Monday, July 24, 2017

Frozen Hot Chocolate & Spedden

Dear Silly Friends,
How are you? I hope you're managing life's challenges with your usual tenacity.
It's hard for me to imagine that the whole world isn't sweltering now - we've been facing weather in the 100s (Fahrenheit) for seemingly 89 straight weeks. Probably more like 5-6. Regardless, for you and me, I needed to do another taste test.
This time, I sampled Enlightened's FROZEN HOT COCOA.














   Pretty impressive label, right? Super high in fiber, low in sugar, fat...And only 90 cals per "serving," which means when you eat the whole thing (one real serving), it's only 360 calories.
   How'd it taste? Well, it did disappear quickly, but it was too marshmallow-y. I love marshmallows, just not when they take precedence over chocolate and replace any semblance of chocolate. Plus, dare I say? It was actually a bit too sweet for my sugar tooth. I can't recommend this one. I'll give it a 5 on a 1-10 scale of chocolate goodness. BTW, does anyone know what Erythritol is? I just noticed it on the label.
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   Now, as a reminder of how wonderful Blogland is and can be . . .
   When I found an old family photo recently, I realized that I'd been misspelling my Mom's hometown. That's why I couldn't find any indication that "Speden" still exists. But, add another "d," and it's cited in Wikipedia as a hamlet (very tiny town) in Alberta, Canada.  How exciting! Yet I'm thousands of miles away and may never see it with my own eyes.
   So I messaged Debra* (She Who Seeks), who lives in Alberta, to find out if she'd seen Spedden.  She hadn't been there, and it's a few hours away. But Debra said she'd gladly make the trek on my behalf to do some sleuthing and picture taking.
   Not only do I now have photographs of my Mom's home-town, Debra went well beyond this to embark on more research. She located and sent me a 10-12 page booklet that talks about my Grandpa Isaac and my cousins' family - the original pioneers of Spedden. Thanks to her efforts, I've learned specific details about my family, my identity. (I'd never met either Grandpa - they died far too young. My siblings and I have very few pictures of our parents' earlier days. It's priceless to have this memorabilia.)
   Thank you, Debra! You're stellar! *If you don't follow Debra, you need to. Her blog is packed with fun and meaningful gems.
    We're lucky to have this little slice of cyberspace utopia, aren't we?




Class of 1948-49, Spedden, Alberta, CANADA      ^Mom, Edith Stern, middle gal, front row


Keep a smile.
May you find treasures to appreciate daily.
Love to you, my Sillies.

39 comments:

  1. How fantastic that Debra was able to find those things for you!
    Erythritol is a sugar alcohol similar to xylitol (notice the similar ending to the words) used as an artificial sugar substitute. I haven't knowingly encountered it before. It is a boon for diabetics since it doesn't affect blood sugar.

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    1. Oh, thank you, Wilma. You're very wise. I generally don't trust an ingredient that's more two syllables and includes the letter "x" - but it's too hard for me to avoid these things.
      Be well.

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  2. The warmth and the wonder of the blogosphere blows me away on a regular basis. How lovely of Debra to expand your family knowledge that way.

    It is, thankfully, winter here. And I am revelling it it. I hope you get some relief from the heat soon - but please don't send it this way.

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    1. I'm trying to send it up to Martha in Canada - in exchange for the rain. But with postal service these days - yeah, it's not being delivered.

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  3. Debra sounds like a sweetheart!!

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    1. She's amazing, fishducky. You two would get along splendidly.

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  4. I never knew it got that hot in your neighbourhood, Robyn. How close are you to San Francisco? I bet it's not so hot there! Does your Mom like William Shatner?

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    1. It's record breaking temps these days, GB. We're 2.5 hrs from San Francisco, so we don't have a lovely ocean breeze. We don't even have an ugly ocean breeze.

      Mom died in 1985, so this information is ever more invaluable to me. My parents weren't trekkies. Star Trek didn't really go big til the 90s - right? I'm not sure; I've never been a trekky either. Do you know William Shatner is 86 years old?!

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  5. How wonderful that Debra did that for you. She is the best! I simply adore her.

    It's been rainy and cool since the beginning of spring, so I'd be happy to send you some weather relief!

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    1. We'll keep working on the weather exchange, Martha. By the time we manage to work it out, it'll be autumn.

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  6. truly a treasure and kudos to Debra. Very awesome. We are freakin' hot in TX if that helps. Our pool is 92 degrees - i.e. a spa. I realize that is a first world problem but it is ours and we own it. What can I say? We are silly AND delirious. Stay cool my friend, however you can do it.

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    1. We freaking own this freaking boiling hot problem; we've owned it for weeks on end - day and night. Sheesh! Thus, Joanne, I hereby declare that we pillage, steal, hoard and otherwise take ownership of frozen yogurt, ice cream, and all the cool treats we can own! We shall thereby stay cool, hot, deliriously silly, and well sated.

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  7. I had fun, Robyn, snooping around in Spedden and in your family's past! I'm glad you were able to pick your Mom out of that old school photo!

