Trippy soda

Jones Soda Co. takes the idea of a liquid diet to a new low. Howdoes Green Bean Casserole Soda strike you? And how about anaggressively buttery-smelling Mashed Potato Soda?

Even the creators of the fizzy concoctions at this small Seattlesoda company can hardly stomach the stuff. But last year’sunexpected success of the Turkey & Gravy Soda means anotherround of bizarre food-flavored soft drinks. As an added bonus,they’re calorie-free.

This week Jones Soda Co. launches a full meal deal of fiveThanksgiving soda flavors, from the bile-colored Green BeanCasserole to the sweet but slightly sickly Fruitcake Soda. Lastyear’s Turkey & Gravy is also back on the menu.

If you think it sounds less than appetizing, you’re notalone.

“Oh, man, I can’t drink that!” cries out company chief executivePeter van Stolk after he pours himself a drink of mashedpotatoes.

To banish the buttery aftertaste, he recommends a chaser ofCranberry Soda, the only one of the holiday bunch that doesn’t makeyou want to pick up a toothbrush.

Drinking last year’s savory Turkey & Gravy was no picnic,either, but that didn’t stop people from clamoring for it, pushingbidding on auction site eBay up to $63 for a two-bottle set.

Known for its quirky ads and offbeat bottle designs, Jonestraces its roots to a soda distribution operation that began in1987. But it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the company began itsown line of sodas, cultivating a following among skaters, surfersand snowboarders with unusual flavors like blue bubble gum, greenapple and watermelon. These days, Jones soda, juice and energydrinks are available nationwide at stores including Target,Albertson’s and Safeway.

In the early stages, the staff grew deeply divided over mashedpotato versus sweet potato: “It was like red versus blue,” vanStolk said, referring to the recent presidential election.

In the end, he called it for mashed potato, arguing it was themore familiar food. -Associated Press

Trippy Doughnut

Carefully, 1,818 Krispy Kreme doughnuts were built into a5-foot, 3-inch heap in an attempt to set a world record for thehighest doughnut wedding cake.

Then, backers of the effort Sunday at the Simcha CelebrationsShowcase, a Jewish celebration trade show in the Seattle suburb,dismantled the 363,600-calorie mound and gave away the glazeddoughnuts, five at a time. The result will be sent forconsideration in the Guinness World Records, which currently has noheight record for a doughnut cake, said Carin Freedel, chiefexecutive of Mitzvah Mavens, which hosted the event.

“Doughnut wedding cakes are very popular now,” Freedel said.

Compared with traditional wedding cakes that cost $6 or more aserving, doughnuts – costing $6.99 a dozen – are a lot cheaper.Krispy Kremes also are kosher. Each of the chain’s kitchens isinspected by a rabbi and certified every two months.

Christiann Thomas, 26, a Fife high school teacher, started witha base of 170 doughnuts but had to backtrack at one point when thepile began leaning to one side.

“We had to take off about five layers” and rebuild, Thomas said.”It’s a pretty light … doughnut.”

Even then, the cake remained wobbly, and Thomas had it measuredby Diane Rise, a weights and measures inspector from the stateAgriculture Department, as soon as the final doughnut spire wasadded.

The cake will not come close to setting a record for the largestby weight. In February, a 15,032-pound wedding cake was made at theMohegan Sun Hotel and Casino in Uncasville, Conn.

Each doughnut weighed less than 2 ounces, but the three-houreffort took its toll, Thomas said.

“I am sore, my back and calves especially,” she said.-Associated Press

Trippy Bummer

The federal government did not violate the rights of a RainbowFamily member when it singled him and two others out forparticipating in an annual, illegal gathering on U.S. ForestService land in 2000, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appealsrejected Barry Adams’ argument that he was selectively prosecutedand his contention that the regulations prohibiting such agathering are unconstitutional.

Adams and two other Rainbow Family members were cited by theForest Service for failing to obtain a permit for a gathering thatbrought an estimated 23,000 members of the counterculture group toMontana’s Big Hole Valley in 2000. All three were convicted.

Adams appealed, arguing that the Forest Service regulationrequiring a special group-use permit for a gathering of more than75 people on Forest Service land violates a constitutional right topublic assembly. The appellate judges disagreed.

The judges also rejected Adams’ argument that he should not havepersonally been prosecuted for the actions of a group and that, byprosecuting only three of the thousands of participants, thegovernment had resorted to illegal, selective prosecution.

The court said Adams was prosecuted because he and the other twohad earlier identified themselves as organizers and clearly knewthe gathering would be illegal if no permit was obtained first.-Associated Press