living underground in the real world

what recession?

It’s been a crazy Valentine’s! I spent all morning playing cupid and delivering New Paltz-area truffles (a free service I provide just because hand delivery is so sweet and nice) and now everything is totally done—dozens upon dozens of boxes in the mail (and mostly safely in people’s homes already), and Kat is already practically sold out of truffles at The Cheese Plate. If you’re looking to snag some LL V-day deliciousness, your only option is to buy them there at this point (not a bad option, it’s just a little sad because you don’t get my cute packaging), but go quickly because I just fielded three phone calls from people who might beat you to it! I’m sitting at my favorite little cafe right down the street from The Cheese Plate right now, and one of the owners is making chocolate-covered strawberries for The Cheese Plate, which only has 3 left—it’s a good Valentine’s for everyone (and isn’t it cute how we all support each other?)! So many of the sweet little businesses around here are hanging by a thread, it feels wonderful to have this banner day.

Of course, all I have to give my sweetheart is 10 half-melted Kahlua truffles that learned the don’t-get-too-close-to-the-oven lesson the hard way, but in truth he is often just as happy with what we call “the gnaw,” a giant 2-lb or so hunk o’ chocolate he carries around on tour and nibbles on whenever he needs a fix (the bonuses of your sweetheart being a chocolatier include picking out your favorite slab of chocolate from a pristine 55-lb case, a bonus he takes quite seriously). Actually, he is probably even happier with mixing the truffle-topping bits of nuts, coconut and various zests with various unloved and unused chocolate scraps hanging around the chopping block. (In a true the-cobbler’s-children-have-no-shoes tale, the other day I caught him shoveling a spoonful of peanut butter and a handful of chocolate scraps into his mouth at the same time, thus making perhaps the easiest peanut butter treat imaginable. It seemed to make him happy, though. Well, he seemed about as happy as one could be in a fluorescent-lit kitchen at 2 AM when your sweetheart has forced you into box-packing duty.*

dscf9322You and I see the truffles, Jacob sees only the scraps.

Oh! Actually! In other chocolatey excitements, we are having a photo shoot for the new chocolates tomorrow (which bear almost no resemblance to what I discussed in that old old post, by the way) then the boxes (all 12,000 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! of the 4 color, 100% p.c. recycled paper, vegetable ink darlings) will be printed up in the next few weeks, then I am going to FINALLY launch my new chocolate line. I am litterally biting my lip because I want to point you to the top-secret tester site for it, but it is not ready yet and I know it will be even more exciting when it finally—how do tech people say it?—“goes live.”

Do you know what everyone is going to be buying for their feministy sweethearts next year for V-day? Hawaiian alaea (pink!) sea salt and pink peppercorn vulvas, of course!

dscf9652

Uh, pictures like this are why we are having a photo shoot tomorrow…

Even though the choco line hasn’t even launched yet, I’ve already gotten 3 requests for them this week from people who had just heard rumors about them, and the box designers have confessed that they are so addicted to them (I had to give them samples so they could test the box sizes, of course! We maybe did a few more rounds of testing than were technically needed…) they want to get the line rolling quickly simply because they want a regular supply of them. Viva la vulva!

I sent some recently to my mom, and she had them on the counter and my little brother snacked on them in the middle of the night, then asked what the shape was supposed to be. Admittedly, they are not the most realistic vulvas,** but this statement taught me more about my 26-year-old brother than I had learned in our infrequent conversations over the past 10 years. (The astute reader will now learn that my 26-year-old brother lives with my mother, which is a conversation for another time…or, even better, never). My mother, with her characteristic unintentional hilarity, told him they were WALNUTS.

OK, I’m off to get some much-needed Vitamin D  from a walk in the barely-bearable outdoors!

*Which reminds me, I finally broke down and bought tons (a good thing to know: the difference between “feet” and “cubic feet”) of those eco-friendly edible—well, I ate one, at least— cornstarch packing peanuts and a big hopper with which to dispense them. For years I’ve used only reclaimed materials to pack my boxes, and I still will, but that often translates into begging friends for their old newspapers when my supply of secondhand styrofoam peanuts runs low, and that is getting old for everyone. Having a hopper is really something everyone (with moderately high ceilings) should own—for some reason I want one in my bedroom that would dispense socks. Mine is quite darling, and made in the USA. I’ll take a picture and show you soon! (I’m sure you can’t wait.)

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**For one thing, they are pretty much reversible! The clit is so tiny! I experimented with putting a rose petal on it—how meta, no?—but it just kept slipping off (there is some sort of joke in there, maybe?). A mainstream chocolatier would paint the mold with something called “sprayable lustre dust” in a garish hot pink shade, but I will do no such thing. I am on a giant campaign to teach people that when you get gloriously colorful chocolates with beautiful patterns on them—cute Marie Belle Chocolates, it is of you I speak!—

mariebelle-2they are painted with narrowly FDA-approved “edible dusts” and large amounts of concentrated questionable paints. I would love to make girly, pretty chocolates like these, but I’ve got to stick to my all-natural roughness, as I don’t like the flavor of chocolate and red dye #4.

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