Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kawartha Bakery

While vacationing this summer in Rice Lake, near Peterborough Ontario, we took a drive to visit the Whetung Ojibwe centre in Curve Lake.  Along the way, in a fairly rural area, we passed a bakery with a sign outside advertising gluten free baked goods.  My interest was piqued, and we made a point of stopping in on our way back at the end of the day.  I was curious to see what products would be offered, and to find out how a bakery specializing in gluten free goods survived in such a rural area. 



I'm so happy I stumbled upon this gem of a bakery.

I had the opportunity to speak with the owners and ask a few questions.  The bakery opened in 1975, and they branched out into gluten free baking over 23 years ago due to a large demand in the area.  Over the years, as word of their bakery spread, they began getting business from people willing to travel long distances to find products that were unavailable elsewhere, and they began expanding their offerings.   The bakery now offers over 80 varieties of gluten free bake goods, including both in-house baked products and commercial brands.

Some of the pasta selection

A sampling of the in-house baked goods


In all honesty, I was mesmerized by the selection and the low prices of their products.  They sell commercial brands of everything from pastas to baking mixes, dressings and sauces, at some of the lowest prices I've seen anywhere.  Their in-house products are also extensive, and I spent a long time browsing the shelves of cookies, pastries and other treats.  The labels have the ingredients listed, so I was easily able to identify options that were also dairy-free for my son.  The bakery also has a frozen section where pre-made items like pie crusts or pot-pies can be found. 

Part of the freezer selection

Although I wanted to purchase one of everything, I limited myself to a few items.  I picked up a box of pasta, a frozen pie crust, a package of gluten free oatmeal, a pancake mix, and some chocolate chip cookies. And paid $21 for the bunch, including a bottle of water.  For anyone familiar with gluten free prices, this is cheap. 

The website offers a list of their homemade products, and also has an ingredient list with all of the major allergens included. 

I wish this bakery was closer to where I live, because it would be my go-to place for gluten free items.  They do distribute to a few retail locations, including one in Whitby, which is a bit closer, but nowhere close enough to visit on a regular basis.  I will, however, be making return visits whenever I'm in the area, and will make the effort to get out to the Whitby retailer every now and then when I want a particular item. 

This is a fantastic bakery, with knowledgeable staff and great products that are priced right. 

Kawartha Bakery
County Road 18 and Highway 23
RR1 Lakefield Ontario
K0L 2H0

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

This week the menu plan is more of a non-plan.  Pre-baby, I prepared a few dishes and stuck them in the freezer, so this week is going to be full of pre-made meals or meals that are put together with only a few ingredients.  Here's what I'm thinking, although I'm going to play it by ear. 

Monday:  Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (thanks to pre-cooked, frozen pulled chicken, this took little time to put together)

Tuesday: Chili from the freezer over Tortilla Chips with Homemade Canned Salsa

Wednesday: Greek Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta, perhaps with some Pulled Chicken

Thursday: Shepherd's Pie and Cornbread Muffins (all from the freezer)

Friday: Quick GF Garlic and Oil Pasta with Meatballs

Welcome Little One!

So after posting last week's menu plan on Sunday afternoon, I went into labor Sunday night.  I wanted a few days with my family to focus on the new addition to the family, so I haven't really been on the blog all week, but I'm starting to feel a bit better now and I'm itching to get back to posting. 

But first, a photo of our newest addition, Xavier!  At 9lbs 10 oz he's a big boy!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

So, this is week 39 (and counting!) and my oomph is a little less impressive than in weeks past.  I've still did a bit of cooking for the week, but the intention is to have some things do double duty (2 dinners) and to hopefully order in or bring home some take-out at some point.  Or, you know, have a baby.  Whatever.  Here's what we're eating this week!



Monday: Soup with Fresh Peas and Gluten Free Pasta 








Tuesday:  GF Lasagna













Wednesday:  Chicken and Zucchini Burgers 








Thursday:  Mushroom Risotto (if it lasts until then, my son has already eaten two bowls!)



Friday: Leftovers or we'll order something in.  There will probably still be some lasagna hanging around, so we'll finish that off.  My due date is Saturday, so maybe I'll be busy going into labor...

