CSN Stores Product Review, Guess the Mebar, Niece Troubles

When I bought a julienne peeler a year ago, I was super excited because it enabled me to make “spaghetti” out of summer squash without investing in a spiralizer. While it works out just fine, it does get irritating if I have a mountain of CSA zucchini which requires zucchini pasta at least once a week.

That’s why, when I was presented with the opportunity to do a review for CSN Stores, I decided against purchasing a bread machine, though I’ve been lusting after one for ages. Instead, I opted for this Paderno World Cuisine Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer.

I did have a bit of trouble at first.  For one, the suction cups on the bottom of the legs couldn’t get a good grip on the countertop… but once they did, I had a hell of a time getting it off!  And because the zucchini I was using wasn’t completely straight and even, it was a little difficult to get it into position.  But once I accomplished that, beautiful things began to happen…

Look at that beautiful pile of spiralized zucchini!

As an added bonus, I got a greater proportion of strands to core than I would using a julienne peeler.  Observe:

That’s it.  That’s all the core I had left!  With a julienne peeler, I usually have about a third of the zucchini left over.  In fact, the second plate of “pasta” actually holds a smaller zucchini than the first one did!  Overall, I am very pleased with this slicer, and I am excited to see what else it can do.  Thanks, CSN Stores, for the opportunity to try out this product!

I started making these bars because I wanted to try the new Larabar flavors… but then I began inventing my own as well. So, for those of you who wanted to win the giveaway and didn’t, we’re going to play a little game… it’s called Guess the Mebar, and it will happen every time I try a new flavor!

You actually don’t want this one — not until I’ve worked on it some more! It was not a total success, let’s just leave it at that. 😉 I can’t go into detail because you’re supposed to be guessing what flavor this is. The first person to get it right wins! It doesn’t have to be this flavor — it can be anything you choose.

About the two questions I posed in my last post… the birthday dilemma is still unresolved.  I received an e-mail from my mom last night: What’s  with Wednesday night?  Do you want to discuss it with [therapist]… Because
if yes, I would have to let [my sisters] know.  If not, I don’t
have to let anyone know.  Would you rather go with me and [my father] on Thursday night or all 4 of us on Sunday night?  Is there anything else you would like to do instead? Let me  know. Are we on for chopsticks on Thursday?
None of this makes sense to me — why do I need to ask my therapist what to do for my birthday?  Who is “the four of us”?  Usually it means my parents, brother and me, but he’s working on Sunday.  The “chopsticks” reference just means she’s taking me out to lunch.  But otherwise… I’m lost.

However, I have made a tiny bit of headway in the PB2 crisis.  And, along the way, was also a very nice sister, because I baked a triple chocolate peanut butter cake for my brother.

Another name for this cake could be Expiration Cake, because most of the ingredients in it were past their prime!  Actually, everything was, except for the eggs.  And the nonpareils.  I added one cup of chocolate PB2 to a box of dark chocolate fudge cake mix, about one and a half cups of chocolate soy milk, and three eggs.  Nobody died due to usage of expired products, which I suppose is a good thing…

If you’re in Google Reader, click on over to see the semi-makeover the blog has received. It’s not much, but if you take into account the fact that I am a total techno dummy, it becomes a big deal. 😉

Last night, I went to my sister’s house for my nephew’s hanachat tefillin. (If you don’t feel like clicking over — it’s basically just a prelude to a bar mitzvah.)  I have two sisters; let’s call them A and B.  A is the older one, and the mother of both this nephew and the nineteen-year-old niece whom I find to be incredibly triggering (how I hate that word!).  It has nothing to do with that, but I just happen to be closer with B.

Anyway, so last night, my niece was busy taking care of all the food, because that’s just what she always does, and I was tucked away on a sofa, hoping to disappear, when B came and sat down next to me to tell me that she thought I ought to have a chat with my niece, because she obviously has a problem.

My response?  Thank you!!! I’ve been saying that forever, but nobody listens to me.  I once went to the supermarket to buy something in the middle of the night, and I met A and my niece there — they had been making pasta, but the sauce that they had wasn’t the “right” kind for my niece, so they had to go out and buy another jar.  I thought, That sounds like the kind of thing I would do.  That is not normal. Did anyone listen to me?  Of course not.

B told me that it’s obvious — she says that her hair is falling out — and that she’s tried speaking to both A and our mom about it, but they’re in denial.  (I guess I’m the only one in this family who is allowed to be problematic; everyone else is perfect.)  And to make it even better, it looks like the next one (she’s fifteen) is going down the same route.  B asked me, “Do you know how much weight she’s lost?!”  And I said no, but that I didn’t really want to know.  She said that she fainted in camp one day.  I knew that.  A said it was because it was hot and she didn’t have enough water.  Funny… nobody else fainted.

This is just an all-around awkward situation.  I am not about to talk to either of my nieces; we aren’t close in any way, and even if we were, I know better than anyone else that if they aren’t ready to hear it, they just won’t.  And with everyone around them being in denial, why wouldn’t they be, too??

Just as a side note, B also mentioned that maybe I don’t want to talk to my niece because I’m glad: she could have married whomever she wanted, but she’s ruined all of her chances because now the first question anyone asks will be Does she have an eating disorder?, and B says that I was afraid of my niece getting married before I did.  Gosh… way to hit below the belt.  (For the record, that is absolutely not true.)  And also tell me that my future is screwed, too.

