December 22nd, 2006

Hobbes

The Trouble with Truffles...

Lordy, do I suck at dipping candies, even worse than I suck at wrapping presents. I've been making truffles based on a recipe someone (Beathen, I think) posted at b.org a couple of years ago. I made the exact recipe (for mocha truffles) last year, and they were well received, so I decided to experiment with different flavors this year. I have mocha, dark chocolate, peppermint, and coconut. The centers are all done, and I just finished dipping the mocha and peppermint in dark chocolate. I even bought dipping tools at A.C. Moore. The dipping went well enough, but I put them on a wire rack to set up, and most got stuck to the wires as the molten chocolate dripped down through the grid and hardened. Almost every one I picked up wound up losing a little grid-shaped patch of coating from the bottom. I redipped that side, but they look lousy. Eventually I got smart, and just turned the rack upside down and pushed them out of the grid. I'll do the rest (they get milk chocolate outside) in the morning.

I watched my tapes of A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Wish for Wings That Work while getting most of my non-food wrapping done. Have had to change two presents at the last minute. It turns out I still need to get something for evil niece, because I can't find the present I thought I had for her. I'd bought it a couple of years ago for a different niece, who then requested something specific, so I saved the original present for a rainy day. Now it's raining out, and I have no idea where it is. Bother. I'll get something tomorrow.

The other misfit present is a copy of Terry Pratchett's Where's My Cow? that I bought for cutie patootie niece thinking it would be a nice story about making animal noises. It only arrived from Amazon yesterday, so I flipped through it last night, and while it's a perfectly wonderful book, halfway through the key question changes from "Where's my cow?" to "Where's my daddy?" and given that cutie patootie niece's mommy and daddy have split up, I think I'll save that one for someone else. Or keep it for myself, given that if I put it aside, I probably won't be able to find it ever again. My niece will get the wooden pull-train with blocks on it that I found when I was out today. It's a lot like a toy I've been meaning to make for one or the other of my nieces or nephews since forever, so it's a fine substitute.

Pratchett featured in another oddball present this year. I came home the other day, and found a package in the middle of my front yard, as though the letter carrier had just flung it there like a newspaper, which is very unlike my usual letter carrier who always leaves packages on my stoop. Anyway, the package was from an Amazon associate seller, and I knew I'd bought what ever it was for myself, because I recognized the seller's name, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember what I'd bought. My short term memory really has been spotty lately. I was watching TV last night, and someone said something that made me want to look something up on Wikipedia. A click later, the wikipedia main page opened, and I'd totally forgotten what it was I wanted to look up. Still don't remember. Anyway, my surprise Christmas present to myself turned out to be a hard bound copy of Pratchett and Gaiman's Good Omens. Cool!

Still to do tomorrow morning: 1) Dip rest of truffles, 2) prepare food baskets, 3) install Nero on the computer so I can 4) burn some Christmas music to listen to on the 5) drive to Jersey.