch, and guest room. Some ladies have shoes; I have bags. I admit it is a little out of control. But this is my favorite bag. No coincidence that it is awesomely red and has cherries on it. I saw it hanging high above me in a shop that smelled like hippie incense (the bag did as well for a month after its release) and I knew there was no way that even I would want to spend as much for a bag as this fantastic bag should cost. After long minutes of pretending to look at other things I requested to see it and my fears were unfounded… I walked out into the chilly rain swinging my new favorite bag, all for less than the cost of a good lunch. Mmmm.
There are two kinds of cupcake eaters in the world.
There are those who will not think anything is amiss with a cupcake that arrives without a paper wrapper– even a little cake without the tell-tale ridges that come from being baked in one. All cupcakes are created equal to these folks. “It is a cupcake and I shall eat it,” mumble these brave faux-cupcake eaters, mouths full of muffin. Mr. Food is part of this crowd and so are co-workers N and A, I found during an informal poll recently.
I am not one of those people.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still eat the cupcake; I’m not crazy and I’m not going to waste a decent piece of cake. But the absence of the wrapper signals to me that this unfortunate cakey round has been left on the fence between cupcakes and muffins. A muffcake, if you will. In my book, the two do not meet for lunch. Muffins are usually a bit sweet but should not be overly so. My favorite muffins are more of the banana or pumpkin varieties, not the chocolate chip or crazy-carrot-cake-“muffins”-masquerading-as-cupcakes-drowning-in-frosting sold here. Muffins have smooth sides and would look weird clothed in paper sheaths. Cupcakes, on the other hand are allowed to be smothered in any kind of frosting and colorful toppings that are available. For the record my preference here is for the good old yellow cake and chocolate frosting combo with any bright, little crunchy bits on top. A cupcake must be dressed in ridged paper pants. A’s husband, N, is so far my sole co-conspirator on this issue. (If there are more of you out there, speak up!)
This issue came to the forefront of my food thoughts recently after a trip to The Spotted Apron with N over lunch break. I ordered a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting. It came with several spots on top. N wonders if they are in fact Necco wafers… I’m pretty sure they’re not, but they sure look like them. Anyway! I went to eat it and noticed its unclothed appearance. Shocking for a cupcake to be naked, I thought to myself. N was not concerned. She did not seem worried about eating hers later in the day. I ate it but it bothered me and it still does. And, to note, it was indicative of the overall quality of the “cupcake.” I won’t be doing that again.
A. It’s a muffin. End of story.
Before I get into this, let’s get one thing straight right away: I eat meat (in fact, as I’ve mentioned, I’ll eat nearly anything besides canned tuna, shrimp cocktails, and weird organ meats) but I don’t looooove meat. I leave that for the folks who frequent steak houses and sign up as barbeque competition groupies. Well, at least the first group. Maybe when I have time someday I’ll do a barbeque roadie tour one summer. Immediately following the cross-country baseball food tour of my fantasies. One can dream…
If I had to pick one meat (okay, wait, two) I do love, it would be anything from Blue Ribbon or anything involving Thanksgiving turkey. But really, that’s more about the stuffing, the potatoes, and the cranberry sauce.
So, back to the point– I’m not a big meat fan, but these are really cool! I like the hambone in particular even though I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually eaten one. It even comes in individual and family sizes. They might as well say “adult” and “toddler” sizes. These would be great for omnivores-in-training.
The Trader Joe’s catalog came in the mail this week. Right on the second page was mention of their new shopping bag purse, in bright red flowery pattern– something they are rather dubiously calling “technicolor.” But what mostly interested me was their little spiel about it. They write: “There is a common misconception out there that a tote bag is actually a large purse… And just because it has flowers on it, by no means is it not masculine, because it is. Just in a very tropical, surfer guy kind of way.” Now, I definitely can see some guys pulling off this look, but I have yet to see anyone attempt it. All the red-bag-wearers I’ve seen so far have been women (including one particulary brazen minister toting two at a convention I attended last week). So, we’ll have to wait and see on the will-they-or-won’t-they gender question, I’ll keep you updated. As for now, my bagaholic side is doing battle with my cynical side about whether or not I need one of these for myself… but at 99 cents, can I really refuse? It can hang out with my others, the one WF clementine and the four S&S greenies. But I can tell you one thing, when I bring it home, don’t expect to see Mr. Food with it– he won’t even use the others…
So, we all know a person (yes, namely me!) has got to have a wide range of handbag options. Right now, within my range of sight, I have my lovely blue (thank you sister, L for this one!) summery weekend bag; my black, carry-all-that-doesn’t-fit-in-the-blue-bag bag (also weekend use primarily); my blue, over-the-shoulder, practical, weekday work bag; my L.L. Bean mini tote that is currently filled with winter hats and gloves but enjoyed recent glory days as a lunch bag (thank you, sis-in-law-to-be, H!); and, the last, the bright orange Oprah bag I bring to the pool that I have had since I wrote about her personal chef, Art Smith, back in October.
But enough about my bag “problem,” what about yours? I’ve seen more and more ladies recently using those canvas/wax canvas supermarket reuseable bags as purses or gym bags, or, in some cases, bags to carry your knitting in– I mean you, lady with the lovely Harrods bag on the 5:10 Lowell train. Nice use of a cool bag! And then there are a few I’ve seen with the Whole Foods’ Clementine bags stuffed with yoga gear. Interesting. Then there are some sporting the cool Trader Joe’s waxy canvas bags with the trademark pink flowers. Very nice, but I haven’t peeked into one yet, so not sure what those gals are packing. And, sadly, there are no examples pictured on the internet, so no visuals there.
Things get stranger when I see some commuters with those reuseable Stop & Shop green canvas bags… I mean, I have 4 at home and I use them for shopping (who needs more plastic bags, after all!) but I’m not carrying them around, so what’s in those I wonder?