Beginning preparations for the Chocolate Extravaganza.

In amongst the Unangan classes (2nd grade this week, 27+ strong) and taking care of SP full-time, it is also time to start preparing for the annual Chocolate Extravaganza put on by the Museum of the Aleutians.  Tickets are $15 each or 2 for $25.  You can get them at the Museum, or from Board members:  Chris Hladick, Kristine King, Don Graves, Forrest Bowers, Denise Rankin,  or myself.  Come mingle with old friends, meet new friends, and indulge in a variety of chocolate offerings, ranging from cakes to cookies to candies.  If you would like to make a chocolate deliciousness, give Zoya Johnson a call at the Museum, 581-5150.  Hope to see you all there on Saturday, February 13th.

The madness is over….

Midnight Madness, hosted by the Grand Aleutian Hotel, has come and gone.  Hopefully, this also means an end to the endless candy madness in the house.  In the midst of trying to wrap presents to send off in the mail and making 8 kinds of chocolates, the house was a disaster.  The grandson was also “left to entertain himself.”

Results of ignoring the grandson.

At any rate, I, for once, was actually early to set up, thanks to Laresa’s help.  We had a lovely time together. 

Smirking as she eats a truffle.

And of course if you are going to be eating dark chocolate-y goodness, on the rail behind you is the requisite glass of wine – oops, it was white instead of red, ordered up to go with our delicious Cape Cheerful Ahi Burgers!

We had hand-made, by Alena! (http://therealunalaska.blogspot.com/),  wrapping  paper and cards…

Best deal in the house!

We were constantly assaulted by the smell of chocolate just wafting up from the table.  From left to right:  Walnut Nocello Truffles, Irish Creme Truffles, Rum Cherry Codials,  the bestselling Sea Salt Caramels, Kahlua Truffles, Grand Marnier Truffles, Ginger Truffles, (“to die for”),  and oops, an empty spot where the Hazelnut Truffles were to go. 

Laresa made some more of her cool and lovely fur seal pins. 

The buttons in the center are from Grandma's button box collection.

My sister Diane Svarny made an Unangan basket from Unalaska Wild Rye grass and silk embroidery thread.  Many hours went into weaving the basket, and it is beautiful with the colors she chose for the design, as well as the sheen of the grass.  And falling off the end of the table, Tugidam Ungii products – oils and salves made from the wonderful local Angelica plant – cures just about everything you can think of.  And soap made from Unalaska Sweet Grass.  My mother always tells me that if I marketed the angelica on the internet, I would be a millionaire many times over!! 

Alena! took a Rum Cherry Cordial for the road, and SP came back to refill his box of Hazelnut Truffles. 

SP- indiscriminate about hazelnut. Alena! only took the "not perfect" ones.

Mom and Dad ended up having a “date” in the Cape Cheerful Lounge, dining on the yummy fish and chips.  They came to our display for their dessert, and were the lucky recipients of the last 2 sea salt caramels. 

Enjoying an evening out.

Although it was a little warm in the cafe, probably enhanced by, ahem, hot flashes, we had a great time, especially when watching people eat the chocolate!  Thanks to CB ( http://dutchharbordirt.blogspot.com/ ) for keeping my supply of ice water available out of the kindness of his heart!

A food blogger, I’m not.

So I’m getting ready for the 2nd Annual Chocolate Extravaganza at the Museum of the Aleutians, tonight, beginning at 7 PM.  I still have 8  tickets left.  If you want one I will hold it at the door for you.  Let me know.

I keep forgetting to take pictures of my concoctions as I am preparing them.  I think of the camera as I am putting the finished product into a container.    I love food blogs (actually I am addicted to cookbooks if you really want to know the truth) and I really like to see the process that people go through when they blog about making a recipe.  Not doing to good on that front.

Tonight I am bringing three types of hand-dipped chocolates to donate to the Museum.  Some of them will be put on the table to eat immediately, but I would imagine that most of them will be for the Museum to sell to raise funds.   Included will be Sea Salt Caramels, Cherry Cordials, and Grand Marnier Truffles.   Oh,  maybe candied orange peels dipped in chocolate, if I have time to dip them.

Grand Marnier truffles drying, prior to enrobing and decorating.
Grand Marnier truffles drying, prior to enrobing and decorating.

I always want my stuff to be fresh, so it seems I am always down to the wire timewise.  I will definitely have to work on that issue.

If I was a real food blogger, I would have shown you the ingredients in the pot on the stove, the mixture bubbling its way to 257 degrees, the cut pieces of caramel, the almost always messy job of dipping, and definitely, the sea salt sprinkle at the end.  But alas…

The caramel setting up.
The caramel setting up.
Sea salt caramels in the box and ready to go.
Sea salt caramels in the box and ready to go.

So I have got to get going.  I know that Annabelle Wilt, Linda Ellsworth, AB Rankin, Denise Rankin, Debra Mack, Kristine King, Shawn Dickson, Laresa Syverson, Zoya Johnson, Bai Kirkland and her friend Leah, and  Chris and Wendy Hladick are bringing something chocolate-y.  Actually, Laresa is bring her homemade gingerale to help clear the palate.   I know there are others out there making something delicious.  Hope to see you all there.