Chocolate week came and went, and I spent another week playing catch-up and clean-up. I finally got them boxed and out of the house a couple days ago. I store them in the garage till I hand them out. That way they can stay cold and safe from little hands.
We spent the first two days making all our centers.
22-ten pound bars of chocolate were chopped and melted during the week. We use Peters ultra light. It's a little bit more expensive, but well worth it.
We use giant roasters to melt the chocolate and keep it at the right temperature. We have one for light and one for dark.
My mom is a master dipper. Her chocolates are beautiful. We used to think it was because of her 25+ years of experience, but this week we decided it was because her hands are so small. We dip each persons chocolates one at a time, so they don't get mixed up. We have two dippers at a time one doing light and one doing dark. My mom is always one of the dippers and we take turns as the other dipper. The rule is that you have to dip your own chocolates, so you can learn.
I love spending time chatting and hanging out with my sisters. We love to sing and dance to Christmas music as we go. It isn't always pretty and there is usually some arguing. I'm known as the bossy one and overly concerned with quality. It's a good thing we already know and have accepted each others faults. We get over things pretty quickly. Chocolate fights are rare, but there was a small one this year. You can't see it but my sisters have gobs of chocolate in their hair.
With the snowy weather we had to wait till after chocolates were done to get our tree. We lucked out again this year and found a beautiful tree on my in-laws property in the canyon. Cutting our tree as a family is one of my favorite traditions. It's a breathtaking experience to be alone in the snow cover wilderness.
My husband is such a good sport to not get frustrated when I say no, to tree after tree.
It's not a perfect tree from a farm, but that is why I love it. It had the most beautiful almost orangey smell for days.
Are you still reading this ridiculously long post? Sorry, I have one more thing to share.
Yesterday was a great day. We were surrounded by some of our oldest and dearest friends at our annual Santa Party. I've been throwing the party since my oldest was a baby.
In effort to simplify my life I didn't make my own invitations, for the first time ever. I found this fabulous invitation on etsy from the Paper Heart Company. They were great to work with and I thought the price was very reasonable. I printed them at Costco as a 5x7 photo with a luster finish.
It's kinda crazy having almost 40 kids in our home, but for some of these friends this is the only time we see them all year.
Sorry for the long post, I wanted to get caught up around here. I hope you are all having a fabulous Holiday Season.