Author: Mary

I have a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California Baptist University, but my heart belongs to writing. My writing history is advertised below and located on InfoBarrel and WordPress. I’ve published much research along with some fiction. With time, I hope to produce more material for the reading world and add to my writing skills.

Fruit Gums – Nestle’s Sour Candy – A Critical Review

Fruit Gums – Nestle’s Sour Candy – A Critical Review

Fruit Gums are sour! Above and beyond what is normal for my dull taste palette. Seeing my pinched-faced reaction to the sour candy made my husband chuckle, though. He enjoyed the Fruit Gums, finding them pleasantly tangy and flavorful. If my fellow American has overlooked this particular candy, then allow me to describe who makes the sour candies, where to find them, and how they taste.

Nestle, a British-Owned Company Known Throughout the USA

Rowntree created both Fruit Gums and Fruit Pastilles.

I have very fond memories about – what I considered – the world’s best chocolate candy bar, named Crunch. Located in Oregon for a family reunion during my childhood, my father sat me down and happily explained to me about the Nestle company. Sadly, I retained nothing but the name: Nestle.

On the other hand, when I found out about Nestle’s British roots, I was ecstatic! For I learned I’ve been enjoying British candy since my childhood. And now I’ve learned about the company’s expansion into other food products, such as Fruit Gums.

To be specific, Fruit Gums comes from Nestle’s subcompany, called Rowntree. From this subcompany comes the various and distinctly British candies. Today I will talk about their traditional-flavored sour Fruit Gums.

Where to Find Nestle’s Fruit Gums in USA’s Northern California

We loaded up on all the UK candy.

Anyone who has searched through my previous blog posts will know exactly how much I love two particular markets in Northern California: Nugget Markets being my top favorite, and Cost Plus World Market standing solidly at second place. In this particular instance, the sour Fruit Gums came from Cost Plus World Market.

I remember writing before about the wide variety of British foods and candies found at Cost Plus World Market. There had once been question as to their products’s origins. However, the market’s products seem to  actually come from other countries, for my British friends seem to recognize the candy.

Earlier in Spring 2017, Alex and I had the opportunity to load up on British candy from this particular market. Unfortunately, we will need to load up again at a later date, for it went bad from the 100ºF and plus weather, which the Sacramento Valley has been suffering under for months. Therefore, to provide my readers with the full British experience, I will need to buy them again to review them!

We Know the Fruit Gums are Sour, but How Else Do They Taste?

We had opened the candy roll with great anticipation.

Before answering this question, I need to clarify a point: These particular Fruit Gums I tried were traditional Fruit Gums, and they had no relation to the intentionally, painfully, and saliva-inducing sour variety. For me, the traditional Fruit Gums have their very own ability to induce saliva. This downgraded the candy, in my opinion.

Otherwise, the Fruit Gums had very pleasant flavors. The traditional flavor list includes blackcurrant, orange, strawberry, and lemon and lime. Admittedly, I had no clue about how the blackcurrant would taste. Upon first biting into the small candy, I thought the candy had molded. Alex corrected me, emphasizing on blackcurrant’s somewhat bitter flavor – at least, bitter according to this American, who dearly loves her sweets. Once I realized my mistake, I thoroughly enjoyed all the flavors!

Alex enjoyed the grid on the candy’s top, but that seems to be where most of the sourness came from. Moreover, only people who enjoy hard candies, like Alex, would enjoy Fruit Gums, for they were made to be hard and chewy. Those who prefer softer candies, like me, would prefer something else.

When Deciding to Try Fruit Gums for the First Time

I object, adamantly and vigorously, whenever I catch someone turning up his nose at a specific food or dish that he has never tried. Everyone has a different taste palette. Even if two people come from the same culture, or even the same family, their tastes can differ dramatically. Therefore, when the question comes on whether to try Fruit Gums or not, I will always encourage people to explore different cultural tastes. And to try the candy!

*      *     *     *     *

Have you ever tried Fruit Gums? If yes, did you find them bitter and sour, or chewy and flavorful? What about the Fruit Pastilles? Have you ever tried them? How do you like them compared to Fruit Gums?

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game” – Critical Review

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game” – Critical Review

Produced in 2014, The Imitation Game used several popular British actors and actresses to promote an ever-increasing, popular movement: LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) pride and accomplishment.

