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Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 20 Oct 2018, 17:26
by Mo
For the first time since I move to London, I and at gryll-box zero and have no unread threads.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 20 Oct 2018, 19:10
by Aresen
Mo wrote:
20 Oct 2018, 17:26
For the first time since I move to London, I and at gryll-box zero and have no unread threads.
Obsessive Gryll Disorder, Mo? :P

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 04 Dec 2018, 10:00
by Warren
So my father called late last night needing help setting up a gmail account. I successfully walked him through it. Half the effort was convincing him that what he'd done prior to calling me was unsalvageable.
The "share screen" function on Skype is The Market.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 05 Dec 2018, 18:53
by Jennifer
For our regular daily pick-me-up cup of coffee (as opposed to "coffee we serve to guests" or other special-occasion coffee events), Jeff and I usually buy cans of store-brand coffee, either from Target or Kroger. A couple weeks ago, we were browsing an overstock outlet where they happened to sell cans of Chase & Sanborn coffee (which probably never would've even registered on my radar, had I not remembered that really sexist vintage C&S ad someone posted here once, plus the many many Chase & Sanborn jokes which followed). Even though that discount price was still slightly more expensive than our usual store-brand morning coffee, I bought a can solely because it was an actual can made of solid metal, rather than the usual cardboard-and-foil canisters most ground coffee comes in nowadays. I wanted a metal can specifically so I could use it to make an emergency winter car-heating kit* (using the label-less can as a makeshift space heater, fueled by metal-cup tealight candles burning in the bottom of it), just in case another infamous storm-fueled Atlanta traffic jam should leave Jeff and me literally stranded in the car and forced to sleep in it for a night.

The Chase and Sanborn coffee is almost gone -- I'll be using the last of it when I make tomorrow's batch of coffee -- and the timing is perfect, because on Sunday/Monday, Atlanta is forecast to get ... [ominous music] ... actual snow. Maybe as much as an inch or two!

*When we left Virginia and moved to Atlanta a couple years ago, I had a dozen empty metal Target coffee cans as part of our standard storm emergency kit. But I discarded them because I figured it would be silly to pay movers to haul literal garbage across multiple states, when I could just resume saving and collecting empty coffee cans in our new home. Alas, turns out we moved at the exact time Target stopped selling its store-brand coffee in metal cans and switched to cardboard-foil canisters.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 05 Dec 2018, 18:57
by Eric the .5b
Jennifer wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 18:53
The Chase and Sanborn coffee is almost gone -- I'll be using the last of it when I make tomorrow's batch of coffee -- and the timing is perfect, because on Sunday/Monday, Atlanta is forecast to get ... [ominous music] ... actual snow. Maybe as much as an inch or two!
That's fucking serious for the likes of Atlanta (or my neck of the woods). Make sure to carry water, too.

But then, you have experience in the Forsaken Northlands, so you're probably already on top of that.


(How is Chase and Sanborn coffee?)

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 05 Dec 2018, 19:37
by Jennifer
Eric the .5b wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 18:57
Jennifer wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 18:53
The Chase and Sanborn coffee is almost gone -- I'll be using the last of it when I make tomorrow's batch of coffee -- and the timing is perfect, because on Sunday/Monday, Atlanta is forecast to get ... [ominous music] ... actual snow. Maybe as much as an inch or two!
That's fucking serious for the likes of Atlanta (or my neck of the woods). Make sure to carry water, too.

But then, you have experience in the Forsaken Northlands, so you're probably already on top of that.
Definitely. Just a couple of weeks ago, in fact, I did a "stuff to keep in your car for winter emergencies" freelance listsicle-article which included instructions on how to make an emergency space heater out of a coffee can, and also (in the intro) included a link to a January 2014 news story about how one inch of snow paralyzed the entire Atlanta road system for over 24 hours -- people forced to sleep in their cars, even several schoolbuses full of kids stranded on the highway overnight -- yecch.

I was in NoVa at the time -- if I recall correctly, seeing those then-current Atlanta news articles is what inspired me to take two of the clean, empty metal coffee cans I had at the time, and convert them into heating kits for my car and Jeff's.

