We all have the nightmare of being late to class, forgetting to study for the exam or being late to a test. At three score and four, I have now lived that nightmare.
I did not awake in a sweat. I did not leap from bed, throw on clothes and run downstairs, only to realize I am no longer in school. I sat quietly at my computer and felt ashamed to take a test one month late. Yes, an entire month for a woman, who, all of her adult life, has been prone to false starts, jumping the gun and trying to be ahead of deadlines.
Never say never. I was asked to participate in a taste test of one of my favorite products and I failed to take the test on time. I had good excuses, but I failed to show up for the product that my husband and I would have a hard time living without.
The product is True Lemon, truelemon.com. This crystallized lemon comes in a simple foil packet. It was introduced to me by a younger Roland Park neighbor who suggested I try it in water, cold or hot.
Lemon water?! The stuff of old ladies, I thought, but I tried it. Now I have been hooked for several years, as has my husband. In my purse, I carry packets of it in a plastic container that came with the product several summers ago. I am such a lemon-lover that I was becoming embarrassed asking for more wedges at restaurants.
My husband and I are so addicted to these little packets that a few months ago I went online and bought a box of 500. I also spotted a shaker of lemon pepper and ordered it too, a two-fer since my husband likes lots of pepper on his food.
At about that same time, I thought I had lost the little plastic box I used in my purse. I scoured the house and our cars. No luck. I called the Village Square Cafe, http://www.villagesquarecafe.com, in Cross Keys, the last place I had last used it. No luck.
One evening I looked at one of the little foil packets, because I remembered seeing on one that it was manufactured in Baltimore. Shop local, I thought, as I dialed the number and left a message about my search for the clear little box.
A nice young woman returned my call. She remembered those funny little boxes but said they had no more. She said she would send me a better one for free. She also said she would send some lime, grapefruit and lemonade products and invited us to be part of a taste test.
The test materials arrived along with instructions. My husband and I were to sample six packs each of Blend K and Blend T. We were to use five in the way we normally use the product, and set the sixth aside for a side-by-side test. We earnestly set about tasting and making notes. Instantly, we fell in love with T. It was more tart and more concentrated. I emailed the nice woman who had sent the free products and reported we loved T.
Before we could take the side-by-side test, however, life intervened. We did not take that test until one month after the deadline. We felt like failures, but we completed the test, an online survey, anyway.
Now we are delighted to learn the results: Blend T won the test. It is in production and making its way to stores soon. My only regret is that no grocery store in north Baltimore carries the lemon pepper shake to which we are equally addicted.