"The Definition of Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results" - Albert Einstein

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Or more accurately, the White foamy wave caps that break over the teal waves of the Atlantic Ocean on to the sandy, coral-colored beach where I spent most of my Christmas day. And as I lay out under the warm sun as island breezes brushed the hair out of my face while playing Scrabble with my Father and sister, I couldn't help but think, this moment is almost perfect.

It might possibly be my new favorite Christmas memory. Mostly because anything involving Scrabble, even when I get my ass kicked, is a good memory. And because I don't have too many more exciting ones, but that is irrelevant. I don't think a more wonderful Christmas could have been had.

Family shots at the beach. The beaches in Bermuda are pink due to millions of pieces of broken shells and coral that intermix with the sand.

And only because I've been getting requests, I went ahead and stuck my feet in the ocean, but only for posterity. And it was really cold.

Merry Christmas everybody. I hope you had a wonderful day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, and away from our house
My two sisters and I sat with Mother and spouse.
On vacation to Bermuda we five had all gone
And patiently awaited the forthcoming dawn.

The day had been spent with cooking and food
which put everyone in quite a good mood,
With Gale-Force winds gone and the sun shining bright
Pictures were taken with lots of delight.

Then an afternoon spent relaxing and playing games,
After which all of my snobbish claims
of Scrabble playing superiority were clearly refuted
By the 50 point lead my father had, undisputed.

Dinner consisted of potatoes and meat,
Grilled steak made by father is always a treat.
This was quite a change from our normal Chinese,
But it's hard to argue with this cool island breeze.

And my favorite tradition could not be forgot,
Watching "A Christmas Story" for 24 hours non-stop.
The TBS marathon goes from Eight until Eight
For which the entire year I anxiously await.

It's hard to feel festive when so far from home
Especially when my family is more prone to Shalom.
But it's little things like watching this movie each year
That remind that even I have a bit of Christmas cheer.

So tonight, instead of a normal blog post,
I thought I'd reflect on what matters most.
And think of the people whom tomorrow I won't see
and tell them I'm missing them most tenderly.

And so if you're reading this far down the screen,
I hope your day tomorrow is keen.
Spent with family and friends whom you love and adore,
With laughs and smiles, and everything more.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Nostalgically English Day

Today was a good day. All of my days are good days, but really today was an exceptionally good day. Mom made pancakes for breakfast, and we got to watch the end of the Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford version of "Sabrina" (which I absolutely adore, it is just the most perfect fairy tale.) It is a great movie for out family to watch because my father has a secret crush on Julia Ormond and my mother has a secret crush on Harrison Ford, and since I have a secret crush on Sydney Pollack, everyone wins in this scenario.

For the first time all week the sun decided to show his face for more than the time it takes me to get out my camera. In fact, he stuck around almost all day, and Rain must have taken the day off, because we didn't see him at all, so naturally I took pictures of possibly everything I could while the weather was nice and the best ones are all compiled here.

This is the view off of our back porch, where you can see Bermuda Sound, which I have never seen with so many waves, due to the wind that is apparently baffling the locales more than the disappearance of all of those airplanes back in the day.

Here's another picture of Bermuda Sound, taken from the second floor of the Tucker's Point clubhouse. And yes, the water is actually this color.

Here's a shot of a house I quite like, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. You cant really tell in the picture, but the sunlight was sparking on the water, and while I'm not the sentimental type, it was really beautiful.

This is a man-made lake with a built in fountain on a beautiful Bermuda golf course that is incorporated where we are staying.

And finally, when you visit the hotel pool, you can see this gorgeous view with Bermuda Sound in the background.

After a lovely walk in the sun, we went to the gym, and the spruced ourselves up for tea. Dad elected to sit in the villa and watch TV, so afternoon tea was a ladies outing today. Which made for an excellent excuse to wear nice clothes and pretend we are much more important and formal people than we were. And it was a good thing Dad wasn't there also, because I doubt the waiters would have been as attentive and kind had he been. Just as a casual remark when we walked into the dining room, Mom commented "Oh look how beautiful the dining room is" and our waiter responded, "Not nearly as beautiful as you ladies." He got a nice tip.

