Thursday, 24 January 2013

Chocolate and a Warm Drink

This week I am researching a new article for The Chocolate Gazette about chocolate schools, courses and classes availabe in the English speaking world. I love the research part of my work, visiting websites, discovering new companies and the people who run them, with all their different points of view. I try not to get sidetracked but that isn't always easy.  I will see a link at the bottom of the page about a chocolate course tailored to vacationers in Mexico and the next thing I know I'm down the rabbit hole of chocolate tourism.
Apparently there is a chocolate theme park being developed in China. Hard to imagine, but true. Here's a shot of the famous terracotta soldiers, available in an edible version. Picture courtesy of Getty Images.

It's still very cold here, in fact much of North America is in the deep freeze this week.  Even the dogs, who are usually pretty excited to get out for a long walk, are happy to snooze by the fire.  In between research sessions I've been trying out various chocolate recipes for the website.  Today's winner was Orange Muffins with Chocolate Chips.  Research has shown that small amounts of semisweet or dark chocolate actually boosts your brain power for a few hours, so a chocolate chip muffin as a snack before an exam might actually be a good thing.
Any excuse for a bite of chocolate, right? Besides the oven helps warm the kitchen, always nice when it's -5C outside or worse.

In the evenings I'm still working on jewellery and have completed a new piece. I used an old metal mesh coin purse and grey fresh water pearls mixed with a gray/blue Austrian crystal.  The colours outside the window seemed reflected in the little bowl of pearls and as I started to string them together, the whole theme became grey and icy. When I set up my Etsy shop in the spring this will be for sale, with a few other pieces I'm working on.  For now, though, it's wrapped in a piece of felt and tucked away on the shelves of my studio.

And no matter what I'm doing, cold days call for hot drinks: mulled apple cider, hot chocolate, and lots of tea with honey.

I hope you have something interesting to keep you occupied during these miserable cold days of January.  Not a crafter? Don't care for writing?  Here are a few great books I finished in the last month. I recommend all of them for a light read.

1.    The Sunday Philosophy Club, Alexander McCall Smith
2.    Enchantment, Guy Kawasaki
3.    The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, Reif Larsen


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