Search This Blog

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sugar and Spice and everything...else.

Okay, with regards to Paris Hilton; apparently she didn’t Twitter the ENTIRE time her home was being robbed, only part of the time. Probably the part while she was posing outside talking to the police wearing nothing but a blue bath towel.

I don’t really blame her for walking around wearing nothing but a bath towel. The heat has been pervasive here this last week. The hubster and I have spent a great deal of our time at home wearing nothing but bath towels.

Although, I imagine when Ms. Hilton wraps herself in a bath towel she can tuck it in and have it stay up. I can’t even get the damn towel to come together let alone wrap around me with enough left over to tuck into itself.

This morning, it was so damn hot inside (we have no real air conditioning, and I’m betting Paris Hilton does) I got out of the shower and just sort of threw the towel around anything that might show out the window as I walked from the bathroom to the living room. The kids weren’t up yet, they were both laid out on their beds. Not in them, on them. We’re not even bothering to pull the sheet down at night right now, we all just sort of flop down on top of the spread and wait for three or four hours until utter exhaustion finally gets the better of the heat.

So there I am, sitting in the living room with the towel pretty much non-existent. I was bone dry in about 45 seconds. Bone dry, exhausted, and naked for all intents and purposes. I didn’t care. Although it occurred to me that I resembled an outsize Cream Soda Jelly Belly. Not the vanilla, the cream soda one. Because I’m pale, but not quite THAT pale.

No! Not a Jelly Belly…a “Belly Flop”! That’s what I looked like! I giant “Belly Flop”. In case you’re not that into Jelly Bellies I’ll explain. If you are, fell free to skip this part, because you probably know about it.

Okay, first off. Jelly Bellies are made in Northern California. In a great big factory in a town called Fairfield that, as far as I can tell, has little else going for it. Except the olive oil tasting room and a serviceable Applebee’s. Although, I must admit, I haven’t really explored the town to its fullest potential. It’s at the end the highway you end up on when you get lost going through Napa. So there you are, having started in the absolutely charming city of Santa Rosa, you’ve headed east through the vineyards and tasting rooms of Domain Carneros and you veer the wrong way in Sonoma and you come out, finally, into a land of sun, heat, wide expanses of new highways and an industrial park which houses that beacon of light and civilization…the Jelly Belly Factory.

They have a HUGE parking lot, benches with big photo-op jelly beans sitting on them, clean restrooms, a really excellent free factory tour (I’ve been twice, it’s second only to the factory tour of the Bacardi Rum plant in Puerto Rico) and the most amazing gift shop ever.

There are jelly beans in bottles, in bags, in pop top cans, in oven mitts and Tonka trucks. They have WALLS of them; in flavors you’ve never heard of and certainly never seen in your local Kroger’s. These are the pretty Jelly Bellies. The perfect ones, the ones with the white stamp on them, the ones that shake through the perfect die and fit and fall into the perfect Jelly Belly bin. You see this on the guided tour, btw.

But a LOT of them don’t make it into perfect $9.00 a pound land. However, so it’s not a TOTAL waste, the fine folks at Jelly Belly gather up all the misshapen beans, package them in four pound cellophane bags and sell them in a corner of the gift shop for, oh, something in the neighborhood of $2 to $3 a pound. And they call them “Belly Flops”. Clever, isn’t it?

We like to buy a case when we’re there. This, now that I think of it, might contribute to the fact that I LOOK like a great, big Belly Flop. OMG! You really ARE what you eat!

Now, for the record, it’s not like we eat a case in the week after we get home. It usually takes us several months. And Belly Flops are a LOT more fun than the cool, perfect, expensive ones. Seriously. First off, it’s a grab bag; you don’t know what you’ll end up with. It’s a big, multi-color polka-dot of a bag and you get what you get. Sometimes they DO divide the misfits into sours and sweets though.

Anyway, there we sit, with a great big bag of Belly Flops. Mostly we just enjoy them while we all sitting around having a family film night watching “The Wicker Man” or something equally bonding. Occasionally someone pulls out a really cool flop…my son holds the record on size, he once got 17 jelly beans all melded into one big Everlasting Gobstopper of a treat.

Eventually we start holding them up for others to admire, or passing them around to see what everyone else thinks it looks like. Sort of like edible shadow puppets. They’re fun, nutritious AND entertaining!

Needless to say, the “free” factory tour usually ends up costing around $20 a head. Oh sure, I can hear you all cluck clucking at me now. It’s my own damn fault. Go in, take the tour, use the potty and go back to Santa Rosa. I’d like to see YOU get out of that place empty handed. Yeah, past all those fresh faced high school seniors trying to earn an honest living and their grandparents, smiling sweetly as they offer samples of 7-Up flavored beans.

Oh, and by the way, go next door after you leave, to the Olive Oil tasting room. I don’t remember the actual name but he’s got signs outside, you can’t miss it. It’s actually very interesting. And all the healthy olive oil you’ll end up lugging home will help negate the mess all the sugar in the candy is making of your colon.

I’m fully expecting to win Mega Millions any day now, and I certainly hope they release my funds in time for the holidays. Thanksgiving in San Francisco is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever done on a holiday. And, because it’s a four day week-end, one can shop Black Friday morning in Union Square, finish up in time for dim sum that afternoon, and spend Saturday doing the Santa Rosa to Fairfield sugar rush trip.

This, btw, includes the outrageously priced wineries of Napa, which only adds to the sugar blitz you’re about to embark upon…wine is full of sugar, admit it. And, if you time it right, you can go back to “The City” via 101, which affords one a stop at the premium outlet mall and dinner at one of the few A & W Root Beer restaurants still left.

As for my unfortunate resemblance to the giant Cream Soda Belly Flop, I’ve decided the best way to handle that problem is to buy bigger bath towels.

1 comment:

  1. I love the pale jelly belly image! Also, viva flops!