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January 16, 2014 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Pairing wine with Girl Scout Cookies.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (44 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Because you have two addictions.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:58 PM on January 16


NB: Most chapters of the Girl Scouts nationwide will be doing booth sales from mid-February to the end of March. Little Brownie Bakers now has an app to help you find your local troops. Happy cookie season, my friends.

Unfortunately, Little Brownie is not the baker that produces the vegan/nondairy thin mints. To my knowledge, there is no cookie tracker app for ABC Bakeries.

posted by phunniemee at 1:05 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]


IMPORTANT FOOD JOURNALISM.
posted by sparkletone at 1:18 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


They all go well with vodka. It's what's for breakfast!
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:20 PM on January 16 [4 favorites]


I am a Daisy leader / Troop Cookie Manager and I am totally going to use this info to upsell! I'm pretty sure we can't provide wine tastings at the booth, though.
posted by candyland at 1:26 PM on January 16


Fuck having to sell those stupid ass cookies. My daughters made it through two cookie sales before dropping out of nerdapalooza rightly recognizing that hours standing at the mall flogging overprice HFCS and soy ingredients wasn't worth a semi-subsidized camping trip to some rainy muddy cold hellhole with the cities most socially awkward girls.

God I hated those things.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:26 PM on January 16


From the last link: "Katie's mom, Elizabeth, is a publicist....".

And a very talented one, too, it seems.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:27 PM on January 16


So, our daughter is doing Girl Scouts this year, and earlier this week we were contacted via email, given a list of the varieties of cookies, and instructed to provide the Cookie Coordinator with our "initial order" by some date in the very near future.

The problem is that we're introverts, and not in regular communication with most of our extended family, and so I have no idea how many boxes to order, except for a creeping certainty that any number I'll be comfortable with is going to be smaller than what they want to have sold. It's all pretty uncomfortable.

On the other hand, the actual activities-on-the-weekend aspect of things has been great. I didn't know much about the Girl Scouts at all before, and I'm now a vocal proponent.
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:30 PM on January 16


My workplace has exactly one person with a daughter in Scouts, and she cleans up just by coming into the office with a sheet one day in December. Which leads to her coming back at delivery time with the kind of cart they use to move washer-dryers at a department store. Which gets refilled several times.

Cancer survivors shouldn't be allowed to be Girl Scouts. It's not fair.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:33 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]


> My daughters made it through two cookie sales before dropping out of nerdapalooza rightly recognizing that hours standing at the mall flogging overprice HFCS and soy ingredients wasn't worth a semi-subsidized camping trip to some rainy muddy cold hellhole with the cities most socially awkward girls.

Too cool for Scouts!
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:34 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Ipsifendus, the magic number for one scout is 30 boxes. Fewer than 30 boxes and unfortunately you don't get the sale participation patch. The magic number for the troop as a whole is 150 boxes. If the whole troop gets 150 boxes in the initial order, the whole troop gets extra prizes and I think an extra $ incentive.

During a really well-located 2 hour booth sale last year my troop moved 100 boxes.

That doesn't really answer your question probably, but might give you a ballpark idea of cookie selling.
posted by phunniemee at 1:40 PM on January 16 [4 favorites]


There are two types of Thin Mints made today, but both combine a wafer, chocolate, and peppermint flavoring. To truly experience the mint & chocolate combination, however, don’t reach for the milk – try a Syrah instead.
NO YOU BLOODY GODDAMN HELL DON'T. You pair it with a Rhone blend from a ripe year (an '07 Châteauneuf-du-Pape would be divine), or a nice 20-year Port, like fucking civilized human beings.

God. Pairing based solely on GRAPE TYPE. Why not just dunk the damn things into a jug of Carlo Rossi's finest deer urine? Peasants.
posted by Mayor West at 1:45 PM on January 16 [31 favorites]


> The problem is that we're introverts, and not in regular communication with most of our extended family, and so I have no idea how many boxes to order, except for a creeping certainty that any number I'll be comfortable with is going to be smaller than what they want to have sold. It's all pretty uncomfortable

Ask the Cookie Parent. They'll know what's expected and can walk you through all the stages of the sale, let you know if you're expected to do shifts at booth sales, etc. The Cookie Parent just wants to know how many boxes to order from the cookie overlords.