(How is Chase and Sanborn coffee?)
I can't really taste any difference between that, Target's "Market Pantry" brand and Kroger's store brand (IIRC, medium roast for both of them -- whichever option has the lowest per-ounce unit price.) It's just -- generic standard "coffee" with my usual additions of sugar and half-n-half. Not as tasty as Dunkin Donuts' coffee IMO, but better than Starbucks because it doesn't taste burnt. (OTOH, remember my own sense of smell, and thus of taste, is rather stunted compared to most people. Maybe someone with a more sensitive palate would say the three brands I mentioned had very obvious differences in taste and quality. But, while I do intend to get a couple more cans of C&S next time the discount outlet has them at that price, I'm paying the slight price premium over Kroger or Target because I want the actual can, not because I have any preference for the coffee inside.)

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 05 Dec 2018, 19:56
by Eric the .5b
Jennifer wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 19:37
Eric the .5b wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 18:57
Jennifer wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 18:53
The Chase and Sanborn coffee is almost gone -- I'll be using the last of it when I make tomorrow's batch of coffee -- and the timing is perfect, because on Sunday/Monday, Atlanta is forecast to get ... [ominous music] ... actual snow. Maybe as much as an inch or two!
That's fucking serious for the likes of Atlanta (or my neck of the woods). Make sure to carry water, too.

But then, you have experience in the Forsaken Northlands, so you're probably already on top of that.
Definitely. Just a couple of weeks ago, in fact, I did a "stuff to keep in your car for winter emergencies" freelance listsicle-article which included instructions on how to make an emergency space heater out of a coffee can, and also (in the intro) included a link to a January 2014 news story about how one inch of snow paralyzed the entire Atlanta road system for over 24 hours -- people forced to sleep in their cars, even several schoolbuses full of kids stranded on the highway overnight -- yecch.
Makes sense. Congratulations on the freelance piece!

I may have to look up some C&B and see how it tastes to me. Mind, this gets me reflecting how smell and taste are senses where it's hard for people without any obvious impairment to calibrate against other people. There's no such thing as 20/20 smelling, as a general thing. (Sommeliers, perfumers, etc. may have some kind of testing and measuring of olfactory perception, but I'm not aware of it.) I find discussion of smell/flavor "notes" evocative, but I'd be damned if I could pick out all the notes beyond things like decent IPAs having a citrus (and often specifically grapefruit-like) component.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 05 Dec 2018, 20:15
by Jennifer
Eric the .5b wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 19:56
I may have to look up some C&B and see how it tastes to me. Mind, this gets me reflecting how smell and taste are senses where it's hard for people without any obvious impairment to calibrate against other people. There's no such thing as 20/20 smelling, as a general thing. (Sommeliers, perfumers, etc. may have some kind of testing and measuring of olfactory perception, but I'm not aware of it.) I find discussion of smell/flavor "notes" evocative, but I'd be damned if I could pick out all the notes beyond things like decent IPAs having a citrus (and often specifically grapefruit-like) component.
Come to think of it, I can only recall two instances where either Jeff or I noticed an actual meaningful taste difference regarding standard (non-premium) ground coffees: once, possibly back in Connecticut, I tried a can of Walmart's store brand coffee and thought it tasted the same as any other, but Jeff said he didn't like it. And one other time, IIRC in northern Virginia, we tried a particular type of Kirkland (Costco store-brand) ground coffee which I thought tasted better than ordinary ground coffee, but Jeff disliked it.

So, out of five brands of ground coffee: Jeff and I both agree Chase and Sanborn, Market Pantry and Kroger taste about average/the same. Regarding Walmart coffee, I thought it tastes average, Jeff thought below average. Regarding a certain Kirkland variety of coffee, I thought it tasted better than average, Jeff thought below average.

I add sugar and cream (half and half) to my coffee; Jeff adds only cream but no sugar to his.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 06 Dec 2018, 01:08
by Eric the .5b
Jennifer wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 20:15
I add sugar and cream (half and half) to my coffee; Jeff adds only cream but no sugar to his.
A little spenda and cold water for me, at least if the coffee's decent. A tiny touch of half-and-half if not, since that's small enough not to bug my stomach much.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 06 Dec 2018, 04:45
by Jennifer
I'm just wondering if maybe it's my use of sugar (or Jeff's disinterest in doing so), rather than my presumed taste-bud weakness, to explain why Jeff disliked two out of five coffees we've tried that I found ordinary or even better than average.