Monday, August 13, 2012

How To: Making Oven-Dried Tomatoes

This summer we planted 6 tomato plants, and they're starting to give fruit!  We can't eat all of the fresh tomatoes in time, so we've decided to make some sun-dried tomatoes, but in the oven.  It is possible to actually sun-dry them, but I like to do them in the oven.  It does take a long time for them to dry out completely, but in terms of actual work involved, it's really, really, simple and the flavour is incredible. 


Ingredients:
- Any quantity of tomatoes, washed, dried and cut into quarters or eighths with the stems removed.  Keep in mind that the tomatoes will shrivel to about 1/4 of their original size, so decide what's right for you.  I don't seed them, but you can if you prefer them that way.
- Enough olive oil to lightly coat the tomatoes
-Sprinkle of salt
-Optional sprinkling of dried herbs, like basil



Method:
1- Preheat oven to 200F.  I've tried it at higher heat, and found that the tomatoes are more likely to burn.
2- Prepare the tomatoes, toss with a small amount of oil and sprinkle with salt and herbs if desired.
3- Arrange the tomato slices on a lined baking sheet or on wire trays on top of baking sheets and place in the oven.
4- Check the progress of the tomatoes hourly.  If laying directly on baking sheet, turn the tomatoes occasionally to allow for even air flow.
5- Remove from oven when shriveled, and juice no longer flows from tomatoes when pressed, but before they are tough and leathery.  In my experience, this usually takes about 5 hours. 



Let cool and then package accordingly.  If you're going to eat them within a week, just refrigerate.  I froze mine in zip lock bags.  Lie flat until frozen, and then the individual tomatoes won't stick together.  Label with the date; they should be good for at least 6 months.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekly Gluten Free Menu Plan

This week's menu was based on the "clean out the fridge" theme, and was made with ingredients we already had on hand in the house.  Every now and then I realize we have a bunch of odds and ends that need to be gotten rid of.  That's what this week's menu is all about!



Monday:  Spanish Tortilla (egg omelette with potato) with added Arugula and Feta 








Tuesday:  Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Rice, Vegetables, Leftover Sofrito and Tomatillo Salsa 











Wednesday:  Fusilli with Basil Pesto 










Thursday:  Summer Vegetable Soup with Romano Beans 








Friday:  Chicken Breast with Bok Choy and a Salad  (chicken's still in the oven!)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Five List

Well, 38 weeks and counting.  Not that I'm keeping track or anything.  As I wait (mostly) patiently for baby to arrive, I've been trying to get our yard cleaned up a bit.  It's been somewhat neglected this summer, so my goal is simply to prepare it for the fall so that there's minimum maintenance to do to prep it for winter with a newborn around. 

1- Trees:  The area along the back of our fence was disgusting.  The grass had all been worn down by my son and the whole area was just full of dirt and weeds.  This past weekend my dad and my husband planted a few cedars and mulched the rest of the area.  We'll see what we might want to add next year, but for now, the area looks finished and should look good throughout the winter with the evergreens in place. 



2- Play Area: We previously had no dedicated play area for our son in the back, and his toys were taking over the yard.  With baby number 2 on the way, we decided it was time to do something about that.  Given our limited budget with my impending maternity leave, we had to get creative.  Instead of creating a stone patio, we bought resin patio stones and created a 9x9 play pad in the back left corner of the yard, where there's shade in the afternoon.  I'm actually really happy with the results.  The area was put down in less than a day, and is safe to leave down all winter.  The dark grey colour is attractive, and our next door neighbours thought they were real stone.  I also like that because they're resin, they won't fade or crack, and if my son falls down, the landing is pretty soft.  We piled all his stuff over there, including his pool and water table and a toybox.  Now our yard is easy to keep clean and our son has an area all his own.

Well, it cleans up  nicely...


3- Vegetable Garden:  This is still a work in progress since the vegetables grow at their own pace!  However, I've been trying to keep on top of things as the ripen.  Here's what I've done so far:  Green Beans: blanched and frozen, Tomatoes: Oven dried and frozen, Herbs: Cut and dried, Garlic: Picked and Cured.  The plan is to can some of the hot peppers and some tomato salsa, make some pesto with the basil, and to continue freezing the green beans. 