"Cookie Parent" is a such a great job title. I'm the Outdoor Mom, which is also good. Kind of the opposite of a SAHM.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:55 PM on January 16


Ipsifendus: Speaking as someone who DOESN'T have colleagues with daughters in Scouts (or Girl Guides), I would kill for a couple of boxes of thin mints.

Passing around a sheet with in your workplace (or just posting it on your office door and letting people know it's there) would probably sell at least 30 boxes. Most people take 2 boxes, so that's 15 people.

Facebook works too.
posted by jrochest at 2:01 PM on January 16


Wine?
Everyone knows a good porter is the perfect accompaniment to a plate of Samoas.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:10 PM on January 16 [4 favorites]


Thanks, Thorzdad. I am now consumed with the need to know how Three Philosophers pairs with Samoas, because it's amazing with chocolate.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:19 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Silly Girl Scouts, don't pair it with wine, pair it with beer. For instance, you pair Samoans with Vailima.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:31 PM on January 16


Huh, in England we don't have this girl scout cookie thing, but I'm aware it's a thing from TV and stuff.

I'd never realised that they were branded cookies though. Are they the same types every year? Can you buy the same ones at the shops?

And, what's the point? I'm not trying to shit on anyone's parade here but whilst a charity bake sale (with children, so bonus cuteness points) makes sense to me, I don't get why you'd bother with this (I mean, apart from because children are a cheap and expendable labour force, which I hope isn't the reason).
posted by Ned G at 2:33 PM on January 16


When I was at university, there was a woman who was a student there with me, and her kid was a Girl Scout. The mom took her kid out on campus where the stoners hung out playing hackey-sack and frisbee and stuff. She moved probably 20 boxes an hour for a couple hours a day for three days. So there are some other good pairings as well, apparently.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:35 PM on January 16 [4 favorites]


You can't buy them in stores and they're only sold for a short time--GS is very persnickety about selling outside of the specific timeframe. The cookies aren't as good as they used to be (but what is?) so it's driven by a lot of nostalgia.

But the thing is, that for a really active troop that does more than be nerdy and camp in mud puddles, cookie sales are pretty much it for fundraising, because the national organization limits any other options.

My kids' troop is a large mixed-age troop ranging from Brownies to Ambassadors (high school girls). We do lots of camping trips, including winter camping (in Minnesota! It's a good skill to learn if you live here). We do other outdoor activities, both purely for fun and to really master outdoor skills. We do activities like council field day and World Thinking Day, and we do crafts and stuff, but we also do several serious service projects every year. All our girls work toward the special awards available to their age group, culminating in the Girl Scout equivalent of an Eagle Scout award.

The activities we do cost money, and those expenses are largely defrayed by cookie sales. And along the way, the girls learn about marketing, goal setting, teamwork, project management, money handling (I mean, the Brownies learn to count back change properly, which is more than a lot of baristas can do). This year our troop is hoping to earn enough to purchase new four-season tents, and I have no doubt that they'll succeed.

Do I wish we sold a better quality of cookie? Yeah. Do I wish it was something healthy? Yeah, but it couldn't compete with the nostalgia of the Thin Mint. Am I glad that, hassle though it is, my girls get this experience? You betcha.
posted by padraigin at 2:44 PM on January 16 [10 favorites]


I've discovered a great way to support the Girl Scouts without eating all those empty calories: buy a few boxes, take them to work, and let your co-workers eat those empty calories!
posted by kmz at 2:53 PM on January 16


I was really hoping the YT link would be a Steve Brule style cookie/wine shitshow.

But uh, yeah CBS works too.
posted by stinkfoot at 2:56 PM on January 16


I about choked when I discovered the cookies were going for $4/box this year. I loves me some Trefoils, but...damn. They're getting a bit salty for my wallet, especially since they started reducing the sizes.

They still beat the hell out the lame-ass popcorn the Boy/Cub Scouts sell around here, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:58 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]


> Are they the same types every year?