Here are some pictures from the tea. Dad showed me how to use Macro/Food setting on my camera before we left, so some of these pictures might be extra drool-worthy, so you if you need a spit bucket, I'd get one now.

These are the finger sandwiches, which came in the varieties of Tasty, Delicious, Mouth-Watering, Scrumptious, and Finger-Licking Good, otherwise known as Cucumber, Cheese, Egg, Chicken, and Smoked Salmon.

Then following the sandwich course came scones and petite desserts. Arranged on two trays so we didn't have to share and were Holiday Themed because apparently it's Christmas here too. I had actually almost forgotten (how wonderful is that?).

These were most certainly the best scones I have had since I left England. For one because they were warm and served with my favorite type of jelly (raspberry) but also because they are the same variety as traditional English, and look identical to the ones I used to eat at Paul Rhodes Cafe every morning for breakfast this summer with my English Breakfast Tea, which I happened to be drinking this afternoon. Then I started having Greenwich flashbacks and fell into blissful nostalgic free-fall for the remainder of the afternoon.

There were many different types of desserts on the plate, including some very festive Yule Logs, which were filled with chocolately goodness, but my two favorites were the carrot cake (below) and the blackberry and cherry tart with meringue (even more below). Notice the Christmas Tree shaped sugar ornament on the cake below (behind the strawberry).

And OH MY GOD this tart! It was just so freaking delectable. It was so yummy I didn't want to finish it, but I almost licked the crumbs off of the plate (granted I licked my fingers and then picked up the crumbs using the saliva like glue and then licked my fingers, but that shouldn't count). The crust was flaky and sweet, the inside was perfectly pungent in its sour flavor, and the meringue on top was a perfect sugary compliment. And it was so fluffy I thought I might die!!
After having stuffed ourselves silly with afternoon tea, we went back to the villa to play the game of Life, which I hadn't played since I was a little kid. Apparently, living isn't good enough preparation for this game, because all five of us played and I came in dead last but several hundred thousands of dollars. This is probably due to my decision not to attend college at the beginning of the game because I didn't want to be indebted to the bank in school loans, but then I got stuck with the $50,000 salary because I only had one option, while everyone else got three choices because they went to college. Stupid.

I'm honestly a little disappointed that my actual college education failed me in a board game where the object is to just live. I mean, seriously??? I got a 4.0 this quarter....

I think everyone was right about my English Major after all.

After the game we relaxed a bit and then got ready for dinner out at my favorite place to eat on the island, the Swizzle Inn, a traditional English Pub. Their motto is "Swizzle Inn, Swagger Out." Awesome.

I had Fish and Chips for dinner and mother and I partook in the National Drink of Bermuda, the Rum Swizzle. Bob Hope once said of the Rum Swizzle, "Ah the Rum Swizzle. They not only serve it to tourists, they also use it whenever there's a shortage of airplane fuel. The plane can't really fly, but it an hiccup its way back to the mainland."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In Pursuit of Trivial Greatness

I've never really thought about it before, but these blog posts are sort of mundane. I mean, they would be much more interesting if I had gorgeous locales to show you and tales of my fabulously exciting exploits, but I'm sort of a homebody who given the opportunity to do anything would want to just sit and write. Doesn't really make for fascinating reading for you guys.

Oh well.

Today it finally stopped raining, but it was still really cold, so most of our day was spent inside. We did take a nice walk around the golf course this morning back over to the beach. I didn't bring my camera, but we did walk past one of my favorite places, which is this small secluded harbor right before you reach the beach. I took a picture of it yesterday but forgot to put it in a post, so here's a picture from yesterday of somewhere I walked by today also.

I'm really just one of those people who likes boats. A lot.

So basically the rest of the day was spent inside because it was cold and windy. Which was totally fine with us, because we are probably the most boring people on the planet anyway. We finished a 500 piece puzzle of Big Ben and Parliament and then played Trivial Pursuit.

