Walmart suet cakes

Grinding my gears

2023.02.02 20:20 InnocentIchigo Grinding my gears

TLDR version; need to rant about how it feels like customers are getting worse and worse attitudes and makes me wish we could have a purge day to just let them know how we really feel sometimes.
Jesus christ the customers as of late. Like I understand that it's frustrating to go to a store and see us being out of a ton of things. But to take it out on us. Like we easily service 400-600 customers a day so even when we can get stuff out half the time it goes out just as fast. Like sorry that we're not Walmart. We don't get in 4 cases of ranch dressing to constantly keep us stocked. And with hours as slim as they have been even if we tried to place orders for more stock to come in we'd be lucky to even get to it before the next truck arrives as is.
Though the icing on the cake is when customers have the nerve to stand there and call us lazy when they literally stop me in the middle of stocking to ask me if we have x or y and I have to say we're out.
"How can you even be sure? Look at all those damn carts in that backroom. It's probably just in there."
"Yea and? Our hours have been slashed for the last 2 months. We're a high volume store and are often slammed randomly throughout the day. Us begging for help or hours from the company gets us no where so we're doing the best we can."
"Fucking hell, no one just wants to work anymore. I don't even know why I bother coming into a place with such shitty management problems."
Like it just brings me so close to my breaking point anymore.
And granted it's only a minority of people in comparison to most of our customers. But it's a minority of those who will purposefully show up to make a fuss or throw a tantrum. Like the one old lady who constantly comes in when most of our pop goes on sale and tries to mix and match as they please only to turn karen at the register when told no. Sorry but after you've been told 50+ times that you can't mix different brands I'm not going to be polite about it anymore.
Or another pissy senior who will ALWAYS wait until Saturday to come in and get food that's on sale. Note we get our truck on Tuesday and with how busy we are usually 60-80% of what we stock sells out. But does that stop them from throwing a fit about how sale items should always be in stock or how it's our fault for not making sure there would be enough. How we should make it right by going around to other stores to get more stock for ours or give them rain checks. Yet god forbid when we mention about picking up the items earlier in the week (and mind you this person is often in at LEAST every other day) we just get "I shouldn't be forced to shop for what I want outside of the day I want to get it". Just get so so close to snapping "then don't fucking cry when it's not in stock as if you're the only damn person who shops here" but it's not worth the corporate complaint involvement.
submitted by InnocentIchigo to DollarGeneral [link] [comments]


2023.01.31 23:12 KentuckyFriedSith Harmony of the Seas 1/21-29/2023 Review and AMA

I recently got off of the Harmony of the Seas, an 8-night closed circuit Eastern Caribbean cruise. I spent the last several months perusing this reddit, researching, answering questions, and worrying about changes, and have decided to drop my feedback/opinions here. This will be a long post.
Background: This is my Fourth cruise. I have sailed twice with Carnival, once with Norwegian, and now once with Royal. I OBSESSIVELY researched everything that I could before disembarkation, and had a very strong idea of what to expect. I had originally researched Royal for a 2020 sailing on the Allure that was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic and associated restrictions. I'm 6'3" tall, and roughly 350lb. I am a big human. this also colors my experiences. Also: note that I am not here to score everything that I liked as a 10. I want anyone who reads to be able to tell the difference between not only 'good and bad' but also 'good, okay, excellent, and superb'. I save 1-3 for 'this was pretty bad', 4-7 for 'this was average' and 8-10 for 'this was amazing'.
Booked "Extras": Prior to sailing, we purchased a Jetski tour on black friday for Labadee, as well as the Refreshments package, Unlimited Dining package, and a visit to the Monkeyland excursion in Puerto Plata, DR. Due to past cruising experiences, we chose to leave Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas and Nassau as 'self-exploration' days. The Refreshment and UDP purchases definitely impacted our view of the trip. more on this later.
Reviews:
First off, and the 'hot topic' of this Reddit lately: Food quality. If you have been keeping up on Royal for the past few months, you've seen them make some changes recently - Their MDR menu has been completely overhauled, The infinite lobster night has gone from Caribbean lobster to Maine lobster, and is now limit 1 (unless you want to pay $18/ea for more) and many have been complaining about the food. Before I get started, note: This IS my first time dining with Royal. I can only compare them to my experiences on Carnival or Norwegian, not to themselves. As we had the UDP, Most of my experience is flavored by getting the most out of the specialty restaurants. We visited Jamie's AS SOON as we boarded to make our reservations for the week, and were able to visit each place that we wanted. The Hibachi was the most difficult to reserve, as full price pre-cruise bookings had snagged all of the time slots for days 4-8, and there were only options available for days 1-3 for those of us with a dining package. It was very popular.
Wonderland: 9/10 We loved our visit. the service was great, the food was enjoyable. We only visited here once, as it truly is the kind of dinner you go to for the overall experience more than the meal itself. It ABSOLUTELY delivered. We came in with a party of six, and the 'mad hatter' delivered us to our table. Whimsy was the word of the evening, and our server ensured that our experience was memorable in all of the right ways. We opted to allow our server to bring us a sampling of items that he recommended, rather than ordering individually, and we were provided with enough of each item for us to all sample each offering at the same time. Each dish was served with a story, of "how it came to be", with certain additional hints as to which iconic character had a hand in it's creation. We ordered a cocktail apiece, and all got a sip. ALL of them were good, though the smoke rings stood out as the best "experience" and the Cheshire Cat stood out as the most delicious of them, by general consensus of our group. The only 'miss' was the risotto. Like the liquid lobster, it is a one-bite offering served on a spoon. the flavor was bland, and the texture made a few of our group gag a little. It was also the only offering that came at the request of one of our more curious minds, during the opportunity we were provided to ask about menu items that the server had NOT brought out with his recommendation. Lesson learned: if you go to wonderland, ALWAYS trust your server. The food was delightful, imaginitive, and overall is HIGHLY recommended.
Chops: 6/10 I'll give chops a relatively low score. There was nothing wrong with the food, service, or experience, and I can absolutely understand why they are popular, but there was also nothing here that actually STOOD OUT as special. The steaks were relatively small cuts, and the Meat itself was the star of the show. Even the salad came out, crowned with a steak. If you love steak, and all you want is a nice piece of cow on your plate, you'll be very happy here. They cater to the carnivores well, but they just weren't anything -special-. Everything on their menu is something I could easily have cooked up for myself with a trip to Walmart and an hour to cook. (I'm also a decent home cook) Nothing to be disappointed about, but nothing to say 'man, this place was great!' either. Seasonings were simple, but well balanced. (Really though, it is exactly what I expected. a good steak, with a proper amount of salt and some sides,)
150 Central Park 10/10 This stop is part of the reason that Chops is only a 6. You see, Central Park also has Steak, but they took it from a slab of Bovine goodness and elevated it to something that would have been VERY difficult to replicate in my own kitchen. Their Beef tenderloin was everything Chops COULD have been and more. Our Server also offered us a "Surf and Turf" option that wasn't strictly on the menu, where he plated the Lobster Thermador and the Beef Tenderloin in slightly smaller portions on the same plate. Both were seasoned to perfection and went down with a smile. The Lamb Wellington was a delight, and we enjoyed everything they served us here. This was everything I expected for an upcharge restaurant, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Sabor 4/10 There is a reason that Sabor is not priced as highly as some of the other specialty dining options. I visited here before we visited the MDR, and at that point in time, I could not understand why anyone would pay extra for their offerings compared to what was available in the Buffet. I went alone for this visit, and tried the carnitas and the fish tacos. Both were well seasoned, but neither really stood out as special. The fish was a simple batter fry, served as a 'build your own taco' plate that I could have replicated at the windjammer, and the carnitas were just meat and cheese. Nothing was unappetizing, but at the same time, nothing was memorable enough or special enough to justify the upcharge either.
Jamie's Italian 9/10 Jamie's was good. The meat platter was a lovely sampler for us to enjoy, and very few of the offerings would have been something I could replicate in my own kitchen. we visited here multiple times, and my biggest complaint was that what they could NOT nail was consistency. I re-ordered their truffle tagliatelle each time I went, and I never had the same flavor on my plate twice. It was still good each time, but the quality of that dish in particular seemed to diminish each time we visited. Perhaps this was due to an ingredient needing to be extra fresh (impossible after 5 days at sea), or it could have been a difference in the individual cooks in their kitchen each night doing things differently, but the WOW moment I had on our first visit was never replicated on later nights. We enjoyed everything we ordered, and highly recommend this option.
Izumi Sushi 7/10 I am breaking Izumi into two parts, as though the sushi and Hibachi are part of the same restaurant, I see them as differently as I do Chops and 150 CP. For all intents and purposes, Izumi has two restaurants inside of it. The Sushi end was good overall. Their Tonkotsu Ramen had us coming back for more, and their sushi was quite enjoyable. The biggest issue with Izumi was the pricing. Without the dining package, it would have QUICKLY become the most expensive food on the entire boat. menu pricing for 12 pieces of Sashimi was $21, and the typical roll was around $14-16. Most of the places I'll visit on land have their specialty rolls priced around $12, and will happily feed you a basic california or salmon roll for $4-8. So not only are you paying more per roll by visiting Izumi than you would on land, but you're paying that price when you have near-infinite "complimentary" food options available. I love sushi, it is one of my favorite foods, but there was absolutely nothing here that would justify the upsell. With the UDP, we were allowed one miso soup, one small plate, two large plates, and one dessert per visit. for LUNCH, their "large" plates were reduced to a single four-piece (HALF-SIZED) sushi roll, so for their $35 'prix fixe' option, you'd get a miso soup, an appetizer (like 5 pieces of gyoza) two half-rolls of sushi, and a sand-dollar sized piece of lava cake, or 3x mochi ice creams. Not terrible, not great. The sushi was good (though you could tell that it was a few days old if you dined on nights 6-8) as the texture was just beginning to shift (still not fishy, just not quite as fresh). For a sushi lover with the UDP, again, worth going, but I would have been upset by the pricing if not for the dining package. this is probably not worth it for the 3 or 5 night options.
Izumi Hibachi 8/10 The Hibachi was delightful. I'd give it a 9, if not for the $15 surcharge on top of the dining package, Don't get me wrong, I get it: they only had Three Hibachi tables in the restaurant, capable of seating/serving 8 guests at a time. If they did not add the $15 surcharge, then nobody would be able to get a reservation as the UDP guests would book it all up before anyone got a chance. Even then, the stab at 'unlimited dining' being VERY limited leaves a bad taste in my mouth. That said, the Chef was entertaining, the food was delicious, the experience was wonderful, and my primary grievance was the pricetag. The food itself was better at 150 and Jamie's. the EXPERIENCE was better at wonderland, but the Hibachi is very well worth visiting. Our entire group left very fat, happy, and full. If you can get past the upcharge, go.
Main Dining Room 3/10 First off: as is made VERY clear in the preceding paragraphs, We had the UDP. we did not visit the MDR often, in fact, we only had one night there with the Royal night menu. This is the night that the Lobster was up in the MDR. My wife and I went with just the two of us, and MOST of the good that brought this rating up to a 3 was the wait-staff. they truly did a wonderful job with sub-par tools at their disposal. My wife does not enjoy Seafood the way that I do; so we "each" ordered the lobster (read: two for me) and she ordered herself the Tortellini. We both started with the French onion soup. The soup was simple: onions browned with butter, salt, beef stock, and water with a crouton and swiss on top. it was also the most flavorful food of the meal in it's simplicity. The 'crouton' had no flavor of it's own, and just tasted like the soup, and while we polished it off, by the end, we were mostly finishing it due to our distaste for food waste. The lobster was also simple (it should be) it was a little rubbery (overcooked) and most of the flavor, expectedly, came from the drawn butter it was served with. Nothing else we had had any flavor at all. The lobster came with a little mound of yellow rice. I've had plain white rice that tasted better. it was dry (though not crunchy/undercooked) and only became palatable when doused in the remains of the lobster butter and some salt. The tortellini more closely resembled gnocchi rings, and the sauce tasted like someone had thickened up some milk with corn starch and wanted to pretend that it was an alfredo. We sent the tortellini back, then left and went back to Izumi for second-dinner. (note, my wife had the MDR once more on her own, and said the same about her experience that night. the wait staff did a wonderful job, but the food.... yeah, the food was not the kind of memorable you want folks to take home with them.)
Windjammer: 5/10 The buffet was truly average. it embodied everything that I expected after sailing with Carnival and Norwegian. some options good, some options not so good, plenty of variety. While we mostly ate here for breakfast, we stopped in at a few other times during our trip. The staff were very diligent about keeping things clean, and clearing tables. Our biggest worry here was that if we set our food down, it might not still be there if we left it to get something else (like a drink). Typical buffet fare, with typical buffet quality. and yes, the food was better here than in the MDR. (which is TERRIBLY sad, and just SHOULD NOT BE)
Ports of call:
Labadee: 9/10 This little peninsula truly embodied the "island vacation vibe" that you get from movies and commercials. Lots of clean beach areas, lots of trees, lots of sun. After our last private island experience with Norwegian, this was the LEAST anticipated stop of our trip, but ended up being our favorite. Live music, and the preserved natural beauty of the Caribbean. The food was the only negative; there is nothing wrong with hamburgers, hot dogs, and jerked chicken, but after being spoiled on the ship, it was a touch limiting, and the only reason this place didn't get a 10.
St Thomas: 5/10 After visiting this island in 2016, we were disappointed. it is constantly hyped up to be the "shopping capital of the Caribbean", and it still is, but it felt like that was ALL it is these days. the toutaxi prices are reportedly (by the locals) government mandated. the cheapest was $6 per person for a seat on a bus to take you to downtown, and the prices only go up from there. the typical 2.5 hour 'island tour' is up to $35 per person, and it really felt like a beautiful place that has resigned itself to being little more than a tourist trap. If you're looking for fine jewlery, there are tons of options, but even the beach asks a cover charge. I really hate to say it, but get an excursion. don't bother with this place as an 'explore on your own' stop anymore.
Puerto Rico 6/10 Our cruise had us scheduled here as an evening stop; they were 1 hour ahead of ship time. The problem is: The shops all close at 6:30. We got about 3 hours to explore before the entire place shut down, and all of the restaurants were packed out. The local food is wonderful, and we've spent an entire week here pre-pandemic, but with the early shut-down, late port, and extra hour of timezone shift, we were underwhelmed. I have every reason to believe that this will improve (and if you have a morning port on your cruise, you'll already have a better time!) as businesses continue to get back to normal, but our time here was limited.
Puerto Plata: ?/10 We were very excited for this port. We pre-booked the Monkeyland excursion and had a whole plan as to how we would hit the excursion, then still have two (safe) hours to grab the cable car ride up for some sunset pictures over the port.... And the night before we were supposed to land, they decided that the waves were just too choppy to get us there. I'm not going to argue with the captain, if he says it is unsafe, I'll take his word, but this was the most anticipated stop of the entire trip, and we never made it.
Nassau: 5/10 Nassau gets a lot of grief; it is THE tourist trap of the Caribbean/Bahamas. I decided that instead of paying 30% more for the same kinds of excursions that are offered on other islands, that we would explore on our own, and I'm glad we did. we walked past parlaiment square on our way to the queen's staircase, then headed toward the John Watling's Distillery, hit some shopping across the way from a chocolatier, and then caught a fish fry past junkanoo beach. the island prices were heavily inflated, but the weather was beautiful, and we were able to have a lot of fun DESPITE Nassau itself. It is far from our favorite stop, but at least the rum runs smooth.
Miscellaneous:
The Ship itself : We truly enjoyed the Harmony itself. The Oasis class layout is very nice; Central park stays fairly quiet, the fresh ocean air is a delight, and the sunsets are second to none. Royal did a wonderful job of always having events that would let you find hype in some parts of the ship, and serenity in others. There were enough elevators, that it was easy to catch one unless you were on a mid-deck during disembarkation (or the first hour of leaving for a port of call) or wanted a forward elevator at 5 while everyone was rushing to the MDR for dinner. Some of the Hot-tubs had issues; bubbles not staying on for very long, or jets that only worked on one side of the tub rather than the whole thing; I expect that these are relatively simple maintenence issues that will be worked out as soon as they have the tech time available for the repairs, but overall, the ship was wonderful to be on. Harmony easily, EASILY outclassed the other ships I've cruised on, and will be a very tough act to follow.
Staffing and Customer service: This is, frankly the #1 issue we had. Cruise ships only have a certain number of crew quarters built in, and it is a pre-set design limit that is static from the day it goes from plan to practice. The crew of the Harmony were very well chosen for all being Friendly, Smiley people, but there is a GLUT of inexperience as they are trained up. Royal is VERY CLEARLY working on the problem; Everywhere we went, there were 1-2 staff members following someone around that was showing them how to do the work around the ship, and I commend Royal for not trying to hide the fact that so many of their crew are still in training. This is the kind of problem that, assuming working conditions and pay aren't too low to justify the position, will work itself out over time, but with limited crew quarters, the entire ship feels it when not enough of the crew have the experience to run things smoothly, and this was our experience. too many new crew members with to few experienced members to train them. Many things are overlooked, but to their credit, friendliness is NOT sacrificed in this process. all of the crew we interacted will go out of their way to help with the little things, or will go do research and get back to you with what they learned, but there was very little efficiency to go with it. Guest services was, unfortunately, plagued with the same issues; the lines were always long, but the staff there pretty much only knew how to go behind closed doors to check lost and found (in our experience, to never find anything that was lost), or how to remove a wrong charge from your onboard account. if you needed anything more difficult than either of those requests, they would just find a way to get you to give up and go away. Guest services made it very clear that they wanted the masses to be happy, but had very little interest in making sure that the individuals were cared for. Everything was an upsell, and money was the only thing that talked.