Not necessarily. There are a few levels of administration, and the cookie choices are decided a few levels up from the troop. This year the girls in my area can order Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Samoas, Do-Si-Dos, Trevoils, and Savannah Smiles; that is, they can choose from those six flavors what ones they want to offer their customers (although why they buy anything other than Thin Mints escapes me). In different parts of the country the girls might have different cookies available to them, and thus to their customers.

> I've discovered a great way to support the Girl Scouts without eating all those empty calories: buy a few boxes, take them to work, and let your co-workers eat those empty calories

My daughter's troop is collecting cookies that they're going to drop off at a children's home. Other troops are collecting for the USO. If you want to support the Girl Scouts this is a great way to do it, even if you don't want the cookies yourself; the troop still gets their cut, and the cookies go to people who probably don't mind the carbs.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:03 PM on January 16


Insult Samoas at your own peril.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:04 PM on January 16 [9 favorites]


padraigin is totally right about the fundraising aspect. I mean, that should be a given, considering that most people know it's a fundraiser, but really.

Last year was the very first year for my troop. I was just starting to scrape my life back together after a very long period of unemployment, so I didn't have a ton of extra cash, and my troop is in a very low income neighborhood so we don't have family resources to pull on like other troops might. The first half of the year was done cobbling together activities from secondhand supplies the council was able to scrounge up for us. But then cookie money came in and it was like HOLY CRAP now we can go to museums and have markers and scissors for everyone and actually buy all the badges we've been earning and...we finally got to do girl scout things.

Add to that how freaking fun the booth sales are (I had a blast and so did my girls, they were making up songs and cheers and it was just great) and what a good learning experience it was for everyone--I had my Daisies and Brownies (these are girls in kindergarten through third grade) checking inventory, writing receipts, and making change. It was just great.

You can be all HFCS and nerds and child labor as much as you want, I don't care. My scouts are SO excited about doing the cookie sale again this year--they've been asking every meeting since October. We're going to be making our booth sale sign and troop t-shirts at our next meeting. T-shirts which my troop can now afford to buy. It's a very thrilling time here in Girl Scout land.

Here is a picture of a couple of my scouts and me at a booth sale last year selling the last dozen boxes of cookies we had. They did such a good job. I was so proud.
posted by phunniemee at 3:06 PM on January 16 [18 favorites]


You can't buy them in stores...

Tell that to the girls camped-out inside my local supermarket. Who can say "no" to a pack of cherubic little Daisies asking if you want to buy cookies, as you're about to drop money on food?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:09 PM on January 16


> Insult Samoas at your own peril

See, if I had sold cookies when I was a girl I wouldn't've done that, because I would have worked on my Meet My Customers badge and would know better than to insult anyone's cookie choices. I apolgize.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:10 PM on January 16


I love that picture! It reminds me that what looks like a very uncomfortable way to spend an afternoon to me could well be the highlight of the month to an 8 year old.
posted by jrochest at 3:18 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


When we were in Cooperstown a few years ago, we had dinner at a resort that made Thin Mint martinis. That was basically the highlight of my life.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:42 PM on January 16


"They still beat the hell out the lame-ass popcorn the Boy/Cub Scouts sell around here, though."

QFMFT
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:47 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]


When my older sister was a kid, my mom got her into Girl Scouts. I was maybe three years old at the time and we couldn't pay for a sitter, so I (a boy) would go to the meetings and play with blocks on the floor or draw or what have you. Often the girls would sit with me and entertain me, as young women are wont to do with wee little kids. As the years went by, at some point I became sort of an honorary Girl Scout I guess. I'd go to weekend events or cookie sales and "help" (as six- and seven-year-olds are also wont to do). When my sister eventually left the Girl Scouts, my mom stayed involved and so did I, in that weird peripheral way of "I have to be here because I can't be home alone, but I AM TOTALLY NOT A GIRL EWW ICK." I was well-tolerated, I think. I recall that Girl Scout events and people were totally awesome, did neat stuff, and taught me some amazing things.