And when I say we played Pop Culture Trivial Pursuit, I mean it was an all-out knock-down drag-out war that lasted for almost three hours involving grueling combat. Did you know that Furbish actually counts as a language? Neither did I. And did you know that Green Bay Packer's fans wear foam cheese wedges on their heads? Alexa didn't, despite various clues. But in the end, Monica won. Because somehow she managed to guess correctly that Lucy Liu knew how to play the accordion.

After the battle royale of board games, we went to dinner at one of our favorite places to eat on the island, Rustico. Delicious italian food. Here are Alexa and I with our desserts at the end of the night. Tiramisu, one of my absolute favorites.

We are gluttons.

Tomorrow is going to be hopefully more exciting, but if not, look forward to more anecdotes about watching Big Bang Theory. Not necessarily a bad thing....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We Go To The Beach...

... when there are gale force winds and it is 50 degrees fahrenheit, in what I've been calling "The Stupidest Thing We've Done in 2010." It was almost called "The Stupidest Thing We've Ever Done," but that title is still held by the "Outdoor Marshmallow Roasting Incident During the Blizzard of 2008." This is definitely number two though.

Anyways, what happened is that it has been raining and windy and cold the past two days here, but more than anything Monica wanted to take the golf cart over to the beach so she could walk in the beach and step into the Atlantic Ocean because her favorite thing to do while we are here is go to the beach. And then since she couldn't go by herself, I volunteered to go with her because I wanted to at least be able to take a few pictures of the island for the blog for people who had never seen it before. And then since I had absolutely no idea how to actually get to the beach and I'm terrible at driving golf carts in the US on the right side of the road, let alone we are in a British Colony and everyone drives on the left, Dad had to come with us to navigate and drive. And then since Dad was coming, Alexa had to come because she loves Dad. So long story short (too late) the only person who didn't come to the beach when it was 50 degrees fahrenheit in gale force winds was Mom, because she is clearly the most intelligent member of our family.

Just as clarification, according to wikipedia, Gale force winds are somewhere between 39 and 54 miles per hour, ranked numbers 7-10 on the Beaufort Scale, before Violent Storm at 11 and after Strong Breeze at 6. Where on the spectrum of mph today's particular winds were, I have no idea, but they messed up my hair a lot when I was outside, so I'd say, pretty strong.

But anyways, we went. And it was cold. But since we were there, I went ahead and took pictures, because I mean, when you are in the middle of doing something stupid, really the only way to end it is just finish it out.

So here are some glamour shots of the beach.

A rare moment when the sun was out.

Monica actually insisted on walking on the freezing cold sand barefoot and into the waves. I'm actually convinced she is insane now. But I did get some really cool shots of her and the ocean.

I think I'm calling this series "Seeking Solitude"

And the funniest thing about all of this? Monica couldn't have been happier about being able to walk in the ocean. Even when it soaked through her jeans halfway up her thighs.

Granted on the ride back it started to rain and the winds got worse and then she said her body was numb like a Ke$ha song (We Are Who We Are), and she was less pleased with herself.

Here's a shot of a palm tree to prove how windy it was.

And this one Alexa took, titled, "As Close As She Would Get To The Beach"

We stayed in for dinner again and Mom made tacos. Then we started work on a puzzle and watched Up. All in all a pretty amazing day. Pray for some sunshine for me tomorrow though! And for it to stop raining!

And ok, it may have been the second stupidest thing we've ever done, but it was also one of the most fun. SENTIMENTALITY FOR THE WIN!

Tea Time!

We woke up this morning and it was still raining, but it had slowed down to a drizzle and it was sunny. Typical Bermuda weather is sun with 2 minute showers, so this is what we were expecting anyway, just longer showers. Alexa, Mom, Dad and I went on an early morning trip to the gym (10:30 am early that is) while Monica slept in late. I want it on the record that I did 15 minutes of cardio and sit-ups and weight lifting, so it doesn't appear piggish when I tell you what I ate later. I mean it's my vacation.

After the gym we went into Hamilton, which is the biggest city here on the island, and we walked around Front Street for a while and window shopped. Well I should say we whisked from store to store because it was gale-force winds, and already only 50 degrees fahrenheit. And I made the stupid mistake of wearing a dress because everyone here looks nice all the time, so I had the added challenge of making sure my skirt didn't fly up while my legs were going partially numb.

