Friday, February 27, 2009

The Ballad of Trader Joe

Before I headed off to the mountains of North Carolina last weekend, I took a trip to my favorite specialty grocery store - Trader Joe's. That place is typically my first stop whenever I'm either hosting a party or bringing snacks to a friend's party. It truly does have the best gourmet nibbles, as well as the cheapest beer and wine prices. Two Buck Chuck, anyone?

Anyhoo, my snacks were a major hit up in the cabins. I had no sooner set out the chips and salsa and hummus and crackers, and cut up some of my favorite brie and mozzarella cheese wrapped with prosciutto and basil, when they were immediately devoured by the vultures hovering around the table. And because not everyone in attendance had stepped foot in a Trader Joe's before, I'm pretty sure I helped convert a few new fans. Hey TJ! Do I get some sort of fee for finding you new customers? Kidding. Although, while I'm at it, I hope someone from Trader Joe's IS reading this and paying attention to my next point...Please stop discontinuing so many of your awesome food items! The Indian relish? Bring it back! Also, my mom and I still weep giant salty tears whenever we remember our dearly departed spicy Thai Lime and Chili peanuts (not to be confused with the Thai cashews) which no longer grace the store's shelves. Boo hiss. I still love you Trader Joe. But stop taking away all my treats.

Moving on, though, it seems I'm one of many Trader Joe's fans. I recently found some pretty entertaining poems and videos in the store's honor. Here is one example:

Finally, I'm going to leave you with some sucralose-sweetened, berry-licious recipes in honor of National Strawberry Day today. Enjoy!

Nutty Fresh Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Very Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Kiwi Sipper

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