Friday, November 20, 2009

The Perfect Cream Soda

I don't drink much soda.

Not Coke, not Pepsi, not 7-Up or Sprite or Root Beer or Ginger Ale. They are just too sugary and not refreshing to me. I stick to unsweetened iced tea and iced coffee instead. (I don't know what it says about me that I prefer bitter over sweet, but let's not go there, m'kay?)

There is only one kind of soda I crave every so often. The smooth sweet deliciousness of cream soda can make me break my soda fast.

I have tried many, many brands, and most are okay, unless they are too sticky-sweet or have a fake vanilla flavor.

The other day, though, I found The Perfect Cream Soda, the One, the Champ. Behold:
Waialua Vanilla Cream Soda

Waialua Vanilla Cream Soda from Hawaii. Mmmmmm....It has real, true vanilla flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness from real cane sugar (would you expect anything else from Hawaii?) and a bit of Hawaiian honey.

It is smooth and a nice sunny gold (the photo is a bit dark) and comes with a fetching Hula girl on the label. The carbonation gives it small, champagne-like bubbles, not big nose-ticklers.

I have tried a lot of cream sodas in my life and this one, as Hawaiians might say "No ka oi" - it is number one.

I found it at my local Rocket Fizz shop, a place that carries 400 kinds of soda. You can also order online direct from Waialua Soda Company.

Looking at their site, I see they also offer Lilikoi (passion fruit) soda. I may have to branch out in my soda-drinking adventures.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Desperation Sauce


Since I am on the West Coast and most of my co-workers are in the Eastern time zone, our calls inevitably end up being right in the middle of the day - usually during the lunch hour.

Thus, one needs something to stave off the hunger demons until lunch can be had. It's usually a Clif or LaraBar, but the other day, in a fit of creative fridge-purging, I brought a cold artichoke.

The only problem was that I forgot the mayo, and an artichoke without sauce is almost not worth eating, a pale green imitation of itself. I had thought I could skip down to the company cafeteria, but time ran short.

With the clock ticking toward the start of the call, I knew I had to think fast. Desperation set in.

I raided the condiment package stash we keep over by the coffee pot. mayo, but there was mustard from the sub sauce from Chinese takeout...parmesan cheese and those little dried peppers from a pizza run.

A dash of fake maple syrup from the last time we had Frozen Waffle Tuesday, and I was good to go.

(What, you don't have Frozen Waffle Tuesday? A package of Eggos, some syrup, a toaster and suddenly EVERYONE is happy. Try it sometime.)

I mixed it up and voila! Black, salty, tangy, spicy, tasty sauce! Well-balanced. Even piquant. Whatever "piquant" means.

Not bad, if I do say so myself. In fact, if someone served it to me in a restaurant as "dipping sauce," I would have been very, very happy. I don't know if this says more about my terrible palate or about my amazing kitchen alchemy skills. Check it out.