Sorry for the long post: If you have any questions about any of what we learned on our trip, feel free to turn the comments section into an AMA. I'll be around to answer questions.
submitted by KentuckyFriedSith to royalcaribbean [link] [comments]


2023.01.31 18:21 JuniorEmu2629 What is this adorable little fella in Dallas TX ? I put out a suet cake months ago and had no visitors. It snowed today and these little chunks are going bonkers on it

What is this adorable little fella in Dallas TX ? I put out a suet cake months ago and had no visitors. It snowed today and these little chunks are going bonkers on it submitted by JuniorEmu2629 to whatsthisbird [link] [comments]


2023.01.30 23:41 GooberDaSlime Fruitcake - Detailed Equipment/Ingredients/Process & Notes (Alton Brown's 'Good Eats: Season 2 Episode 1: "It's a Wonderful Cake")

This guide is designed for people who know nothing about baking/cooking and is detailed with links to specific items to help better communicate what is being used.

Image: The Finished Cake, 1st slices.
I'd never made, smelled, or seen Fruitcake. (Ignoring Loony-Toon and common punchlines) That was enough motivation to give it a go. Thankfully, my go-to-guide to food, Alton Brown, had a solid episode on such.

The following is a distilled recipe including what I wish I knew before, and things not covered in the show. The list of Equipment and Ingredients includes suggestions with links to the specific product mentioned, as well as supporting material for those choices where applicable. *cough* America's Test Kitchen *cough* Feel free to ask questions in the comments below or DM's.

Review Summary:

Equipment:

Common:

Less Common/Obscure

Ingredients:

*NOTE!: These are not listed in order of use*
From Alton Brown:
"...The overall quality will never exceed that of the weakest component. So! If your fruit, nuts, or spices aren't quality, it won't matter if you soak the whole cake in Century Old Rémy, it'll still be a door stop."
When able - acquire dried fruit with no added sugar (NAS), this dish is SWEET already!

Dried Fruit:
Dry Goods:
Spices don't 'go bad' but they do become less potent/flavourful. Don't use your parents Cloves from the 90's or similar! Lifespan/Potency-span: Dried ~6 months. Whole 1-2 years:maxbytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/optaboutcomcoeusresourcescontent_migrationserious_eatsseriouseats.comimages201503_spice-life-cheat-sheet-f94d138e2cb84bc5b4c1c225f90f2e7b.jpg) There are a few exceptions like salt and whole Nutmeg.
Liquids:
Other:

Steps:

1. In Mixing Bowl, combine & mix. No Clusters/Clumps of Dried Fruit/Zest when done. (Suggestion: Mix solids together, move to Airtight Container, then pour Rum over content- less stink/mess/waste)
  1. Start with <3.8oz
  2. Chop into ¼'s
  3. Chop via rotating/pivoting Chefs Knife till pieces are as small as raisins.
  1. Start with <1.6oz
  2. Dice via rotating/pivoting Chef's Knife till pieces are small as raisins.
2. Using Silicone Spatula, move Dried Fruit/Zest & Rum mixture into Airtight Container and macerate overnight at Room Temperature. (8+ hours...go get your sleep!)
*NOTE!: At this point we're done using the Rasp-Style Microplane - feel free to clean & pack it away.*
Image: Macerating Fruit/Zest & Rum Bottle
3. Prep for next day:






Next Day:
1. Place 4qt Pot/Saucepan on Stove Top
2. Pour Macerated Fruit/Zest into Pot/Saucepan - scrape with Silicone Spatula to empty
3. In Spice Grinder, grind fine:
4. Add to Pot/Saucepan

5. Set Stove Top to Medium/High Heat
3. Turn ON the Oven - set to 300°F/148.9°C This is so the Oven is ready to go for the Nut Toasting!
7. Stir Pot/Saucepan with Large Wooden Spoon/Spatula until boiling
8. Set Stove Top to Low Heat & Simmer (Few bubbles appearing on surface)
9. Hold this simmering/heat for 10 minutes.
From Alton Brown:
"...This period is very important for flavour development. You've got, all those spices and all those fruits, and they really need time to develop and mingle. Besides, at this point all the flavour that this cake will ever have, with the exception of the nuts, is in this pot; So don't under develop it."
10. After the 10 minuets, turn off the Stove Top, and remove the Pot/Saucepan from heat
11. Let the Pot/Saucepan & contents cool for no less than 15 minuets
From Alton Brown:
"Why the rest? Well, we've got dry ingredients to add into this. Most of which is flour. Now if flour hits all that hot liquid now, it's just going to gelatinize into a big, kinda, gooey mass. Lumps of coal may be okay as Christmas gifts, but lumps of flour are never fashionable."

If, for any reason, you don't want to finish today/now - this is the place to stop. Let the pot cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. It'll keep for 2-3 days. Just bring it BACK to room temperature before finishing building the batter.

While the Pot/Saucepan is cooling...

12. Spread 4.5oz 1 cup Shelled Pecans onto Jelly Roll/Sheet Pan or Baking Sheet One layer thick and vaguely evenly spaced.
13. Place the Pan/Sheet into the oven on the Middle Rack for 15 minuets
14. Remove the Pan/Sheet from oven & empty nuts into clean Mixing Bowl
15. Set Oven to 325°F/162.8°C
16. Crush the toasted Pecans. Use hand or something flatish and robust. (Can also put into zip lock bag and use a rolling pin)

Back to the Pot/Saucepan...

  1. In as few Stirs as possible mix in: I used 6, 360° Stirs around the internal circumference of the Pot/Saucepan - passing through the center at the end of each stir.
18. When Fully Integrated add 1 Egg. Use as few stirs as possible. I used 3 of the earlier mentioned Stirs. (Entertainingly - the yolk would be all alone after the 1st Stir and have to be 'skewed' with the Wooden Spoon/Spatula)
19. Again, When Fully Integrated add the last 1 Egg. Use as few stirs as possible. Same as last time, 3 Stirs was all that was needed.
20. When Fully Integrated add now Toasted & Crushed Pecans. Use as few stirs as possible. This last addition took 4 Stirs.
21. Grease/Spray 10" Nonstick Loaf Pan
22. Pour Batter from Pot/Saucepan into Loaf Pan

23. Place Loaf Pan into Oven on Middle Rack (Same as where the Pecans were toasted)
Image: Loaf Pan in oven.

24. Bake for 60 minuets or until the Internal Temperature reaches 200°F/93.3°C The first Fruitcake I made, took 1 hour 30 min to reach the stated Internal Temperature, the final cake was great, and the top was darker than later cakes. No burning/charring occurred even at 50% more bake time. Avoid opening the door to check.
25. Once the Fruitcake reaches the target Time or Temperature remove the Loaf Pan from the Oven and place on a Cooling Rack.
26. Immediately after, heavily spray/spritz the Top of the Fruitcake with Brandy It will hiss and steam, that's ok.
\)NOTE!: ^(The top of the Fruitcake is supposed to be rather flat without any cracks. Mine weren't - the first had a mega-fault-line down the center and so I 'squished' the cakes down flush with the top of the Loaf Pan's rim. I did notice that more stirs did equate to a higher center. Before baking, spreading batter away from the center and to the edges may have helped in reaching a flatter consistency.\)*
27. Allow Fruitcake to fully cool to Room Temperature before removing from Loaf Pan During this time, I elected to continue to Spray/Spritz Brandy onto the Fruitcake Top when it 'dried' out - typically every 30-40 min.
28. Turn out onto surface or Wire/Cooling rack, and stand upright (smallest side of the rectangle at the bottom and top)
Image: Fruitcake Turned Out.

29. Wrap/slide the Cheese Cloth/Bag over the Fruitcake
Image: Fruitcake in Cheesecloth Bag/

30. Spray/Spritz all sides of the Fruitcake
31. Place Finished Fruitcake inside the Airtight Container
Image: Completed Fruitcakes in Airtight Containers.

32. CLEAN UP! Wipe down the surface neawhere the Spraying/Spritzing occurred.
While the Fruitcake can be served/sliced I suggest using a sharp bread knife and eaten right now, apparently they get better with age and soaking. Specifically 2 weeks. That experiment is still going here - I have 3 Fruitcakes remaining and have been spritzing/spraying as needed.

From now, until the Fruitcake is fully consumed - every 3 days, check if it's 'dry'. If so, spritz all sides with brandy.

Using the suggested Air-Tight Containers, they're exceptionally good at keeping the evaporated alcohol inside of the container, so my Spray/Spritz has been 3-7+ days. Experiment is ongoing...
Image: Fruitcake after 2 weeks.

That's It! That's the End!

Well done, and I hope that covers everything you may encounter in this adventure. For sure, this is delicious to my mouth and those whom I've shared it with. I hope it goes well for you as well! As mentioned at the start, any questions, feel free to ask, I'll do my best to answer.
Image: Glamor Shots 1, 2, 3.

F.A.Q. From Comments Below & DM's

"What's the oldest Fruitcake and would you eat some?"
•Apparently, the oldest specimen lives in a small town in Lower Michigan, Tecumseh (?) From 1878. Though I'd risk lead poisoning and go with the one from Robert F. Scott's Arctic exploration ~1910. Specifically - because the Arctic version has been out of the hands and homes of humans. I'm willing to wager no Penguin with Typhoid has shared the same air as with that cake.
"Who have you shared your Fruitcake with?"
•Due to #1, not knowing if I would enjoy it, #2, the Expense vs Quantity produced (seriously could have made 12 gallons of Chili for the same price) I've been very selective. Only after asking "Are you sure you're interested?" and receiving the affirmative:
"If/When you gift this to others, how do you do it?"
•Before delivery, I take a slice, spray with Brandy, wrap in a ½ sheet of Parchment paper, and seal in a Zip-Lock sandwich bag, then immediately deliver it to the intended recipient/post office. With postage and packing of course. The slices mailed have arrived as intended without issue.
Before slicing - I often take a good 30min, and detail the recipe and steps onto a single Index card, give full credit to Alton Brown, and inform those with any potential food allergies.
Before next year, I'm planning on acquiring Mini-Loaf pans and seeing if Miniature Fruitcakes are possible. Downside to that is having to inform the giftee, "Plan on eating this within a few days due to the lack of proper containecheesecloth/regular Brandy Spray/Spritzing".
"Can you convert this all to metric? Why isn't this in metric?"
•Mathematically, yes. While this should be a simple conversion, I know that a stick of unsalted butter measured 112g and not 110g. I don't trust my scales accuracy to know if I was on the heavielighter side of the 0.1oz. The recipe was in Imperial units. Next time around, I will!
"Can you use something other than Cheese Cloth?"
•100%. Though, do yourself the favor, and invest into the proper gear. Cheesecloth can be reused! While I haven't used the following for the storage of a Fruitcake, the individual slices did well wrapped in Parchment paper in a Zip-Lock bag. Other sources site combinations of Plastic/Aluminum wraps, neither which I have tried.
"Is this served hot/cold/toasted/microwaved etc.?"
•I've only had it at room temp, and it's bloody great. In one baking class I've taken, it was stressed that flavors are more pronounced when at room temp/warm. While I'm confident chilled/refrigerated Fruitcake would taste great, I prefer the fridge space. In the Good Eats episode, Alton brown shares that they prefer toasting a slice for breakfast. I haven't tried this, but will in the future.
"How long does a Fruitcake last?"
•See an above response for the oldest, though personally that's part of why I made these Fruitcake. I'm planning on having one survive till next year...at pantry level temps, just to see how it tastes/survives. I'll update any foul experiences including mold or mildew. It gets hot here - so I'm curious how they'll survive. The first Fruitcake here only lasted 3 weeks due to consumption and sharing.
"Outside of the Loaf Pan, how much do these things weigh?"
•The 3 un-sliced Fruitcake I have sitting in the pantry (minus the mass of the air-tight container and cheese cloth) weigh: 4 lbs 10.3oz , 4 lbs 11.0oz, and 4 lbs 10.7oz. This is a dense cake...and I love it for that!
"Is there any reason you chose to pour the Rum over the Dried Fruits/Zest instead of mixing it in the bowl?"
•Yes, mainly because I really don't like the taste or smell of liquoalcohol. The Rum, on initial opening made me gag, and while I did make one batch stirring the fruit I winced while doing so. More importantly I did a side by side comparison, one maceration with stirred Rum, and the other with poured, no difference in flavouconsistency, only in 'how much was left in the mixing bowl'. Less waste happens when pouring straight over the dried fruit/zest as opposed to scraping it out of the mixing bowl. But we're talking about a few drops of Rum and several shreds of zest/candied gingeapricot lost between container transfer.
"There's a difference between what you've said and what's said in the show..."
•Keen observation. In the Episode - Alton states "5-10 min" when talking about the simmer time, while the most recent version of their recipe states a flat "10 min". I went with the more recent/longer time due to the supporting comment focused on letting the flavors 'mingle'.
Also the video/episode is from December 19th, 1999. Not to make readers feel old, that's before G-mail, The Sims, Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Cast Away, etc. existed. More importantly - the video suggest checking the internal 'done-ness' with a tooth pick, which does still "work". The modern baking approach is to use an Instant Read Thermometer.
"Is it 'Fruit Cake' or 'Fruitcake'?"
•Apparently either is fine?
"Couldn't you toast the Pecans while the Pot is coming to a boil?"
•Sure can, and I did when doing 2x batches in a single go. Manage your time, and only 'multi-task' what you're comfortable in...toasting pecans burn really quick! I put the toasting at the cool down as that helps pass the required time.
"Would flavoured Brandy add more to the Fruitcake?"
•It may, I have no clue. Currently I have a Cherry Brandy Tincture in the works (5lbs Cherry with that 1.75L of E&J VS). I'll let you know if I notice a difference in flavour. I doubt it, but here's hoping!
submitted by GooberDaSlime to Cooking [link] [comments]


2023.01.28 23:09 GooberDaSlime Fruitcake - Detailed Equipment/Ingredients/Process & Notes (Alton Brown's 'Good Eats: Season 2 Episode 1: "It's a Wonderful Cake")

This guide is designed for people who know nothing about baking/cooking and is detailed with links to specific items to help better communicate what is being used.


The Finished Cake, 1st slices
I'd never made, smelled, or seen Fruitcake. (Ignoring Loony-Toon and common punchlines) That was enough motivation to give it a go. Thankfully, my go-to-guide to food, Alton Brown, had a solid episode on such.

The following is a distilled recipe including what I wish I knew before, and things not covered in the show. The list of Equipment and Ingredients includes suggestions with links to the specific product mentioned, as well as supporting material for those choices where applicable. *cough* America's Test Kitchen *cough* Feel free to ask questions in the comments below or DM's.

Review Summary:

Equipment:

Common:

Less Common/Obscure

Ingredients - Note: These are not listed in order of use

From Alton Brown:
"...The overall quality will never exceed that of the weakest component. So! If your fruit, nuts, or spices aren't quality, it won't matter if you soak the whole cake in Century Old Rémy, it'll still be a door stop."
When able - acquire dried fruit with no added sugar (NAS), this dish is SWEET already!

Dried Fruit:
Dry Goods:
Spices don't 'go bad' but they do become less potent/flavourful. Don't use your parents Cloves from the 90's or similar! Lifespan/Potency-span: Dried ~6 months. Whole 1-2 years:maxbytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/optaboutcomcoeusresourcescontent_migrationserious_eatsseriouseats.comimages201503_spice-life-cheat-sheet-f94d138e2cb84bc5b4c1c225f90f2e7b.jpg) There are a few exceptions like salt and whole Nutmeg.
Liquids:
Other:

Two Cakes worth of prepped Ingredients.

Steps:

1. In Mixing Bowl, combine & mix. No Clusters/Clumps of Dried Fruit/Zest when done. (Suggestion: Mix solids together, move to Airtight Container, then pour Rum over content- less stink/mess/waste)
  1. Start with <3.8oz
  2. Chop into ¼'s
  3. Chop via rotating/pivoting Chefs Knife till pieces are as small as raisins.
  1. Start with <1.6oz
  2. Dice via rotating/pivoting Chef's Knife till pieces are small as raisins.
2. Using Silicone Spatula, move Dried Fruit/Zest & Rum mixture into Airtight Container and macerate overnight at Room Temperature*.* (8+ hours...go get your sleep!)
*NOTE* At this point we're done using the Rasp-Style Microplane - feel free to clean & pack it away.

