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Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, August 11, 2014

The ginger thin taste test: Anna’s vs. Trader Joe’s

This morning it was time for me to make my monthly trip to Fargo, ND, for some necessary items.  You see, Carol Widman’s Candy Co. had called me to say that the humidity had dropped enough for them to make some dark chocolate covered sponge candy once again.  If it’s too humid out, the candy just flops.  I’ve been waiting three months for them to call and tell me my order was ready.

So off I went on my 140 mile round trip drive.  I generally take the same route each time and am able to enjoy the seasonal changes in the farm fields along the way.  Today was no exception.

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The wheat fields, though planted late because of the rains, are turning golden once again.  As I zipped past this field, something different caught my attention.

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I made a U turn and went back to see what had caught my eye.  Sure enough, there was a sandhill crane out in the middle of the field all by his lonesome.  Cool beans!

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Then along US 10, I drove through a mile of gorgeous sunflowers.  It was like a sea of shining yellow faces pointed my way.  Lest you think I would drive 140 miles just for some candy, I’ll tell you that I also stopped at the Breadsmith store to stock up on their crusty breads.  Today I chose regular French, Rustic Italian, and a loaf of Sour Dough.  I also splurged on one of their tasty and sinful bars to have for breakfast tomorrow.  I will miss both of these specialty stores when I leave next month.

I also stopped at a vegetable stand on the way home to get some supplies for a cookout we were having tonight, but I’ll talk about that in a later post.  I couldn’t go past Mr. Smith’s house either without stopping to get some more tomatoes, and have another memorable chat with this character.  (Same outfit as usual. I wonder if he takes those sweats off when he goes to bed?)

Yesterday, I invited John and Bridget over for dinner after they had gotten off of working the VC.  We enjoyed a nice meal outside, and then they taught me how to play the game of Ten Penny.

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I had never played this card game before.  It involves seven different hands, three decks of cards, and chips to buy needed cards with.  I needed the cheat sheet to keep track of the requirements of each hand, but believe it or not I smoked them!  Beginner’s luck, I guess.  It’s always fun when you win.  Winking smile

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Then it was time for a little desert.  What better time to have the taste test of Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Cookie Thins against Anna’s Swedish Ginger Thins?

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Trader Joe’s on the left and Anna’s on the right.  I get the Anna’s (A) at the grocery store in Detroit Lakes, and I was sent the Trader Joe’s (TJ) by the Odd Essay  to compare.  Here are the results of the test.  Two out of three preferred A over TJ.  Both were thin and crisp, but TJ was crispier and had a much stronger ginger flavor.  A was voted not quite as crisp, but more comforting to eat.  I’ll let you guess who the crispy critter voter was.

But wait!  There’s more!

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Anna’s also claim to be a Swedish wish cookie.  You put one in your palm, make a wish, and tap it with your index finger.  If it breaks into three pieces, your wish is granted.

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                                               We all tried it, and no one got their wish.  Crying face

Trader Joe’s, on the other hand, claims to be a natural aphrodisiac.  Hmm…  I guess the jury’s still out on that as I didn’t have the ‘crispness’ to ask John and Bridget how their evening was…Surprised smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

27 comments:

  1. I had wondered myself about the garden guy and those nasty sweat pants. LOL

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  2. We are big fans of Annas cookies, but I am sure would would like trader joe's too:)

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  3. Gorgeous sunflowers! And how amazing that you spotted that lone Sand Hill Crane. Hope you'll blog about the sponge candy as I'm ready to drive to ND just to taste it.

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  4. You could ask John & Bridget in the interests of scientific advancement! I can imagine how thrilled you were to see that sandhill crane. Good eye!

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  5. Now I'm hungry for both kinds of ginger cookies!

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  6. That field of sunflowers is beautiful. It is probably better not to think too much about Mr. Smith and those sweat pants- might give you nightmares :)

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  7. Love ginger snaps. Have tried TJ's, but not Anna's. Will be on the lookout for those if we make it to the NE. Enjoy your sponge candy.