Provided below is a short summarization of the film and the message I gathered from the film’s making. Whether my readers agree with my analysis or not will hopefully provide for interesting and polite discussion in the comments below.

The Story Behind The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in The Imitation Game as Alan Turning.

Set in the year 1939, Britain’s secret agency was looking to hire several men to help them break Nazi Germany’s Enigma. For those who don’t know, Enigma had to do with Nazi Germany’s coded communication method. The story revolved around one of the hired mathematicians, Alan Turing.

As the movie progressed, the viewers learned about Turing’s logical mind and antisocial behaviors. The producers made his homosexuality evident early in the movie. And downright blatant halfway through the movie in a scene between Turing and his fiance, whom Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley played.

Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game as Joan Clarke.

Through political means, Turing managed to fire two of his co-workers to provide the funding for the machine he insisted would win the war. It was the first computer ever made. Eventually, after some toil and turmoil, the hired team and the machine decoded Nazi Germany’s Enigma.

As mentioned above, the producers emphasized on Turing’s homosexuality. They detailed a boyhood’s lost love, how the lost love affected his adult life, and the trials Turing underwent when convicted of indecent behavior. Ultimately, the movie portrayed Turing as a war hero and a victim before he committed suicide at 41 years of age.

The Politics Behind The Imitation Game

The scene where Alan Turing and his team solve the Enigma.

The film’s aesthetics, such as the sound score, were beyond lovely. However, the social and political messaging behind The Imitation Game were nauseating. Though I have heard of it done, never before had I seen a story so flagrantly flounce the simple contributions of a homosexual man.

Throughout the movie, I had been caught up in the story. I rooted for Turing in his job, related to him in his social awkwardness, and sympathised with him for his lost love. However, when the movie ended, I saw the politics. I saw how exaggerated everything was to make Turing look like a victimized hero, all due to his homosexuality.

Thankfully, I had watched this movie on Netflix instead of buying it. For while Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley may rank high on my favorites list, I dislike promoting political agendas. Everyone should have the option to believe in what they will.

My Recommendation on Watching The Imitation Game

If someone reading this blog post belongs to the LGBT community, then he or she will love this movie and should watch it. And anyone who accepts the LGBT community with open arms will also enjoy this movie. However, those who believe the Holy Bible as I do, should find something else to watch. This movie is all about gay pride.

Please, before someone slams me as being a homophobe, recognize that I accept any LGBT member as a friend. However, my beliefs prevent me from accepting their lifestyle. Therefore, I avoid, and advice others with similar beliefs, to avoid political agenda movies, such as The Imitation Game.

Thank you for reading. Please comment below on how stupid I am, or how I may have a point, or the excellent scenery and score in the movie, or more.

Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette” – Critical Review of a Twist on the British Classic

Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette” – Critical Review of a Twist on the British Classic

Jamie Oliver, a world-renown British chef, pieced together yet another cookbook, called Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain, in year 2011. According to the cover, it contains 130 of his favorite British Recipes, which include old comfort foods and modern classics. From this cookbook did I create his version of the “Old Boy’s Omelette.”

Why the “Old Boy’s Omelette” is Ideal to Make in the USA

All the ingredients I used for my own version of Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette.”

Looking through this cookbook revealed many recipes which I would find difficult to recreate, due to the unavailability of the recipes’s ingredients. However, the “Old Boy’s Omelette” contained ingredients easily obtainable within the USA. Delighted at this discovery, I took the opportunity yesterday to buy the ingredients in the dish and cook my family omelettes for dinner!

The three ingredients requiring a special run to the grocery store were a sourdough bread loaf, sea salt, and four portobello mushrooms. Luckily for me, we already had the olive oil, quality bacon, free-range eggs, ground pepper, and cheddar cheese. (Albeit, my husband reminded me later the bacon in the UK likely differed from the bacon in the USA. Oh well, everyone in my family has a great appreciation for American bacon.)

What I Added to the Classic “Old Boy’s Omelette”

The Angus beef steaks which I seasoned and cooked for the omelettes.

Though I know enough about cooking to know portobello mushrooms are sometimes substituted for meat, I also know my family loves actual meat. So, in addition to the bacon which the recipe calls for, I bought a couple of well-cut Angus steaks to throw into the omelettes.