    I know erythritol is a chemical sugar substitute, as Wilma says. I don't know that I've ever had it, but I've had its cousins mannitol and sorbitol. And let me tell you, don't each too much of anything containing it at one sitting because those chemical sugar substitutes have a powerful laxative effect. Just sayin'.

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    1. My sister and I both identified Mom immediately, Debra. Dawn (my sis) said "I saw her right away, because she looks just like you." It's really pretty amazing to see my/Mom's face in a 70 year old photo.

      Yeah, I tend to have internal problems with fake sugar. As a healthier option (I think), I'm using coconut sugar. It's yummy. Of course, natural sugars are good too - eating lots of watermelon these days.

      Thanks again, wonder woman! =)

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  8. I've never samples frozen hot cocoa. Must give it a try.

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    1. Yeah, the concept is what drew me to it, Stephen. But the taste - not so much. I'd be interested to hear your impressions if you do try it.

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  9. Isn't Debra the best? She IS the one who seeks, so it's fitting that she found all that information for you. I see that someone already informed you that your mystery ingredient is a sugar substitute. It can cause upset tummies and headaches. Frozen hot cocoa seems like a good idea, but I'm glad you warned us that it's too sweet. I don't like too much sweetness, even in people.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I was thinking about that too, Janie. Debra is genuinely invested in seeking more knowledge.

      Agree. Too much sweetness is a turn-off. I think that's why you and I are friends, Janie.

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  10. Wow! She who seeks did some seeking for you! Then she gave you a wonderful gift of information. Thank you Debra and thank you Robyn for sharing.

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    1. She's a seeking peach, that Debra.
      Thanks and you're welcome, Jono.
      Be well, friend.

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  11. Another win for blogland. It is sure full of great people indeed. Awesome how she was able to find some of your family's past.

    erythritol is some nasty additive. It is a good insecticide too. So maybe you'll keep the flies away now lol

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    1. Wow - you are all so smart and informed too. That's funny and scary about it being an insecticide. Sheesh. I should've tried to feed this stuff to flies.

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  12. First, you had me at hot chocolate...than marshmallows! Hello! Sorry it wasn't up to par though.

    Then when I read what Debra did, I mean c'mon?! Is she the best or what? Seriously? She really is a kind-hearted person with a heart of gold. She's one of four people on Blogger that knows the "real" me and hasn't spilled the beans yet. ;) You either chick Love you so much and so glad she was able to help you. That just rocks!

    Elsie

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    1. Everything you say and write is the real you, my dear friend.

      And right? I never imagined she'd go to that extent and even further. Debra is the best of the best in our wonderful cyber world.

      Love you!

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  13. I didn't know your mom was from Canada! Did you mention that in your book? I just re-read it too.

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    1. Oh, you gave it a re-read. Woohoo! Thank you.
      I did, but very quickly/briefly. I think I may've written that her hometown was so small it doesn't exist. Oops, that was unintentionally fictional. My mom traveled from Alberta to Los Angeles to start a new life. She was a brave and great lady. Thanks, JoJo.

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  14. Wow - what an amazing story. What a wonderful person she is.
    It's a great photo too. Must make you feel proud. And so you should be.
    Lovely story Robyn.

    xo

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    1. It's one of those feelings I can't put words to when I see the photo and my Mom's face pops out at me. Thank you, Anthony.
      xo

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  15. Sorry to hear the frozen cocoa didn't live up to expectations. We are lucky to have you as our official taste tester. How wonderful of Debra to do some research on your family history, and how special for you to receive the results of her effort! Blogland is an amazing place.

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    1. I'm so glad I jumped into blogging way back when . . . and stuck with it despite a lack of following way back when. The rewards are immeasurable.
      Thanks, Connie.

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  16. Hey Robyn,

    One moment, please....That's better, been having a bit of blurry vision.

    Debra is well awesome, eh and so glad she could help you out. I have some good banter with her over the fact she lives in Edmonton.

    Thanks for the review on the frozen hot cocoa. I'm now Spedden out of here.....

    Gary :)

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    1. Always good to see and hear from you, my fine friend. Thank you.

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  17. Seriously? That's your mom there? Nice! It fascinates me to see old photos. But do you wonder what the future generation will think if they see photos of us today? Some conversations might go, "is that you, grandma? In your undies in front of the mirror and pouting?" LOL! Good think I don't have that photo.

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    1. It's probably a good thing I'll never have grandchildren. I do sometimes worry what they'll say about their Auntie, though. Smiles.

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    1. No problem.
      B'shalom.

      PS Is that Arabic? It's pretty and looks a lot like Hebrew. I wish I could read it.

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  19. It seems that most of the products that have some improved health benefits (or at least comparatively speaking) suffer a bit in flavor or texture. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is far healthier than granulated sugar or God forbid, corn syrup, but it is super sweet and can be a bit overpowering.

    Have you tried any of the Halo Top products? I don't know if they are referred to as ice cream but thats what they are. Higher in protein and lower in calories. The flavors I have tried are awesome but I haven't tried the chocolate flavors yet. The Vanilla Bean is 240 calories for the whole pint and very good. The sea salt caramel is great as well.

    Isn't Debra the best blogger friend ever? How nice of her.

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