I’ve now (re)wound the pattern warp for the Phoenix Rising sample, and am preparing to dye it. I won’t be able to get to it today, though, because I have to take my wedding dress to the dry cleaners – the American Textile History Museum is finally ready to receive it, and I want to send it to them in tiptop condition! And it is going to travel in style – because of the appraised value ($26,800) they want to ship it via a fine arts shipper rather than UPS. I’m impressed.
I’ve also started putting together a timeline for my chocolates work. Decidedly unsexy and totally non-spontaneous, but if you’re going to run a three-day chocolate factory, pumping out 90 lbs of chocolate with three people working, you’ve gotta be organized. That’s my theory, anyway! and it’s been borne out over enough years that I do my homework, unsexy as it is.
Here is what’s slated for the next few weeks:
- Oct 20-26: update address lists, identify packaging supplies that need to be ordered, design greeting cards to accompany chocolates. Trial a bunch of flavors:
- orange blossom
- curry with exotic fruits (mango, passionfruit, lychee?)
- root beer (sassafras, maybe with a little orange?)
- chocolate covered marshmallows (marshmallow flavoring TBD – vanilla, strawberry, or raspberry perhaps?)
- Oct 27-Nov 2: order packaging supplies, order greeting cards, trial flavors:
- Ginger yuzu
- Maple pecan (with ginger?)
- caramel walnut
- orange with sweet spices (cinnamon, clove, vanilla) and honey
- lemon thyme
- peanut gianduja with strawberry or concord grape fruit paste
- Nov 3-9: Finalize flavor list, put together ingredients spreadsheet, clean up counters. Make coconut tequila lime fudge, coconut almond fudge. Trial the following flavors:
- Hazelnut gianduja with raspberry-orange fruit paste
- salted caramels with pink sea salt
- Nov 10-11: buy ingredients, make fruit pastes and giandujas. Make caramels, English toffee, and chocolate macadamia fudge, lemon-lavender-white chocolate fudge.
- Nov 14: CHOCOPALOOZA BEGINS!
I’m really starting to get jazzed about this. I’ve added a few flavors to the trials (you may have noticed) and am particularly excited about the prospect of trying homemade marshmallows, possibly with additional flavorings. I haven’t tried making marshmallows in 20 years, since I burned out a hand mixer while whipping them up! But I have an uber-powerful Chef Major mixer now, so I’m not worrying about that anymore. I’m seriously tempted to pour the marshmallows over a base of graham crackers, cut into pieces, and dip in chocolate for an awesome s’more. Raspberry marshmallows sound good for that, don’t they?
Off to take the dress to the dry cleaners! I’m really psyched about it finally going to the museum. It will be a wrench to let it go, though – like watching a kid go off to college. While I’ll see it again at the wedding-dress exhibit opening, it’s never going to live with me again. But I feel better knowing its future is secure. And what a thrill to have a piece in a museum!
Congratulations Tien. Your wedding dress is beautiful. What an honor. Helen Hart
So exciting. All the flavours sound gorgeous. Looking forward to hearing updates about tastings.