Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Read Any Good Books Lately? The Sugar Baby Has.

This weekend we went up to Vermont. Here's what I packed to entertain the Sugar Baby:
  • Travel lap desk with markers, crayons and pencils
  • Stamps and stamp pads
  • An assortment of books
  • Stuffed animals
  • Matchbox cars
  • Stickers
  • Toy magnets
Here's what he occupied himself with the entire time:

Click here for visual

I kid you not. He spent the entire three hour drive staring at the See's Chocolates catalog I had left over from Christmas. He carried it up to the check-in desk and proudly showed the inn-keepers his "book." Later, that night, as bedtime reading, I had to tell him what each and every chocolate was.
I swear to you, I have not tried to encourage a love of chocolate in this kid. Apparently he comes by it naturally. (He does also love grapefruit, so maybe there is something genetic about taste.)
On the ride home, he slept the entire way, making me wonder what he was going to be like when he woke up. Certainly he'd demand all of my attention, when all I really wanted to do was take a nap.
By some miraculous intervention, this was waiting on my doorstep:
"Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America," written by Peter P. Greweling (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010).
"Whoa! Look at this!" I said to the Sugar Baby.
He swiftly grabbed it from me (it weighs about as much as he does) and he hauled it over to the couch. Three hundred pages later, we had looked at each and every picture. Then he took the book and ran downstairs with it where he had his own quiet reading time.
Here's where my official review comes in. This is a beautiful book. The pictures are gorgeous and the recipes are easy to read. I particularly like the third chapter on Master Techniques. This section takes you step-by-step through tempering, dipping and garnishing-- all things that make me quake in fear whenever I consider making my own chocolates. This book makes me feel like I could actually do it.
I had the thought of doing a sort of "Julie & Julia" kind of thing-- dedicating myself to creating every recipe in the book over the next year. I'd love to do it, but I'm not sure I have the stamina. This is something I'll have to give a little more thought to.
In any case, I've only gotten to look at the recipes briefly because the Sugar Baby has pretty much had it under lock and key since its arrival. (He went so far as to take it to school with him.) When I went to the library last night to return some books, he shouted after me, "Look for another chocolate book, Mom!"
I'm telling you, it's got to be in the genes.
(Mr. Goodbar indulges the Sugar Baby with some pre-dinner reading)

1 comment:

Ice Cube Queen said...

Maybe you should have named Sugar Baby "Willie Wonka!" I would have such a hard time choosing from See's Candies!!!!!!!! Luckily it's not on my diet so I don't have to worry! :( Sounds like you had a great time!

I can just picture the Sugar Baby's Christmas tree covered with candy when he grows up :)