So my plan of non-action?  I am staying out of it, and out of their way.  I can’t be in close quarters with them; it is beneficial to nobody.  And that’s all there is to it.

What would you do in such a situation??

And while there’s a lot more where that came from, I think it’s quite enough for now.  Have a great Tuesday / Hump Day.

“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.”
~Tom Peters


11 responses to “CSN Stores Product Review, Guess the Mebar, Niece Troubles

  1. I’m going to have to go with chocolate orange on the MeBar but I can’t be sure…is it pathetic that I zoomed in on the picture several times and still couldn’t figure it out?

    I think it’s very unfair to put so much pressure on you about your neice, as if because you have ‘experience’ with eating disorders you can somehow wave a magic wand which will mak her listen to you. And the marriage comment was downright mean! Personally, I’d stay out of it too but it’s a tricky dilemma…certainly speaking directly to your neice would be awkward but someone does need to perhaps confront her mother about it. It’s just a shame everyone shoulders all the difficult tasks on you! Really, if BOTH you and B spoke to her mother she’d be more likely to listen, but it sounds like B doesn’t have the guts to do it herself and so is trying to guilt you into doing it alone, which again isn’t fair.

    I’m addicted to zucchini pasta (or ‘courgetti’ as I like to call it. What? They’re called courgettes in the UK!) so I would adore that spiralizer.

    Hope your birthday conundrum is resolved soon


    P.S It’s those orangey bits in the Mebar which are really getting to me…I just zoomed in on the pic AGAIN!

  2. I’d guess chocolate apricot, looks too dark for orange to me!

  3. Last winter I caught my fifteen year old stepsister throwing up. I was in the middle of my own personal life crisis but I still knew I had to do something, but of course getting personally involved with her issues is not on my list of things “to do.” I’m not a role model, I’m still working through my own crisis. So, I told my mom. And I told my mom “If my name gets brought up at all, you’ll never find out another thing from me ever again.” Well, long story short, her dad already KNEW she was throwing up but had bought all her lies about her “eating too much” and how it “made her feel better” – meanwhile this is the girl who eats half a bunch of grapes and calls it “a huge lunch.”
    What B said about the marriage thing was completely uncalled for, and your family should understand that just because YOU have similar problems doesn’t make you the right candidate to help your niece deal with it, in fact the two of you probably each cause the other extra undue stress. If everyone feels so comfortable talking to YOU about your niece’s issues, they should be equally comfortable talking to her about it. Say that – tell them “I get you’re concerned about me and I’m working through it but I can tell you SHE needs active help too and asking me to deal with it is NOT the way, it’s not healthy for either of us.” Your family is in just as much denial as you are (eep sorry) and …also … like … I think it’s a jewish family thing, Denial Denial Denial. But if they’re concerned enough to talk to YOU about it they should be able to talk to her about it too. The end. They want her to deal with her issues? Then they have to help her.

  4. Is it carrot? A Carrot Cake Mebar!!

    I really don’t know what I would do in that situation either. I wouldn’t feel like I would be the best person to talk to her, even if I have gone through an eating disorder, I’m not an “expert” at helping others that do. And if that’s how you feel too, I would just tell your nieces family that.

    ❤ tori

  5. I’m going with carrot in the Mebar, especially because carrot has a high potential to go very wrong, but I hope you fix it soon.

    That situation with your niece is pretty complicated, and I’m not entirely sure what I’d do either. I would say that it might help her if you were to talk to her, because you’ve been through the whole situation yourself as well, but I know that if someone isn’t ready to get better, no amount of talking/convincing is going to do anything. But, if she honestly doesn’t see that she has a problem, then maybe she needs someone to point it out to her… I know I was ignorant to my problem for a long time before blogs finally opened my eyes, and it was at that point that I kind of, sort of started trying to get better. Maybe that’s what she needs as well…

  6. O geez! Ill get to the mebar in a sec but this niece thing had my glued to my screen. I agree with you that shes obviously in denial. I was in denial for like a decade before I got help! oy….Anyhow, I know you want to stay out of it, but maybe if you have a no BS talk with her and be like “dude, I do that thing with the pasta sauce too..” maybe she’ll open up and be open to getting help. Personally, I would have a hard time standing idly by, the longer this disorder marinates in you, the harder it is to get rid of.
    the mebar, i think its like a carrot cake action going on there….but i dont know, I wish I could at least smell it! I have en excellent sense of smell!
    On a lighter note, I think its so bomb that I totally dont have to google all the jew and hebrew references.

  7. The orange bits looked like kind of like goji berries to me, but on viewing the close up I might have to go for apricots…I don’t know, they are VERY orange!

    Ack, sorry about your niece. Sorry your family are putting pressure on you like that. Insulting you doesn’t seem like a very effective way to persuade you! I hope they don’t push it too much – the best thing they can do is find a decent therapist/doctor. I think your plan of non-action is a good one 😉

  8. loveeeee the spiralized zucchini!

    hope you have a great night!
    love, becca

  9. I need to try spiralizing seriously. It looks so cool. Does that sound weird?

  10. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth)

    that sounds like such an amazing kitchen appliance- jealous you got to try it out!
    & as for your birthday- ihope you can figure out something you can do to make you happy! it’s tonight right?! if so, happy birthday!
    i’m sorry to hear about your niece too- such a touchy/awkward situation 😦 ugh.


  11. Pingback: The Wordy Spinster |

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