Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rambling on a Sunday

             Ahh. It's Sunday – the day of rest and one of my favorite days of the week. And what day is my favorite, you ask? Honestly, I like them all.
 Of course, I look forward to Friday because then the weekend starts. Woo! Hoo!
On Saturday, we can sleep in if we want. And, sometimes, I want … but I seem to wake up between 4 and 5 a.m. because that’s when I start my days during the work week. It’s OK, though … I doze back off and leisurely rise around 6:30 or 7 a.m.
I like Wednesday because it's "Hump Day." Thursday means one more day until Friday. Monday is the first day of the work week and usually a really busy day and Tuesday means Monday is over. :-)
But hey, I’m getting carried away here. Back to Sunday.
Hubby and I enjoy a leisurely morning sipping coffee before we embark on one of our favorite pastimes this time of year, watching NASCAR racing on TV. When we win the lottery, we are going to buy a fancy-shmancy motor home and hit the NASCAR racing circuit … figure out what races we really like and then go to them every year.
Anyway … this morning is no exception. We enjoyed our coffee, a French Roast from Trader Joe’s (more about that store later). The canister says it’s a “dark roast – strong and rich.”
Trader Joe's French Roast
The back reads: “Sitting in a sidewalk café in Paris, taking in the views of the Seine, the Champs Elysees or perhaps the Louvre. Sounds magical, doesn’t it?”
Well, yes indeed.
“We’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s not Paris, it’s the coffee. Trader Joe’s French Roast Coffee brings the beauty and wonder of the City of Light to your cup, in the form of a dark, rich brew with full strong flavors. A long, slow roast brings out the natural oils in the beans, giving them their intense color and glistening visage.”
Are you convinced? I am. But there’s more.
“Whether you’re searching for a less expensive alternative to a trip across the Atlantic or simply a great cup of coffee, our French Roast Coffee will make your dreams come true. Oui oui!”
            Hmmm. Make my dreams come true? That’s stretching it a bit.
            Bottom line: The coffee is great, whether you drink it black, with a little sugar and cream or with your favorite flavoring. Mine happens to be cinnamon and vanilla.

            So, now on to Trader Joe’s.  Oh, how I love thee. Let me count the ways – the products, the prices, the atmosphere.
            The company has a lot of history dating back to 1958 when Joe Coulombe founded the first store as the Greater Los Angeles area chain of Pronto Market convenience stores.
 It’s been reported that Joe developed the idea of the Trader Joe South Seas motif while on vacation in the Caribbean. At the time, Americans were traveling and returning home wanting the food and wine they ate and drank while on their trips.
And, thank goodness, Joe decided he could satisfy those customers and opened his first Trader Joe’s in 1967 in South Pasadena, Calif. That store is still in operation!
The rest, as is said, is history.
Trader Joe’s was ranked the second-best supermarket chain in the nation in the May 2009 issue of Consumer Reports. What’s the first, you ask? Some chain called Wegmans. Personally, I’ve never heard of it, probably because the stores are on the East Coast and I’m on the West Coast.
Trader Joe's facade
The Trader Joe's company describes itself as “your neighborhood grocery store.” Gourmet foods, organic foods, vegetarian foods, unusual frozen foods and imported foods are sold along with domestic and imported wine and beer; and staples such as bread, cereal, eggs, coffee, produce and dairy products.
You can buy personal hygiene products, vitamins, flowers and cleaning products; along with juices and canned goods.
I love their little cans of smoked trout. Steve love’s the Trader Joe vanilla crème filled cookies. And the pastas, yum. My faves are the Spinach and Chive Linguine, the Lemon Pepper Pappardelle and the Organic Vegetable Radiatore.
The Spinach and Chive is great with sun-dried tomatoes.

We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in the city where I live, but there is one about 45 minutes away. We make a day trip of it when we can go. We treat ourselves to Starbucks coffee – White Chocolate Mocha for Steve and a Caramel Macchiato for me – before we head down the freeway. We plug Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons  “Caribbean Breeze” CD into the CD player, buckle up and enjoy the ride.
If we’re really ambitious and have the cash, we stop at Costco. The final stop before heading home is Barnes and Noble.
What a great way to spend the day.

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