To adequately prepare the steaks, I brought out a large frying pan, placed the steaks in, and powdered on some salt, pepper, and garlic. Turning the steaks over, I spread more seasoning to the other sides. To give the steaks plenty of flavor, I then dosed the steaks in Worcestershire sauce. I then proceeded to cook them, flipping them every so often.

Once the steaks were thoroughly cooked, I turned off the heat and set them to the side. When they had reached a manageable temperature, I placed the two steaks on a cutting board and cut them into cubes. I removed most of the fat, but kept some for flavor.

Preparing to Make the “Old Boy’s Omelette”

The prepared ingredients to throw into the omelettes.

What I did with the steaks, I proceeded to do for the rest of the ingredients. I fried the bacon and cut them into either 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch pieces. Also, I cubed the sourdough bread, cleaned and sliced the portobello mushrooms, and grated the cheddar cheese – lots and lots of yummy cheddar cheese.

As for the free-range eggs, I took four small bowls and cracked three eggs into each. I whisked them with a small whisking utensil. Using the sea salt and ground pepper, I proceeded to pour good amounts of each into the whisked eggs. With this done and the remaining ingredients chopped and ready, all I had left to do was wait for the men to come home for dinner and begin the final step!

Making the “Old Boy’s Omelette” and How They Turned Out

Truly, truly I tried to follow Jamie Oliver’s instructions. However, what resulted ended up looking completely different than the beautiful photo for his take on the traditional Sunday morning meal. But, first, how I cooked the omelettes:

  • Poured olive oil into the skillet, a good amount.
  • Threw in the portobello mushroom slices.
  • Tossed in the sourdough bread pieces.
  • Sprinkled on a few bacon pieces.
  • Threw in plenty of cubed steak.
  • Added lots of cheddar cheese.
  • Mixed everything together with a wooden spoon and let the cheese melt!
  • Then poured in the egg mix.

 

It seemed too easy, and it was easier than it should have been. When I read the instructions, the omelette sounded more like making scrambled eggs. Moreover, the renowned chef instructed me to turn off the heat before the eggs had fully cooked. This, according to this American-born-and-bred individual, was a mistake. For everyone in my family enjoys fully-cooked eggs.

An American Verdict on Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette”

Mary Truong’s version of Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette”

Even though I changed the recipe slightly, and even though the eggs ended up slightly liquidy, my family highly enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette.” My father and my husband especially enjoyed all the meat. The cheddar cheese was probably my favorite part, for the portobello mushrooms ended up fried in the olive oil and had lost all their natural flavoring.

My family had already finished their meals by the time I remembered the HP sauce and ketchup, but I’ll try to remember for next time. For my family enjoyed the meal so much as to have it again – only this time with fully cooked eggs.

Have you ever tried “Old Boy’s Omelette?” What about trying Jamie Oliver’s version? Does the ketchup and HP sauce help to cut down the olive oil taste? I think adding tomatoes might make this a great meal too, what do the readers think?

From the Reading Room – Booming Bookazines, New Novels, and Hot-Wired Histories

From the Reading Room – Booming Bookazines, New Novels, and Hot-Wired Histories

Greetings, fellow bookworms! I have a little secret to share. It’s about “The Reading Room.” At nine-years-old, I was introduced to the first novel in a series from one of the world’s greatest thinkers and authors. The book was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the author was C.S. Lewis.

From that day until now, I have collected over 1,000 novels, histories, devotionals, biographies, and children’s books. All ultimately resulting in the creation of the Reading Room. And British authors, past and current, have written nearly half of the books included in my library. To share and review them with my friends is my intent.

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce the latest category to Mary Loves the UK: The Reading Room!



What to Read for the Upcoming Quarter

To provide my readers with some topic range within my upcoming blog posts, I have chosen three different reading materials to review within the next three months. These materials include the following:

  • Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia, a historical novel
  • Roy and Lesley Adkins’s Jane Austen’s England – Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods, a history book
  • BBC’s The Essential Doctor Who – Adventures in Space, a bookazine, printed in the UK

 

My Californian readers can find British reading material like these at local bookshops, such as the Avid Reader in Davis, or at club stores, such as Sam’s Club in Vacaville. If anyone has the will to join me in reading one (or all three!) of the above, please do! I would love to review these books and magazines as a group.

