Yes, it's that time of the year again when Ma and I pretty much lose all sanity and cover everything that sits still long enough in a layer of chocolate.
It's Christmas Goodie Day!
I basically rolled out of bed this morning, jumped in the shower, threw on a tee shirt that I knew was going to be covered in icing sugar, melted chocolate and who knows what else by the end of the day and headed off to Ma's place.
I got there just before 8, and Ma was deep into the land of Ham Hearts. And as much as other people love our Ham Hearts, they really know nothing as they haven't had them directly out of the oven when they're still piping hot.
So that was breakfast.
I would have preferred if the day hadn't been forecast to be 36°C, but once Ma had finished with the oven we rolled her portable evaporative cooler into the kitchen and according to the little magnet Ma has on her fridge it never really got above 28.
As always the first cab off the rank was my Rocky Road. I think it actually came out better than previous years... whether that was because we used a little more chocolate or whether the confectionery gods where just in our favour this year. And the technique I discovered when I made the Rocky Road for The Nut House back in June where I rolled the Turkish Delight out into sausage shapes before cutting it also served me perfectly and made life so much easier.
Once the Rocky Road was in the fridge, we did our usual technique of dividing and conquering, Ma took on the Chocolate Balls, while I attacked the new truffle for this year, the overly complicatedly named Cookies and Cream Candy Cane Truffles (we've already shortened it down to Candy Cane Truffles).
And it finally gives a use to those god awful candy canes that nobody I've ever met actually likes. But once you throw them into a food processor and blitz the living daylights out of them, it's not only the perfect smell of Christmas, it'll also clear out your sinuses.
It was a different recipe from the ones that we're used to since it all takes place in the food processor and I was a little worried that Ma's somewhat petite processor wasn't going to live through the experience. But it survived.
After that I went through all of the other recipes and processed all the things that needed processing, which of course included having to wash the processor several times.
Then since Ma had moved onto the Sherry Truffles, I started putting together a couple of the other truffles and rolling them into balls.
When everything had been rolled into balls appropriately and I'd spent half the morning washing and drying things, we completed Stage 1.
We stopped for some lunch, and a rest, since we'd both been standing up the whole morning. My back was also giving me some drama, even though I'd been doing as my Chiro recommended and standing in the "giraffe stance", as well as being very mindful of tucking my hips in. Thankfully I have another appointment tomorrow but at this stage I'm not all that bad.
Once lunch was over, it was time for Stage 2: Melted Chocolate Palooza.
As I said, the confectionery gods where very, very much on our side today... the chocolate worked better than I think it's ever done (the white abomination notwithstanding), and we didn't have any major dramas (other than the occasional lack of appropriate trays to put them on).
Granted, the topping we put on the Hazelnut Delights was chopped macadamia nuts and that didn't completely work. I think the chopped hazelnuts we've used before were a better idea, since they were a drier powder rather than the slightly oily macadamias.
But they all look pretty good.
Clockwise, top left: Hazelnut Delight, Chocolate Ball, Candy Cane Truffles,
Apricot Brandy Truffles, Peanut Butter Balls, Rum Balls
and my Rocky Road in the centre
Once everything was coated and had set, we boxed everything up before sitting down for a well deserved rest.
Then we ordered Chinese food. Which I've really had an unfulfilled craving for for some time, since my part of North Adelaide no longer just has a regular Chinese restaurant. I'll be honest, the food was okay, but wasn't spectacular, but it'll take the edge off the craving for a while again.
In previous years we've spent the latter part of the evening making up little boxes of goodies for everyone in The Nut House, but there's just too damn many of us any more (I can never remember the exact number, but there's somewhere between 23 and 27 of us on any given day). So instead we just parcelled up a general selection of goodies along with a metric ton of Ham Hearts and some Mince Tarts... enough to fill up one of those foil lined cooler shopping bags.
And that was really it... once I'd had another rest, I took myself home again.
Thankfully unlike previous years I don't have to get into work before everybody else and run around like a demented elf putting things on everyone's desks, but I will have to organise everything for a gigantic morning tea.
I also feel that little bit more Christmasy... not full Post Ghost Scrooge... but not Pre Ghost Scrooge either.