Some tomatoes from the garden

4- Perennial Area:  So, one side of the perennial flower garden looks good, while the other side, not so much.  A few things didn't do well this year, a couple of things I didn't like got yanked, and now we're left with a big hole.  And I'm too pregnant to really care.  What's the plan then?  Well, we're going to shovel out the red mulch and replace it with black like we did along the back fence, and then probably plant an evergreen bush, like a boxwood where the hole is.  Done and done. 
The good side

The not so good side


5- Grass: Le sigh.  The heat waves of May, June and July coupled with the lack of rain (although it's coming down pretty good right now) have led to a disastrous lawn situation in the backyard.  The groundcover left over from the previous owner continues to creep up, and all the running my son does has left the backyard grass struggling.  For the first time, not only is it going brown in areas, but there have been a ton of weeds that have sprung up.  This will be the last area to tackle, and probably not until after the baby's born.  When the weather starts to cool down, we'll tackle the groundcover and weeds, plant grass seed, water and stay off the lawn.  If all else fails, we'll worry about it next year!


Our focus for the fall...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Casey's Grill Bar, Cobourg Ontario

While at the cottage, we spent a rainy day in Cobourg, and decided to go out for lunch.  Last year, we checked out Boston Pizza and ordered my son a gluten free pizza.  Click HERE for my thoughts on that visit. 

This year, we decided to try something new.  I'd heard a lot about Casey's extensive gluten free menu, but never had the chance to check it out.  When I realized that there was a Casey's in Cobourg, I made a point of choosing it as our lunch destination. 

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I am aware that Casey's is a chain restaurant, and as such I can only speak about the experience I had at this specific location. 

That being said, the Casey's website has the same menu for every location, including a separate gluten free section of their menu.  Click HERE to see the menu from the Cobourg website.  The gluten free part begins on page 4.  The site also has an allergen and nutritional information chart, which is always helpful for me since my son also can't have dairy.  I did my research before going, happy to see that there were even gluten free items on the kids' menu, and that the french fries were gluten free as well. 

Unfortunately, the staff at this location were not as well informed as their website.  I asked the hostess about the gluten free menu when we walked in the door, and she said she wasn't sure, but that the waitress would be better informed.  After being seated, I picked up the menu on the table.  The menu in the restaurant did not have the same gluten free section that is included on the website, although the rest of the menu is the same.  I asked our waitress about the gluten free options and she said that she was unaware of specific gluten free offerings.  She did say that the restaurant had an allergen binder, so I thought that maybe it would be helpful. 

The binder is quite thorough, but at about one hundred pages, it takes forever to navigate.  The allergen chart on the website is much more precise and easy to follow.  Based on the binder, there was very little available for my son to eat: french fries, steamed veggies, pad thai, and tortilla chips were about it.  It took me almost 20 minutes to go through the binder to figure this out.

I will say that our waitress was friendly and tried to be helpful, but I was disappointed at her lack of knowledge.  She eventually printed off the gluten free menu from the website, but when I asked about many of the items, they were unavailable.  They didn't have corn pasta, and the fries were cooked in the same fryer used to cook everything else, including the breaded items.  They were presented as gluten free, so if I hadn't asked about preparation, my son would have eaten them and gotten sick.  She pointed out items that could be modified to be gluten free, but at that point I wasn't confident in the kitchen's preparation methods, and was afraid of cross-contamination.  We ended up ordering my son a blueberry smoothie made with water, tortilla chips as an appetizer, and tomato pasta using the rice noodles that are used in the pad thai. 

Verdict:  I'm really disappointed in my visit to this location.  When I take my son out to a restaurant, I generally don't go with high expectations of having much to choose from on the menu, and I'm OK with that because most places don't advertise as having gluten free options.  But when a restaurant specifically highlights the several gluten free items available on their menu, I walk into the establishment expecting that a) those items will be available, b) that the staff will be aware of these items and be able to answer questions about menu ingredients and preparation.  Neither of these expectations were met at this Casey's. 

We chose this restaurant specifically because of the GF menu, and  to be honest, if we weren't all so hungry, I probably would have left without ordering anything after realizing that no one on staff (including the chef that the waitress kept going back to ask for clarification on things) even had any idea that the restaurant HAD a gluten free menu. 

