small triumphs

Sometimes little successes feel big. I think there’s value in celebrating these small triumphs, remind ourselves that we did well at something, even something small.

So, a few small success stories:

I tempered chocolate! After reading several guides to tempering chocolate, each more confusing than the last (a heating pad? really, Alton?), I shrugged, gathered my tools, and took a whack at it. Hey, presto — glossy, shiny, well-tempered chocolate that doesn’t smear or smudge. I felt so accomplished!

I finished my (admittedly modest) Christmas shopping (though there’s lots of making and baking left to do), and I did all my gift shopping with local vendors. Thank you, independent booksellers, movie, and music shops!

I gathered some wrapped gifts to take to the post office, and announced to the room, “Now I just need a box exactly this big and I’m all set!” And then I rummaged around our seemingly box-free home, and I found one. Eerie!

kid, candy store

Yesterday, I did a long-overdue errand at the candy shop, then walked home, stopping several places along the way in an attempt to catch up with my bridal to-do list. In each shop, the clerks eyeballed my big handled shopping bag, which made a quiet but somehow large clicking sound every time I shifted it.

And in each shop, when the salespeople glanced sideways at my bag, I smiled and asked, “You wanna to see what five pounds of gumballs looks like?”

They all did.

tabs n’ taunts

For most of the evening, I’ve had this page open in the background somewhere. I cannot vouch for the recipe, though it looks fairly foolproof. The real joy to take from this: when I have more than four tabs open at once (i.e., always), the tab title truncates from “MOM’S BUTTERY TOFFEE RECIPE -Land o’Lakes Recipes” to “MOM’S BUTT.”


And of course that’s not my mom, because, hey, dude, no mothers*. Nu-uh. That’s your mom**.

*The “no mothers” rule only applies to my mother.



Yummm, France. . .

Oh, wait, I meant “Yummm, fondue.” I am ready to celebrate the arrival of fall with a fondue, except that I don’t know anyone who would willingly come over to eat a bowl of cheese, and it seems a lot of fuss for one person. Maybe l will make raclette instead.
Whether you’re talking about fondue or France, it sounds lovely. Send me La Tour Eiffel une carte postale. What region will you be visiting?

As for the chocolate, today I broke down and bought a packet of M&Ms. I blame Candyfreak. My recent eating habits (except for a recent bacon-drenched brunch with my parents) have been shockingly abstemious, but Candyfreak tore through my considered, adult resolve like a hyped up teenager through the flimsy slippery wrapper of a king-sized Snickers. I snatched it up at the library, read the first three pages at the bus stop, and walked away from the approaching bus to buy candy. It’s not that Steve Almond’s writing is appetizing, more that his mad incantations send wafts of cocoa liquor scent streaming off the pages.

I bought a tiny bag of malted milk balls and a packet of tempting-looking but tasteless Piraque chocolate wafers. How can a cookie be both brittle and flaccid? But I am guessing the vitaminated wheatina cookies are Piraque’s real taste sensation, mmm – mmm: vitaminated wheatina!).

My informed decision to walk away from the bus kept me out 45 minutes late and garnered me some truly substandard cookies, but reading Candyfreak without sweets would have been a wriggling, burning torment. I have, however, been plagued by the insistent and inexplicable desire for the rarely encountered, thoroughly repulsive Sky Bar.