Sunday, June 17, 2007


Sunday Apikoros Blogging

I was a bad Jew this last Shabbos, in various (both incompetent and improper: the latter, as well as referring to the intended substance of this post and the meaning of the adjective form of the literal English translation of Apikoros, is whence the title of this post) senses of the word.

As to the first sense, the synagogue was short various regulars, and it was Rosh Chodesh, which means there was a special Maftir reading, an excerpt from Parshas Pinchas, as well as two scrolls to lift in Hagba. I guess because my Bar Mitzvah portion was Pinchas, I got assigned to read the Maftir, which isn't long but given my lack of Torah reading skill it's more than I typically can handle. On top of this, they forgot to send me a reminder that I was chanting Torah this week, and I didn't realize I was reading until I happened to check the list on Wed. I guess they must have figured that I'd know the reading since my Bar Mitzvah portion was Pinchas, but they forget (why do people assume my background is Orthodox? I guess it's the way I daven?) I was raised Reform and in our synagogue, we read excerpts from the Torah (appropriately for me as a feminist, I read the part about the daughters of Zelophachad ... but not the part about the sacrifices) not the whole parsha or even the triennial cycle sub-portion.

So here I was, already not really ready to read Torah, and we are short people to Gabbai. So I volunteer (before getting volunteered) to Gabbai for the regular readings, which means I'm not sitting in the back practicing before I'm on stage. Moreover, there are two scrolls and only one gezunte person to be Hagba. So guess who stupidly volunteers to be Hagba?

Well, let's just say that I am way out of shape: I used to be able to do a real Hagba (showing the assembled worshippers 3+ columns and all that), but this time it was a miracle we all aren't fasting -- at least the Torah was not dropped. But I was shaken up enough (did I mention, I was also under-caffeinated? I forgot to clean my tea strainer, so I had white tea, which I have in bag form, as opposed to my usual Sat. morning mate) that, with my lack of practice, the maftir was a fiasco. So, in the sense of incompetence, I was, alas, a bad Jew this Shabbos.

Now onto the second sense: it was a hot day so I stopped for some ice at Baskin Robbins. And I have some bad news -- they have apparently updated the recipe for their famous Daiquiri Ice. Before there were fancy sorbets and an amazing variety fake ice-cream (although whatever happened to Neapolitan flavor Mocho Mix Frozen dessert? I appreciated all the fancy flavors when they first came out, and still do, but sometimes a feller craves Neapolitan, nu?) for us milk allergic folks, there was the treasure of Baskin Robbins Daiquiri Ice -- a concoction that tasted like it was made with the best and most flavorful of Dominican rums and with just enough lime to give it a refreshing hint of citrus flavor and tartness.

One time I remember I so craved Daiquiri Ice, I went hopping (with a friend of mine who must have thought I was crazy) from Baskin Robbins to Baskin Robbins, none of which had this product, so I eventually settled for a real Daiquiri from a bar (which didn't have any Ron Barcelo or even Bruegel, so it wasn't quite the same). But now they've changed the recipe. I gave it a try, and got my just rewards for violating the Shabbos: I never thought I'd say this about anything, but there's too much lime! The Daiquiri Ice no longer tasted like a fine Daiquiri, but rather like lime ice with a hint of rum to it. So first they made it so you can't find Neapolitan Mocha Mix frozen dessert and now no more Daiquiri ice that tastes better than a real Daiquiri? I'm too young to be an alter-kocker lamenting about whatever happened to the simple pleasures they had in my youth!

Later on I probably jumped the gun on the end of Shabbos and lit up maybe a bit to soon. This was more rewarded, however. I tried the maduro version of the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur (not the1066 line's maduro version, the Dark Knight -- I do prefer CT wrappers to Cameron ones). While the cigar was a bit too peppery on the match, it proved to be quite a cigar. It was similar enough to the Onyx Reserve (also a CT wrapper) that it was what I like, but different enough to be a nice change of pace. It was very woodsy and leathery and the sort of cigar that probably left me smelling in a way that would cause the media types to forget about Fred Thompson and wonder why I'm not running for president. And it had the wintergreen toward the end, all the right coffee and tea notes and even a bit of a kumquat finish as I like.

I'm not sure which I like better, and the Onyx Reserve is cheaper, but it's good to have variety, nu? After all, and c.f. a previous comment on my blog from Mr. Letraca, I'm more of an Epicure than an Essentialist by philosophy, so why should I be such an Essentialist in terms of my tastes?

Anyway, I guess I just have more to atone for at Yom Kippur, nu? At least the Earth hasn't swallowed me like it swallowed Korach (see, I tied this all into last week's Parsha), not yet anyway.

I, too am a lover of Daquari Ice and have searched far for it at times. Thankfully, most B&R's stock it. I am devastated about the change to Lime Daquari. I was told it's a blend of DI and Margarita Ice. I didn't like it and called Consumer Relations to complain. Maybe if enough people call?............... I threw the # away already but any store can give it to you.
You can contact Baskin Robbins customer support here- Phone: (800) 859-5339

It has been my favorite ice cream for as long as I can remember. Now when I went to get this special treat, I was told that it was replaced by Lime Daiquiri Ice.
I tasted this new flavor and found that it tastes mediocre by comparison and the lime flavor overpowers the taste that I have known and loved for as long as I can remember. If I wanted lime ice, I could just go get some sherbet at a grocery store for a lot cheaper.
I regret to say that I will no longer be purchasing ice cream at Baskin Robins since that is the only one I ever tried that really made me want to come back again and again.
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