Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

I kid you not. This past weekend, Bob and I were hosting the Grands for their second sleepover. And what’s a better way to start the adventure than a chocolate factory tour? Especially if your tour guide’s name is Willy?

He stood there mute for a few seconds as we started to giggle, then he told us he’d heard ALL the jokes so we could move on.

And move on we did! Willy told us that cacao pods come off of the tree’s trunk, they are not hanging at the end of branches, and it takes some effort to climb up a tree and machete them down. And unlike coffee beans, they need more heat to grow, so the pods only grow from a distance of 20 degrees from the equator.

And every week Willy opens a 100 lb burlap bag of cacao pods.

(The rest of this story is by the Love Bug)

“And inside every cacao pod are 50 beans! Willy has to separate the beans from the fruit inside – it’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it! The beans have to get roasted in a big machine, and that can take from 15 minutes to a whole hour. Then they go into another machine that grinds them into “nibs,” which produces the cacao butter.

Next, the nibs get tempered! They go into a vacuum oven where they get melted and cooled quickly – how quickly could you melt them? This takes about an hour altogether and flavors are added. Flavors like: sea salt; salt and pepper; coffee; bourbon; and cinnamon. Then Willy squeezes them from a tube into molds to shape the chocolate – not all are shaped like rectangles, some bars are square, and even some look like sausages!

But they’re not.

The only time Willy gets a break is when a special machine wraps the bars. In the past, he had to do this by hand, and it took him 3 hours. Now it’s done in 30 minutes.”

Today Ms Bug is visiting and she loves to write stories too. We had the best time at the https://www.oliveandsinclair.com/ chocolate factory in East Nashville. We all had to wear hairnets which was funny! And we are wondering if you’d like to work in a chocolate factory too? If you do, just do it!



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I’m a real pushover. When I was little, Daddy Jim presented me with a big heart-shaped box of chocolates, and that was that. Every year, I was his Valentine. We didn’t have candy, or ice cream in the house, I had a no-nonsense upbringing. But on rare, special occasions Nell would bake a cake. And except for Halloween, Valentine’s Day was the bomb!

Of course I tried to replicate that feeling for my young family. The hearts, the cards, the whole shebang. I even became a crafter, cutting out little Valentine cards for their schoolmates. Unfortunately, Bob thought of this date in February as a “Hallmark Holiday.” Oh he could be romantic alright, but nobody was going to tell him when, where or how he could show the world he was mine. Or I was his? Whatever. I mentioned it was his iconoclastic nature that first appealed to me right?

Not being a sexist, I proudly took on the mantle of celebrator-in-chief for Love.

Well this year he will be working on Valentine’s Day. I said it might be like that reality show, “Sex Sent Me to the ER.” Granted we don’t watch a lot of reality TV around here, not counting the Voice of course, but I did happen to see an episode or two of Er Sex. And it is pretty funny. http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/sex-sent-me-to-er-should-be-your-new-favourite-tv-guilty-ple#.kk9B79Awwa

Of all the sexcapades Bob has come across over the years, the one that sticks in my mind was the older man who was brought in by ambulance from a motel, naked and unconscious, after suffering a cardiac arrest during coitus. The older woman who came in with him was answering questions for the staff, until the actual wife waltzed in and took over. Needless to say, the emergency department in that cold Berkshire winter started heating up with gossip!

Years ago, we were in California at an EM conference when I met two of the producers of    “Untold Stories of the ER” in a hotel bar. We really hit it off. When they heard Bob was a Director, they wanted to meet him and see if he’d be interested in participating in their new reality show. Come to think of it, they must have been trolling for ER docs. When Bob and his colleagues showed up, they had some fun talking about the possibilities, after which Bob said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Here are a few things to avoid over Valentine’s weekend:

Try staying out of the ER;

Keep crafting to a minimum; and

Remember if you screw up, there’s always President’s Day!



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