Birthday girl
Monday January 07th 2019, 12:04 am
Filed under: Food,Friends,Life

For Christmas a year ago, our chocolate-enthusiast youngest (wonder where he got that from?) gave his sister some cocoa butter in powder form that had been crystallized so as to properly temper chocolate. She wasn’t sure what to do with it at the time, but it still seemed fine yesterday as far as we could tell and would be a shortcut method to getting a proper temper, so we tried vigorously stirring 1% worth into the new chocolate as we poured it out of the melanger.

Which has to be where the speckles came from? But the swirls on just the one…?

Our bars came out of those molds not looking like anything we’d seen before nor expected but that chocolate definitely had the shine and snap of a good tempering, no matter what they looked like. I think the marbling pattern on the one is pretty. Just don’t ask me to reproduce it–I have no idea how we did that.

Wrapping them in aluminum foil was a bit of a comedown, but hey.

Tonight we were celebrating our friend Betty’s 94th birthday at church: a choral group sang for her, Russ and Jim played Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as a duet on the pipe organ and grand piano, and Phyllis told stories on the life of the woman she thinks of as her adopted aunt. (She works near Betty’s nursing home and drops by often.)

Betty’s been blind since birth. We noted that Phyllis did not tell the story of the time Betty decided her late husband was too drunk to drive them home so she was going to do it, and did. Betty loves music, and tried learning the piano as a kid but found the accordion easier to find where her fingers should go and so that was her instrument. The lady is a kick, and she is fearless.

She had guide dogs for 71 years till old age caught up with her and she misses them.

She is mostly bedridden now but she made it through the evening in a wheelchair.

Richard had tucked one of our brand newly made bars of chocolate in his pocket on the way out our door.

Betty did like dark chocolate, she said, but couldn’t eat any more tonight. So the ironic thing is that it got shared in small pieces with just about everybody but her, but she and they had a fine time and that was the point.

One person had gotten her a birthday present: a long soft stuffed dog to hold across her lap in memory of all the dogs she’d loved, like a lap blanket to keep her warm on this cold and rainy day. She stroked it and then rested her hands on it and loved that her beloved dogs were thought of, too.

It had a face with the colors of a Saint Bernard but in the shape more of a German Shepherd.

I told her about my grand-dog the (mostly) Saint Bernard. She answered that German Shepherds in her experience were smarter and she liked those; I laughed and agreed and said that our Ludo is very sweet to our oblivious toddler grandson whose parents are working to teach him how to be nice to the dog, but she is emphatically not overly bright. (As I pictured Mathias’s gleeful, “PupPY?”) She’s good with him, and that’s what they need.

I hope someone brings a real dog by sometime for her to pet. I do know we need to stop by with some chocolate for when she can eat it. Maybe not quite so dark on that batch.

2 Comments so far
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The chocolate, dog, and good friends all make for good times and great memories.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 01.08.19 @ 10:55 am

Ok, what do I need to bring to the party?

Comment by Holly 01.08.19 @ 1:34 pm

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