Monday, October 31, 2011

Samhain

Happy Halloween!  I love this holiday and everything about it.  The folklore about the slim veil that separates the living and the dead on this eve of All Saints Day.  All Saints day, isNovember 1st, and All Souls Day is November 2nd.  All Souls Day is, El Dia De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.  The end of harvest spawned this wonderful holiday. This day marked the end of the "lighter half" of the year and began the "darker half" of the year.  Like everything rooted in ancient traditions and times, the hardships of those times marked all occasions.  The coming of winter and cold weather put an end to harvest and the beginning of harsh winters and less food.  And like all holidays the advancement of human engineering and knowledge put an end to making people slaves to their environment and the elements and now it's a happy, fun holiday! Woo hoo!

I love the cheesy old Hammer horror movies and the few good ones, like The Exorcist, The Shining, (Stephen King never had it so good!), all the great candy and chocolate and the scary haunted houses.  I've been trying to catch all the movie marathons on the different cable channels.  I love the costumes the best.  It is fun to get dressed up in a wild costume.  Here is my cute pup, Nano, trying on many costumes.





 Finally settled for the clown, mailman, banana split and pumpkin. I will post those later.

It is also the start of my baking season.  I begin with cookies and cakes and move on to more complicated stuff as the season progresses.  I entered a baking contest and ended up third. Blah! I think that it was because I submitted a chocolate cupcake.
I always try to keep my focus on who will eat what I am baking, but I lost to a pumpkin cheesecake smothered in dulce de leche and a nut torte thing with marshmallow-y topping.  My cupcakes were good but could not beat out the ├╝ber sweetness of the first and second place winners.

I hope to get lots of baking done this season, let's see what happens. Time to return to my cheesy horror flicks and maybe squeeze in some yoga!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

FTBG Chocolate Festival 2011

Today is the final day of the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens Chocolate Festival.  I try to make it every year and made it this year on the last day.  I was so bummed that I would, yet again, miss my chance to eat from a food truck called the GastroPod.  But there they are, like a mirage!

First I got there early and manage to snag a parking space right next to the entrance.  The thrill of this set the tone for the rest of my day.  Walking through the lush green foliage I come upon the old 1962 gleaming silver Airstream shining bright in the beautiful sunlight of a clear cool day.  It was like a mirage in the desert tempting a poor soul dying of thirst.   YUM!  All this and chocolate too?  Too much for yours truly.  I simply had to stay until noon so I could have lunch.  I ordered the banh mi pork tacos and the short rib sliders.  My sister and I tried this and the highlight of both of the sandwiches were the delicious pickled veggies.  The tiny pink orchid plant below actually emits a smell of chocolate!  It is called...the chocolate orchid plant.  And believe me, it smells like chocolate.  What a wonderfully scented plant and I can't wait to get one for myself. It was a nice crowd and picked up some lovely spices and teas to round out my day.  I actually didn't buy chocolate. Just wasn't in the mood but I can't wait to make some strawberry dream tea!  Wonderful day with perfect weather!