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Posts Tagged ‘Ben & Jerry’s’

Note: Seeing as I have no PhD-related photos, I’m using this post as an opportunity to showcase more edible (well, that might be questionable) delights from America, partaken in during my 2007-8 exchange year. Don’t stress about the incongruity of text and visuals. (Or the extremely terrible quality of the photos.) Just go with it.

Baked Cheetos

Naturally Baked! With Real Cheese! (Then unnaturally flavoured with orange powder, the shade of which usually appears only on butterflies’ wings and carrots. Mmm, butterfly wing-flavoured carrots.)

I’ve mentioned sporadically (Clueless, anyone?) on this blog that I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to start a PhD. In fact, when I began my travels in December, my plan was to have an epiphany about my future in Paris. Sadly, it turns out you can’t schedule epiphanies. (Who made up that stupid rule?)

As a result, when I returned to Australia I started madly asking every current and former PhD student I knew, and a few trusted others as well, about their academic experiences and advice. (Thanks to Theresa, Conor, Johanna, Sarah, and the Housemate, among others.) I also chatted with my Honours supervisor, who has always been adamant that a PhD office at ANU is where I belong. About the time I started leaning towards the idea, my supervisor and I discovered the possibility of a mid-year entry (and scholarship). We had less than 48 hours to put the proposal together.

Amy's Tofu Scramble

If we had frozen meals like this in Australia, I might never cook again. Okay, that was a bald-faced lie. I would definitely feel sad if all I ate were frozen meals. But still, the point is that I miss Amy’s.

I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to getting my application in – from the lecturers who wrote such touching recommendations to the Sociology and general Social Sciences admin staff who made sure my application got into the right hands and, of course, my parents, who calmly told me that whatever the outcome, everything would be fine.

As it turns out, I got the scholarship and, as of today, I have my very own office. Sure, there’s no computer in it, and my log-in doesn’t work yet because I’m not technically a PhD student until the end of August, but it looks like I’ve finally got some goals to head towards. The first couple of these are not mucking up my tutorials and figuring out a PhD topic, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Kettle Chips, Sun Chips, Blue Diamond, Clif Bar

From memory, left to right: a bit “mucky” tasting; quite nice; delicious; and far surpassed by the Crunchy Peanut Butter, Maple Nut, and Banana Bread Clif Bars (which are all vegan, I believe). Also, if that constituted incorrect use of semi-colons... I apologise. It’s quite late as I write this, and I may or may not have just taken some panadol that may or may not be making me feel sleepy.

Cookies n Cream Clif Bar

I couldn’t resist posting this photo. It’s what that Cookies ‘n’ Cream Clif bar looks like unwrapped, but I think we all know what it *also* looks like. Giggle.

In other words, after six months of travelling, post-surgery-stillness, and general fancy-free living… I’m finally back in the Real World.

I hope it treats me nicely.

Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk

And because I don’t want the above imagery , with its associated scatological reference, to be the last thing on your mind, I present to you yet another Ben & Jerry’s creation. Those of you who’ve been with me for awhile should be able to guess what I thought of this: Booooo-ring.

Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk

Did I eat the entire pint in less than two days anyway? Of course I did. (Also, before you shake your head at me regarding the blurriness of this photo, consider two things. 1. When I took this photo, I had no blog and no intention of showing anyone. 2. Look! There, in the bottom right hand corner of the (circular and therefore corner-less tub)! It’s sharp and focused!)

Another Note: For those of you in the US and Canada, don’t forget to enter the Cookbook Giveaway by commenting on this post. Entries close July 26th.

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It’s been a hectic few days over here in Canberra-town. It’s getting close to move-in day for Smurf Kitchen, so there’s been much lugging of books, kitchen equipment, shelves, and miscellaneous bits and pieces up many, many flights of stairs. (Elevators are for the weak. As are dishwashers. And beds. Okay, maybe my lack of a bed is more to do with Freedom taking their sweet time to deliver it than some courageous and awe-inspiring lifestyle choice of mine, but still. Let me find at least some light at the end of my mattress-on-the-floor-for-several-weeks tunnel.)