But this was all worth it. Because going into Hamilton means having High Tea at the Princess Hotel, and it is possibly my favorite activity while we are here in Bermuda.

Bermuda is by definition a British Colony, so high tea is served the English way, or what I like to call, the correct way. There were a two different options for tea, seasonal and specialty rum tea. Naturally, Mom, Dad and Alexa had the seasonal and Monica and I had the rum so that we could all share and try everything. Here's the a family picture.

This was Dad's first official Afternoon Tea outing, and I have to say, he was on very good behavior. He didn't slurp his tea, or do anything inappropriate, unlike some people *cough* Mom *cough* who couldn't even wait for the waiter to bring out the tea before she had to eat a raw sugar cube. Despicable behavior.

But anyways, THE FOOD. We had more or less a feast. Here's a close up of the Rum Tea Tier.

And here is my sandwich plate. The sandwiches look small, but when you eat so many of them, they are actually quite filling. And SUPER delicious. Clockwise from the top. Oriental Duck and Vegetable Wrap, Smoked Salmon and Rum Spiked Cream Cheese, Hamilton Shrimp and Lobster Po' Boy and Shrimp Cocktail Croissant.

The smoked salmon was divine, and the wrap was also delicious. The shrimp was gigantic, and very favorable.

Here is a shot of the seasonal tea. Highlights include a Beef Wellington sandwich with Horseradish sauce and Balsamic Tomato and Basil Bruschetta. Delicious.

Following the finger sandwiches, we had scones with clotted cream and jam that gave me London flashbacks. I was in heaven.

And as if tea could get any better after eating traditional English scones with clotted cream and jam, then there is the petite dessert dish. I had Rum Swizzle Cake, Chocolate Rum Balls, Key Lime and Mango Mousse, and Raspberry Cheesecake. And for the record, these are small.

As a finale to the extravaganza, they serve you sorbet in chocolate edible cups to cleanse your palette. Mine is Banana Rum Swizzle, a play on the national drink of Bermuda.

Time well spent if I do say so myself.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meditate On This, I Will

This morning I woke up at 4:45 am. Yes, at what is usually referred to as the ass-crack-of-dawn, and after miraculously finishing my packing a record six hours before we were leaving for the airport, we drove to Columbus Metropolitan Hub.

First of all, CMH is without a doubt, the best airport in the United States. It is never very crowded, everyone is friendly, security line is never too long, and they have a Cup of Joe right at the front of the building. And as if CMH could get any better, today we saw no less than 15 other children of Israel (including one frummy) in the airport leaving town for what I assume is a commercialism free holiday. Apparently great religions think alike.

We had a two hour layover in Philadelphia, where we got breakfast. Mine was steel cut oats, with brown sugar, pecans and cranberries, and two sunny side up eggs. And I have to say, for all of the absolutely horrific experiences I've had with airports and their cuisine, this was not only the best breakfast I've ever had in an airport, it was actually tasty.

Granted anytime I'm in an airport and I don't have an unscheduled 14 hour delay, I'm a pretty happy girl.

We had a one hour flight from Columbus to Philly and then an hour and forty five minute flight into Bermuda. Which would have no big deal of a flight at all because if I have an iPod I can sleep positively anywhere. But this flight was extraordinarily great, because I have a Jedi-Knight for a father who can sweet talk anybody into doing anything he wants them to and make them feel like it was their idea AKA he managed to get the entire family seats in first class at no cost.

Seriously, we walked on the plane, the flight attendant asked if Alexa, Monica and I were triplets, (we aren't) all of us walked back to our seats, and then they came over the intercom and asked if the Hirsch family would please report to first class. And as if it isn't embarrassing enough to have had your name called over the entire airplane's cabin, of course our planned seats were in the second to last row of the steerage compartment, and we had to march ourselves up to the front while everyone else on the plane stared daggers into my heart with their eyes. I've never been so ashamed.