Two more anecdotes I remember: on occasion, where there was a really good sale bring their prices down to below store-brand, we've also bought Folgers and Maxwell House; again, figured they taste about the same as all other ground coffees we've had. Whether this means those coffees really are all the same, or there are differences which I don't notice either because of an inherently stunted sense of taste or because a spoonful or two of sugar overwhelms them, I don't know.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 06 Dec 2018, 14:15
by Jennifer
This is a review of the Chase and Sanborn coffee can, not the coffee itself: of all the metal coffee cans I've converted into emergency space heaters, this can is probably the best because, while it has pretty much the same width as any standard-sized coffee can, it is several inches shorter from top to bottom, which is definitely preferable if you're an adult with an adult-sized hand hoping to light tealight candles at the bottom of said can without scorching yourself.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 06 Dec 2018, 16:53
by dhex
Sugar masks bitterness in coffee so it will definitely change how you feel about a specific brand.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 07 Dec 2018, 00:16
by lunchstealer
Jennifer wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 14:15
This is a review of the Chase and Sanborn coffee can, not the coffee itself: of all the metal coffee cans I've converted into emergency space heaters, this can is probably the best because, while it has pretty much the same width as any standard-sized coffee can, it is several inches shorter from top to bottom, which is definitely preferable if you're an adult with an adult-sized hand hoping to light tealight candles at the bottom of said can without scorching yourself.
You don't have one of those wand lighter thingies?

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 07 Dec 2018, 01:16
by Jennifer
lunchstealer wrote:
07 Dec 2018, 00:16
Jennifer wrote:
06 Dec 2018, 14:15
This is a review of the Chase and Sanborn coffee can, not the coffee itself: of all the metal coffee cans I've converted into emergency space heaters, this can is probably the best because, while it has pretty much the same width as any standard-sized coffee can, it is several inches shorter from top to bottom, which is definitely preferable if you're an adult with an adult-sized hand hoping to light tealight candles at the bottom of said can without scorching yourself.
You don't have one of those wand lighter thingies?
I have several, but not to store in a non-climate-controlled car. For the emergency car heaters I use matches only, no liquid- or gas-fueled lighters.

Right now the can contains three ziploc bags: a gallon freezer bag holding a sliding box of 250 wooden matches (I figure those are better than cardboard book matches for winter emergencies, since wooden matches are easier to light if your fingers are stiff and clumsy with cold), and two sandwich bags each holding enough tea light candles to burn four at a time for at least fifteen hours (conservatively estimated). That inch of snow in 2014 had Atlanta-area roads completely immobilized with gridlock for over 24 hours, so I want each car's basic winter kit to have at least 24 hours' worth of supplies.

Re: Tiny Triumphs

Posted: 09 Dec 2018, 15:33
by Jennifer
Not a triumph OR a failure, but since I was already talking abut my definitely stunted sense of smell, and presumably stunted sense of taste: a few months ago Jeff discovered the joys of making mojitos, after discovering many of the Asian supermarkets we frequent sell sugarcane juice in their freezer sections. First time I tried a sip of Jeff's mojito, I thought it was just nasty. Second mojito --- made of frozen rather than fresh-squeezed cane juice, in case that makes a difference -- I still didn't like it but thought maybe it had potential: I said something to the effect of "It almost tastes good, except it either needs something it doesn't have or HAS something it shoudn't have." Jeff told me traditional mojitos were made with white rum rather than the dark spiced rum he uses, and perhaps a white-rum mojito would be more to my liking.

So a couple days ago, when we were running errands and Jeff stopped at a liquor store, he bought a big bottle of spiced rum and I picked up a small flask-sized bottle of Bacardi white for experimental mojitos. (Also, Jeff bought fresh peppermint sprigs, in lieu of the 10+ year old bottle of Whole Foods ground peppermint he'd been using.) He steeped the mint, lime juice and cane juice in some white Bacardi before adding that to his spiced rum, but first poured out a tiny sip of it for me. He commented on how very minty it tasted, but when I tried a sip, all I could taste (besides the alcoholic nastiness) was the tartness of the lime juice -- I could kinda-sorta detect a minty undertone, but I had to "look" for it, and if I didn't know the drink contained mint I would've thought it was just a spiked limeade with no mint at all. So Jeff made another small experimental drink: this one just white rum, sugarcane juice and lots of mint, no lime at all. And THAT drink, IMO, tasted the worst of all.

"What's wrong?" Jeff asked when I saw my face. "Too minty, or too sugary?"

"Neither," I said. "Too ... alcohol-y, I guess." Had Jeff not lived with me long enough to know how stunted my taste and smell senses are, I swear he'd've thought I was pulling his leg.