Anyway, once my brother was old enough to keep an eye on me, I stopped having to go to events. It was around that time that my mother moved up from the troop level and was helping organize things on a larger scale, wrangling with the United Way, etc. During the yearly sale, troops kept cases of cookies in their local "cupboard" (usually the troop leader's house), but they had to be supplied from somewhere. The cookie company wanted to be able to back up a delivery truck, unload a mass of cases, and be gone. We had a lot of basement space and my brother and I were old enough to carry heavy things...

So we ended up being the regional "cookie cupboard." Once a year, as cookie season kicked off, we'd get a large box truck at the end of the long, steep driveway. My brother and I would haul hundreds upon hundreds of cases (not boxes) of Girl Scout cookies into the basement. We'd stack them up by type, four to five cases tall, leaving little three-foot lanes between the rows so you could get them out. We'd help count them, my mom would sign off on the delivery papers, and then the fun part started:

We'd spend the next few weeks carrying case after case out to troop leaders' vans and cars. All these cookies, and we couldn't open a one of them! None of this work was, per se, required of my brother and I, but we were reared in a manner that left no option in our mind. Some nice person (98% of the time a mom and one or more of her Scout kids) would show up at the end of the driveway, there would be twenty cases of cookies they needed for some sale... what else were we going to do?

My brother and I, as always, made it into a sort of competition. How many cases could you haul in one load? Three tall was reasonable at our height, but four meant almost-certain tipping-over disaster. We prided ourselves on never dropping a case. Then one year my brother discovered that if you had enough arm strength you could arrange cases two-by-two, put your hands under the edges, and squeeze the cube together with your forearms. The elusive four-case haul! Of course, it probably took more energy than just making one more trip with three-at-a-time, but THAT'S NOT THE POINT. Could we manage a 2x2 with a fifth case set on top? I look back fondly on that time spent working with my brother and mom.

Anyway, now when I see a troop stationed at a folding table in front of the grocery store... I can close my eyes and smell the Thin Mint cases (which always always smelled faintly of mint, though the others were scrupulously clean) and the image of the color-coded order list of cookie types floats into view.

I've been told it's a sucker's game, buying cookies to help them raise money. I've been told that direct donations are more efficient. I don't care. The Girl Scouts are an awesome organization, and the cookies are reasonably tasty. I go get the car, find an ATM, come back, and buy enough cookies to fill a drawer in the big freezer... always enough that the young ladies will offer to pile them into a couple of the empty cases they've accumulated. You know, to make them easier to carry. I always accept, put both open cases side-by-side, squeeze them together with my forearms so they don't fall, and totter off to my car with a smile.
posted by introp at 4:34 PM on January 16 [17 favorites]


I buy GS cookies IF the girls are selling them....NO 3rd party parent sign up order. I also buy band candy whenever available. If the kids are doing it I am all in. I also tip 200% to the order.
caveat...IF the kids are doing it. Same for car washes, etc. Buying a candy bar or box of cookies
for upwards of 8 dollars is very insane I know and I always hope the $$ goes where I intend. As an aside, I never (almost) give to a pan handler but WILL always to a street performer w/ an open guitar case.
Oh....always 2-3 boxes of shortbreads for the Chihuahua who rules the house.
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:35 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


My now-former boss came in with the cookie ordering sheet two months ago. I bought 4-5 boxes, figuring by the time he delivers them in March, it'd be like a fun cookie surprise.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:56 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Direct donations are very efficient, and appreciated. But there is still something to be said for the various skills that the girls are supposed to learn from the selling process (of course, girls who master the art of asking for cash donations certainly have a bright future as well).

This year, and I don't know if this is a council thing or a national thing or if it's something our troop's leaders just decided to implement, the girls have to make a poster if they want to have their parents "sell" cookies at work. It has to explain what we're doing this for and include information about the goals the girl and troop are shooting for.

My kids have also decided to spend a little time making a video to send out to the family members they plan to hit up--they're crazy about making movies with their iPods but they've never made a commercial before, so they've been excitedly brainstorming for the past week.
posted by padraigin at 5:11 PM on January 16


I am in England, and I wish I had some Thin Mints to put in the freezer and forget about till July. The sheer joy of a frozen Thin Mint in the heat of summer is something I haven't experienced for a long, long time.