Macerating Fruit/Zest & Rum Bottle
3. Prep for next day:

Oven Rack Arrangement & Water Dish/Tray


Spray Bottle & Brandy Bottle


Container A

Whole Spices set aside
Container B

Container C & Trays
Next Day:
1. Place 4qt Pot/Saucepan on Stove Top
2. Pour Macerated Fruit/Zest into Pot/Saucepan - scrape with Silicone Spatula to empty
3. In Spice Grinder, grind fine:
4. Add to Pot/Saucepan

What was added to Pot/Saucepan (not all of that apple juice!)
5. Set Stove Top to Medium/High Heat
3. Turn ON the Oven - set to 300°F/148.9°C This is so the Oven is ready to go for the Nut Toasting!
7. Stir Pot/Saucepan with Large Wooden Spoon/Spatula until boiling
8. Set Stove Top to Low Heat & Simmer (Few bubbles appearing on surface)
9. Hold this simmering/heat for 10 minutes.
From Alton Brown:
"...This period is very important for flavour development. You've got, all those spices and all those fruits, and they really need time to develop and mingle. Besides, at this point all the flavour that this cake will ever have, with the exception of the nuts, is in this pot; So don't under develop it."
10. After the 10 minuets, turn off the Stove Top, and remove the Pot/Saucepan from heat
11. Let the Pot/Saucepan & contents cool for no less than 15 minuets
From Alton Brown:
"Why the rest? Well, we've got dry ingredients to add into this. Most of which is flour. Now if flour hits all that hot liquid now, it's just going to gelatinize into a big, kinda, gooey mass. Lumps of coal may be okay as Christmas gifts, but lumps of flour are never fashionable."

If, for any reason, you don't want to finish today/now - this is the place to stop. Let the pot cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. It'll keep for 2-3 days. Just bring it BACK to room temperature before finishing building the batter.

While the Pot/Saucepan is cooling...

12. Spread 4.5oz 1 cup Shelled Pecans onto Jelly Roll/Sheet Pan or Baking Sheet One layer thick and vaguely evenly spaced.
13. Place the Pan/Sheet into the oven on the Middle Rack for 15 minuets
14. Remove the Pan/Sheet from oven & empty nuts into clean Mixing Bowl
15. Set Oven to 325°F/162.8°C
16. Crush the toasted Pecans. Use hand or something flatish and robust. (Can also put into zip lock bag and use a rolling pin)

Back to the Pot/Saucepan...

  1. In as few Stirs as possible mix in: I used 6, 360° Stirs around the internal circumference of the Pot/Saucepan - passing through the center at the end of each stir.
18. When Fully Integrated add 1 Egg. Use as few stirs as possible. I used 3 of the earlier mentioned Stirs. (Entertainingly - the yolk would be all alone after the 1st Stir and have to be 'skewed' with the Wooden Spoon/Spatula)
19. Again, When Fully Integrated add the last 1 Egg. Use as few stirs as possible. Same as last time, 3 Stirs was all that was needed.
20. When Fully Integrated add now Toasted & Crushed Pecans. Use as few stirs as possible. This last addition took 4 Stirs.
21. Grease/Spray 10" Nonstick Loaf Pan
22. Pour Batter from Pot/Saucepan into Loaf Pan

Batter in Loaf Pan
23. Place Loaf Pan into Oven on Middle Rack (Same as where the Pecans were toasted)

Loaf Pan in Oven
24. Bake for 60 minuets or until the Internal Temperature reaches 200°F/93.3°C The first Fruitcake I made, took 1 hour 30 min to reach the stated *Internal Temperature*, the final cake was great, and the top was darker than later cakes. No burning/charring occurred even at 50% more bake time. Avoid opening the door to check.
25. Once the Fruitcake reaches the target Time or Temperature remove the Loaf Pan from the Oven and place on a Cooling Rack.
26. Immediately after, heavily spray/spritz the Top of the Fruitcake with Brandy It will hiss and *steam*, that's ok.
\Note*) The top of the Fruitcake is supposed to be rather flat without any cracks. Mine weren't - the first had a mega-fault-line down the center and so I 'squished' the cakes down flush with the top of the Loaf Pan's rim. I did notice that more stirs did equate to a higher center. Before baking, spreading batter away from the center and to the edges may have helped in reaching a flatter consistency.
27. Allow Fruitcake to fully cool to Room Temperature before removing from Loaf Pan During this time, I elected to continue to Spray/Spritz Brandy onto the Fruitcake Top when it 'dried' out - typically every 30-40 min.
28. Turn out onto surface or Wire/Cooling rack, and stand upright (smallest side of the rectangle at the bottom and top)

Fruitcake turned out
29. Wrap/slide the Cheese Cloth/Bag over the Fruitcake

Fruitcake in Cheesecloth Bag
30. Spray/Spritz all sides of the Fruitcake
31. Place Finished Fruitcake inside the Airtight Container
Completed Fruitcakes in Airtight Containers
32. CLEAN UP! Wipe down the surface neawhere the Spraying/Spritzing occurred.
While the Fruitcake can be served/sliced I suggest using a sharp bread knife and eaten right now, apparently they get better with age and soaking. Specifically 2 weeks. That experiment is still going here - I have 3 Fruitcakes remaining and have been spritzing/spraying as needed.

From now, until the Fruitcake is fully consumed - every 3 days, check if it's 'dry'. If so, spritz all sides with brandy.

Using the suggested Air-Tight Containers, they're exceptionally good at keeping the evaporated alcohol inside of the container, so my Spray/Spritz has been 3-7+ days. Experiment is ongoing...

Fruitcake after 2 weeks

That's It! That's the End!

Well done, and I hope that covers everything you may encounter in this adventure. For sure, this is delicious to my mouth and those whom I've shared it with. I hope it goes well for you as well! As mentioned at the start, any questions, feel free to ask, I'll do my best to answer.

1st slice!
2nd Slice!
Slice glamor shot

F.A.Q. From Comments Below & DM's

"What's the oldest Fruitcake and would you eat some?"
•Apparently, the oldest specimen lives in a small town in Lower Michigan, Tecumseh (?) From 1878. Though I'd risk lead poisoning and go with the one from Robert F. Scott's Arctic exploration ~1910. Specifically - because the Arctic version has been out of the hands and homes of humans. I'm willing to wager no Penguin with Typhoid has shared the same air as with that cake.
"Who have you shared your Fruitcake with?"
•Due to #1, not knowing if I would enjoy it, #2, the Expense vs Quantity produced (seriously could have made 12 gallons of Chili for the same price) I've been very selective. Only after asking "Are you sure you're interested?" and receiving the affirmative:
"If/When you gift this to others, how do you do it?"
•Before delivery, I take a slice, spray with Brandy, wrap in a ½ sheet of Parchment paper, and seal in a Zip-Lock sandwich bag, then immediately deliver it to the intended recipient/post office. With postage and packing of course. The slices mailed have arrived as intended without issue.
Before slicing - I often take a good 30min, and detail the recipe and steps onto a single Index card, give full credit to Alton Brown, and inform those with any potential food allergies.
Before next year, I'm planning on acquiring Mini-Loaf pans and seeing if Miniature Fruitcakes are possible. Downside to that is having to inform the giftee, "Plan on eating this within a few days due to the lack of proper containecheesecloth/regular Brandy Spray/Spritzing".
"Can you convert this all to metric? Why isn't this in metric?"
•Mathematically, yes. While this should be a simple conversion, I know that a stick of unsalted butter measured 112g and not 110g. I don't trust my scales accuracy to know if I was on the heavielighter side of the 0.1oz. The recipe was in Imperial units. Next time around, I will!
"Can you use something other than Cheese Cloth?"
•100%. Though, do yourself the favor, and invest into the proper gear. Cheesecloth can be reused! While I haven't used the following for the storage of a Fruitcake, the individual slices did well wrapped in Parchment paper in a Zip-Lock bag. Other sources site combinations of Plastic/Aluminum wraps, neither which I have tried.
"Is this served hot/cold/toasted/microwaved etc.?"
•I've only had it at room temp, and it's bloody great. In one baking class I've taken, it was stressed that flavors are more pronounced when at room temp/warm. While I'm confident chilled/refrigerated Fruitcake would taste great, I prefer the fridge space. In the Good Eats episode, Alton brown shares that they prefer toasting a slice for breakfast. I haven't tried this, but will in the future.
"How long does a Fruitcake last?"
•See an above response for the oldest, though personally that's part of why I made these Fruitcake. I'm planning on having one survive till next year...at pantry level temps, just to see how it tastes/survives. I'll update any foul experiences including mold or mildew. It gets hot here - so I'm curious how they'll survive. The first Fruitcake here only lasted 3 weeks due to consumption and sharing.
"Outside of the Loaf Pan, how much do these things weigh?"
•The 3 un-sliced Fruitcake I have sitting in the pantry (minus the mass of the air-tight container and cheese cloth) weigh: 4 lbs 10.3oz , 4 lbs 11.0oz, and 4 lbs 10.7oz. This is a dense cake...and I love it for that!
"Is there any reason you chose to pour the Rum over the Dried Fruits/Zest instead of mixing it in the bowl?"
•Yes, mainly because I really don't like the taste or smell of liquoalcohol. The Rum, on initial opening made me gag, and while I did make one batch stirring the fruit I winced while doing so. More importantly I did a side by side comparison, one maceration with stirred Rum, and the other with poured, no difference in flavouconsistency, only in 'how much was left in the mixing bowl'. Less waste happens when pouring straight over the dried fruit/zest as opposed to scraping it out of the mixing bowl. But we're talking about a few drops of Rum and several shreds of zest/candied gingeapricot lost between container transfer.
"There's a difference between what you've said and what's said in the show..."
•Keen observation. In the Episode - Alton states "5-10 min" when talking about the simmer time, while the most recent version of their recipe states a flat "10 min". I went with the more recent/longer time due to the supporting comment focused on letting the flavors 'mingle'.
Also the video/episode is from December 19th, 1999. Not to make readers feel old, that's before G-mail, The Sims, Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Cast Away, etc. existed. More importantly - the video suggest checking the internal 'done-ness' with a tooth pick, which does still "work". The modern baking approach is to use an Instant Read Thermometer.
"Is it 'Fruit Cake' or 'Fruitcake'?"
•Apparently either is fine?
"Couldn't you toast the Pecans while the Pot is coming to a boil?"
•Sure can, and I did when doing 2x batches in a single go. Manage your time, and only 'multi-task' what you're comfortable in...toasting pecans burn really quick! I put the toasting at the cool down as that helps pass the required time.
"Would flavoured Brandy add more to the Fruitcake?"
•It may, I have no clue. Currently I have a Cherry Brandy Tincture in the works (5lbs Cherry with that 1.75L of E&J VS). I'll let you know if I notice a difference in flavour. I doubt it, but here's hoping!
submitted by GooberDaSlime to bakingrecipes [link] [comments]


2023.01.28 23:04 FrugalFairyGodmother Ontario Grocery Deals - Week of Jan 26 to Feb 2

Sorry this post is to late! I’ve been super busy this week and just managed to get this thrown together. Hopefully it helps if you haven’t already done your weekly shopping!
This week Loblaws owned stores are having Points Days, which typically mean that prices are raised just enough so you won’t notice, but you think you’re getting a good deal because you’re earning points for future purchases. BUT if you price match, coupon and take advantage of cashback rebates, you can save money, earn points AND end up with some money made at the end.
My list will focus primarily on points deals at No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore this week, because they price match. There are some good points offers at Loblaws, Independent, Zehrs and Valu-Mart as well as Shopper’s Drugmart, but since those stores don’t price match, it’s not quite as easy to save.
You can find deals, links to referrals with sign up incentives, coupons, tips, and recipes on my Instagram (www.instagram.com/frugalfairygodmother). I try to post new content every day. If you’re interested, Flashfood has upped their sign-up referral bonus to 5$ when you use my code and spend 10$ on the app.

Best Deals of the Week

Money Maker Activia! This week, No Frills has Activia yogurt smoothies on sale for 1.29$, this isn’t the best price, but there are 3$ off when you buy 3 tear pad coupons available in stores. I found them at Sobey’s next to their Activia Smoothies. No Frills is offering 6000 PC Optimum points (6$ value) when you spend 12$ on Activia, Oikos, Liberte, Danone, Yoplait or Silk yogurt. Buy 12, use 4 coupons and you will make 51¢ profit after taxes and points earned.
36¢-55¢ Berries: All Loblaws chains have a buy any 3 strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries, and get 4000 PC Optimum points (4$ value). At No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore, you can price match blueberries (½ pints) price at Food Basics for 1.88$ or blackberries (½ pint) at Freshco for 1.69$. After points earned, they work out to 36¢-55¢.
39¢ Degree Antiperspirant: Real Canadian Superstore has a points offer for 6000 PC Optimum points (6$ value) for every 15$ spent on Axe, Degree, St Ives, and/or Vaseline. There are loadable instant coupons for Axe and Vaseline. Link via Instagram. Buy 4 Degree 72 Hour antiperspirants and price match Loblaws, Independent, or Zehrs price of 3.88$. Submit the receipt to CheckOut51 for 1.50$ cashback on each.
1$ Frozen Fries and Breakfast Potatoes: Cavendish Premium Fries are on sale this week at Walmart 2/6$. There are 2$ off printable coupons available. Link via Instagram.
1.24$ Orange Juice: Tropicana is on sale at No Frills for 2.99$ this week. For every 10$ spent on Tropicana, or Pure Leaf iced tea, get 3000 PC Optimum points (3$ value). There are 1$ off Tropicana tear pad coupons floating around. Buy 4 bottles of juice, use 4 coupons and get them for 1.24$ each after points earned.
3.73$ Paper Towels: This week Shopper’s Drugmart has Royale Tiger towels on sale for 6.99$ as part of their 2 day only, weekend sale. Buy 3 and use 3 x 1.50$ off coupons, some packages in store will have these on them already, or you can print them. Link via Instagram. For every 20$ spent on Tiger Towels you will get 8000 PC Optimum points (8$ value). After tax, coupons and points, they work out to 3.73$ each. I have a personal offer of 1000 points (1$ value) for every 5$ spent, so I’m going to definitely pick these up this weekend. There is also a Shopper’s Drugmart specific offer of either 20000 or 30000 points (20$-30$ value) when you spend 60$, but I’m not sure that this will work with the 8000 point offer. Try at your own discretion.
Farm Boy
1.99$ Broccoli
1.99$ Spinach bunches
Food Basics
1.99$ Cheez It crackers. Use 1$ printable coupon or Websaver cashback. Link via Instagram.
1.88$ Blueberries 1/2 pint. 25¢ cashback from Eclipsa.
1.88$/lb Nectarines
99¢ Campbell’s soup. This is a STOCK UP price.
2.99$ Liberte Mediterranee yogurt. There’s a 1$ off tear pad coupon that’s expiring at the end of the month you can use. 1.98$ Carrots or Onions 2lbs
1.98$ Broccoli crowns
2.98$ Micro greens or grape tomatoes pint
7.99$ Mix and match 3 Villagio, Dempsters, bread, tortillas or bagels and Hostess snack cakes. There’s 1$ off printable coupons for Villagio Artesano bread and 2$ off Dempster’s bagels to save even more. Link via Instagram.
5.79$ Cheestrings 16 count. There’s a 1.50$ tear pad coupon available in most stores.
Foodland
Buy 100$ Foodland gift card and get 500 Scene+ points (5$ value). If you regularly do your groceries at Foodland, this is a good way to earn some points for money you’re already spending.
2.49$ Carrots or onions 2lbs, when you buy 2 or more
2.99$ Activia tubs. There are buy 3, get 3$ tear pad coupons or there is a 75¢ cashback rebate on CheckOut51.
2.99$ Grape tomatoes pint. Buy 2 and get 100 Scene+ points (1$ value).
3.99$ Brunbrae Naturegg Simply Egg Whites. Buy 2 and get 100 Scene+ points (1$ value) and claim 50¢ cashback for each from CheckOut51.
Subscribe to their email and get 5$ off your next purchase of 40$ or more
Fortinos
1.99$ Broccoli
2.99$ Country Harvest bread. Buy 2 and get 2000 PC Optimum points (2$ value).
4.49$/18 Eggs
Freshco
*Spend 50$ or more in store and get 500 Scene+ points (5$ value). This offer must be loaded in the Freshco app or at mygroceryoffers.ca
1.49$ Iceberg lettuce (Scene+ member price)
4.49$ Black Diamond cheese blocks and shreds. There are buy 2 get 3$ off tear pad coupons.
1.69$ Blackberries
2.49$ Carrots or onions 3lbs 1.99$ Spinach bunches
2.99$ Activia yogurt tubs. There are 3$ off when you buy 3 tear pad coupons or 75¢ cashback rebates from CheckOut51
9.99$/12 Kraft Dinner
Giant Tiger
3.99$ Cashmere toilet paper
5$ Ground beef 750g, which if my math is correct works out to 2.99$/lb. STOCK UP on this if you can.
Metro
13.99$ Cascade Platinum Plus 30 count. 5$ cashback rebate from CheckOut51.
2.99$ Romaine 3 pack
1.99$ Broccoli
No Frills
99¢/lb Red Prince Apples
1.50$ PC Kettle chips (PC Optimum member price)
2.99$ PC Chocolate covered fruit and nuts (Member price)
1.99$/lb Roma tomatoes
2.99$ Potatoes or onions 10lbs
1.99$ Leaf lettuce
99¢ Mangoes. 25¢ cashback from Eclipsa.
2.99$ Grape tomatoes
4000 PC Optimum points when you buy any 4 (avocados bagged, broccoli crowns, oranges 4lb bag, potatoes 5lb bag). Price match Fortinos, Metro, Farm Boy, or Metro’s price of 1.99$ and get them for 1/2 price after points earned. 25¢ cashback from Eclipsa for Avocados.
1.89$ Quaker snack bars. Get 500 PC Optimum points (50¢ value) for each. There are also 1$ off when you buy 2 printable coupons from TastyRewards.ca which would make boxes 89¢ each after points earned.
3.69$ Ruffles. Price match Freshco’s member price of 2.49$ (if your store will do it) and get 1000 PC Optimum points (1$ value). Making them 1.49$ after points earned.
1.99$ Mushrooms 227g
Real Canadian Superstore
2.99$ PC Chocolate covered fruit and nuts (Member price)
1.99$/lb Chicken drums
2.49$ Potatoes 10lbs
2.88$ Mandarin Oranges 1.5lbs
1.99$ PC Frozen veggies. This is a STOCK UP price!
1.50$ PC Kettle chips (PC Optimum member price)
7.99$ Gerber Soothe N Chews or Powerblend. For every 10$ spent on Gerber products get 4000 PC Optimum points (4$ value). Buy 2 different flavours of Power Blend (RCSS has them listed as powerblend if you search the app) and one Soothe N Chew. Claim 4.10$ for each of the Power Blend and 3.90$ for the Soothe N Chew on Caddle. Link via Instagram. You will get all three for 7.87$ after points and rebates.
Rexall
5$/2 Dempster’s bread (Until Jan 29)
3.29$/12 Eggs (Until Jan 29)
T&T
3.98$ Strawberries
1.68$/lb Broccoli
Shopper’s Drugmart
2.49$ Wonder Bread (Saturday/Sunday only). Use a printable buy one, get one free coupon from Websaver. Link via Instagram. 25¢ cashback rebate from Websaver if you haven’t claimed it this month.
3.29$/12 Eggs. (Saturday/Sunday only). 25¢ cashback rebate from Websaver if you haven’t claimed it this month.
4.69$ No Name Butter (Saturday/Sunday only).
2.29$ Christie Cookies or Crackers (Saturday/Sunday only). Buy three and submit the receipt to the Snack-tion contest for a chance to win a home theatre system. There are also weekly prizes of free product coupons. I’ve submitted two receipts so far and both times I've won a free product coupon.
Sobey’s
Spend 125$ or more and scan the barcode in the flyer to get a 10$ gift card.
4.47$ Armstrong cheese blocks or shreds. There’s a 1$ off tear pad coupon for the shreds.
2.33$ Christie Cookies or Crackers. Buy three and submit the receipt to the Snack-tion contest for a chance to win a home theatre system. There are also weekly prizes of free product coupons. I’ve submitted two receipts so far and both times I've won a free product coupon.
2.99$ Blueberries pint. 25¢ cashback from Eclipsa.
5$/2 Musrooms 227g
T&T
8.98$ Fresh whole chicken
1.68$/lb Broccoli crowns. 25¢ cashback from Eclipsa.
Walmart
1.97$/lb Whole chicken
1.84$/3 Peppers. 25¢ cashback from Eclipsa.
97¢ Clover Leaf Tuna or Brunswick Sardines. 25¢ cashback from Eclipsa for Tuna.
1.88$ Yoplait Tubes or Minigo
7$/3 which works out to 2.33$ each for Christie Crackers. Buy three and submit the receipt to the Snack-tion contest for a chance to win a home theatre system. There are also weekly prizes of free product coupons. I’ve submitted two receipts so far and both times I've won a free product coupon.
1.96$ Dawn Dishsoap
2.97$ Garnier Fructis Shampoo and Conditioner
Zehrs/Loblaws/Independant/Valu-Mart
2.99$ McCain frozen potatoes. Buy 2 and get 2000 PC Optimum points (2$ value). If you have any 1.50$ off McCain coupons that were mailed out last year, use them for more savings.
3.99$/lb Bone-in, skinless chicken breast. Save the bones for stock!
6$/2 Blueberries pint. 25¢ cashback from Eclipsa.
6.99$ Olive Oil 1L
2.99$ Tomatoes on a vine
1.50$ PC Kettle chips (PC Optimum member price)
2.99$ PC Chocolate covered fruit and nuts (Member price)
1.99$ PC Frozen Veggies (Member price)

