Qia Blueberry Cashew Pumpkin Seed: $1.29/Kroger

qia_blueberrycashew (4)I was on a playdate where Louise was introduced to Play-doh. I would never have gone out of my way to buy little cans of it for her, let alone all the elaborate shape sets that they sell now. Why would I want to have a Play Doh “Sweet Cookie Sprinkle Bakery Shop” that inspires a 2-year old to want to eat the items that the box instructs you to make, even if you don’t end up making a cookie, and then once the different colors and balled up and arranged on top like sprinkles, then all the colors of Play Doh start becoming a tie-dye kaleidoscopey swirl mess that you can’t really use again for anything other than a psychedelic blob? (Whatever happened to the classic Play Doh Factory from the 1980s that simply had a lever that squished it out into spaghetti.) I set aside my negative-nelly attitude and saw how much Louise enjoyed the Play-doh and I ordered her a basic “starter pack” and set her loose on it a few weeks ago. To my utter joy, she was occupied, busy and happy (no TV! no electronics!) for an hour and a half at the kitchen table (draped in a paint-splattered 10 year old plastic art mat) with the Play-Doh while I got worked.

I thought I’d cleaned it all up but several hours later, began stepping on hardened tiny balls of brownish-purple dried Play-Doh (the color she created by smashing all of them together of course.) Bare feet squealching and stomping over marbled blueish pebbles looked just like the hardened cashews chunks and blueberry flavoring of a Qia Nuts and Seeds Blueberry Cashew Pumpkin bar. No, I don’t hide my disdain for artificial blueberry flavor, but I don’t mind this Qia bar because at least the cashews have just enough salty bite to give the gentle berry sweetness a nudge. I haven’t seen this flavor of Qia again recently, having bought the one that I ate when it was Kroger “Woo-hoo’ed!” on clearance, so it’s possible that it’s discontinued. Just like several highly elaborate Play-Doh sets should also be discontinued. I see no use giving Louise the colors, tools and encouragement to make a Play-Doh “pizza” when my kitchen junk drawer and cabinet’s cookie cutters, utensils and tupperwares, along with Dollar Store cans of Play-Doh, can provide enough inspiration to provide another hour of tabletop smoosh time that will ultimately result in gingerly-taken ouch steps onto the dried chunks that hopefully won’t grind their way into the carpet. 4/5

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