Sometimes you leave the house with the best laid plans; instead of things working out just how you thought, your day takes a sharp right turn and unfolds in an entirely different manner than you had expected. Often times that can be a bad thing. Often times that redirection leads to frustration and a checklist unchecked. Other times, it leads to something so wonderfully-effervescent that it can only be likened to the combustible mix of soda and Pop Rocks! (More on that later)
|The ubiquitous gathered, ruffled top in a green and white, bamboo print cotton with|
pom pom trim. Matching capri pants with pom pom trim at the hem.
|A matching basket purse? Yes, indeedy!|
Last weekend we were set to go do some demo recordings for Mary's label, Wild Records. They are currently filming a documentary and the crew was supposed to be at the studio. Thusly, Mary was desirous of a new outfit. I know, I know, the designs are becoming slightly derivative, but it is summertime and the livin' and the sewin' are supposed to be easy, right?
On our way up to the location, I took a "sharp right turn," so we could go take a few photos by this painted 7Up sign. Sights like this are VERY unusual in our neck of the woods and, having driven by it for years, I wanted to capture it while we still could. The sign is painted on the side of a defunct bar turned tow yard. Frankly, I'm not sure if they served "Pool Sandwiches" or if patrons were supposed to "Park in rear Pool," but I love advertisements painted on the sides of buildings. Lack of punctuation notwithstanding, we felt very brazen as we parked in the in the tow yard's customer only parking and jumped out of the car to quickly snap a few photos. After the photos were taken, we hopped in the getaway car and headed north.
As we inched along on the freeway, the parallel between the increase in traffic and the increase in temperature became increasingly evident. Mary's phone rang and that is when our day's plans changed entirely. The filming/recording had to be postponed and that left us with an afternoon of freedom. As it turned out, our pal, Charles Phoenix, was making an appearance at the Summer Soda Tasting hosted by Galco's Old World Grocery/Soda Pop Stop, in Highland Park, CA.
|A small fraction of Galco's soda pop offerings|
If you're unfamiliar with Galco's, it is a small, family-owned, neighborhood market that opened in 1897 as an Italian grocery. Over the years, the neighborhood changed and so did the focus of the store. For the last two decades, Galco's has become synonymous with soda pop, but not just any soda pop - craft-brewed, regional, hard-to-find, vintage soda pop in glass bottles.
|They're also known for stocking many old-timey candies.|
I highly recommend a Cherry Mash...if you like that kind of thing.
|Certainly not the oldest example of 7Up, but considering|
the subject of our recent photo shoot, I thought it only
right that we show the vintage 7Up display a little respect.
|It has been brought to my attention that I should include more pictures of|
myself. In an effort to appease the masses, here's Mr. Tiny...hardy-har-har.
In honor of the occasion, Charles was on hand to mix "poptails" for the soda tasting. Our favorite was the "Luscious Lavender," a combination of Frostie Blue Cream Soda and Nesbitt's Peach served ice-cold with a garnish of a single Swedish Fish.
|Mary sampling the "Aqua Limonada" garnished with a Gummy Worm.|
Usually when we help Charles at his shows/appearances, it is mostly selling books and t-shirts. The star of this show, however, was the much anticipated unveiling of the newest taste sensation from his world-famous test kitchen - The Seven Layer Soda Pop Rocks Cake. We were drafted into assembly and decoration detail and were whisked away to the back of the house to begin preparation on what was to become the hit of the day.
I've told you before, I'm rather handy in the kitchen but baking is most assuredly not my forte. When Charles asked us to assemble and assist in decorating the cake, I wasn't sure which of the two tasks was more intimidating. I jumped in without fear, however, and started stacking and icing! I think I did a pretty good job of assembling my first-ever seven-layer cake. Each layer of the cake was representative of a soda flavor (grape, lemon-lime, cherry, etc.) and sandwiched in between each layer was a healthy portion of Pop Rocks nestled in a thick swath of cream cheese frosting. After an intense brainstorming session, Mary began applying the decoration. We had a box full of tricks, but it became clear that the best approach was to team with the theme and cover the top and the sides of the cake with Pop Rocks and use the wax soda bottle candies to blast off the rocky surface. The center of the cake held a star-shaped sparkler that nearly set off the fire sprinklers when the cake was presented to the crowd.
|Here's Mr. Tiny with the finished cake.|
How is it possible that even standing behind it,
my head is bigger than a seven-layer cake and
a comparable shade of red?!?!
Because we were assembling the cakes in the kitchen, a few attendees understandably assumed that we were employees of Galco's. One lady repeatedly asked Mary to sell her some macaroni salad. Mary's kindly explanation that not only was the service deli closed, but that she (Mary) was not an employee, only angered her and deepened her macaroni mania! Frustrated, the woman turned to me and demanded that I sell her some macaroni salad. You should have seen the daggers she shot me when I explained that I too was not authorized to serve Galco's, apparently-irresistible, macaroni salad.
The best part of the event was that while the cake was on display, the Pop Rocks kept popping and almost took out a few eyes. There was a subtle, yet consistent, to borrow a phase that is no doubt trademarked, "snap, crackle, and pop" that underscored the event's festivities. I got word that more exciting information regarding the Seven Layer Soda Pop Rock Cake will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!!!
|"Crusted and dusted with over two cases of Pop Rocks,"|
the Seven Layer Soda Pop Rocks Cake!
Can you see the star sparkler sparkling?
|The wedge of wonder!!!|
|The mad scientist with his latest creation|
and hordes of hungry fans!
Galco's Old World Grocery/Soda Pop Stop
5702 York Blvd
Highland Park, CA
Now how's that for a wacky right turn? What's your favorite flavor of pop? Although I rarely drink it, Mr. Tiny's favorite is a toss up between Nehi Peach (not allowed in California due to our overly-strict lead laws as they relate to the glass bottle) and Root Beer (pretty much any kind). I'm too chicken, but have you ever tested the limits of human fortitude by mixing soda and pop rocks? Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook if you're so inclined.