Easy Cashback Offers:

Eclipsa app (https://www.eclipsa.com) cashback 25¢ for each of the following items (limit of 1):
  • Blueberries
  • Peppers
  • Avocados
  • Milk
  • Hummus
  • Mangoes
  • Milk
  • Tuna/Salmon
  • Evive Smoothie cubes
  • Genuine Health supplements
Websaver.ca cashback of 25¢ for each of the following items (limit of 1) if you haven’t already claimed them this month:
  • Peanut butter
  • Toothpaste
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Carrots
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bread
  • Coffee
  • Ketchup
  • Eggs
Upload your grocery receipts to Caddle for 10¢ cashback. Link via Instagram.
Did I mention CheckOut51 has rebates on beer and wine? (https://www.checkout51.com/)
Extra savings on food can be found by using the Flashfood app, which sells near expiry groceries for large discounts. This week, I got a large jar of Renee’s caesar dressing for 3$!

Coupon Freebies and Gift Card Offers

New Year, New Coupons! Many companies will send coupons for free products once per year as long as you make a polite request. Chapman’s Ice Cream always has a 4$ coupons they will send out, Henkel which manufactures Purex, Persil, and Snuggle will send out a free product coupon if you ask nicely on their website, I asked Aveeno nicely and they’re sending me one too. Try your luck by contacting your favorite brands, tell them why you use their products and ask nicely for a coupon. You might get lucky!
Circle K is running a driving game that you can play daily to earn entries for free gas as well as daily prizes like free snacks, drinks, car washes and discounts on fuel. It’s kind of fun TBH.
There’s another contest run through Danone that you can enter daily with no purchase needed. Link via Instagram. The prize is free groceries for a year and it takes 2 minutes to enter.
Free pet treats are currently on offer from Hartz. Link via Instagram.
Free Hellman’s Spicy Mayo sample. Link via Instagram.
Free Dry Shampoo coupon or a cheque. If you haven’t already, you can request a free product coupon for Unilever dry shampoo or a cheque for compensation from a recall on their products. You don’t have to show any proof of purchase to get this. I got a 15$ cheque before the holidays, I think it was 15$, it might have been 10$ but either way it was a nice little bonus of income. Link via Instagram.
There’s a bunch more cosmetics samples, period product samples, and other random personal care samples available to request. Too many to list. Links via the Linktree in my Instagram bio.

Price match tips:

  • Most stores won't price match Rexall or Shoppers Drugmart or Canadian Tire.
  • Loblaws owned stores limit price matching to 4 items per UPC. Different flavours will have different UPCs. Some stores won’t honor this, but it’s always worth a try.
  • Showing a virtual flyer like the Flipp app links included in this post is sufficient for price matching. You don't need to find a physical flyer.
  • Download the Flipp app and long press the price matches to "clip" them. You can find these clippings in the Lists section for easy reference at checkout.
  • Not all stores will price match every store. Each store will determine their own local competition. They should have this info posted somewhere or ask at the cash and they can tell you.

Frugal Tip of the Week:

Sometimes it pays to buy multiples of an item to get a discount. It’s hard for a lot of people to fit multi buys in their grocery budget or have room for them to store. We have a century home with basically zero storage, so that is me 100. I have started reselling extra stock up items for a small profit. It’s a bit of a grind with a lot of people ghosting after initially showing interest. My suggestion is that you connect with friends or family and split these deals so it shares the cost and the shelf space. Otherwise, try posting your extras in local groups on social media for a slight profit. As an example, I’d sell the Royale Tiger Towels for 5$ per package and make a small profit. I’d rather have them sell quickly than hold on to things that I have to store.
submitted by FrugalFairyGodmother to ontario [link] [comments]


2023.01.28 22:31 GooberDaSlime Fruitcake - Detailed Equipment/Ingredients/Process & Notes (Alton Brown's 'Good Eats: Season 2 Episode 1: "It's a Wonderful Cake")

This guide is designed for people who know nothing about baking/cooking and is detailed with links to specific items to help better communicate what is being used.

Image: The Finished Cake, 1st slices.
I'd never made, smelled, or seen Fruitcake. (Ignoring Loony-Toon and common punchlines) That was enough motivation to give it a go. Thankfully, my go-to-guide to food, Alton Brown, had a solid episode on such.

The following is a distilled recipe including what I wish I knew before, and things not covered in the show. The list of Equipment and Ingredients includes suggestions with links to the specific product mentioned, as well as supporting material for those choices where applicable. *cough* America's Test Kitchen *cough* Feel free to ask questions in the comments below or DM's.

Review Summary:

Equipment:

Common:

Less Common/Obscure

Ingredients - Note: These are not listed in order of use

From Alton Brown:
"...The overall quality will never exceed that of the weakest component. So! If your fruit, nuts, or spices aren't quality, it won't matter if you soak the whole cake in Century Old Rémy, it'll still be a door stop."
When able - acquire dried fruit with no added sugar (NAS), this dish is SWEET already!

Dried Fruit:
Dry Goods:
Spices don't 'go bad' but they do become less potent/flavourful. Don't use your parents Cloves from the 90's or similar! Lifespan/Potency-span: Dried ~6 months. Whole 1-2 years:maxbytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/optaboutcomcoeusresourcescontent_migrationserious_eatsseriouseats.comimages201503_spice-life-cheat-sheet-f94d138e2cb84bc5b4c1c225f90f2e7b.jpg) There are a few exceptions like salt and whole Nutmeg.
Liquids:
Other:
Image: Two Cakes worth of prepped Ingredients.

Steps:

1. In Mixing Bowl, combine & mix. No Clusters/Clumps of Dried Fruit/Zest when done. (Suggestion: Mix solids together, move to Airtight Container, then pour Rum over content- less stink/mess/waste)
  1. Start with <3.8oz
  2. Chop into ¼'s
  3. Chop via rotating/pivoting Chefs Knife till pieces are as small as raisins.
  1. Start with <1.6oz
  2. Dice via rotating/pivoting Chef's Knife till pieces are small as raisins.
2. Using Silicone Spatula, move Dried Fruit/Zest & Rum mixture into Airtight Container and macerate overnight at Room Temperature*.* (8+ hours...go get your sleep!)
*NOTE* At this point we're done using the Rasp-Style Microplane - feel free to clean & pack it away.
Image: Macerating Fruit/Zest & Rum Bottle
3. Prep for next day:
Image: Oven Rack Arrangement & Water Dish/Tray.

Image: Spray Bottle & Brandy Bottle.

Image: Container A.
Image: Whole Spices set aside.
Image: Container B.

Image: Container C & Trays.
Next Day:
1. Place 4qt Pot/Saucepan on Stove Top
2. Pour Macerated Fruit/Zest into Pot/Saucepan - scrape with Silicone Spatula to empty
3. In Spice Grinder, grind fine:
4. Add to Pot/Saucepan
Image: What was added to Pot/Saucepan (not all of that apple juice!).
5. Set Stove Top to Medium/High Heat
3. Turn ON the Oven - set to 300°F/148.9°C This is so the Oven is ready to go for the Nut Toasting!
7. Stir Pot/Saucepan with Large Wooden Spoon/Spatula until boiling
8. Set Stove Top to Low Heat & Simmer (Few bubbles appearing on surface)
9. Hold this simmering/heat for 10 minutes.
From Alton Brown:
"...This period is very important for flavour development. You've got, all those spices and all those fruits, and they really need time to develop and mingle. Besides, at this point all the flavour that this cake will ever have, with the exception of the nuts, is in this pot; So don't under develop it."
10. After the 10 minuets, turn off the Stove Top, and remove the Pot/Saucepan from heat
11. Let the Pot/Saucepan & contents cool for no less than 15 minuets
From Alton Brown:
"Why the rest? Well, we've got dry ingredients to add into this. Most of which is flour. Now if flour hits all that hot liquid now, it's just going to gelatinize into a big, kinda, gooey mass. Lumps of coal may be okay as Christmas gifts, but lumps of flour are never fashionable."

If, for any reason, you don't want to finish today/now - this is the place to stop. Let the pot cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. It'll keep for 2-3 days. Just bring it BACK to room temperature before finishing building the batter.

While the Pot/Saucepan is cooling...

12. Spread 4.5oz 1 cup Shelled Pecans onto Jelly Roll/Sheet Pan or Baking Sheet One layer thick and vaguely evenly spaced.
13. Place the Pan/Sheet into the oven on the Middle Rack for 15 minuets
14. Remove the Pan/Sheet from oven & empty nuts into clean Mixing Bowl
15. Set Oven to 325°F/162.8°C
16. Crush the toasted Pecans. Use hand or something flatish and robust. (Can also put into zip lock bag and use a rolling pin\***)*

Back to the Pot/Saucepan...

  1. In as few Stirs as possible mix in: I used 6, 360° Stirs around the internal circumference of the Pot/Saucepan - passing through the center at the end of each stir.
18. When Fully Integrated add 1 Egg. Use as few stirs as possible. I used 3 of the earlier mentioned Stirs. (Entertainingly - the yolk would be all alone after the 1st Stir and have to be 'skewed' with the Wooden Spoon/Spatula\*******)*
19. Again, When Fully Integrated add the last 1 Egg. Use as few stirs as possible. Same as last time, 3 Stirs was all that was needed.
20. When Fully Integrated add now Toasted & Crushed Pecans. Use as few stirs as possible. This last addition took 4 Stirs.
21. Grease/Spray 10" Nonstick Loaf Pan
22. Pour Batter from Pot/Saucepan into Loaf Pan

Image: Batter in Loaf Pan.

23. Place Loaf Pan into Oven on Middle Rack (Same as where the Pecans were toasted)

Image: Loaf Pan in oven.

24. Bake for 60 minuets or until the Internal Temperature reaches 200°F/93.3°C The first Fruitcake I made, took 1 hour 30 min to reach the stated *Internal Temperature*, the final cake was great, and the top was darker than later cakes. No burning/charring occurred even at 50% more bake time. Avoid opening the door to check.
25. Once the Fruitcake reaches the target Time or Temperature remove the Loaf Pan from the Oven and place on a Cooling Rack.
26. Immediately after, heavily spray/spritz the Top of the Fruitcake with Brandy It will hiss and *steam*, that's ok.
\Note*) The top of the Fruitcake is supposed to be rather flat without any cracks. Mine weren't - the first had a mega-fault-line down the center and so I 'squished' the cakes down flush with the top of the Loaf Pan's rim. I did notice that more stirs did equate to a higher center. Before baking, spreading batter away from the center and to the edges may have helped in reaching a flatter consistency.
27. Allow Fruitcake to fully cool to Room Temperature before removing from Loaf Pan During this time, I elected to continue to Spray/Spritz Brandy onto the Fruitcake Top when it 'dried' out - typically every 30-40 min.
28. Turn out onto surface or Wire/Cooling rack, and stand upright (smallest side of the rectangle at the bottom and top)

Image: Fruitcake Turned Out.

29. Wrap/slide the Cheese Cloth/Bag over the Fruitcake

Image: Fruitcake in Cheesecloth Bag/

30. Spray/Spritz all sides of the Fruitcake
31. Place Finished Fruitcake inside the Airtight Container

Image: Completed Fruitcakes in Airtight Containers.

32. CLEAN UP! Wipe down the surface neawhere the Spraying/Spritzing occurred.
While the Fruitcake can be served/sliced I suggest using a sharp bread knife and eaten right now, apparently they get better with age and soaking. Specifically 2 weeks. That experiment is still going here - I have 3 Fruitcakes remaining and have been spritzing/spraying as needed.

From now, until the Fruitcake is fully consumed - every 3 days, check if it's 'dry'. If so, spritz all sides with brandy.

Using the suggested Air-Tight Containers, they're exceptionally good at keeping the evaporated alcohol inside of the container, so my Spray/Spritz has been 3-7+ days. Experiment is ongoing...
Image: Fruitcake after 2 weeks.

That's It! That's the End!

Well done, and I hope that covers everything you may encounter in this adventure. For sure, this is delicious to my mouth and those whom I've shared it with. I hope it goes well for you as well! As mentioned at the start, any questions, feel free to ask, I'll do my best to answer.
Image: Glamor Shots 1, 2, 3.

