too many goodies

oh lord, the chocolate...Lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy...

As previously reported, today was the Annual Christmas Goodie Making Session... it's turned into something of a serious production, and wasn't without it's bumps... but it's late, so here's the somewhat shorthanded version of the highlights and lowlights...
  • Was out of the house by about 8am (later than I wanted, but wadyagunnado) and at Ma's by about 8:30.
  • Faffing about for a bit, opened my last new toy soldier (he's clockwork) and showed Ma my purchases from yesterday (well, most of them) before really getting down to business.
  • Started with my infamous Rocky Road (while Ma was making Chocolate Balls in the kitchen)... made a mondo, super, huge batch... didn't use mondo, super, huge amounts of melted chocolate. Not a disaster, but a lesson for young players as H-San would say.
  • Set up something of a "production line" once we got into serious truffle territory... I got all the dry mixtures ready to go while Ma worked on rolling the balls for a couple of batches.
  • Ensured that any mix requiring alcohol had twice the quantity specified... but when we're talking tablespoons, it wasn't exactly lethal.
  • After I ran out of prep, started rolling things up too.
  • All prep and "first fix" (balls rolled, but not coated in chocolate where applicable) done by around 1pm.
  • We'd both been snacking on Ham Hearts all morning, so skipped lunch, but did sit down and rest a bit, blather on about our respective phones.
  • In the midst of showing Ma photos and aps on my iPhone it ceased up... accessed the camera and nothing... pressed lots of buttons until it seemed to sort itself out... then accessed a couple of other aps and it was slow and not responding and kept ceasing up.
  • Let me repeat that... MY IPHONE CEASED UP! Cue trauma.
  • Fortunately we needed to go to the shops anyway (forgot the mini M&Ms), so called into the Optus Store while we were doing that.
  • Optus Girl with Ridiculously Long Nails (okay, they weren't THAT ridiculous, but they were completely impractical for what she was trying to do to my phone) pressed buttons all at the same time to reset the phone.
  • SUCCESS! Seems A-OK now... I hope.
  • Although the fact that you can't access/remove the battery like you can with every single other phone (okay, I only really know Nokias) is a bit of a bastard.
  • Came back from the shops, started on prep for "second fix" (coating things with chocolate).
  • Realised we didn't actually have enough white chocolate for requirements.
  • Left Ma sorting and halving hazelnuts and went to the shops to get more.
  • First shop, no white chocolate.
  • Short drive later, car park trauma... second shop, white chocolate.
  • When I got back we started with dark chocolate (actually Ma started before I even got back, but given the way that the sequence needed to go it worked out perfectly), coated the Christmas Puddings and Sherry Truffles then put the scribbles on the Peppermint Ice Balls.
  • Milk chocolate next... coated the Hazelnut Delights and put the spirals on the Sherry Truffles.
  • White chocolate to finish... coated the Brandy Apricot Truffles, put the "icing" on the Christmas Puddings, then decorated as appropriate.
  • All this makes it sound much easier than it was. Copha is evil when added to chocolate it maybe shouldn't have been added to (my fault generally), spiral truffle forks are more difficult to use that you would think, all the truffles ended up looking much rougher than they have in previous years and as with the omelette/eggs parable, you can't make chocolate coated truffles without getting chocolate all over everywhere.
  • And breathe...
  • Thankfully we'd been tidying the kitchen as we went along, so by the end of things it was actually fairly tidy.
  • Although on the flip side, Ma's fridge was completely stuffed to overflowing, and anything with a flat surface had a tray of some form of ball or truffle laying on it.
  • By this time it was about 5pm, so we took a break, tried to work out how I was going to arrange things for taking the goodies to work (mostly because our team has doubled this year, and we didn't make that much stuff in some cases), and had some dinner.
  • Had chicken pastry parcel "spring roll" things... I'm guessing they were these ones... Ma did tell me I think, but I forget.
  • After dinner I went through and picked out bags and boxes and whatnot to bring home for wrapping Ma's presents, hopefully I should have enough stuff...
  • Next I decided to cut up my Rocky Road. Again, sounds simple, but it's the biggest single batch of Rocky Road I've ever made... thankfully marshmallows and Turkish Delight don't put up much resistance against a good strong knife. Ended up with a scary amount of Rocky Road though.
  • Then we tried to do with math properly on what was getting what goodies from me... this is where my brain both exploded and melted at the same time. There were just too many people to do what I wanted to do (and it's hard to cut out X just because he's a bit of a knob and Y because he's only been around for about five minutes), so in the end H-San and Sugarmonkey got doubles of everything like last year and everybody else got singles.
  • Of course that's not counting the pair of Ham Hearts and the pair of Mince Tarts we added in little plastic bags.
  • Watched this year's A Very Speccy Christmas while we parcelled up the goodies in little white Chinese takeaway containers.
  • Woohoo
  • Packed everything up (and the bag full of goodies is going to be interesting to carry in on the bus tomorrow... which reminds me, I must rescue the ones for Tink out of the bag... hang on... okay, done) and called it a night... by which point it was 9pm.
  • Came home.
Thank all the appropriate deities, mythological and symbolic figures this only happens once a year...

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