If you live in the US and ever shop at such supermarkets as Safeway or Albertson’s, you’ve probably been inundated recently with flimsy paper game boards and tiny tear-off tickets. The goal of the Monopoly grocery game, as you may or may not have cared to read in the instructions, is to keep shopping, wear your eyes to charcoal nubs and hunch your back into a hilltop while you pore over the game board, struggling to match a set of alphanumerical tickets to the prize that a certain combination allows you to win, “potentially.”
Meanwhile, the grocery store issues the same tickets over and over so you’d have to travel the US to find all the unique codes to win a prize. If this seems like too much work, there is also an online sweepstakes wherein you can enter codes on specially-marked tickets and get a message that your code is not a winner. In exchange, the site will collect your contact info for who knows what subliminal purpose, as if the great wide Internet didn’t already provide this information for anyone curious as long as the inquirer swore their conniving intentions.
If you by some cosmic accident earn all the tickets required for a certain prize, you can take your fragile ticket-game-board to a store and, providing no desperate rival tears it out of your grasp on the journey, show your “potential winning game board” to an employee, who will surely call over several others of increasingly intimidating stature within the company hierarchy, until one finally has the authority to convince you that you are not eligible to receive your prize after all.
Or, alternately, the employees may surrender and give you that $35,000 vehicle or $200 family picnic. Thinking you have triumphed, you will march through all the red tape to actually obtain your prize, no doubt to find that your Cinderella story is fleeting: the fairy godmother may give you a free car, but she’ll certainly not help you pay for gas or maintenance after that fender-bender resulting from your boundless road excitement upon having won against all odds. You may well receive a free jar of pickles for a family picnic, but there’s no guarantee your family will be willing to budge from the Superbowl commercials or eat their sandwiches without fighting over the Frisbee and making all the potato salad spill on your nice new checkered blanket. Is that heartwarming family experience really worth $200? Or your newly incurred blindness and hunchback?
For most of us, who will not “win” anything at all, the contest simply results in lifelong trauma from seeing this old geezer threatening us with the heavy hand of capitalism around every corner of the supermarket:
Regardless of the threat posed by this skulking symbol of human subjugation and dehumanization as hopeful middle-class citizens are reduced to statistics in an odds ratio, I have bravely continued to shop at my local grocery stores. After all, I had to buy ingredients for this fudgey, chocolatey breakfast cake for one with a touch of tropical tang that made my morning marvelous. Besides, I might as well collect the tickets while they’re available: I might win a prize!
You don’t have to win the lottery to taste this hearty, intriguing, and indulgent microwave cake. All you need is five minutes, a microwave, and a few commonplace ingredients you probably already have lying around (feel free to replace the brands/flavors I used with ones that suit you). Fuel up for the race to the top – but don’t get so strong and nourished you beat me to that $200 family picnic, or I’ll be so mad I just might have to sue you!
Chocolate Fudge Breakfast Cake with Peachy Mango Tang
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
- one single-serving packet bananas ‘n’ cream instant oatmeal
- dash ginger
- 1 egg
- one single-serve Jell-O brand sugar free crème brûlée rice pudding cup (103 grams)
- 1 tbs chocolate peanut butter blend (I used Reese’s Spreads)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbs semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle)
- one container nonfat peach Greek yogurt
- 1 tbs sweetened flaked coconut
- handful of dried mango (I used a 10 g pouch of Crispy Green brand dried mango)
- 1 tsp honey
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine cocoa, oatmeal, and ginger. Mix.
Beat in egg. Add pudding, peanut butter, and honey. Mix to combine. Batter will be thick.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Microwave batter in microwave-safe bowl for about 2 minutes or until cooked through (I did 1-1/2 minutes but found my cake was just a little on the fudgey side).
Top with yogurt, coconut flakes, dried mango, and a drizzle of honey. Enjoy warm.