F.A.Q. From Comments Below & DM's

"What's the oldest Fruitcake and would you eat some?"
•Apparently, the oldest specimen lives in a small town in Lower Michigan, Tecumseh (?) From 1878. Though I'd risk lead poisoning and go with the one from Robert F. Scott's Arctic exploration ~1910. Specifically - because the Arctic version has been out of the hands and homes of humans. I'm willing to wager no Penguin with Typhoid has shared the same air as with that cake.
"Who have you shared your Fruitcake with?"
•Due to #1, not knowing if I would enjoy it, #2, the Expense vs Quantity produced (seriously could have made 12 gallons of Chili for the same price) I've been very selective. Only after asking "Are you sure you're interested?" and receiving the affirmative:
"If/When you gift this to others, how do you do it?"
•Before delivery, I take a slice, spray with Brandy, wrap in a ½ sheet of Parchment paper, and seal in a Zip-Lock sandwich bag, then immediately deliver it to the intended recipient/post office. With postage and packing of course. The slices mailed have arrived as intended without issue.
Before slicing - I often take a good 30min, and detail the recipe and steps onto a single Index card, give full credit to Alton Brown, and inform those with any potential food allergies.
Before next year, I'm planning on acquiring Mini-Loaf pans and seeing if Miniature Fruitcakes are possible. Downside to that is having to inform the giftee, "Plan on eating this within a few days due to the lack of proper containecheesecloth/regular Brandy Spray/Spritzing".
"Can you convert this all to metric? Why isn't this in metric?"
•Mathematically, yes. While this should be a simple conversion, I know that a stick of unsalted butter measured 112g and not 110g. I don't trust my scales accuracy to know if I was on the heavielighter side of the 0.1oz. The recipe was in Imperial units. Next time around, I will!
"Can you use something other than Cheese Cloth?"
•100%. Though, do yourself the favor, and invest into the proper gear. Cheesecloth can be reused! While I haven't used the following for the storage of a Fruitcake, the individual slices did well wrapped in Parchment paper in a Zip-Lock bag. Other sources site combinations of Plastic/Aluminum wraps, neither which I have tried.
"Is this served hot/cold/toasted/microwaved etc.?"
•I've only had it at room temp, and it's bloody great. In one baking class I've taken, it was stressed that flavors are more pronounced when at room temp/warm. While I'm confident chilled/refrigerated Fruitcake would taste great, I prefer the fridge space. In the Good Eats episode, Alton brown shares that they prefer toasting a slice for breakfast. I haven't tried this, but will in the future.
"How long does a Fruitcake last?"
•See an above response for the oldest, though personally that's part of why I made these Fruitcake. I'm planning on having one survive till next year...at pantry level temps, just to see how it tastes/survives. I'll update any foul experiences including mold or mildew. It gets hot here - so I'm curious how they'll survive. The first Fruitcake here only lasted 3 weeks due to consumption and sharing.
"Outside of the Loaf Pan, how much do these things weigh?"
•The 3 un-sliced Fruitcake I have sitting in the pantry (minus the mass of the air-tight container and cheese cloth) weigh: 4 lbs 10.3oz , 4 lbs 11.0oz, and 4 lbs 10.7oz. This is a dense cake...and I love it for that!
"Is there any reason you chose to pour the Rum over the Dried Fruits/Zest instead of mixing it in the bowl?"
•Yes, mainly because I really don't like the taste or smell of liquoalcohol. The Rum, on initial opening made me gag, and while I did make one batch stirring the fruit I winced while doing so. More importantly I did a side by side comparison, one maceration with stirred Rum, and the other with poured, no difference in flavouconsistency, only in 'how much was left in the mixing bowl'. Less waste happens when pouring straight over the dried fruit/zest as opposed to scraping it out of the mixing bowl. But we're talking about a few drops of Rum and several shreds of zest/candied gingeapricot lost between container transfer.
"There's a difference between what you've said and what's said in the show..."
•Keen observation. In the Episode - Alton states "5-10 min" when talking about the simmer time, while the most recent version of their recipe states a flat "10 min". I went with the more recent/longer time due to the supporting comment focused on letting the flavors 'mingle'.
Also the video/episode is from December 19th, 1999. Not to make readers feel old, that's before G-mail, The Sims, Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Cast Away, etc. existed. More importantly - the video suggest checking the internal 'done-ness' with a tooth pick, which does still "work". The modern baking approach is to use an Instant Read Thermometer.
"Is it 'Fruit Cake' or 'Fruitcake'?"
•Apparently either is fine?
"Couldn't you toast the Pecans while the Pot is coming to a boil?"
•Sure can, and I did when doing 2x batches in a single go. Manage your time, and only 'multi-task' what you're comfortable in...toasting pecans burn really quick! I put the toasting at the cool down as that helps pass the required time.
"Would flavoured Brandy add more to the Fruitcake?"
•It may, I have no clue. Currently I have a Cherry Brandy Tincture in the works (5lbs Cherry with that 1.75L of E&J VS). I'll let you know if I notice a difference in flavour. I doubt it, but here's hoping!
submitted by GooberDaSlime to Cooking [link] [comments]


2023.01.28 21:26 CaffeineFueledLife AITA for Always Ordering Cakes With Whipped Icing?

It has recently come to my attention that a few members of my husband's family are annoyed with the cakes I buy for the kids' birthdays.
I order them from Hyvee because I think their cakes taste much better than Walmart's. Those are the only options in our town unless I make them myself and I couldn't decorate a cake to save my life. The kids choose their cakes and choose chocolate or vanilla. Hyvee has whipped icing and buttercream icing. The kids don't care. They love all icing. I prefer whipped. I am aware that 2 members of my husband's family prefer buttercream.
I always order whipped icing. These two family members were complaining about this to my husband. One kid's birthday is right after Christmas and one kid's is in the middle of January. So we're getting 2 cakes in 2 weeks this time of year. They wanted him to tell me to get buttercream icing on our third child's cake at the end of May. I refused. They think I'm being an asshole because I won't accommodate their icing preferences.
My husband doesn't care what type of icing we get. We are the ones paying for the cakes. And we are the ones eating most of them. Ok, let's be honest, I'M eating most of them. The 2 youngest kids pretty much just want to eat the icing and leave the cake, which I eat because I don't want it to go to waste. They usually get a piece of cake and ice cream every evening until the cake is gone.
I love cake. Who doesn't? I end up having some after dinner and then a lot of times, before bed. Cakes are only soft and moist for maybe a week and then they start getting stale and I don't want to throw out half a cake and I'm not going to let the kids have tons because I'd rather not give them diabetes. Also, they're kids - if I let them, they would survive on cake frosting.
The 2 relatives will each have a piece at the kids' parties. One of them will take a few pieces home with her.
The way I see it - we're paying for the cake and eating the majority of it. I'm the only one in our household with an icing preference, but most of the cake is still being eaten by us. I end up eating more of it than the 2 relatives combined. If they want the other kind of icing, nothing is stopping them from taking the kids to pick out their cakes and paying themselves. So, AITA for not taking their icing preference into consideration?
submitted by CaffeineFueledLife to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]


2023.01.28 19:27 wonderfulwindchimes Saturday’s Lunch - 1/28

Cynthia was now mostly adjusted to camp life, and decided to sign up to do a meal. Why not? It’d be fun and would make the opportunity to show the campers her favorite foods. She made a list of foods from Rhode Island, her home state, to cook. She got up Saturday morning, around 7:00, to give her enough time. She grabbed an apron she brought, pulled her hair into a ponytail, and went straight to the kitchen. A few hours later, all the food was ready, right on time! There was a selection of:
Pizza Strips
Garlic Bread
Shredded Cheese (for the pizza strips or just to eat)
Trail Mix (Vegan Option 1)
Hummus and Pita Bread (Vegan Option 2)
Clam Cakes
Drinks:
Water (duh)
Soft Drinks
Lemonade
Cynthia took a few pizza strips, a piece of garlic bread, some clam cakes, and some lemonade on a tray, and went to sit down at the Iris table, tired but proud of herself.
submitted by wonderfulwindchimes to CampHalfBloodRP [link] [comments]


2023.01.27 14:10 SpringGame This deli computer cake

This deli computer cake submitted by SpringGame to oddlyterrifying [link] [comments]


2023.01.27 06:01 Federal_Refuse_3674 Where to buy cheap puffed grains in the USA?

I'm looking for puffed rice, kamut, oats or any other puffed low calorie high volume grains (rice/corn cakes are also good). In Europe I buy them cheap everywhere, but over here (currently I live in California) they are so overpriced. I've checked online as well (Amazon, Walmart etc) but I haven't found anything useful yet, perhaps only if I order in bulk or pay quite a lot for shipping. Where do you usually buy puffed grains?
submitted by Federal_Refuse_3674 to Volumeeating [link] [comments]


2023.01.26 04:19 Kit-Karlsson [HR] Never Throw Pennies Into Strange Fountains

This happened last year.
About five days each week, I walk to my favorite coffee shop and order an iced latte, regardless of the weather. I take the same path - wait for the slowest traffic light in the world, cross the street, cross another street, walk about a mile, walk through a park, then take the shortcut behind the Hampton Inn to get to the shop. The coffee is heavenly, and I sit in the same seat by the window every time I go, then I take the same path home.
One Saturday morning, however, something had changed.
There was a fountain in the middle of the park. Normally this wouldn’t be strange, but up until that day the park had only been a grassy rectangle like a sports field for people to play frisbee and football. Curious, I walked directly to the fountain instead of following the sidewalk around the park’s edge like I usually did. Without thinking, I fished a penny out of my pocket and threw it to the fountain’s center - an old habit from childhood - before an odd feeling crept over me.
Though I’m not from here, I had lived in the city about three years before this happened, and I’d walked by this exact spot often enough to know something was wrong. It was a nice day, and a weekend, but there were no people out walking their dogs and no children playing. Given that half a million people live within a few miles of here, this park was usually crowded. And the fountain itself was wrong, too - cities install fountains all the time, but this one was old, but not old enough to be nice. I guessed it was from the 80s. Rust leaked through its concrete, leaving brown stains, and many pennies within it were caked with blue. Dried leaves sat on the fountain’s surface, despite the fact it was late spring and all the trees were green. I stuck a finger in the water. It was cold.
I shouldn’t have touched it. I didn’t know how it wasn’t frozen, being that cold, but then I noticed the first signs of ice creeping around the dried leaves, delicate crystals that shouldn’t have been there. I pulled away from the fountain, deciding the city had simply moved one of its older fountains to this location, and made my way to the coffee shop.
I only saw two people during my journey the rest of the way, which was about a half mile. Again, this was weird, because this is a densely populated area. I arrived at the coffee shop, which usually had three or four baristas working, but there was only one. She was one of their only full-time employees, so I knew her by name.
“Hi Sarah,” I said.
She smiled. She always made an effort to be nice to regulars. “The usual?” she asked.
I nodded. “The usual.”
The coffee shop had a small bar by the cash register, and I sat there so she could just hand me the latte directly when she was done making it. I opened my phone and checked my social media, surprised I had no notifications on Twitter or Reddit.
Sarah stood across the bar from me and held out the iced latte. “I don’t know how you aren’t freezing without a coat.”
“What do you mean?” I took the latte in one hand and looked outside. It was still a bright spring day.
“With the storm coming,” Sarah said. “The temperature’s dropping.”
“Really?” I asked. I hadn’t heard about a storm coming. I tried to look up the weather forecast, but it wouldn’t load. I didn’t have signal - that made sense. I turned off wifi and tried again on data, without luck. “Do you have any reception?” I asked Sarah.
She patted at her pockets for a moment and shrugged. “Must have left my phone in the back, sorry.”
“Thanks anyway,” I said. I took a sip of my iced latte, then pulled my head back in shock. It wasn’t my usual at all - it was an iced chai tea latte.
“Ah,” I said. “I think you made me the wrong thing. I’ll drink it, so no worries, but usually I just get the, uh, coffee kind of latte.”
Sarah cocked her head to the side. “You’ve come here almost every day for the past ten years and ordered an iced chai latte. I even ordered you that fancy chai from India six months ago.”
Ten years? Ordered fancy chai from India? I shook my head, confused. I’d only lived here for under three years, and could count on one hand the number of times I’d drank an iced chai latte. Sarah must have mixed me up with someone else.
“What’s my name?” I asked after a moment.
She said my name, then added, “only one S.”
That was wrong. I spelled my name with two. Fearing I’d lost my mind, I pulled my drivers license out of my phone case, where I kept it. What do you know - only one S. My mind raced back to that weird fountain.
“Did you see that new fountain in Victory Park?” I asked.
Sarah, who was drying glasses with a rag, paused. “Oh yeah. Threw a penny in it yesterday on my way here. It’s kind of ugly, don’t you think?”
“Very.” I thanked her, got up, pushed my chair in, and left. She was right about the storm. The air outside was freezing now. It might have been bearable without the wind, but all I had was a t-shirt and jeans and the wind blew right through them. It was an aching cold, the kind you feel in your bones. I thought about going back into the coffee shop, or getting an uber, but getting home would only take me a few minutes if I ran. Plus, I still didn’t have signal, so getting an uber was not an option. There was not a single car on the road.
By the time I reached the fountain again, my muscles cramped from the cold and I had to slow down. Snow began to fall around me. My fingers were numb, my toes were numb, and even thinking had grown difficult. None of this made any sense. By the time I reached the fountain, I could barely walk. I dropped to my knees, arms wrapped around the fountain’s lip to support myself.
This was bad.
I was dying.
I was freezing to death in the middle of May.
Only, it wasn’t May anymore, it couldn’t be. The fountain had frozen over completely, even the parts that were supposed to have moving water, so I knew it had to be brutally cold. I tried to trace my steps back to how this all started as my thoughts grew increasingly fragmented and panicked. I couldn’t make it to any of the storefronts, though I had a feeling that if I did, the doors would be locked. A darkness spread across the sky, and not a single light was on in any of them.
This all started when I threw that penny into the fountain. Sarah said she had thrown in a penny, too. When we did that, we must have triggered something, or maybe been thrown into another dimension. What a stupid thing to think - and yet, this gave me an idea. I plunged one stiff, dumb hand through the ice and frantically searched for the penny I threw in, as if I could tell it apart from the others. I took sloppy fistfuls of pennies, quarters, and dimes, some new and some old, and flung them onto the gathering snow.
I remembered - I threw my penny near the fountain’s center, the deepest and hardest part to reach. They said people panic and do wild, illogical things as hypothermia sets in, and it must be true because I thrust my whole upper body into that water, grabbed a handful of coins from the center, threw them onto the snow, and and–
“Hey.” It was a child’s voice. My eyes were shut, and I was lying on my back. Someone poked my face with what must have been a stick.
An adult’s voice answered. “Ravi! Get away from her!”
“But–”
“No butts, get back here,” the adult said, then cursed about drunks and the city going to shit.
I opened my eyes, and couldn’t help but smile. The sun kissed my skin, and I was laying in the middle of the park, again an open field. A dog came up to me and sniffed my face.
“Are you alright?” a man, likely the dog’s owner, asked.
I pushed myself to my feet and took a few seconds to balance as the feeling returned to my legs. “Yeah,” I said, brushing the dirt off my jeans and searching for a logical explanation of what had just happened. “I think I had a seizure, or a stroke…”
The man came over to me. He said he was a doctor (there were three hospitals within two miles of here, so lots of people living in this area are doctors). He shined his phone flashlight in my eyes, then helped me to the nearest emergency room. They checked me out, even squeezed me into their MRI schedule, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. The doctors told me to follow up with a neurologist, and I agreed.
But I knew that whatever had happened was not of this world. That distorted world I was transported into had no medical or natural origin, and its source was probably something beyond what I was capable of understanding. The next day, Sunday, I stayed home. I didn’t even make coffee and instead just accepted the inevitable withdrawal headache, then spent the day binge-watching my favorite anime from high school. It was calming, since it reminded me of a better time and kept my mind off the horrors of the previous day. But still, every time I shut my eyes, I relived the sensation of half-diving into the freezing fountain, numbness spreading up my arms as my dumb hands searched the depths.
Monday, I was feeling a little better. Though I hated the thought of walking by that park again, for fear of seeing the fountain, I was curious and also wanted my usual iced latte. Slowlyl, I traced my regular path to the park. The fountain was gone. I continued, taking the shortcut behind the Hampton, until I reached the coffee shop. There was something plastered in the window.
It was a typical “missing person” sign you see stapled to telephone poles or pinned to poster boards in the front of Walmarts all over the US, but what shocked me was the person on it.
It said:
Missing
Sarah [censored]
Last seen: May 27, 2022, 5:45 am
It was Sarah. But I’d seen her the morning of the 28th. A darkness settled over me, and I knew that something had happened to her. She was still in that strange world I had escaped from. I wondered if every penny in that fountain represented a person trapped and thought that if only I could find that fountain again, I could get her out.
I got on the internet and went down the rabbit hole, so to speak. I searched every forum and paranormal sight until I found someone mentioning the fountain. However, it was a thread from ten years ago, and the profile had been deleted and the comments frozen. I posted around until someone else said they had seen the fountain. They had even taken pictures, but the pictures looked… wrong. Realistic in some ways, but also fake, distorted and with the perspective slightly off. Another person had sent him pictures, which he shared with me, but these were both blurry and in black and white.
Almost a year later, I’m still trying to find the fountain and figure out what it is, where it came from, and if there are others like it. But whatever the case, if you see a fountain where it doesn’t belong, think before throwing in a coin.
submitted by Kit-Karlsson to shortstories [link] [comments]