How to Join in the Discussions

To join in what I hope will become future book discussions, I recommend that my readers who have any interest follow these steps:

  1. Follow me! Located on the bottom right-hand corner should be buttons where my readers can follow my blog, or me, on social media.
  2. Choose the books of interest. No one needs to read every book with me. But, if any of my readers have a preference in the books listed to read, then please let me know!
  3. Read every blog post on the books. I will attempt to write a thorough review on each chapter or section in the reading materials. Hopefully they will assist my readers in the discussion.
  4. Answer the questions at the end of the blog posts. No one can have a discussion without questions! Therefore, though I cannot promise the best or most essential discussion questions, I will try to include some for every chapter to encourage discussion.

 

Have I managed to pique anyone’s interest? I hope so. Reading these British books is a treat I cannot deny myself, and one which I wish to share. But, please, if anyone has a preference as to which book or bookazine I should start reviewing in the Reading Room, let me know in the comment section below!

Yes, Honey, I’ll Eat ‘After Eight’

Yes, Honey, I’ll Eat ‘After Eight’

Nineteenth century English gentlemen and ladies would sometimes dine at eight o’clock in the evening. (So I say based purely on Jane Austen literature!) The dining time was especially practiced if said gentleman or lady had guests over for dinner.

However, Alex doesn’t expect me to dine late into the evening. He does expect me to eat his share of savory chocolate mints. And teasing me for eating After Eight mints simply makes him laugh!

Who Makes ‘After Eight’ and Where They’re Sold

A treat that stands above the rest.

It’s a crying disappointment how Nestle withholds these savory and mouthwatering chocolate mints from average American grocers. When searching for information on Nestle’s website, I found I had to change my country to “UK and Ireland” in order to simply find the mints!

Nevertheless, all is not lost. After some searching, I found two or three retail grocers who carried After Eight mints. This particular box I found came from – You guessed it! – Cost Plus World Market. This store had it discretely shelved on a lower shelf opposite the popular, worldwide candies. At least, so it was at this particular location in Northern California.

What Nestle Says About These Popular UK Treats

A social treat for family and friends.

Nestle talks about the elegance and savory flavoring of the After Eight mints, of course. But what I found interesting was the predominant ingredients in the mint. These ingredients include dark chocolate, 100% natural peppermint oil, and most unexpected of them all – fondant!

Originally, when Nestle first produced these savory mints, the advertisements appeared on television early after eight o’clock. The product’s design was based on an antique baroque, silver clock, as seen currently on the individual mint covers. And according to Nestle’s statistics, 50% of the mints consumed in the UK are After Eight mints.

What Drew Me To Them – ‘After Eight’ Aesthetics

Whoever designed the packaging, both the box and the individual wrappers, must have done extensive research. Several qualities exist that draw the buyers in:

  • After Eight mints are social mints. Twenty mints are included to share among a group, whether they be family or friends.
  • The outer packaging quietly draws attention to itself, telling us to look at its savory products.
  • Nestle officially labeled the product as ‘After Eight – Mint Chocolaty Thins’ with visually appealing letters.
  • The individual wrappers are – pardon my American vocabulary – thin and crinkly with beautiful golden clock designs.

 

Need I Describe How ‘After Eight’ Mints Taste?

As all the ladies and gentlemen say, “Yum!”

Once I learned about the 100% natural peppermint oil included in the delicacy, I was sold. To taste a smooth, creamy mint sounded like a good reason to stay at home in the evening. And as Alex and I soon learned upon purchasing the product, I was right.

The strong peppermint flavor leaves a strong, but pleasant, aftertaste. One mint satisfies me. Although, Nestle recommends five After Eight mints as a serving size. The portion is up to the consumer, as it always is. Overall, I highly recommend the product.

P.S. Don’t let the price scare you! The eight to nine dollar purchase price are dollars well spent!

HP Sauce, Mushy Peas, and Cromwell Somerdale Cheese Make for One Delicious British-Style Supper

HP Sauce, Mushy Peas, and Cromwell Somerdale Cheese Make for One Delicious British-Style Supper

Cooked and consumed before Alex’s and my wedding, this special supper included several British foods and sauces found at Northern California markets.

“Hold on. Don’t Mushy Peas belong with Bangers & Mash?” asked my loved one. “And shouldn’t we eat the Cromwell Somerdale cheese with the most common British bread?”