At least until we actually finished the mile long walk to the promised land, because let me tell you, first class is amazing. There are flight attendants right there next to you who want nothing more than to do your bidding and keep the plane from crashing. And in first class, the flight attendants bring you a drink while the plane is boarding, then take it away when the plane is taxiing to the runway, they take it away and ask you for a second drink order, then as soon as the plane is in the air and cleared for movement about the cabin, THEY BRING YOU YOUR SECOND DRINK!! You wouldn't even believe it, it is so gloriously wasteful. I mean, usually I'm against using my father's Jedi mind powers for evil, but when his use of the Force gets me a airplane seat with enough room to cross me legs in front of me and extra blankets, all I have to say is long live the Emperor.

It was raining in Bermuda until the plane touched down, and it became miraculously sunny for our walk into the airport, and for our cab ride to Tuckers Point Club, where we were greeted by the most wonderful staff in the world with the most wonderful greeting you can ever hear:

"Welcome Home"

Of course then almost immediately after we stepped into our house, it started pouring rain and hasn't stopped since and now there's a hail warning for this evening. So right now we are playing Star Wars Special Collectors Edition Monopoly that we swiped from the club house and are relaxing while I blog. And honestly, I can't really think of anything else I'd rather be doing anyway.

Welcome Home.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Turns Out, I Love Cheese

Today my blog continues with the tour of specialty artisan shops in historic Powell, Ohio with Beehive Bread Company

Beehive Bread Co. opened on Liberty Street in 2007. They are family owned and bread is made fresh daily, and it is delicious.

They have an extensive menu of various different grains, specialty and sweet breads. My personal favorite is the Cinnamon Swirl specialty bread, but honorable mention goes to the Cheesy Bread, which is Skunta's favorite. It is just so cheesy, I can't handle it.

Here's some rolls and loafs. Drool worthy.

Sweet Rolls and Snickerdoodles and Muffins, Oh My!

Mom and I went yesterday to pick up Cheesy Bread for Skunta as well as small loaves of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Orange and Cranberry Eggnog for gifts.

The bread is great. But really the best thing about Beehive Bread Company is using their bread to make sandwiches. Especially the cheesy bread, especially with paninis.

Here is Lauren with her sandwich creation.

I'm not one to brag, but I'm pretty sure Lauren and I are the best sandwich makers on the planet.

Clearly, my dad thinks so also.

Here's the finished product panini

Mine is called the 5 Cheese Monster. It is cheesy bread, with cream cheese, honey mustard, spinach leaves, turkey, turkey pepperoni, parmesan, colby jack, 4 cheese mexican cheddar and horseradish.

It was a creamy, crunchy, cheesy perfection.

Pair with Arizona Raspberry Iced Tea and devour. You're welcome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Q: Why are Candy Canes Shaped the Way They Are?

Despite popular belief, I am actually not perfect. Yes, it is true, I did get a perfect GPA this quarter, and I've been told I'm an excellent balance of brains and beauty, but I'm not one to brag, and while the 4.0 is true, the second statement is possibly a gross exaggeration.

There are many traits about myself that I would deem as less than perfect.
1. I have a tendency to trash talk when I have no business doing so.
2. I rarely exercise and I don't eat healthily enough for that to not be a problem.
3. I tend to make lists when they are unnecessary.
4. I use humor to deal with my emotional failings in usually inappropriate circumstances.
5. I'm scatterbrained and I get off topic easily.

I could go on with my inadequacies, but this blog really only pertains to the first line item. I have a tendency to trash talk when I have no business doing so. This is usually only a problem when it pertains to sporting events and my personal athletic abilities, but recently this epidemic plagued my life in a new and exciting way.

A few days ago, my friend Mark (whose name has not been changed, despite requests it be left out of this blog, but I'm about telling my slanted version of the truth, and in this post, he's relevant) decided after reading some of my blog posts that he could be my blog manager. Which is great I guess because I've never had one, and because there's no money in it, so I'd never have to pay him, or give him a cut of any profits. And Mark has been giving me blog prompt ideas in hopes that I will blog more often, because he's my manager, and probably because he secretly likes reading them.

Anyway, today, Mark got all on my case because there wasn't a new blog post to read. And I explained to him that it's not everyday that exciting stuff happens to me, and that I don't usually blog about my average day to day encounters. And then he said,

"As a writer, you should find excitement in everything you do and see."