It's difficult to find appropriate places for my son to eat, and I choose locations with care.  I often spend more money on his meals because often I have to order off the adult menu or have something specially prepared to meet his dietary requirements.  Again, I'm OK with that because I realize that I'm asking the establishment to make changes to their menu, or to prepare something new or to modify a recipe to meet my son's dietary restrictions.  I have no problem when I can't find something on the menu or when preparation restrictions make it impossible to accommodate his requirements, because they didn't promise those options to me on the menu.

Casey's got my business specifically because they targeted the gluten free consumer, and I feel as though I was duped since no one at the establishment had any idea what I was talking about, and the preparation methods of the few items they could identify as being gluten free, such as the fries, would actually ensure cross-contamination and illness in someone with celiac or a gluten sensitivity.  Not only was it frustrating to encounter staff who were so uninformed, it could have been dangerous for my son had I not asked the correct questions. 

If Casey's is going to advertise itself as an establishment with a gluten free menu, then it needs to ensure that staff in the restaurant are trained in what items are included, and how the food is prepared.  The menu in the restaurant needs to be the same as the website, and it shouldn't take flipping through a 100 page binder to find potentially suitable options, only to find out that the preparation methods of those items actually make them unsuitable. 

I would not recommend this restaurant to those looking to eat gluten free, and won't be trying out any other locations. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: Tower Manor Lodge, Rice Lake Ontario

This summer, my parents rented a cottage for two weeks at Tower Manor Lodge and invited my sister and I up, along with our kids.  We stayed for two weeks. 

Location:  Rice Lake, and more specifically, Bewdley, is located not quite two hours from Toronto, close to Cobourg, Port Hope and Peterborough in Ontario, Canada.  I like it because it's not too far from home, the area is not too developed, and the lake is calm, warm, and full of fish.


The dock in front of our cottage

View from the front lawn of our cottage


Resort: Tower Manor Lodge is a facility in Bewdley, Ontario, on the shores of Rice Lake. It offers cottages, a campsite and trailer spots. Everything is located on a nicely manicured plot of land that gradually slopes down toward the water, with the camping area up at the top near the main house, the trailers below them, and the cottages lining the small internal road leading toward the water.  They have a general store, a heated pool, a small playground, boat rentals and docking spots, and waterfront access.  A fish cleaning area is provided and they offer free freezing of fish for guests as well.  There is no man-made sandy beach, but there is walk-in access to the water, and the kids (aged 3 and 4) were able to get in and out of the lake without any help.  Water shoes were necessary, but that's pretty much standard at Rice Lake. 

Accommodations:  We rented a 3 bedroom, waterfront cottage (#8).  The cottage had 3 good sized bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, a large kitchen and a living room area with satellite television.  Normally we don't watch much TV while up at the cottage, but the Olympics began while we were there, and it was nice to be able to watch some evenings.  The cottage had an air-conditioning unit and a gas fireplace.  The kitchen came fully stocked, including a microwave.  There were two porches, a small one by the front door and a large one accessed from the sliding glass doors in the living room.  Each cottage came with a propane BBQ, a fire pit, and Muskoka chairs.  There was an additional pull out couch in the living room.

View of Cottage from the Dock
My husband, in the kitchen


To see photos of the cottage we stayed in, click HERE to go to the website.  The photos are a really accurate representation of the accommodations. 

The cottage rental rate for the weeks we stayed was $1065, for 6 persons.  We rented a boat for $180 a week.  There are a variety of cottages to choose from, from 1 to 3 bedrooms, at a variety of price points.  I think ours was one of the most expensive, but we needed the space and liked that it was directly waterfront. 

The Pros:  Almost everything.  The cottage rental rate was reasonable for the size of the cottage and its condition, including wi-fi and propane BBqs included in each cottage.  They maintain their cottages quite well, and were renovating two of them while we were there.  The grounds are well maintained as well and it's kid-friendly with a little playground, easy lake access and a heated pool.