2023.01.26 04:13 Kit-Karlsson Never Throw Pennies Into Strange Fountains

This happened last year.
About five days each week, I walk to my favorite coffee shop and order an iced latte, regardless of the weather. I take the same path - wait for the slowest traffic light in the world, cross the street, cross another street, walk about a mile, walk through a park, then take the shortcut behind the Hampton Inn to get to the shop. The coffee is heavenly, and I sit in the same seat by the window every time I go, then take the same path home.
One Saturday morning, however, something had changed.
There was a fountain in the middle of the park. Normally this wouldn’t be strange, but up until that day the park had only been a grassy rectangle like a sports field for people to play frisbee and football. Curious, I walked directly to the fountain instead of following the sidewalk around the park’s edge like I usually did. Without thinking, I fished a penny out of my pocket and threw it to the fountain’s center - an old habit from childhood - before an odd feeling crept over me.
Though I’m not from here, I had lived in the city about three years before this happened, and I’d walked by this exact spot often enough to know something was wrong. It was a nice day, and a weekend, but there were no people out walking their dogs and no children playing. Given that half a million people live within a few miles of here, this park was usually crowded. And the fountain itself was wrong, too - cities install fountains all the time, but this one was old, but not old enough to be nice. I guessed it was from the 80s. Rust leaked through its concrete, leaving brown stains, and many pennies within it were caked with blue. Dried leaves sat on the fountain’s surface, despite the fact it was late spring and all the trees were green. I stuck a finger in the water. It was cold.
I shouldn’t have touched it. I didn’t know how it wasn’t frozen, being that cold, but then I noticed the first signs of ice creeping around the dried leaves, delicate crystals that shouldn’t have been there. I pulled away from the fountain, deciding the city had simply moved one of its older fountains to this location, and made my way to the coffee shop.
I only saw two people during my journey the rest of the way, which was about a half mile. Again, this was weird, because this is a densely populated area. I arrived at the coffee shop, which usually had three or four baristas working, but there was only one. She was one of their only full-time employees, so I knew her by name.
“Hi Sarah,” I said.
She smiled. She always made an effort to be nice to regulars. “The usual?” she asked.
I nodded. “The usual.”
The coffee shop had a small bar by the cash register, and I sat there so she could just hand me the latte directly when she was done making it. I opened my phone and checked my social media, surprised I had no notifications on Twitter or Reddit.
Sarah stood across the bar from me and held out the iced latte. “I don’t know how you aren’t freezing without a coat.”
“What do you mean?” I took the latte in one hand and looked outside. It was still a bright spring day.
“With the storm coming,” Sarah said. “The temperature’s dropping.”
“Really?” I asked. I hadn’t heard about a storm coming. I tried to look up the weather forecast, but it wouldn’t load. I didn’t have signal - that made sense. I turned off wifi and tried again on data, without luck. “Do you have any reception?” I asked Sarah.
She patted at her pockets for a moment and shrugged. “Must have left my phone in the back, sorry.”
“Thanks anyway,” I said. I took a sip of my iced latte, then pulled my head back in shock. It wasn’t my usual at all - it was an iced chai tea latte.
“Ah,” I said. “I think you made me the wrong thing. I’ll drink it, so no worries, but usually I just get the, uh, coffee kind of latte.”
Sarah cocked her head to the side. “You’ve come here almost every day for the past ten years and ordered an iced chai latte. I even ordered you that fancy chai from India six months ago.”
Ten years? Ordered fancy chai from India? I shook my head, confused. I’d only lived here for under three years, and could count on one hand the number of times I’d drank an iced chai latte. Sarah must have mixed me up with someone else.
“What’s my name?” I asked after a moment.
She said my name, then added, “only one S.”
That was wrong. I spelled my name with two. Fearing I’d lost my mind, I pulled my drivers license out of my phone case, where I kept it. What do you know - only one S. My mind raced back to that weird fountain.
“Did you see that new fountain in Victory Park?” I asked.
Sarah, who was drying glasses with a rag, paused. “Oh yeah. Threw a penny in it yesterday on my way here. It’s kind of ugly, don’t you think?”
“Very.” I thanked her, got up, pushed my chair in, and left. She was right about the storm. The air outside was freezing now. It might have been bearable without the wind, but all I had was a t-shirt and jeans and the wind blew right through them. It was an aching cold, the kind you feel in your bones. I thought about going back into the coffee shop, or getting an uber, but getting home would only take me a few minutes if I ran. Plus, I still didn’t have signal, so getting an uber was not an option. There was not a single car on the road.
By the time I reached the fountain again, my muscles cramped from the cold and I had to slow down. Snow began to fall around me. My fingers were numb, my toes were numb, and even thinking had grown difficult. None of this made any sense. By the time I reached the fountain, I could barely walk. I dropped to my knees, arms wrapped around the fountain’s lip to support myself.
This was bad.
I was dying.
I was freezing to death in the middle of May.
Only, it wasn’t May anymore, it couldn’t be. The fountain had frozen over completely, even the parts that were supposed to have moving water, so I knew it had to be brutally cold. I tried to trace my steps back to how this all started as my thoughts grew increasingly fragmented and panicked. I couldn’t make it to any of the storefronts, though I had a feeling that if I did, the doors would be locked. A darkness spread across the sky, and not a single light was on in any of them.
This all started when I threw that penny into the fountain. Sarah said she had thrown in a penny, too. When we did that, we must have triggered something, or maybe been thrown into another dimension. What a stupid thing to think - and yet, this gave me an idea. I plunged one stiff, dumb hand through the ice and frantically searched for the penny I threw in, as if I could tell it apart from the others. I took sloppy fistfuls of pennies, quarters, and dimes, some new and some old, and flung them onto the gathering snow.
I remembered - I threw my penny near the fountain’s center, the deepest and hardest part to reach. They said people panic and do wild, illogical things as hypothermia sets in, and it must be true because I thrust my whole upper body into that water, grabbed a handful of coins from the center, threw them onto the snow, and–
“Hey.” It was a child’s voice. My eyes were shut, and I was lying on my back. Someone poked my face with what must have been a stick.
An adult’s voice answered. “Ravi! Get away from her!”
“But–”
“No butts, get back here,” the adult said, then cursed about drunks and the city going to shit.
I opened my eyes, and couldn’t help but smile. The sun kissed my skin, and I was laying in the middle of the park, again an open field. A dog came up to me and sniffed my face.
“Are you alright?” a man, likely the dog’s owner, asked.
I pushed myself to my feet and took a few seconds to balance as the feeling returned to my legs. “Yeah,” I said, brushing the dirt off my jeans and searching for a logical explanation of what had just happened. “I think I had a seizure, or a stroke…”
The man came over to me. He said he was a doctor (there were three hospitals within two miles of here, so lots of people living in this area are doctors). He shined his phone flashlight in my eyes, then helped me to the nearest emergency room. They checked me out, even squeezed me into their MRI schedule, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. The doctors told me to follow up with a neurologist, and I agreed.
But I knew that whatever had happened was not of this world. That distorted world I was transported into had no medical or natural origin, and its source was probably something beyond what I was capable of understanding. The next day, Sunday, I stayed home. I didn’t even make coffee and instead just accepted the inevitable withdrawal headache, then spent the day binge-watching my favorite anime from high school. It was calming, since it reminded me of a better time and kept my mind off the horrors of the previous day. But still, every time I shut my eyes, I relived the sensation of half-diving into the freezing fountain, numbness spreading up my arms as my dumb hands searched the depths.
Monday, I was feeling a little better. Though I hated the thought of walking by that park again, for fear of seeing the fountain, I was curious and also wanted my usual iced latte. Slowly, I traced my regular path to the park. The fountain was gone. I continued, taking the shortcut behind the Hampton, until I reached the coffee shop. There was something plastered in the window.
It was a typical “missing person” sign you see stapled to telephone poles or pinned to poster boards in the front of Walmarts all over the US, but what shocked me was the person on it.
It said:
Missing
Sarah [censored]
Last seen: May 27, 2022, 5:45 am
It was Sarah. But I’d seen her the morning of the 28th. A darkness settled over me, and I knew that something had happened to her. She was still in that strange world I had escaped from. I wondered if every penny in that fountain represented a person trapped and thought that if only I could find that fountain again, I could get her out.
I got on the internet and went down the rabbit hole, so to speak. I searched every forum and paranormal site until I found someone mentioning the fountain. However, it was a thread from ten years ago, and the profile had been deleted and the comments frozen. I posted around until someone else said they had seen the fountain. They had even taken pictures, but the pictures looked… wrong. Realistic in some ways, but also fake, distorted and with the perspective slightly off. Another person had sent him pictures, which he shared with me, but these were both blurry and in black and white.
Almost a year later, I’m still trying to find the fountain and figure out what it is, where it came from, and if there are others like it. But whatever the case, if you see a fountain where it doesn’t belong, think before throwing in a coin.
submitted by Kit-Karlsson to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.01.25 19:09 Actual_Hecc I'm back with more expired foods! Only 90 this time, 5 less than before!

I'm back with more expired foods! Only 90 this time, 5 less than before!
I'm like the only person that does this anymore. The 95 from yesterday and this 90 was all from the exact same area, the grocery uscan pit. I don't get to go to registers when it's slow to check other things so.
submitted by Actual_Hecc to walmart [link] [comments]


2023.01.25 08:20 Kavant_ Alright, who talked about Walmart Cake Face?

Alright, who talked about Walmart Cake Face? submitted by Kavant_ to walmart [link] [comments]


2023.01.24 05:01 SpareManners Black Forrest cake is one of my favourite cakes! They usually go on sale at Walmart for about $5. She's planning to smash it on her head, then eat it after. SpareManners is STILL in the building ladies and gentlemen! She thinks she blocked me.

submitted by SpareManners to JessicaDar777Snark [link] [comments]


2023.01.24 01:38 lilamoi Don’t sleep on Walmart if you need a cake on a budget

Don’t sleep on Walmart if you need a cake on a budget submitted by lilamoi to Weddingsunder10k [link] [comments]


2023.01.24 01:00 Impressive-Rise-250 Walmart Cinnabon Mug Cake and Latte Gift Set Cooking Instructions ("Bake Someone Happy" / "Life is Sweet")

Walmart removed this item from their site, but luckily I was able to salvage the instructions from Google's cache. Hope whoever needs this will find it.
Mug Cake Directions You will need: 1 Tbsp beaten egg, 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp milk 1. Rinse and dry a mug. 2. Combine mug cake mix, egg, vegetable oil, and milk in the mug. 3. Stir until smooth. 4. Microwave for 2 minutes (on high). 5. Let cool for a minute and top off with frosting. Enjoy with a warm latte.
Frosting Directions You will need: 1 oz softened cream cheese, 1 Tbsp softened unsalted butter 1. Combine frosting mix, cream cheese, and butter in a bowl. 2. Mix well until light and fluffy.
Latte Directions Empty packet of mix into a mug. Add 8 oz of hot water or 2% milk and stir.
submitted by Impressive-Rise-250 to u/Impressive-Rise-250 [link] [comments]


2023.01.23 22:23 CIAHerpes I am a park ranger at Goreham State Park and our forest is being overrun with monsters (part 2)