And I couldn't just take that remark lying down, so of course I said in response,

"Dude, I could write a blog post about anything and make it interesting."

So that's where I made mistake number one. And yes, I realize this was a stupid thing to say, because I am not Chuck Klosterman or David Sedaris, so I probably can't write a blog post about anything and make it interesting. In fact, I'm sure there are ton's of things I could never write a blog post about and make interesting. Tax Brackets come to mind immediately. And also spoons, but I'm getting off topic.

And of course now that I've committed to being able to write a blog post about anything, Mark is all like "Well you better do it" and I'm like "Well just give me a topic and I will!" and so then he says,

"Write about why candy canes are shaped the way they are."

So that's how I got myself into the mess that I'm in right now. My first inclination is to look up why candy canes are shaped the way that they are, but I'm too lazy right now and I honestly don't care. Instead, I'll just make something up and present it as fact.

Q: Why are Candy Canes Shaped the Way They Are?
A: Candy Canes are shaped like actual canes that elderly folks with poor balance use to walk around easier. Clearly, this is because they function as actual canes, as well as Christmastime sugary treats meant to delight the taste buds. I naturally assume that candy canes can only be shaped the way they are to serve as canes for fragile Gingerbread Men. It can't be easy having to walk around on legs made of flour, eggs, and a chemical reaction. And since Gingerbread Men can't bend over without crumbling to pieces, it seems to me that mobility for them would be extremely limited for them without some sort of support system. And since I can't think of any Christmas candies that are shaped like wheelchairs, Gingerbread Men must use candy canes to get around easier. Hence why the candy cane is shaped the way it is.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Marley was dead: to begin with"

There has been some speculation that people think I'm a scrooge. And when I say people, I mean my friends Mark, Andy and Levi (all names have not been changed) among others. For the record I understand why people may think I am a scrooge.

Reasons could possibly include:

1. My hatred of Christmas Music. But to that I'd say, if you went through 7 years of middle and high school choir singing Christmas music as a Jew, you'd hate it too. And for the record, hearing all of your other classmates complain about singing a Hanukkah song kind of takes the joy out of feeling included.

2. My hatred for the mall beginning on Black Friday and stretching until December 26th, despite my absolute love for the mall at all other times of the year. Well, here's why: I love shopping. I want to take my leisurely time perusing every corner of my favorite department stores, and trying on 15 coats just to make sure I buy the one that is perfect, and between Black Friday and December 26th, that experience is ruined for me. I am practically a shopping guru, practically raised in shopping malls, and this time of year is the only time where mall rats like myself become alienated by frantic fathers trying to buy last minute gifts and psychotic hockey moms who think that unless they grab something at that very minute it will be lost forever in some bottomless shopping mall pit. God forbid these novice shoppers consider Amazon.com.

3. I dislike everyone wishing me "Merry Christmas" on the street as if it if were a substitute for "Have a Nice Day." And while I realize that this is a petty and stupid complaint because at least this means people are being nice to each other, I dislike that everyone assumes I celebrate Christmas, and this continues to play into the fact that even though Christmas is a Christian holiday, everyone on earth treats it like it is practically a holiday celebrated by anyone who is a human being, and disliking it (God Forbid) would mean one didn't have a heart. I have a heart.

4. As a television lover, part of me is always annoyed that the last episode of the Fall TV season is always the Christmas episode. Mostly because while there are many Christmas episodes I've enjoyed over the years (Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas last week on Community was spectacular for example) I always feel like I'm missing out on part of the joke, because I've never done Christmas.

However, I'd like to take this point to acknowledge that I am NOT a Scrooge. Despite all of these things above. I do not just hate Christmas for no particular reason. Also, according to Dictionary.com, a scrooge is a miserly curmudgeon, to which I say I am absolutely not a miserly curmudgeon. And shame on those who would say that about me.

That being said, I will be spending this Christmas out of the country for the second year in a row, by what is probably not a coincidence, in attempts to get away from commercialism, cold weather and Americanized X-mas. So be prepared for some upcoming international blog posts from Bermuda, more information to come later.