Sashimi platter, Seattle

Fantastic sashimi platter at a restaurant in Seattle. Yes, this has no relevance to the story at hand, but see below for the explanation.

There’s been appliance-buying, driving parents to the airport, a distinct lack of sleep (dear 3am, why do you constantly want me to be awake for you? You ain’t that special) and then, out of the blue, the discovery that my university is offering a mid-year PhD scholarship that my Honours supervisor wanted to put me up for. The tricky part came when we discovered that the university was giving us less than 48 hours to get the application, proposal, and multiple referee reports together and submitted.

Fun times indeed. (My Honours supervisor is, for the record, somewhat like superman in how quickly he put everything in motion.)

All this is to say that I haven’t had a spare moment in which to write a chocolate review, so I thought I’d showcase a few more hilarious/interesting/delicious/horrific – depending on your viewpoint – eats and sights from my 2007-8 exchange year in the U.S. Clearly, the photos have already begun, but enjoy!

Holy bucket, when I was young I read books like The Silver Brumby, Little House on the Prairie, and occasionally something trashier like The Babysitters’ Club. This is the “range” of novels aimed at female teenagers today? These all look exactly the same as each other. And as nauseating as each other. I feel sad inside.

Okay, now I’m just laughing inside. Leaf-covered bikini? Frustrated grunt? Pretty Committee? Right boob? Stomping of feet? Surely no one could take this seriously... right?

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Shop Caramel Apple

Party on a stick? More like Party In My Mouth. (Except I didn’t eat this, because I don’t like the combination of chocolate and fresh fruit. Still, a girl can dream of world where she does like such flavours and therefore did eat this monstrosity.)

Cheddar Beer Kettle Chips

Not a match made in heaven. A match made in HEAVEN. Are we clear?

Baja Fresh Ensalada with Chicken

Baja Ensalada with Chicken from Baja Fresh in Berkeley. Mmm, tortilla strips and pico de gallo...

Strawberry Cheesecake Ben & Jerry's

I fully expect there to be a Ben & Jerry’s photo in every retrospective post I do about my exchange year. Just warning you. This was Strawberry Cheesecake: Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream with Strawberries and a Thick Graham Cracker Swirl. Probably my least favourite flavour. It was ooky.

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Everyone! Hi! Over here! Exclamation mark! Remember how, in the last post, I put up this photo of mystery berries in the hopes that someone would know what they were and tell me? Well, if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s patient with gaps in my own knowledge. After some extensive and intensive googling (okay, okay, some intermittent googling whilst watching a recorded episode of Spicks and Specks), I can proudly tell you that the berries in question are known as Che Fruit, or Chinese Mulberries.

I feel privileged to have tasted these largely-unknown and farm-fresh berries and, although it’s been almost three years since I ate them, I still remember their honey and fig-like sweetness. Of course, during my year in America (2007 to 2008), I ate a myriad items far less wholesome in nature than fresh fruit…

Probably Bad For My Insides Eats

Ben & Jerry's Cinnamon Buns

One of my favourite Ben & Jerry’s flavours. What’s that the kids say these day? Cinnamon is my home boy? It is. It is my home boy. Also, Ben & Jerry’s needs to get off its Melbourne and Sydney high horse and start stocking Canberra’s shelves.

Lucky Charms

Styrofoam marshmallows, anyone? Oh, let’s be honest, I used to fill take-away cups with these Lucky Charms and sneak them out of the cafeteria at UVA almost every day. After all, how can something made of whole grains and with added calcium be wrong? Pshaw, Lucky Charms are practically dark leafy greens.

Goldfish crackers

Just keep swim-ming, just keep swim-ming... (I love you Ellen.)

Toffifay

Toffifay: “A Whole Hazelnut in Chewy Caramel with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling and Chocolate”. I remember being really bored by this. It was too sweet and one-dimensional, even with all the different flavour components. It mostly just came across as chewy and sweet with a none-too-fresh hazelnut inside.

Reese's Elvis Peanut Butter Cup Banana Creme

Marketing GOLD. Reese’s, you had me at your “King Size” wordplay.