Part 1: https://www.reddit.com/nosleep/comments/zyqexx/stories_from_a_goreham_park_ranger_part_1/
After we had returned to the ranger’s station, I had a couple shots to calm my nerves. Looking down, I realized I had been spattered in the blue-black blood of the creature from the forest. Tiny droplets had dried on my arms, chest and face, and as I licked my lips, I realized I just ate a little of the blood too. I gagged for a second, furiously wiping at my mouth and spitting on the floor.
Wickie seemed mostly unaffected by what had just happened. He was a teetotaller, avoiding all alcohol but smoking cannabis and occasionally even taking psychedelics. Whenever I drank, he always told me, “Alcohol rots your brain and kills your liver,” though I doubted any of that would matter if the things in this park killed me first.
I was looking into my empty shot glass with trembling hands when Sheriff Ames came into the ranger station, flanked by two agents in black suits and sunglasses.
“Back already?” I asked him. He didn’t respond. “Care for a drink?” He looked at the bottle of Skye vodka, seemed to consider, then glanced at the agents next to him and shook his head no.
“Son, did you find anything out there?” he asked in a fatherly tone, his Southern drawl receding a bit now that he apparently had company from one federal agency or another.
“We had a bit of a problem,” I said. Hardwick nodded.
“Wickie, Little Jay,” the Sheriff said, turning to Hardwick, “did you actually search the area? I need to know. We had a tip that someone involved dropped a critical piece of evidence…”
“You don’t understand, Sheriff,” Hardwick said, “we were attacked.” I tried motioning to him subtly with my eyes but I think I just made a weird face, one that failed to communicate anything. I was trying to tell him without words that spouting off about fifteen-foot tall, emaciated monsters with grins as wide as basketballs would probably be a bad idea and make us look totally insane to boot. It didn’t work. “I swear, we were less than a mile away from the site where the little girl’s body was found, when something just grabbed me from out of nowhere. It was an arm, but not human. The arm must have been twelve feet long. It was like something out of an HP Lovecraft story. The thing it was attached to… words cannot describe how horrible it looked. Its eyes were like filmy blue cataracts, its grin made the Cheshire cat’s look like nothing. Its fingers were bony claws and blood dribbled down its mouth constantly, as if it was chewing on its own tongue. And the smell! It smelled like burning metal, like failing car brakes combined with cooking onions, with a little bit of rotting meat thrown in for good measure.” Hardwick stopped, taking a deep breath, then looked from Sheriff Ames to the two agents. They all stared at him, dead-pan.
“Son,” the Sheriff said, “you didn’t take any drugs today, did you?” In fact, Hardwick had smoked a joint, but I wasn’t about to say that. They already were looking at us like we were a danger, raging psychotics who had somehow escaped from the loonie bin and stolen a couple ranger uniforms. One of the agents was writing in a notepad, talking softly to himself, saying things like, “Seeing monsters… rotting onions… bony dribble…”
“Wickie,” I said quietly, “please let me do the talking.” Hardwick frowned but nodded. “Sheriff, what he means is, I think we were attacked by two people wearing masks. It all happened very fast, but they were tall, he’s right about that. Very long arms. It must have been some sort of costume or make-up job, perhaps two gang members trying to cover their identities with some cheap Halloween costume…” Of course, all of that was total bullshit. I knew those two things were not human, and they definitely had no masks. But would it do any good to tell the truth in this situation? At best, it would be laughed off, and at worst, the police would think us untrustworthy and fail to take us seriously in the future.
“OK, OK,” Sheriff Ames said thoughtfully, reconsidering his pitch. “I believe you, Ranger.” With this, he gently put a hand on my shoulder, as if calming down a child having a temper tantrum. “These are Agents Rowe and Yimenez, from the FBI. They are investigating similar cases across the US, where children were taken and apparently used in some kind of sacrifice. That little girl had her heart taken out, and that wasn’t the only internal organ missing. Apparently there is a pattern of these bizarre cases with the organs removed, and because it crosses state lines, the FBI is adding its resources to ours so we can hopefully catch the bastards who are doing this.” Sheriff Ames shook his bulldog-like face ruefully, looking down at the ground.
“Ranger Salem,” Agent Rowe said, stepping forward, his face lacking any discernible emotion, “have you by any chance found any jewelry abandoned on the paths around the park? I know it is a long shot, but at other crime scenes, there was always a piece of jewelry left days or weeks after the murder had taken place. As if the suspect came back and planted it, maybe in an attempt to send some kind of message to law enforcement. The jewelry never belongs to the murder victim or anyone known to the victim. In fact, a lot of it appears connected to voodoo or other types of witchcraft, generally with obsidian carvings. Does any of this ring a bell?” I shook my head.
“I’m sorry, no,” I said. “We can try to go back to the scene…”
“Like Hell we will!” Hardwick cried, but I gave him a look that shushed him.
“But we would like additional protection. Of course, we can guide you both there, but we were just attacked a couple hours ago and I believe the suspects are still roaming the trails.”
“I am not going back there,” Hardwick muttered silently. “No fucking way. I do not get paid enough to die at the hands of some cheap Slenderman knock-off.” I smiled slightly at this.
“Actually, now that we have federal resources involved in this case, we don’t really need you to physically return to the site,” Agent Rowe said. “But if you could draw us a map of the trails, including the less-traveled ones, and their relation to the murder site, it would help us.” I nodded and got a piece of paper. While I am no DaVinci, I did a passable job of connecting the spiderweb of trails and labeling them. With that, the two agents left, heading behind the ranger station towards the first of the trails that would lead deep into the woods.
“Boy oh boy,” Sheriff Ames said, pouring himself a shot of vodka now that his federal babysitters were gone, “this is going to be a clusterfuck. Anytime the feds step in, they make things so much worse. In my experience, anyway.” He took the shot back like a pro, not even grimacing as the burning liquid went down. Without hesitation, he poured himself another one, and knocked that back as well. “Well, I’m off to the station. Your job is to help those agents in any way they see fit. If they tell you to jump, ask how high. The quicker we get this mess sorted out, the quicker they can leave.” With that word of advice, he tipped his hat to me and headed back to his car.
As I heard him take off, his muffler sounding as if it was about to fall off as he peeled away, an old, broken, rust-bucket of a truck pulled in. It was a local that I knew well, a rancher named Bud Beacon with more kids than teeth and a sickly yellow cast to his skin. He had a Budweiser hat on and a grease-stained plaid shirt with multiple missing buttons on it. He stumbled in, and he did not look healthy. He had never really looked healthy, but now he really didn’t look healthy.
Due to budget cuts, the ranger station also doubled as a small convenience store, to try to bring extra income into the park. We sold odds and ends, like umbrellas, trail maps, hats, hiking shoes and some food and drink. Because there were no other stores around for miles, the locals often came here, despite our high mark-up and suspiciously missing expiration date labels on many of the items. Bud Beacon was one of our most regular customers.
“Good afternoon Bud,” I said, nodding my head at him. He acted disoriented, as if he didn’t even know where he was, and kept stumbling into the racks and walls, knocking some sunglasses to the ground before kicking over an umbrella stand.
“Uh…” he said, a slight puddle of drool coming out of his mouth. “Do you sell, you know…” He pantomimed unbuckling a bra and sucking an imaginary nipple. I had no idea what he was talking about.
“I think we may be out of that right now, but maybe check Walmart or Costco?” I said convivially, giving him a reassuring smile. His eyes rolled back and forth, never focusing on me for a second. “Bud, are you feeling OK? You look a little under the weather.” That was the understatement of the century. He looked like he might collapse and have a seizure at any moment.
“They took… my kid…” he said, and with horror I realized that he had a massive slice on the back of his skull. It looked as if someone had sent a throwing knife into the back of his head. I hadn’t seen it before since he was facing me, but he put his head down and I saw the back of his shirt was totally covered in blood.
“Wickie…” I said, “I think we have a problem.” Hardwick looked up from his phone, his mouth opening in astonishment as he saw all the blood on Bud’s back and head. He approached him cautiously, and began speaking like someone talking to a rabid dog whose testicles were caught on a piece of razor wire- very softly and slowly.
“Oh hey buddy,” he said, putting his hands out, palms up, “what happened to you? Do you need us to call someone?”
“Of COURSE he needs us to call someone!” I shouted at Hardwick. “His freaking skull is split open!” But Bud grabbed my hand in a vice-like grip and brought it to his lips, then began whispering.
“No! Don’t worry… about me… my boy… is in the woods… still alive… kidnapped…” he said, his words becoming increasingly disjointed and drawn-out before he lost consciousness, toppling backwards onto the well-worn hardwood floor. A small puddle of blood began to pool around his head as his glassy eyes stared up at the ceiling, his face taking on an animalistic and terrified cast as he swam between consciousness and unconsciousness.
“Wickie, call the police,” I said, breathing hard and looking around quickly. I saw nothing out of any of the windows to alert me to imminent danger but I had a feeling of being watched. “The state police,” I amended, thinking of Sheriff Ames’ alcoholic bulldog eyes. The town cops had never been of much use around here, except at covering up crimes and displaying a level of incompetence I could only characterize as admirable. I mean, I thought I did the least amount of effort required in my job, but locals like Sheriff Ames really put me to shame on so many levels.
Hardwick was already one step ahead of him and I heard him murmuring to the dispatcher behind me. I stopped and wondered, how had Bud driven here with such extensive head trauma? He was barely aware and conscious enough to formulate a sentence, less likely to drive a car through the poorly-maintained and pothole-ridden roads of our dilapidated Southern town.
I walked around the desk and peered out the front door. I saw he had totally demolished the ranger station mailbox a couple hundred feet away, where the dirt road met pavement, and that his truck had four flat tires. Some of the tires were so badly worn away that he had apparently driven on the broken, rusty rims for the last part of his journey. The rotors and rims were all shot to shit, and the car would definitely need to be towed out of here.
Taking a deep breath, I walked out the door and decided to have a look around. Maybe his son was out here, somewhere. I began to circle the log cabin facade of the station, going behind the dumpsters, when I saw a familiar face, or rather, two familiar faces- it was the two-headed bear who had saved my and Hardwick’s lives earlier in the day. He stared at me with a calm, impassive intelligence that I had never seen on any animal’s face before, then started speaking. Except his mouth wasn’t moving- it was like he was speaking directly into my head, bypassing the auditory facilities entirely.
“Do not be scared, Jay,” the one on the right said, nodding his head and baring his teeth in a simultaneously friendly and terrifying gesture. For once, I did not have to look down at the person, or in this case bear person, who conversed with me. Even though I stood around seven feet tall, the bear stood only an inch or two less than that, his front paws at his sides in a very human-looking stance. “My name is Rowlf.” He ceased speaking and the one on the left, who still had his Herbalife hat on, continued, “And my name is Growlf.” They had two separate voices. Rowlf’s voice was considerably deeper and slower, while Growlf spoke quickly in a more excitable and high-pitched cadence.
“We have been watching you for a long time,” Rowlf continued. “You have potential. And I believe you are one of the few things keeping the evil in these woods contained. If it were not for you, it would spill out onto the world, and all would be lost.”
“Are you sure you have the right guy?” I asked aloud, looking between the two heads. “I mean, I’ve had the same job since high school. I have like zero friends, except maybe Wickie but he’s kinda forced to be here with me so maybe that doesn’t even count. I can’t even get a credit card and two of my toes are fused together. None of that strikes me as ‘hero of the century’ kinda stats.” I paused for a moment, then continued. “I do still have all my teeth, though. I guess that’s fairly unusual for this town.” Growlf shook his head, a bemused expression crossing his intelligent, furry face.
“Do not underestimate yourself,” he said. “You are told by your society that unless you have many friends, constant beautiful women and ten whole toes, then you are a failure. But you have something much more valuable inside of you.” He pointed to my heart with his right front paw. “You have chutzpah, grit, the ability to run into a situation even when the odds are clearly stacked against you. You have no idea how rare that is in your species. Did you not put your life on the line just to find a necklace that could solve a little girl’s death earlier today?”
“Oh, I think you’re confused,” I said. “That’s just because I’m stupid. I don’t really worry about death when…”
“Enough,” Rowlf said with an audible, low growl emanating from his black lips, silencing me instantly. “We have no time for frivolous arguments. You are the one we need to save this forest, and that’s that. If you want to stop this evil from flowing out into your town, your state and eventually, your whole world, you will listen to what we have to say. Time is short.”
“Uh, OK,” I said, nodding.
“A child has been taken, from the litter of the man you call Bud,” Growlf continued. “This child, like you, is not normal. He is special. He is deeply autistic, but within his mind, he is more powerful than the greatest saint or magician your kind can imagine. You must save his life. If he dies, all will be lost. The tall ones plan to bring him to the sacrificial grounds by tonight, to the same spot where the girl’s body was found. You must save him at any cost.” I nodded.
“We will give you a seal that will allow you to pass through the woodlands at night, unmolested by any of the forest guardians,” Growlf said, pulling a small vial from his back somewhere. I really don’t know where it came from, because it wasn’t like he had any pockets, or clothes, or anything else that could possibly hold a vial. On second thought, I didn’t want to think of where he may have pulled it out from.
The two-headed bear began to do a slow, rhythmic dance, moving one foot, then the other, then raising his paws to the sky and looking up with his two heads. He opened the elixir with his teeth and poured it out onto his hand. He then began to shake his furry butt as he moved forward in a kind of dance-like motion, before wiping it on my forehead. The elixir, I mean, not his butt. The elixir was cold and smelt like licorice, but it dried quickly, leaving no trace on my skin.
“Now I must go, but I will see you again. Take care, and try not to die.”
“OK,” I said. “I’ll do my best, as always, not to die. No promises, though.”
I went back into the ranger station, and Bud Beacon was gone. Wickie was sitting behind the counter, smoking a cigarette and looking at his hands.
“Wickie!” I yelled. “What happened? Where’s Bud?” He looked up suddenly, a confused frown creasing his face. Then he looked down on the floor where Bud was lying, then back up at me, then around the entire ranger station. Then he shrugged.
“Are you serious right now?” I asked. “How did you lose track of an unconscious man who was just bludgeoned in the head and was bleeding all over the place?”
“Well, in my defense,” he said calmly, “I wasn’t actually paying attention.” I rolled my eyes at this. Just then, one of the agents came running into the ranger station, his suit torn, a nasty gash across his forehead dripping blood into his eyes. It was Agent Rowe. There was no sign of Agent Yimenez, which I took as an extremely bad sign. Agent Rowe had his pistol out, and was breathing at an alarming fast rate. His pupils were dilated, his eyes wide and roving around, and he looked like he was overall not having a good day.
“Lock the doors!” he screamed. “Do you have any more weapons in here?! MOVE, Goddammit!” I calmly walked behind him and engaged the deadbolt on the front door. Wickie took another drag of his cigarette, calmly looking the agent up and down.
“So,” Wickie asked, “how did it go?”
“How’d it go? How’d it go?!” he screamed back at him. “My partner is dead, and I barely got away! They ripped his goddamned arms off his torso and flung them at me like some… some kind of arm-shaped boomerang!” His metaphor game was not up to par, but I wasn’t going to criticize, as I felt he was in a very trigger-happy mood.
“OK, OK,” I said comfortingly, “we will go check it out.” Wickie looked at me like I was insane.
“Ah, no, we most certainly will not check it out,” he said to me.
“Well we have to at least find Bud,” I said. “You’re the one who let him get away, after all. All you had to do was watch over a bloody, unconscious man, and you failed at that. I know I talk about setting the bar low, but…” I shook my head in disappointment. “That blows even me out of the water.” After a minute of discussion, the FBI agent gave us one of his guns. He apparently had an ankle holster with a Judge attached as a last resort- not the kind of judge that sentences you to thirty days for urinating in the local fountain downtown, but rather a squat kind of pistol that shoots shotgun slugs. It felt heavy in my hand and looked totally bad-ass. The FBI agent had another pistol, a .45, but he wasn’t going to part ways with it under any circumstances.
Wickie agreed to come with me for a little while at least. We moved the barricade out in front of the door and, after heaving a deep sigh, I stepped outside. Wickie stayed behind me, his little .22 held out in his hand, now reloaded with spare bullets from the ranger station. I had a lot more faith in the stopping power of the Judge than some little .22, however.
As I stepped away from the building, I realized something was monumentally wrong. The entire forest sounded as silent as the grave. Somehow it also looked darker. And there was a smell in the air like rotting meat mixed with burning plastic. The smell was so pervasive that it felt thick- like it had its own weight. I felt it on my tongue, my nose and most of all, my eyes, which immediately began to water.
“Oh my GOD,” Wickie yelled loudly, “what is that smell?!” I turned around to shush him but as I did, I saw what the origin of the smell was, and immediately froze.
The first thing I saw was Bud Beacon floating in the air in front of me, his eyes rolled back in his head, dried blood caked around his hair and face and staining his shirt. Behind him, I saw a vision out of a nightmare.
The man, if it was a man, was hunched over. It looked like he had been stitched together out of dozens of bodies. The skull was half-eaten away by writhing maggots, showing the grinning teeth and jawbone underneath, some tendrils of black flesh and liquifying goo still holding on against all odds. It looked like someone had stitched four arms to a gigantic torso, which now clenched and unclenched their blackened fingers in unison, the blue cyanotic hues of oxygen deprivation trailing streaks all the way up to his shoulders. He had two immensely long legs, twice the height of a normal human leg, which made him stand taller than me- at least eight feet tall, and towering over the floating form of Bud Beacon in front of him. In the center of his decaying face stood a single massive eye, bloody teardrops running out of it as it constantly looked right, left, up, down and in all directions. He opened his mouth to speak, and as the words came out, so did a fresh wave of the nauseating smell.
“A favor for a favor, a life for a life,” he said in a voice that sounded like thousands of voices all mixed together, rising and falling in tone randomly as he spoke. “You give up and go home, and I will let you and your friend live. This man and his offspring are all mine. He gave them to me.” The creature sent out a long forked tongue and licked the maggots off its decomposing lips. I raised the Judge, pointing it at his center mass, but I couldn’t get a good shot with Bud floating in between us.
“How about you leave right now,” I asked in return, my voice trembling, “and I might let you live?” His grin widened. From the forest to the right of us, I heard the sound of loud rustling. The son of Bud Beacon appeared, his eyes wide and tear-streaked.
“Dad?” he yelled, seeing his father floating and catatonic. “Dad, what are you doing?” The distraction was all I needed. I sprinted a few feet to my left, giving me a clear shot without risking the life of Bud, and began firing.
The shotgun shells opened up large exit wounds all over the creature’s torso, sending out sprays of maggots and rotting meat. But just as soon as they opened, a writhing mass of maggots would begin to stitch the flesh back together. In all the excitement of the gunshots, I didn’t realize Bud Beacon had fallen to the ground until I saw him sprawled out there, his eyes closed now, looking as if he were asleep.
I continued shooting the creature as it ran at the boy until I ran out of ammo, but it did no good. The maggots just re-stitched its skin together as soon as the bullet exited. So I watched with horror as its four long arms wrapped around the crying child and they disappeared into the forest.
I turned to Wickie, who looked fairly calm and placid despite all that had occurred.
“Well,” I said, “now we really have to go after them.” His eyes widened.
“You want to go after an unkillable and gag-inducing eldritch deity? What do you plan to subdue him with, good manners?” I shook my head.
“There’s an innocent child involved, Wickie, and now we know he is alive. We can’t just let him be sacrificed.” He groaned.
“I hope you at least have a plan,” he said to me as we began trekking towards the forest.
“Not at all,” I replied.
submitted by CIAHerpes to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.01.23 01:48 Tiddypang How to get a choc or vanilla cake as soft as a tops/walmart cake?? I’ve been trying for YEARS and can’t find any from scratch recipes that achieve this texture! Is it even possible???

submitted by Tiddypang to Baking [link] [comments]


2023.01.22 04:51 Vivid_Mud_4307 She puts so much time into making herself look good and trying to be a teenager and puts zero effort into her children. Wtf is this sad cake and Walmart run for her gifts?

She puts so much time into making herself look good and trying to be a teenager and puts zero effort into her children. Wtf is this sad cake and Walmart run for her gifts? submitted by Vivid_Mud_4307 to shawfamily [link] [comments]


2023.01.22 02:25 Chonkin_GuineaPig Guests didn't get shit for Christmas from my mother's side of the family because their new dogs are more important. While it reduces clutter from entering my parent’s dilapidated hoarder house, I’m still mad as hell at the fact that I don’t get to enjoy much of anything in my life without suffering.