(Nor have I forgotten the utterly wrong feeling of having consumed an entire box of Samoas in the requisite 2.2 seconds. That one, I'm okay with not experiencing again.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:30 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


> I don't know if this is a council thing or a national thing or if it's something our troop's leaders just decided to implement, the girls have to make a poster if they want to have their parents "sell" cookies at work

I haven't heard anything about that, and I went to the Cookie Training (which had no cookies at all at it, WTF). They stressed that the girls are supposed to be selling them, not the parents. The policy you describe is more realistic.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:07 PM on January 16


This year, and I don't know if this is a council thing or a national thing or if it's something our troop's leaders just decided to implement, the girls have to make a poster if they want to have their parents "sell" cookies at work. It has to explain what we're doing this for and include information about the goals the girl and troop are shooting for.

We don't have that requirement, but my daughter went into work with my husband after school, in uniform, to sell.

Our council has a new program this year that allows people to donate boxes to a major local food bank, and we don't actually have to take delivery of these cookies, the council will ship them directly to the food bank. Almost half of my daughter's orders have been food bank donations. People seem to like the idea of giving to that program.
posted by candyland at 6:36 PM on January 16


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: Insult Samoas at your own peril.

Yes, they are a surly bunch.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:05 PM on January 16


I was very excited to see the slide show of all the different cookies. In New Zealand where I grew up (and for all I know in Australia where I live now), girl guide biscuits (cookies) only come in one type (which now I know is called the Trefoil type in America). Periodically I see Americans on the internet getting excited about girl scout cookies and I have always wondered what these wondrous things are like, since ours were so boring. And now I know. I think the Tagalongs look good.
posted by lollusc at 11:37 PM on January 16


Our council has a new program this year that allows people to donate boxes to a major local food bank, and we don't actually have to take delivery of these cookies, the council will ship them directly to the food bank.

Yep, this is going on in our area as well. A good idea, I thought.
posted by Ipsifendus at 4:57 AM on January 17


One of the VPs at my last job was the dad of a Girl Scout and brought cookie sign-up sheets to work. It seemed wrong on so many levels: the parent making the sales instead of the kid, a senior person getting money out of junior staff (this seems like it could have gone badly awry if he had had not been a good guy - I can easily imagining offices where there would be pressure to buy/judgment if you didn't), getting money out of a bunch of broke-ass nonprofit employees (and unpaid interns)...I wanted to resist on principle, but fuck it, I love those cookies. I think I bought 4 or 5 boxes: a mix of thin mints (the best), tagalongs (a regular, if distant, second favorite over the years), and the new-ish dulce de leche ones (impressive!).

I was a Brownie, and I'm pretty sure my troop never did the tabling outside grocery stores thing - I think the girls mostly went door to door? I was a shy kid and hated talking to strangers, so the most my mom could prod me to do was call hapless relatives on the phone. They were treated to my reading the descriptions of each cookie word-for-word from the brochure, which I'm sure was thrilling. They did buy lots of cookies, though whether out of mere pity or "holy shit, delicious cookies!" is hard to say.
posted by naoko at 7:32 AM on January 17


I was a Brownie, and I'm pretty sure my troop never did the tabling outside grocery stores thing

This is something they've 1) started to really push in recent years because of stranger danger and so forth and 2) especially in urban areas. When you live someplace like Chicago where most places are multi-unit apartments or condos, going door to door is tough!


A word to the cookies themselves: our service unit did a cookie rally for all the troops in our area last weekend, and we got sample boxes of every flavor of cookie so the girls could actually know what they were selling. I hadn't tried most of them.

Thin Mints and Samoas are obviously the perennial favorites, but I was most surprised by the lamentably-named Thank U Berry Munch with cranberry bits in them. Really pretty good!

If you live in an ABC Bakery area, try the Lemonades. I haven't had a chance to try them myself, but all the pregnant ladies say they are the greatest things ever.
posted by phunniemee at 7:48 AM on January 17


I am the cookie dad for my daughter's troop. We just had our first cookie booth of the season -- outside of a liquor store. Had I been thinking, I would maybe have printed out a few of these and asked the management if we could put them up near the appropriate wines.
posted by neilbert at 3:28 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


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