But now if you'll excuse me, my mother needs me to wrap Christmas presents for everyone she's ever met in her entire life practically. And we all know how important Christmas presents are....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Soul Searching for Dairy Products

Something wonderful has happened. Something I've been waiting for a long time. It's simultaneously going to make my life amazing. Actually, it will probably make my life immediately fantastic, but the long term effects are still up for debate. But I'm so excited about it right now that I don't care.

That's right folks: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams has been kind enough to open an establishment less than 5 minutes driving distance from my house (even in the snow). I am now making it my Winter Break Mission to try as many flavors as possible.

This is the story of the JAM sister's trip to Jeni's.

The shop is located at the corner of Powell and Liberty, in the heart of historical Powell (which is not all that exciting, except that now it has a Jeni's) and it is the most spacious of the lot of the Jeni's franchise. For more information, check their website.

I usually try not to be obnoxious with my ice cream tastings in Jeni's because of the respect I have for them, so I usually just try a few flavors to see if I will like them, and then pair them with old favorites. But since we went to an Ice Cream Parlor at 5 o'clock in a suburb in the middle of a blizzard, and there was no one else in the store, I figured it was fine to try as many flavors as I wanted.

Here is my Trio: (Clockwise from top left) Oakvale Young Gouda with Vodka-Plumped Cranberries, Bangkok Peanut, and Meyer Lemon Yogurt Sorbet.

Strictly speaking, everything at Jeni's is absolutely delicious. There are certain flavor's that aren't exactly my taste, but honestly, everything is really freaking good 99.9% of the time. Bangkok Peanut is my favorite flavor, and it was as spicy/sweet/superb as it always is. I was trying Oakvale Gouda and Meyer Lemon for the first time today, and they were both great. I have a soft spot for Oakvale Gouda cheese, because it is one of my favorites, and I appreciated its pairing with cranberries because I usually pair it with raspberry jelly, so these were similar. The Meyer Lemon is a very tart flavor, but I quite liked it, and it was a very interesting pair with the spicy/sweet Bangkok.

Here is Alexa, enjoying her 2 half scoops in a cone.

Close up shot. Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows on top, Dark Chocolate Peppermint on bottom.
She only gave me one lick of each (which in and of itself is a testament to how good they are) They tasted basically exactly like they sound (heavenly and sweet). On a later trip, I will likely pair one of them with one of the spicy ice creams, because they would make for a really good spicy/sweet play.

Monica all smiles because of her trio in this picture. And she is wearing sunglasses because she burst a blood vessel in her right eye and now kinda looks like a vampire. Which is hilarious and awesome. And she's totally fine. She went to the doctor and everything and they cleared her for take-off. She's just wearing the sunglasses for sympathy.

Close up shot (Clockwise from top left) Pumpkin 5 Spice, Oakvale Gouda, Olive Oil with Sea Salted Pepitas.
An interesting combination. The Pumpkin tastes just like creamy pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Melts in your mouth perfectly. The Olive Oil is unique, creamy and mild. Would also make an excellent pair with a spicy ice cream as a cooler. Should be paired with Queen City Cayenne in the future.

But anyway, the BEST part about this entire experience, was that while we were taking pictures of the ice cream for this blog post, the lady over heard us apparently, and then while we were eating, brought us over this tray FOR FREE!

She just came over and said "We thought you might like to try some of our ice cream sandwiches, in case you had never had any before. And you can put them in your blog if you want"

Talk about the best thing that has ever happened to me. Free Jeni's ice cream sandwich pieces because this crazy employee thinks that my blog actually matters. Somewhere in the blogosphere I hope it does, but I never in my wildest dreams thought it would get me free anything, let alone free Jeni's. If I could float on a cloud right now, I'd be on an ice cream cloud of happiness #9.

Overall rating, Jeni's is amazing. Whether you get it in pint form or in the store, it is always a good choice. And I'm not just saying that in hopes that someone from her business will read this blog and offer me free ice cream (although I definitely wouldn't reject them... that would be rude) And while I'm thinking about it, just because I've always thought it would be a good idea, if anyone from Jeni's IS reading this blog, please make an ice cream flavor involving cream cheese. That would be so perfect.