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  8. Off to TJ's to buy a case of their ginger cookies, all in the name of science, of course! :cD

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  9. I mean ANYbody who drives 140 miles for candy? is a hero to me. I wish I had known you better when you came through Little Rock … dark chocolate sponge candy is the bomb and I haven't had any since I was a kid. loooooong time ago

    "A was voted not quite as crisp, but more comforting to eat.  I’ll let you guess who the crispy critter voter was." comforting cookie …. I like that in a cookie… making wishes and amorous … that's really quite a cookie…

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  10. Sounds to me like you need to eat both of the cookies to get all the "benefits". I was amazed at the number of sunflower plants when we drove through North Dakota. They are so beautiful. So was the candy worth the drive?

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  11. Love anyone's ginger cookies! And sponge candy. It was always for sale at Christmas time in Wisconsin.

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    1. have you ever tried to make it Gail? I love making candy (usually fudge, but sometimes I make brittle.)

      The recipe for sponge candy seems really simple. . .I think I'll try making a batch. I'm not really sure what it's supposed to taste like though. . .LOL!

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  12. so glad you got your sponge candy, as we looked for it at Mall of America and only found "milk chocolate" coated, which I remembered you had said was not your fave. . .it also look hazy, as in old, so I passed on bringing you some. . .LOL!

    The sunflowers are glorious. . .we've seen a couple of fields of them as well. Am guessing we will see this exact field next week as we make the drive to Fargo.

    I love ginger "snaps". . .so am sure I would like the crispier ones. . .but hey, I'm happy with the one in the brown paper bag at Walmart. . .so I'm sure "quality" ones of any kind are awesome!

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  13. The sunflower field reminds me of when I was in Italy. They have thousands of sunflower fields over there. Takes my breath away from all the beauty.

    HAHAHA...love the scientific ginger snap experiment.

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  14. I really liked the photos of the wheat, the crane and the sunflowers!

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  15. Oh, Judy, I so love it when you make me laugh out loud all alone sitting at the table in the MoHo. Nothing quite like a good laugh.

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  16. Your sunflower pictures remind me of images on the Tour de France coverage that I watched years ago.

    You are more courageous than I. If someone tried to get me into a game involving "seven different hands, three decks of cards, and chips to buy needed cards with", I would run for the exit :-)

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  17. Me too, laughing out loud. Your blog is good for my attitude. You make 140 mile trip into a wonderful adventure. It is nice to return to the same place so you know the ropes and all the cool stuff like your garden man and his sweats. LOL !

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  18. For sure you should consider entering that sandhill crane photo in the contest! I'd eat either one of those cookies..love ginger cookies.

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  19. Damn, Damn and even a big Darn It! I almost dove through my laptop screen to grab one of those cookies! Last week I was a bit depressed and ate the last of my TJ ginger cookies... yep! the whole half box... considered sucking on the cellophane but decided a glass of wine might digest better. Have never tasted Anna's... but they look good, too. I'm more or less over the depression... the TJ cookies are all gone... but I have your great blog to cheer me up and make things right.

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  20. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! I am not a fan of Ginger except in Gingerbread cookies...Dennis would like 10 penny, but I don't like card games..I know...I was raised by aliens..The only game I remember my Mom and Dad playing when I was very young was a game called, Tripoli..It had a board and poker chips, or...whatever kind of chips they were...

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  21. Love ginger thins ... had not heard of them being 'wish cookies' ... will have to try that next time I get some.

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  22. We have yet to try dark chocolate sponge candy, we will find it on our travels that is for sure.

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  23. I love Swedish Ginger Thins, although I never knew they were "wish cookies". I will have to wish with them next time. Does that mean that I should try the whole box to "maybe" get a wish granted? I will also have to try TJ's, 'cause I love anything Ginger.
    As usual the pictures are gorgeous.

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  24. Daughter makes homemade ginger cookies with pumpkin dip at Thanksgiving......ruined me for any others! Haven't tried sponge candy yet (unless it's called something else because I can't believe I've missed any kind of candy) so will have to keep the eyes open for some :-)

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  25. Gee thanks, Judy. Now we will have to try the ginger cookies.....great for our eating plan. love the Crane.

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  26. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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