Reese's Elvis Peanut Butter Cup Banana Creme

Despite abhorring fake banana flavouring, I found myself enjoying this more than I expected. Peanut butter and chocolate trumps banana, I s’pose. Also, please ignore the spoon in the background. From memory, I had this on the train en route from somewhere near Monterey Bay to LA.

Trader Joe's Edamame Seaweed Salad

Just to prove that I did, in fact, eat nutritious foods during my student exchange year, I present to you Trader Joe’s Edamame Seaweed Salad. This was the first item I ever bought from a Trader Joe’s (along with Matcha yogurt and a Peanut Butter Cookie Luna Bar) and, because it was delicious, I fell deeply in love with the place(s).

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Florence*. Florence, Italy, also known as the last leg of my four months of travelling. Now, some of you might be scratching your head and thinking “We’re in Florence now? How did we get to Florence?” If you are so scratching, I offer you some calamine lotion and then the link to this post, which details my rather interesting middle-aged-men-slumber-party-then-quite-erm-friendly-gelato-shouting**-Ronaldo-encounter-arrival in Italy.

Now that everyone’s on board in regards to how the Paris Glimpses become Florence Glimpses…

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

Having grown up in Canberra, a city where the architecture is, at most, a century old and (let’s be honest) quite unattractive, it boggled my mind that people walk in the shadows of fantastic, complicated, history-imprinted monoliths such as Florence's Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in their everyday lives. It was fun, for me, to do so for two weeks (and to write that horrifically long sentence).

Ponte Vecchio

On the Ponte Vecchio. Look at my hair go. Wheeeee!

Frozen octopus

I feel a little bit sorry for those octopi. There seems to be a lack of... dignity in the way they’ve been vacuum-packed.

Valsoia gelato

And at the other end of the spectrum, vegan gelato. (Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to try this, as I only ever saw it at supermarkets far away from my hostel. The climate was never freezing when I wanted it to be, only at all other times.)

Ben and Jerry's, Florence Italy

Sob/scream/strangled noise/hysterical laughter/Oh honey, no. What the bucket? NOOOO. Do not want. Cannot express the horror I felt upon seeing this right next to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Ben & Jerry's, you have a time and a place, and this is not it. Florence is synonymous with fabulous gelato, and I have the blog posts to prove it. This sight = globalisation fail.

Maltese Terrier

Maltese Terrier in a fancy clothing store. During my travels, I’ve been in stores where the owners' dogs have been allowed to hang out (I have the blog posts to prove that, too), but I think this was the first time I saw a customer’s pet chillin’ amidst the swirly fabric.

Oh, and I did try to get a better shot of this dog, but secretly paparazzi-stalking someone’s pet is harder than you may think, particularly in a very crowded shop.

Italian Gilmore Girls

This gave me the warm fuzzies, because my mum and I have watched every Gilmore Girls episode together. In fact, I believe this blog has already seen comments-area-chats regarding Jess’ superiority over Dean. And the ambiguity of Logan’s likeability. Oooh, I like that last sentence. It rhymes, sort of.

Florence deli food

Florence’s version of fast food. To be honest. I tended to stick with quality fresh sandwiches rather than reheated schnitzels, but each to their own.

 * Excuse me a minute while I scramble onto my opinionated high horse. Ah, that’s better. Okay. I’m going to keep calling Florence, well, Florence, because I assume most of my readers are English speakers. However, Florence’s actual name is Firenze, just as Rome is actually Roma. I cannot for the life of me understand why, as English speakers, we’ve corrupted the Italian names to suit our own purposes, and yet I realise that it’s not only English speakers that transmogrify place names (teehee, I just said “transmogrify”). In French, for example, Australia is l’Australie, and Japan is Japon. So I guess this kind of place-name-changing is universal, and yet it doesn’t sit comfortably with me. I can’t help thinking we should call places by the names given them by their inhabitants. What do y’all think?

** I recently discovered that “shouting” is an Australian term not necessarily understood beyond our shores. So Today’s Language Lesson is that “to shout [someone] [something]” means to pay for it. At the pub, for example, people often take it in turns to “shout” a round of drinks, or one might “shout” a friend coffee and cake at afternoon tea. And now I’ll take off my teacher’s hat and dismount my horse.

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