Exhibit A: balaclavas. We had to shovel the driveway and sidewalk Sunday. Eric went first, and he has this balaclava from a couple of Christmases ago, and since it was cold and windy I suggested he try it. He came in after shoveling the entire driveway (silly, considerate boy; the plan was for us to share equally) and said it had been too much. My idea of too much warmth differs from his, though, so I put it on with my coat and fur-lined boots (which Eric had borrowed because he tried them and commented they were very soft and nice, but balked at wearing until I pointed out it would be dark and no one would see him in women's boots--he doesn't have any of his own). It was warm and soft and I loved it. Until I reached the sidewalk and bent over to start shoveling. It twisted, it moved, I smeared my glasses when I went to shove it into place and it covered one of my eyes so that I had no depth perception for part of my shoveling. For a walk, though, or something where I would remain upright, I still think they're a lovely thing.
Exhibit B: meatloaf made from Morningstar Farms "meat" crumbles. I used to love meatloaf, and Eric makes what smells and is reported as a pretty darn good one. One day, we bought these crumbles to make into a meatloaf. Sunday we actually did it. The crumbles, which are TVP, looked kind of precooked and didn't stick together really well, but we figured we'd try anyway. It came out still crumbly and smelling oddly of rice. The taste was somewhere between ground beef (as I remember it, anyway) and, indeed, rice, but the texture was just about right for meatloaf. (Eric tried a tiny, tiny bite, and confirmed this.) And it worked just fine as a ketchup delivery system. But then...the texture started to get to me, and the "I'm eating meat" experience started to bother me. The texture of meat is why I gave it up in the first place, and even with the ketchup I couldn't get through more than half a slice of this. I'm glad we tried it, though; now I know that (a) this idea doesn't work, at least for me, and (b) I'm not really a vegetarian just for spite.