The resort is located close enough to Bewdley, Cobourg and Port Hope that getting out to buy groceries or just get a change of scenery is simple, but also quiet enough (surrounded mainly by private cottages) that you can actually relax and enjoy nature.  We used our BBq and our fire pit almost every day, and although we were located right in front of the docks where the boats were located, it was pretty quiet most of the time. 
Entry to lake

On the boat


Tower Manor Lodge is a nice, simple, family-run location with quality amenities and a relaxed, quiet atmosphere.  Most people spent their days on the water fishing, or just relaxing in the lake or by the pool.  It's not fancy, but the cottages are in great shape and everything is well maintained. 

The Cons:  Honestly, there aren't many.  That's not to say that there were no issues, but the management took care of any issue we had quite quickly. 

The air-conditioning unit broke down the first week, but they came down and replaced it the same day we complained, and also came back to fix the tube at the back that was leaking water. 

The only annoyance was the boat, which sometimes took a while to start.  We noticed other people having trouble with the rental boats as well, sometimes having to try a few times to get them started.  Even the employees sometimes had trouble when they came down to help out. 

That's about it.  Really.  The location was beautiful, the accommodations were comfortable, the servicce was friendly and the price was reasonable.


Comparison with last year:  Last year we stayed at a different cottage rental resort in the area, Golden Beach Resort.  For that review, click HERE.  I'm not going to give a full run down of everything that was different, but there are a few key things I want to point out. 

Golden Beach Resort has more STUFF;  a restaurant, children's entertainment, pool, large playground, waterpark and a sandy beach, petting zoo, etc.  However, the cottage we stayed in was not good.  The whole front of the cottage had windows that didn't open, there was no porch, no shade and no way to cool down the cottage.  The bedrooms got unbearably hot, and there was no way to create a cross-breeze.  The service wasn't very friendly and the everything was expensive, from the cottage to the boat rental. 

In comparison, Tower Manor Lodge is a simpler, quieter environment, with fewer amenities but still more than enough to keep two little kids occupied and happy for two weeks.  The cottage was much better kept. It was larger, cleaner and brighter, and the management was friendly and took care of problems within a reasonable timeframe.  The prices were lower, from the cottage rental to the boat rental to the firewood.  We enjoyed the quieter environment and the more comfortable cottage much more than we enjoyed all the extras at Golden Beach.

Verdict:  I would recommend Tower Manor Lodge to anyone looking for a relaxing, comfortable cottage that's still located close to the amenities of a larger town.  The cottages were comfortable, the large porches and large tree outside offered shade all day, and the waterfront location is beautiful. 





Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan



Monday:  Mushroom and Onion Smothered Pork Chops with Green Peas 








Tuesday:  Balsamic Flank Steak, White Bean & Onion Mash and a Side of Baby Carrots and Salad








Wednesday:  Sofrito Flavoured Black Bean and Rice Burritos with Homemade Tomato Salsa









Thursday:  Bang Bang Chicken Noodle Salad 









Friday: Pasta Salad with Walnut Sage Pesto (since this is a cold pasta salad, I'll make it later in the week.  GF pasta doesn't stay soft that long without reheating.)

Yesterday Was Terrifying...

So I had a post ready to write yesterday, but never got around to it.  Instead, I spent almost 4 hours on the road after receiving a very scary phone call from my sister.

I spent a week and a half at a cottage with my family in Rice Lake, Ontario, but came home late Wednesday night because I was just getting too hot and tired to stick it out until Saturday.  My son wanted to stay with his cousin and grandparents, so we left him with my parents.  Yesterday they were scheduled to come home, and I was to meet them at my parents' house at around noon. 

I slept in (if you consider 8 am sleeping in!) and didn't really get going until around 9:30, when I started deciding what I could get done before picking up my son.  I'm at 37 weeks in my pregnancy now, so technically the baby could be born anyday, so I figured that getting baby stuff done would be a good idea.  I started getting my hospital bag list together, and my husband was going to put the new car seat in the car for the baby.  I also wanted to menu plan and get my post together. 

Instead, I got a phone call from my sister telling me that they had been in a car accident.

 I think my heart stopped. 

Since they were taking two cars, one with my parents in it and one with my sister and the two kids (her 4 year old daughter and my 3 year old son), I initially thought that they had hit each other.  Turns out I was wrong- someone rear-ended my sister's car with the kids in the backseat after failing to notice that the car had come to a complete stop. 