Preparing to cook.

“Yes,” I replied. “But we, as nothing but poor and unlucky Americans, need to eat the local beef and the frozen dinner rolls before they go bad.” (In this instance, I was half joking and half serious. I may not be lucky, but God provides me with many blessings.)

And so Alex, my parents, and I ate a sirloin steak dinner with British-style side dishes and sauces. Please allow me to detail the scrumptious meal.

Small Sirloin Steaks Completely Covered in HP Sauce

Sirloin steaks bought from a store fall somewhere between “tasty” and “merely acceptable” most of the time. On this night, Alex and I cooked the evening meal. Later we learned the steaks we served fell right dab in the middle.

Cooking the sirloin steaks and heating the Mushy Peas.

To help flavor everyone’s steak, I placed HP Sauce on the table. Browsing through Cost Plus World Market earlier in the week had enabled me to find this popular British sauce. Squealing with delight, I had snatched it quickly off the shelf.

Before tasting the sauce, I slathered it on my small sirloin. I was sure I would like it, and I was right. To me, who grew up with Worcestershire Sauce and A1 Sauce, it tasted like a mix between these two popular American sauces. How would my UK friends describe this sauce?

Mushy Peas Served as the Required Greens

Earlier in the year, Alex and I had cooked, eaten, and posted about home-cooked British Bangers and Mash. When Alex re-posted the blog post on Facebook, one friend said in mock-outrage, “What about the Mushy Peas?” We were confused.

The main side dishes and sauces for the meal.

So, after a little research, we realized either Heinz Beans or Mushy Peas could serve as a side dish to the popular dish. We decided to try the Mushy Peas, and found them at both Cost Plus World Market and Nugget Markets. If I remember correctly, the product was slightly cheaper at Nugget Markets.

On the night we cooked, I heated the Mushy Peas over the stove-top until the wooden spoon glided through the mush. Serving them in a simple dish, I scooped some unto my dinner plate to try. They tasted like……peas. More accurately, they tasted like my mother’s split-pea soup. Alex enjoyed them, and I found them tolerably good.

Cromwell Somerdale Cheese because We Wanted to Cut the Cheese

Granted, serving cheese as a main side dish seems odd. However, Alex and I had found the cheese section at Nugget Markets. And among this grocer’s cheese selection were many, many imported cheeses, including French, German, Mexican, Irish, Scottish, and British! We had to try some.

Everything else…

After picking through the selection, we settled on the Cromwell Somerdale cheese. This looked particularly good because of the chives and onions within the cheddar cheese. According to a UK website selling the cheese, we should have grilled it. Regardless, Cromwell Somerdale cheese is good straight from the block as well.

Non-Alcoholic British Drinks for an American Soda-Drinking Family

Lastly comes the British beverages we found at Cost Plus World Market. While the store had a large alcoholic beverage selection, my family chooses to abstain from alcohol to prevent giving a bad example to others in our faith. So, I picked up four different flavors of the British soda beverages.

The meal laid out on the table for a scrumptious meal!

Looking at the picture now, I remember that I drank the Fentimans Curiosity Cola while everyone else drank the Barr’s sodas. The predominant feature I remember about the Curiosity Cola was how flat the beverage tasted. Whereas American soda pop has ample amounts of carbonation, this drink had none.

The flavor evades description. Again, I wonder how my British friends would describe the flavor? As for me, I recommend my American readers to go out, buy, and try this mystery drink for themselves!

This likely isn’t a traditional British meal. However, my family and I enjoyed the British flavoring found within the dishes. All it needs is some sort of potato, and it would be a British-style meat and potato supper!

Top Three Reasons to Avoid Neil Gaiman’s Mirrormask

Top Three Reasons to Avoid Neil Gaiman’s Mirrormask

Neil Gaiman’s Mirrormask brings pain to depressed people. It’s something horrific and distressing, vile and repugnant. Under no circumstances should someone struggling with genuine depression, especially those who feel worthless and hopeless, watch this movie.

Have I convinced my readers to stay away from this British flick? I hope so. As someone who struggles with depression, I felt only despair about the real world as this movie played. Ultimately, movie lovers should avoid this movie for three reasons:

It’s a terrible remake of Alice in Wonderland.