TL;DR: Life is completely fucked, extended family treats us like shit, doesn't give out a damn thing to anyone this year except a single stocking, turns out they've been obsessively hoarding endless bags of brand new $5 items they could've easily given out and chose not to.
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If you don't know me (21F), this is my story.
My late grandmother on my dad's was a hoarder (level 5-6). Hoarded all kinds of papers, outfits, trinkets and even my father's baby clothes.
I wasn't ever allowed to open any kind of drawers or touch anything outside a single dresser being held up by a wooden block that had my clothes in it. Barely had room for a single bowl of cereal on the kitchen table and had my LPS collection taken away by the special ed teachers because the classroom was the only clean place to play with them.
I'd often trespass into the neighbor's junkyard because of how bored out of my damn mind I was and had nobody to play with. I was essentially one of those kids that got stuck watching bootleg Space Chimps camrips on repeat from a Walmart brand air mattress.
Nearly all my childhood toys except for 4-5 succumbed to my grandma's hoard, and my father moved into our "new" house right before the pandemic in December of 2019.
He (60M) has what I can only describe as "low-functioning Asperger's" from the lack of treatment as a child to the point where he's turned into a full-blown neckbeard nester (without the piss jugs ofc). He's socially deranged to the point where he is completely unmanageable and has never been in charge with my care for that very reason.
The filth and roach problem at my mother's has gotten significantly worse because of his ignorant behavior and what used to be the kid's bedroom is now a sweat layered 1 inch mattress surrounded by tons of dirty trash, pill bottles, and broken down computer parts.
He still insists on hanging out at my late grandma's house even though the place is falling in and absolutely caked in mold. If it weren't for that and being completely surrounded by alcoholic deadbeats, I honestly wouldn't care to clean it out just to have someplace else to live that wasn't infested with roaches and coated with animal feces.
Even if I got rid of all my mother's old clothes behind her back, that wouldn't stop my father from surrounding himself with pure squalor.
As for her (60F), she lays around 24/7 and doesn't do a single thing with her life unless it's a trip to Walmart or out to eat (only when she feels like it). It takes me hours to get my own mother up off the couch and out of the house, but only when she gives in.
This woman is clinically diagnosed with manic bipolar disorder, but evidence clearly shows that she may also have both catatonic depression and narcissistic personality disorder.
This homeless friend of hers (59F) has completely hoarded the shit out of the basement and constantly beats the living fuck out of her two "puppies" that she kept after the mother was hit by a car for not being on a leash. She won't even put a collar on them because she considers it "abusive" and that her dogs already listen to her (they clearly don't).
These poor things have practically been locked up in the basement and forced to live in their own feces and urine since birth. In fact, the smell of urine is so strong that we can smell it all the way from not the bathroom but the bedroom. Local animal control doesn't really give a fuck about everyday house pets as long as an animal has an owner.
We've already suggested giving one of the dogs to us multiple (including the mother) so I'd have something to do around the house. However, it ultimately failed and this woman is too far gone to reckon with. Any criticism of this behavior is considered being abusive towards her "precious babies".
I can't even sleepover at my older sister's because of all the ammonia of the dogs pissing all over the floor and the cats having to take a shit every two minutes.
While they've toned down and grown up since then, her kids used to completely decimate my padlocked bedroom day after day for nearly a decade straight while I was forced to live in constant fear.
My sister would often make them cry and punish them on a daily basis. They'd often live in their own leftovers with all kinds of dirty plates, pizza, and chip bags all over the upstairs. I think this is why they took out all their frustrations not only on each other, but me as well.
Today I have issues with locating everyday objects such as brushes, medication, and even prescription glasses because of my parents' horrific lifestyle. I can't focus enough to do basic household chores because I'm so overwhelmed by how insanely filthy everything is.
Social services won't do jack fucking shit about their living conditions and told me to my face that I need to quit complaining and that roach feces all over the canned goods was fine because warehouses have rats. The focus has now switched over getting me moved out "temporarily" (probably 10 years), so I guess they're just gonna lay around in filth until the day they die.
Needless to say, I've spent most of my whole life between two crackhouses even if nobody actually smokes crack. However, my mother still does weed while the lady in our basement pops gabapentin.
I have to lock up every damn thing I own in the closet or my upstairs bedroom because I have to move out before I can actually use or enjoy it, which is why the "six months rule" doesn't apply to me.
I don't personally identify as an age regressor myself since I consider it to be infantilizing autistic interests, but I more than likely experienced some form of psychological age-regression throughout my teenage years to some degree which led to poor behavior and lots of impulse spending. These pent up issues (along with EVERYONE'S obsessive hoarding) resulted in angry bitterness towards other girls, women, and just about everyone who had a better life than me in general.
I'm finally learning to appreciate things like actually cute clothes or decently good perfume, most of the time it still looks or smells like some kind of middle-aged Karen bullshit.
Every single year, I get frustrated the living fuck out of when it comes to Christmas because of this. My whole childhood meant being handed a bag of broken bootleg jewelry, a gift card, and piles of shitty designer clothing only to go back and isolate myself to the drug den.
Half the time the shit was too fucking small and I'd just have to do without it (family doesn't do returns) while everyone made fun of my bust and body size. Meanwhile, everyone else I know gets to sprawl all over clean floors with their dog and presents that they genuinely enjoy.
I know I don't need to be bringing more shit into an already heavily trashed house, but I finally wanted to experience the joy of unwrapping something I genuinely like.
I just want to feel included in the holiday season for once. With the obligatory requirement of southern hospitality from the elders, it's not like I can just say no to physical gifts entirely.
Now that I received things I genuinely like for once from people I love, I can't even enjoy the fucking shit and have to lock it in the closest with everything else because my deadbeat parents decide they're just gonna keep wallowing around in pest infestations and filth.
I can't even enjoy something as simple as a mug of cocoa because all the food in the house is completely caked in roach feces. My sister even tried to make my parents to clean up the place, but she's just too busy with her life to deal with them anymore.
I've completely given up because there's no since in even trying anymore when neither of my parents hold themselves accountable to any degree whatsoever.
The very best I can possibly do is to move into a dirty looking nursing out in the city because it's the only place for hundreds of miles that isn't owned by batshit insane evangelists.
In fact, I've been so angry and upset about the situation that my submissions on other subs have been removed twice. I swear to God, I'm not the ungrateful little shit everyone thinks I am.
I only developed such a bitter mindset from being so exhausted of the way my extended family has horrifically treated me my whole life and how I've been forced to live in filth and shame because of my parents ignorance.
I'm sorry if my pissbaby rants about getting body lotion and fuzzy socks every damn year somehow made people think I was shaming all those poor church women or any other grown adult for being into those things.
The truth is that I don't actually hate women at all, but have started to notice the fact that many of these people all are in the exact same boat as I am with people getting them stuff that THEY think we should be into.
I spent nearly three to four damn months trying to figure out what I wanted for Christmas (as backing out isn't an option) and spent hours dwindling it down to what each recipient considered "appropriate" enough.
The wishlist for my family included "popular" things like a glitter Pop-Grip, a super cute pencil pouch, a Switch game and a matching bag figure for $5, and a Switch accessory kit to go with it for $40. None of which they could "afford" or "find" (despite providing a direct link AND shipping costs).
My cheapskate father decided to buy two of the Squishville sets off of eBay, one of which ended up being the wrong pack entirely. This means that I'm now stuck with having to re-gift 4 of the 6 out of the Squad pack, on top of being stuck with a Pillow Pet that's too small.
The list for the Angel Tree had around three different toy brands, lore books for my favorite cartoons, Albanese gummies, and other stuff that my mother would never approve of.
While I didn't exactly get the lore book or the LOL collector's doll yet, never in this world did I imagine that they'd actually go ahead and give me a Jellycat Bashful Bunny of my very own.
I was really hoping for a single Scribble Scrubbies set where I would only have to worry about needing to re-gift just one or two pets and an extra brush at most, but I ended up not just one but BOTH the Arctic Explorer set and the regular Peculiar Pets set with the sparkle tub.
As much as I really do appreciate the giant snow plow (which I'm definitely keeping btw), I'm still stuck with having to give away 3 of the 4 pets from the regular Peculiar Pet set as well as all the extra markers/brushes and the other tub from the Arctic Explorer set.
I know I can just chuck a pet, tub, markers and brush together as one and hand out the other two as part of a gift bag along with one of the Squishmallows, but it still feels like a monumental task since I don't go outside much.
I only put down a couple of things from Disneyland Resorts and some Pokemon merch for the "rich side" of the family because if I didn't, I was afraid they'd blow even more money on ugly designer clothing two sizes too small and bootleg jewelry that wouldn't even fit around my neck without an extender.
Every year we go down to their house after church, eat brunch, and open presents. Afterwards, everyone CONSTANTLY moans and groans about my uncle being some skinhead freak when he's just mildly annoying to me.
I know it's not exactly appropriate to show off some stupid cop shit like demonstrate how to knock somebody out at a Christmas gathering of all places, but at least he's not getting all drunk/high or grabbing at everyone's asses.
I know tons of men that treat their wives and kids way worse than he does. Deep down, he's just another speck of dust on the Earth that likes to brag a lot even if it's about the worst subject imaginable (politics). I think the REAL problem that everyone deliberately ignores is my batshit hateful excuse of an "aunt".
I get that my sister dismisses her behavior because they were raised together, but this crazy woman has been downright hateful and even body shamed me since I was little for absolutely no reason. She even demanded a super expensive rabbit fur coat from her father at the age of 5 and threatened to go coatless in the snow if she didn't get it.
This crazy lady has ALWAYS lived with our grandma and acts like she completely rules over everyone else during the holidays, even to the point of treating her own mother and husband like shit.
I know that people limit guests to open spaces around the holidays, which is totally understandable. However, it felt super weird at the same time because whatever quick glance we got of the bedroom from putting our coats away meant that it was scattered with boxes and all kinds of trinkets all over the dressers.
I didn't really think much of it because it was just like that at my other grandma's and my mother's friend's house. I was always taught that's just how people lived and there was nothing I could do about it.
Any time I'd glance at the statues on the wall in the hallway or pens crowded together in a cup, they'd go into complete shambles about how I'm too nosy and touching everyone's shit.
I wasn't allowed to mention anything about a snack when I was little, and I wasn't allowed to ask for a single bottle of coke until I entered highschool.
We went in the "front room" maybe twice in my entire life, but only to grab the stockings off one of those really fancy lounge couches that I've only ever seen on MLP (don't know the name of it). The room was never actually dirty with filth or pests like my parents, it was just piled up as an abandoned storage room past that point for whatever reason.
I knew that it was always crowded full of random junk to keep us kids from wandering in there, but this year there was a full-blown mountain of shit piled all the way to the damn ceiling right in the middle of the dining room window where everyone could see.
I was aware that my aunt had a handful of Webkinz back in the day, but only because they were pugs or in direct reference to a popular nickname of hers.
She also had a pretty hefty TY collection of various animals at their former camper that were shoved in a trash bag and left to rot, but I wasn't allowed to rescue a single one of them from being eaten up and destroyed by mice.
I've always loved stuffed animals and toys myself so I didn't think much of it, but at the same time I've always been explicitly targeted and harassed by everyone else because of that.
Instead of having any kind of basic place to store our coats anymore, we're now forced to pile all of them on top of an already existing pile of random crap. This "pile" was made up of endless amounts of plastic bags were piled full to the brim with brand new kid's toys, Christmas candy, $5 LED disco balls, etc. from the Dollar General.
I knew they weren't for the cousin's kids at all because we were about to leave (something of mine fell out 8of the pocket) and everyone else had already left. If these items were for the kids at their local church, they would've passed them out by now.
My aunt freaked out and got hateful just because I was frantically trying to look for something of mine that slipped down into junkpile. Nothing of mine would've gotten at all lost if shit wasn't piled out the ass.
The only logical conclusion is that this woman is either a very mentally ill obsessive hoarder or she bought all these Squeezamals and Squishmallows for their new dogs.
There was also this Baby Shark song cube smack dab in the middle of their classic rocking chair filled with several bags full of dog treats that they eat daily (at least 5 different brands) way before the cousins showed up, so I can only assume that this thing belonged to the dogs.
I don't have a problem with people letting their pets mess around with plain old stuffies from the Dollar Tree, but these things were meant for human children had all kinds of scented foam and velcro battery packs inside of them.
These brand new purebred shit zus have been insanely spoiled in just a matter of months to the point where these people can't afford to give their human relatives any kind of actual Christmas anymore.
All my niece and I got outside of our yearly stocking was a single sweatshirt and a small gift bag from our uncle's wife. I'm very grateful for the $50 (half of what we usually get), but holy fuck.
The adults didn't even get anything outside of the stocking with the exact same shit in it (car mounts and a hairbrush). I'm surprised we didn't even get fresh fruit in our stockings like we've always done for the past 15 years.
I'm low-key infuriated that her hateful smartass sister (the ACTUAL spoiled one) chose to obsessively hoard piles and piles of brand new stuff that could've easily been split between all of us, but didn't give those poor toddlers a goddamn thing except a stocking with a single diecast vehicle, a super ugly bootleg plush for the baby.
The only thing those little boys got to actually open before they left was a pack of socks and a single pair of the cheapest, ugliest damn bootleg fleece clothes I ever saw in my life.
I know those kids probably have boatloads of new toys at home, but it still pissed me the fuck off nonetheless. For young children who wouldn't get presents under the tree from anywhere else, it really hurts.
The two good things that came out of this was a Bath n Body that finally didn't kill my nose for once and some super thin hairbrush that doesn't hurt my head (which I plan on finding another online because the color I got was kinda ugly).
While it did effectively cut down on the clutter to a major degree, this came as an absolute shock since they'd casually blow at least $40,000 a YEAR just on presents (gaming chairs, cookware sets, chainsaws, etc.) and hand out $100s to everyone without a damn problem since I was little.
Even while my uncle was still recovering from throat cancer, they NEVER failed to provide all these outlandish gifts for everyone but us.
My parents would get next to nothing year after year while I was always stuck with all the shitty bootleg clothes and jewelry that fell apart instead of having anything fun to do like all the other kids.
This kinda behavior towards me is exactly why I get insanely pissed off all the time. The only reason I even started dogging on all these random church ladies who don't know any better is because the only thing worse than getting stuff you hate is getting those exact same things a second time around.
My mother always went on about how you don't ever stick your nose in everyone else's damn business, and you sure as fucking hell don't ask anybody for a damn thing.
If I ever spoke up for myself in any way, shape, or form, my mother would tell me to quit being a pain in the ass (which she still does to this very day). For my entire childhood, I was only allowed to give out my sizes to the local Angel Tree and absolutely NOTHING else.
Everyone already knew I loved to draw. But honest to God, no kid in this world wants all these bulky ass "professional" art kits made for grown adults year after year when all the pencils and paper at Walmart look so much cooler.
The ONLY reason I got anything I remotely enjoyed at ALL is because I stopped giving a fuck about what this woman "wanted" for me and just expressed my desires to them in private over social media DMs.
I know I could just order what I want online with the money I got from the rich side of the family (which I plan on doing already), but all that Amazon packaging just doesn't feel the same as having something cool to unwrap under the Christmas tree.
The one reason I didn't want to remove myself from the local Angry Tree this year is because without them, I wouldn't have really had much of a Christmas at all this year.
The fact that these women had the audacity to finally cater to my tastes for once means so much in a world where my side of the family gets treated like complete dogshit.
I feel absolutely awful that my sister and her oldest don't even get much of a Christmas at all while the other two kids are out partying at indoor water parks with their dad's side of the family. I'm gonna see if the church is able to add both of them to the Angel Tree in my place once I move out.
It's just that I don't understand why the mystery sponsor thought it was necessary to buy two whole pairs of pajamas, especially one that doesn't even match. Or why the sizes were way too big in the pants.
I'm now stuck 3 pairs of aloe infused that I can't even wear because my feet are essentially corroded with a semi-permanent form Athlete's feet as a result of my parents being reckless.
I'm getting rid of the extra Squishville characters, Scribble Scrubbies Pets, and extra aloe socks by re-gifting them to my therapist and case manager.
I don't want to feel like I'm being a burden to others, it's just that my family produce way more than enough trash already and I'd hate to add even more to it.
I'd be absolutely devastated to toss all this brand new stuff right in the garbage when someone else might not have the ability to afford these types of things (especially in regards to kid's toys).
While I do have a solid pretty idea of what to do with the extra Scribble Scrubbies and Squishmallows, I'm at a complete loss of what to do with all the clothes (a main source of clutter) regardless of whether I want to keep them or not.
Not only do my parents fail to make ANY kind of effort to donate or get rid of a single thing, they deliberately refuse to let me donate any kind of jeans or t-shirts because that's all my mother ever wears and call me selfish for doing so.
I begged my mother to go through them multiple times and she flat out ignored my pleas entirely. Doesn't make any kind of effort to do anything around the house but sleep 24/7.
I wouldn't care to just haul off everything up to group therapy without them knowing, but the place often piled with bags and boxes stuff that other people have brought in.
It's the only place I'm guaranteed access to (most of the time), meaning that it's just about the only place that I can drop off my stuff where it won't be broken into by deranged meth heads that won't even consider the needs of their kids.
They're already piled high onto the brim of stuff for bingo prizes. I don't want the staff ending up with more than what they can get rid of either.
The stack of prizes is practically a landslide, yet they insist on buying stuff nobody wants from the Dollar Tree even though they don't have that kind of money.
The staff usually don't do anything with garbage bags of donated clothes for weeks on end to make sure that all the clients, who often appear to be hoarders themselves, get a chance to go through everythinv. It absolutely disturbs me about how they treat all this hoarding behavior (even that of leftover wrapping paper) as this cute little quirk that everyone has.
There are one to two clothing boxes scattered nearly a hefty 7 miles out of town and only get checked once a month (if they aren't broken into by deranged meth heads who hate kids that is).
I'd still pick somewhere else not only because they don't accept anything outside of clothes or shoes, but also because everything's left to sit out in the middle of the rain/snow/etc. and ruin.
My parents don't have the gas to drive all willy-nilly everywhere, and would much rather stay locked up in their filthy cesspool of pests than to spend money they don't have on gas. I definitely wouldn't mind driving there myself, but my vision issues are so bad that I can't even look for my glasses, medication, and other necessities when I need them.
I genuinely don't have access to any other drop-off locations outside of contributing to whatever's already piled all over the filing cabinets at group therapy.
My anger was never meant to be about greed. It was reflecting on a constant struggle not being able to set proper boundaries without looking like a complete asshole to people who don't know any better. The limits of being in a very rural area means having absolutely no access to ANYTHING outside of Dollar General (or Walmart if we're lucky).
I can't use any kind of "buy nothing" groups because the house itself is infested with roaches and my parents don't want strangers parking outside. Everyone at ChildofHoarder has already suggested multiple drop-off locations and even free pick-up services, neither of which I can do simply because they're way, WAY too far out of reach for us. We don't even have things like Uber drivers or DoorDash because of how rural and abandoned the area is. If there IS one of these places "nearby" at all, it's at least 4-5 hours away from any direction.
I'll probably lay off on buying anything else until my birthday in March, but even then there's really no guarantee of being able to move away anyway. I'm just being overwhelmed with all this stuff that I just can't seem to get rid of even though I desperately want to.
submitted by Chonkin_GuineaPig to Vent [link] [comments]