GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
2 June 2003
I bought a new cookbook at WeightWatchers last week (it seems they publish a new
cookbook ever 15 minutes or so!). With the food
fotolog being so successful, I was especially looking for books with photos so
I could get some sort of idea of how best to present a picture of what I'm eating,
and so this book caught my eye because I liked the pictures.
With the new enthusiasm that I always have when I first get a new cookbook, I sat down
to "devour" it. I had pen and paper in hand to make a shopping list, and marked
the recipes I wanted to try this week. So far all have been very good choices.
One is for something called "grapefruit chicken" (on the menu for dinner
tonight), which calls for a tablespoon of apple jelly.
I took my list (which I neatly typed up, each food in a category, for ease of
shopping--what an anal retentive thing to do!) and went to the Nugget Supermarket.
When I got to the jelly aisle, I was ready to grab the apple jelly and run, but I
didn't find it. Surely there was a mistake. I glanced over the shelves again. No apple
jelly. I gave it a third look, this time carefully examining each shelf, in turn and no,
there was definitely no apple jelly (except mint apple jelly, which wasn't what I was
How odd. But that's OK. I would put off making the dish until I could get to another
store and pick up a jar.
Two days later, I went to another supermarket and tried again. Same thing. No apple
jelly. Today I tried a third major supermarket chain and again, no apple jelly (I ended up
getting jalapino jelly, which is jalapino-flavored apple jelly).
I am left with only one conclusion: they have stopped making apple jelly.
I am not a huge fan of jams and jellies. It's not that I don't like them. I do. A lot.
Too much. So I don't usually keep them around for that reason. But even when I did
have jams and jellies around, I rarely bought apple. It's one of those tastes fondly
remembered from my childhood--that sweet, rubbery, amorphous taste swirled together with
globs of peanutbutter--which doesn't quite live up to the intensity of the flavors I've
grown to prefer--the strong strawberry and other berry jams, for example (jams and
preserves win out over jelly because I like crunching into real fruit).
Perhaps enough other people feel as I do that it caused such a drop in the apple jelly
market that it was not longer economically feasible to make the stuff.
It made me think about the other things that have faded away while I wasn't keeping
watch. A new ad campaign, for example, is hailing the "return" of Breck shampoo.
I never realized it had gone away. Breck was another of those things that were just part
of my childhood and at some point I'd moved on to other brands. But knowing that it's
"back" makes me want to try it and see how I like it lo' these many years later.
There used to be a debate in our house about which was better--Oreo cookies or Hydrox cookies. We all agreed
that Hydrox (Walt had been brought up on Hydrox; before that I dont think I'd ever
considered that there was a difference) were head and shoulders ahead of Oreos on the
taste department. But apparently Oreos had a better publicity department because you can't
find Hydrox cookies any more. Oreos have won the chocolate sandwich cookie war.
(Incidentally, check that Hydrox link--the story is fascinating!)
My hair brush is finally wearing out and I need a new one. Since I have thick hair I
love a sturdy natural bristle brush, but try to find one of those anywhere. Or at least
try to find one that doesn't cost a fortune. I don't like those plastic jobs with the
little nubs on the tips. They don't do it for me. But even if I can find a natural brustle
brush, the packaging makes it impossible to feel it--there is a
difference. The last natural bristle brush I bought ended up being too densely packed to
go through my hair and it kind of smoothes it down on top--which doesn't give my scalp the
nice "scratching" it likes.
All of the special things in my youth are disappearing. (Which, given that I'm
60, is probably not that surprising!)
But it's not just the things of my youth. WeightWatchers has decided to discontinue its
chocolate mint 2 point bars. I don't have a clue why. In our little group, those appear to
have been the hands-down favorite and in my somewhat expert opinion, those were the only
ones which didn't taste "diet"-y. But they are no more and in their place were
are left with bars which are OK, but definitely not chocolate mint.
I wonder over the years how many foods, products and other things have slipped through
my fingers like apple jelly. I'm going to have to be more alert in the future to hold on
to things that are special to me.
Now what's the address for WeightWatchers?