Power Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp: $1/Kroger

powerbar_chocpbcrisp-7Thanksgiving late morning, the house begins to smell, but it is amplified upon leaving for a little leaf-strewn stroll through my parents’ subdivision and then returning to be greeted by thick, salty, savory turkey-infused aromas. Like a cartoon character being beckoned by a anthropomorphic beckoning “smell” finger, I drift inside like a magnet’s pull to the refrigerator. But NO, we’re not eating for 2 more hours! I can’t exactly make a lunch-lunch, and woe is Ticia if she gets her hands on her Dad’s snack cabinet and doesn’t stop til her fingertips are raw from all the salt dust dipping in and out of treat bags. I spaced and forgot that I’d stopped the afternoon before at the grocery store for the last of Thanksgiving food supplies and picked up a few bars; this was my errand-excuse for actually going to a tattoo parlor for what turned into an unexpected new antitragus piercing (I love it, love it, love it!)

To tide over my rumbling gut, I ate a Power Bar Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp snack bar. I guess it’s a “snack” compared to some of the classic Power Bars, but it does the job and fills me up and tastes way more like a candy bar than a snack. But truthfully, I’m better off eating something chocolatey at this point in the day rather than later on when all I want to shove in my face hole is of the Thanksgiving varietal. I brought 3 new side dishes literally to the table this year and proposed a vote to see if enough of us liked one of them that Joanna could claim it as “her” traditional dish to begin making every year. These recipes were Southern Ambrosia (a nod to Tom’s great-grandmother’s recipe, one that I tried in leftover format in college in 1999 when a bunch of us brought our leftovers together for a tiny-taste potluck accompanied by PBR), sweet potato casserole (topped with toasted pecans and marshmallows, of course), and creamy parmesan mushroom spinach. The super-sweet white and orange casserole seemed to be the winner despite my campaigning for the spinach. “More green on the plate please!” The abundant agreement was that ambrosia is way too sweet, and after a day it turns to a white liquidy fruit smoosh. I just don’t think of chocolate as being a Thanksgiving ingredient, in any dish, dessert, drink or otherwise, so finishing up the Power Bar, which accomplished its protein fill-up, was a nice departure from the pumpkin flavors that one expects of this season. I can eat a chocolate-spiked bar anytime of the year but this particular Power Bar one was not only delicious and inexpensive, but it fit the bill for tipping the scales into just enough more than a snack, and not quite a meal, so that the next two hours passed without me becoming a Hangry Chef. My family will attest that the attitude is a real one, and when I’m hungry, a beast is unleashed. So they will also thank Power Bar while they grimace at my antitragus because no matter how old I am, I always get the finger-waggle and “but whhhhhhhhy???” from ye older family generations. 4/5

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