In Disney’s animated version, Alice in Wonderland showed how a young girl worked through real-life problems through a vividly imaginative dream. The real-person version with Johnny Depp took one step further and indicated Alice as actually having gone to a place called Wonderland. Though both contained dark elements, the fictional characters and surrounding scenery remained lighthearted and true-to-form.

Neil Gaiman’s Mirrormask took a different, and absolutely, unquestionably dark, approach. For while the heroine Helena recognized a few caricatures as real-life representations, the other characters and the surrounding background was dramatically distorted and twisted. Something to cause viewers to worry for the young girl.

It shows the ugliness of real life with an extra smear of bad.

God has blessed me with people who love me and have the ability to support me when I struggle financially and emotionally. People who struggle the same way under different circumstances go hungry and live in rundown apartment complexes. Helena, her parents, and all their friends lived in such circumstances.

On the other hand, director Neil Gaiman seemed to amp up their dire situations with lethal situations and no help to be found. They suffered silently, but remained strong, until Helena’s mother came down with cancer. She went to the hospital, and the circus shut down. It was then Helena found her dreamworld, personal and dark.

It gives false hope to people in desperate situations.

If situational or chronic depression exists in people’s lives, then they should avoid this movie at all costs. On the day my husband suggested watching this movie, I had come home early from work because I couldn’t stop crying. Seeing Helena fight for a better future as a new and self-improved person seemed too unreal and hokey.

Only God can change people, and as King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, luck and chance happen to us all. So, people can read self-improvement books to their heart’s content, but only miracles change the course for an individual’s sinful, well-tread path. In my opinion, it’s best to pray for help, for a stroke of luck, instead of beating ourselves up in trying to change the dark elements in our own lives.

Mirrormask may need to wait for a better day.

Maybe I would like this British movie more on a happier and less emotional day. Maybe Neil Gaiman placed all his characters in better situations in the end. Somehow, I doubt it. If anything, a self-created miracle happened in Helena’s life, and I don’t believe people can change on their own selves. Thank you, Doctor Gregory House.

Feel free to shout at me for reviewing an unfinished movie. Or tell me how it ends and how I despaired over nothing. Any comments are welcome.

Taste Buds Meter the Maltesers and Maltesers Teasers and Catch the Maltesers Fever

Taste Buds Meter the Maltesers and Maltesers Teasers and Catch the Maltesers Fever

Ooh! Whoppers! Or, em, British whoppers. No? Oh, yeah, Maltesers. And, em, Maltesers Teasers. Oh, for crying-out-loud, those thingamajigs!

Found at Cost Plus World Market, and later-on spotted at the Dollar General store, Alex and I stumbled across an imported British candy called Maltesers. Malterfood, a Mars Chocolate UK sub-company, produce these traditional candies. Favored throughout the world, Malterfood produces and exports thousands of candies every year.

Tasting the Original Maltesers

For Americans, it is impossible to refrain from comparing these little candies to Whoppers’ malted milk balls. However, there exists a striking difference between the two candies. Maltesers made the candies slightly more doughy on the inside, as opposed to the Whoppers’ obvious crunch. Also, the superb Mars chocolate coating was significantly lighter than the chocolate coating on the Whoppers.

Malterfood’s added honey as their extra, special ingredient. And, to be perfectly frank, I only realized this upon reading the packaging. For the ingredient, while good in tea and on toast, added nothing to the taste. Rather than sweet, the candy had more of a sour aftertaste. Overall, the chocolate, honey, and dough balls are too bland for my taste.

On the Other Hand, the Maltesers Teasers…

Wow! So, so, so, so much better than the traditional Maltesers! The Maltesers Teasers completely make up for what the traditional candy balls lack. Think chocolate. Think about how Mars chocolate melts in your mouth. Consider also how tiny balls taste, how they crunch. So good!

Maltesers TeasersOn a more serious note, the Maltesers Teasers are more like traditional chocolate bars. In one sense, the candy reminded me much of the Crunch candy, chocolate and crunch. However, the candy bar included more chocolate than tiny candy balls. Consequently, they significantly outdid the Crunch candy bar.

Dealing with the Maltesers Fever

MaltesersIf Alex and I can find these original British candies in a discount store like Dollar General, then I can hardly begin to imagine how many places sell these tasty treats. Next time my husband and I have the money to go to the theater, I will have to search the candy options to see if they are present. Or, how many Malterfood candies would a store like Walmart sell? I’ll have to do more research.