It took a minute for it to sink in; my son had been in an accident.  And I was almost 2 hours away. 

My sister was trying to stay calm for my sake, but I could tell she was shaken.  The first thing she said was "The kids are OK,  but they're scared."  I was scared too.  Turns out the kids were very lucky.  The entire back of the car was destroyed.  The bumper came completely off the car, and the trunk was smashed in.  This is one time that having a trunk full of stuff came in handy- it absorbed some of the shock and stopped the entire trunk from pushing into the back seat, or the back windshield from shattering. 

EMS checked everybody out and announced that everyone was fine, but as a mother, I wasn't buying it until I saw my son for myself.  My dad went with the tow-truck and the car, and my mom, sister and the kids waited under a tree at the side of the road for my husband and I to arrive.  The unharmed car had a back seat full of cottage stuff, so there was no room to put the kids' car seats and they needed us to go and get them.  My husband and I were out of the house within 5 minutes. 

If you live outside of Ontario, you may not know that it's a long weekend here, so traffic out of the city was horrendous.  It took over 2 hours to get to where my family was waiting, and I spent the whole time trying to stay calm and not stress myself into labour!  It didn't really matter that I knew that my son wasn't hurt, all I wanted to do was see him for myself and grab him up in a huge hug. 

When we arrived, both my son and my niece came running, and I felt the stress leave my body.  The family in the house across the street had brought over food and water for everyone, and had offered to let them wait in their house.  The kids wanted to stay outside, but weren't going to turn down the freezies!  The kids launched into an explanation of what happened, with my son repeating that he was very angry that someone had broken their car! 

The ride home was much quicker, going against the traffic, but by the time we got home it was after 2 pm., more than 4 hours after we left in the morning.  Everyone was tired, hot and starving, but safe and sound. 

Needless to say, the blog post never got finished, and we spent the rest of the day just enjoying our family time together.  I've never been so grateful to sit back and watch my son make noise, or to kiss him goodnight.  I guess it's true when people say to appreciate every moment- you just never know. 



Friday, August 3, 2012

Food Label Changes In Effect August 4th, 2012

In February 2011, the Government of Canada introduced new food labeling rules.  Click HERE to read what my thoughts were when the rule changes were first announced.  The new rules are a significant victory for those of us who must read EVERY label to make sure that something is safe to eat, whether due to allergies, celiac disease, or other health related concerns.  In my opinion, it also just makes sense.  Food labels are there for a reason, so that the consumer can decide whether they want to purchase a product containing the ingredients on the label.  If certain ingredients are left out, or clouded in difficult to understand language, then consumers are robbed of their right to make informed food choices. 

Although this may lead to people putting items back on the shelf, in many cases I think it has the potential to increase sales.  When I read labels for food that I purchase for my son, if there's any ambiguity as to whether it contains gluten or dairy (like when the term "spices" is placed on a label), I leave the item behind.  I'm hoping now that many items I previously put back on the shelf I'll be able to safely place in my cart and feed to my preschooler.

Although my son is still to young to read labels for himself, it will make teaching him how to shop for his own food much easier in the future.  It will also make it simpler for someone who doesn't regularly avoid certain ingredients to shop for food when entertaining or feeding someone with an allergy or food restriction.  It places more control in the hands of the consumer and increases consumer confidence when choosing what to buy. 

Food labels must now clearly identify the following, in simple terms:

Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Milk, Wheat, Gluten (they are separated due to the various sources of gluten), Eggs, Soy, Seafood, Sesame Seeds, Sulphites, Mustard Seed. 

Gone are the days of ambiguous, difficult to understand terms designed to make it difficult to identify just what a product contained.  The label can now either contain the ingredient directly, or can say CONTAINS, with the ingredient listed after it.  For more info, visit the following link  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/allergen/project_1220_rias_eeir-eng.php

While there are still some loopholes and the legislation is not perfect, it is a huge step forward in the area of transparency in labelling and food safety for consumers.  Everyone deserves to know what goes into their food so they can make informed choices, for whatever reason.  This new legislation makes it easier to be informed, without needing to spend ridiculous amounts of time reading labels and memorizing dozens of complicated terms that essentially mean the same thing.

 Clear, straightforward labels are a good thing!