Someone who presented me with these two Malterfood candies would find that I would choose the Maltesers Teasers before the original candy balls. In fact, I recommend the candy bar to anyone who prefers Mars chocolate over dough and honey. The 100+ degree weather may have affected the candies. They may have melted the chocolate or made them less crunchy. Or maybe Cost Plus World Market sold the expired ones and I didn’t catch it. Either way, as British candy goes, the sweet tooth accepts both.

Delectable Treats – Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges

Delectable Treats – Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges

Treats like these don’t grow on trees! Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges are mouth-watering, flavor-popping chocolates which open with a good, solid whack!

American born and bred, I raised my brow on first hearing Alex mention one of Great Britain’s most delectable treats: chocolate oranges. I questioned how chocolate could adequately include an orange flavor which would satisfy a fruit-lover. Since I don’t consider myself an orange connoisseur – something I shall never be due to the orange rind – I decided to someday test one.

Where We Found Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges

Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange

On my day off from the drug store, Alex and I wandered over to a neighboring town. Once we had acquired and bought our day-to-day necessities, I asked to go to one more place to spend my Visa e-gift card. Where did we go? You guessed it: Cost Plus World Market!

The store manager at Vacaville’s location in the Nut Tree Plaza did the store harm in rejecting my Visa e-gift card. Especially since, when Alex and I stepped into the store, we were the only customers there. However! I am dedicated to this blog, and I enjoy trying British foods far too much to have turned away and never gone back.

Keeping a smile on my face, I headed toward the food section to see the available options. Lo and behold, the employees had set up an entire display promoting solely United Kingdom foods! British, Irish, and Scottish! I quickly spent my budgeted play money.

The Hard Decision between Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges and Terry’s Dark Chocolate Oranges

A whacked and unwrapped chocolate orange!

According to the chocolate orange experts, if eating a delectable treat with orange flavoring, then the best chocolate to use is dark chocolate. Health fans must cheer and share this opinion, since dark chocolate is supposedly healthier than milk chocolate. Someday I will try Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange, but this time we chose Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange.

Though I enjoy dark chocolate as well as milk, I let Alex decide on what to choose on that day. As the source behind all my chocolate orange knowledge, he knew what most people preferred. However, he chose the milk chocolate one. I happily plopped one into our shopping basket.

How Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges Look and Taste

A chocolate designed after a true orange.

The design on the chocolate is pleasing to the eye with its ridges imitating an orange’s rind and fruit. Whacking one of Terry’s chocolate oranges is also a fun way to enjoy a delectable treat. Moreover, if the weather climbs to 100 degrees or more, the chocolate oranges refrigerates well, for the chocolate oranges are still easy to bite into when refrigerated.

Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges taste smooth, sweet, and stupendous! The orange flavoring in the milk chocolate has a strong flavor, but isn’t overpowering. Terry’s uses orange oil, an ingredient that reminds me of the orange peel used in my mother’s orange rolls, nice and sweet.

Intending to please my sweet tooth, I had planned to eat half of this chocolate orange for breakfast. However, it was far too sweet! Though this fact guarantees I will buy more in the future. Unlike the recommended serving, I recommend savoring Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges and eating only two or three slices at a time, as opposed to five slices.

Just a Little History on Terry’s Chocolate Oranges

Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange

Terry’s used to run their own organization in York, United Kingdom. Established in the mid to late 1700’s, they produced products (such as chocolate lemons for a little while) for several years before they first handed over the reigns to a larger organization. Mondelez Global now ultimately produces this particular Terry’s chocolate orange.

Poland manufactured the chocolate, on machines that also process nuts and wheat, and sends the chocolates around the world. Terry’s original recipes are currently held and processed from three different European countries. It closed its doors in York in 2005, one year after the delectable treats began exporting to the United States – to my great delight!

 

Sherlock: A Study in Pink – Critical Review

Sherlock: A Study in Pink – Critical Review

BBC’s Sherlock – series one, episode one, “A Study in Pink” – portrayed many aspects about the characters upon the second and third viewing. Continuing to watch the remaining episodes after the first viewing, though, required boredom, lack of funds, time off, and a family Netflix account. Since all four aspects applied to me, I viewed all four series, and my better knowledge about the characters made “A Study in Pink” much more interesting and insightful.

Doctor John Watson – The Man with Nerves of Steel

Introducing Doctor John Watson

Writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss immediately won the viewers over to Doctor John Watson when they showed the character suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Actor Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Dr. Watson’s pain and silent suffering instantly drew me in, having me beg for more about this distressed character.

Dr. Watson proved his courage and love for trouble with every passing character he met. His first meeting with Sherlock Holmes revealed his psychosomatic limp. Well, more accurately, Sherlock inferred to it, only to later reveal it to Dr. Watson. Throughout the episode, meeting each of Sherlock’s enemies and acquaintances, Dr. Watson proved steady during stress and unhinged during downtime. Sherlock was dead-on on analyzing his friend as a man with nerves of steel.

Inspector Lestrade – The Desperate Man

Introducing Inspector Lestrade

When viewers first saw Inspector Lestrade, he appeared stressed, worried, and unhappy. His oblivion about the murderer made him appear weak and incompetent before the reporters, and Sherlock only made him look worse. Later scenes would reveal Inspector Lestrade’s dependence on Sherlock to help him do his job.

On the other hand, Inspector Lestrade was an honest man. When Dr. Watson asked why he included Sherlock on his cases, he replied, “Because I’m desperate, that’s why!” After this admittance, he turned back to Dr. Watson from the flat’s doorway and said something that every viewer wants to believe: Sherlock is a great man, and someday he might be a good one. In so saying, Inspector Lestrade portrayed himself as optimistic and hopeful, a great side character to Sherlock and Dr. Watson.

Sergeant Donovan – Miss Negativity in Action

Introducing Sergeant Donovan

Sergeant Donovan could hardly make my skin crawl any more with her disgusting and unpardonable hatred and slanderous comments about the great, crime-solving genius, Sherlock Holmes.

The female law enforcement lead is the exact opposite of Inspector Lestrade. Whereas Lestrade portrays hope and admiration for Sherlock, Sergeant Donovan calls Sherlock names, warns off people from becoming his friend, and portrays a nasty attitude in general. I think at least some viewers would agree with me on the show’s ability to easily do without Sergeant Donovan.

Sherlock Holmes – The Psychopath with Crime-Solving Antics

Introducing Sherlock Holmes

“A Study in Pink” along with later episodes in later series revealed several references to Sherlock being a psychopath, something of little consequence to me. His delight in serial killers is little more than excitement in solving a difficult puzzle. Only, since Sherlock qualifies as a genius, finding a difficult puzzle for him requires more than the average jigsaw puzzle.

What can I say about the character on whom Dr. Watson centers on? Actor Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock well in his fast speech and enthusiasm about solving difficult criminal cases. The writers also did well in giving Cumberbatch well-scripted insults, running scenes, and socially awkward scenes. Sherlock viewers either love or hate him. I love him, along with Dr. Watson.

Mycroft Holmes – The Most Dangerous Enemy

Introducing Mycroft Holmes

Dr. Watson showed great restraint in refraining from telling Sherlock to grow up when he learned Mycroft was Sherlock’s older brother instead of the most dangerous man Dr. Watson had ever met. However, Mycroft had brought Dr. Watson in for questioning. And though he failed to frighten Dr. Watson, he did show a flare for the dramatic, an obvious clue to his being related to Sherlock.

Mycroft will show up again and again in later episodes and series. The two brothers love each other, and their enemy status is nothing more than remaining childhood rivalry. Anyone who has watched all four series along with me will know his vital role in future episodes, saving Sherlock in more ways than one.

Molly and Moriarty – More Details to Come

Introducing Molly

Molly first appeared in her white lab coat. Mourning the loss of a kind colleague, she had an odd mix of horror and admiration for Sherlock when he took a riding crop and started whipping the dead man’s body. (This scene came from the actual story by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock was experimenting on how bodies bruised.) She thus proceeded to apply some lipstick and ask Sherlock if he would like some coffee, of which he completely missed her meaning and continued on with his experiments.

Moriarty is merely mentioned at the very ending of “A Study in Pink.” A name means nothing. However, the name will eventually strike fear and anger in Sherlock’s heart whenever it arises. And it will arise frequently.

Who is your favorite character in the series? Do you take Sherlock’s side, or Sergeant Donovan’s side? Please comment below!