Man I have LOVED this weekend. I have not had a free FREE weekend with my guys since May. **sigh**
Yest I managed a photoshoot in the morning, literally less than a mile from home before I set sail to Manchester with my Mother-in-law, Beth and Marie to check out the AMAZING European market stalls before going on our Groupon founded chocolate course. WE had such a great time where I mastered the finer things about chocolate crafting. Its not exactly chocolate making as only Belgian manufacturers do that. Instead we crafted it making a velvety ganache centre and learning how to decorate it as well as tempering the choc to go on the ganache. We also learned about crafting chocolates crisps and flakes and flavourings which means, OBVS, that everyone I know will be getting hand crafted chockies from now on. There is very little skill to it - melt couveture, temper it and decorate your "centres"- simples. I think the worst thing about it is holding back from licking your fingers every 3 seconds.
I took my little point and shoot to capture the event (thankfully, as it was drenched in chocolate and I proper mean that!)
Here is my MIL and Beth
After we all mixed the ganache into a velvety truffly paste, we had to pipe loooooooong lengths of it (And yes, it really does look like poop!)
Oh we laughed so hard at our efforts to strain this stuff out - it was hard going! We piped the ganache before we moulded it with our hands. Our foursome had fits of laughter about the whole debacle; childlike but fun, you know?
Of course, it didn't taste like poop, you know!
After rolling the ganache into balls, both mine and Marie's hands were pretty chocolate-less than most peoples! **I admit to having copious tastes tests, for quality purposes of course ;)**
Beths balls looked furry, for some reason?!
Our freshly rolled balls!
These ones are ready for tempered choc
And toppings were added afterwards
Don't they look delectable?
And kind of designer?
Laughing at these crazy kids - highly recommended!
And then today. Man, it was a toughy. Belles bedroom is almost complete as we make way for her 16th this Friday. We want her to have a more "grown up" look which meant turfing out all the stuff she never played/plays with as well as slinging out old videos, DVD's and books. It would be ideal to eBay the lot but time is precious here at Chez Wiseman and our thoughts turn to families who could do with some "cared" for goods at a good price whilst a charity shop reap the rewards into the bargain. Win-win for all. I did NOT take pictures during this 4 hour event as it was hard work asking Ellie "Treasure, Treat or Trash" over and over again - basically keep, donate or throw away. It pained Ellie to do this but space has been somewhat lacking recently and things needed to go. She did keep a lot of books and as we have installed a better storage system in her room, she has plenty of space to put her books and in a place where she can reach (before they were in a cupboard on a high shelf - not ideal). She loves her new space, she keeps wandering upstairs to admire it. But its not done yet as I have a mural to start on one of the walls plus a little more titivating before its fully complete.
Tonight we had guests round for a meal. It was my Father-in-Laws birthday so I offered to make a meal. Home made curry (from scratch!) was the order of the day and it happens to be one of Ellies new favourite meals. She got really involved with making it and preparing all the ingredients for me - a real good sign of her growing up. She took it all in and wants to have a go at making one on her own one day. **hope its soon!**
And so to tonight, all snug on the sofa, cuddled up with Mark. Ellies is def a Momma's girl but recently she has been laying by Mark's side.
It's another sign of her making changes in her life. Its a good thing, right?
**Don't forget, 4th December I'm holding a FULL day workshop at Paperarts in Gloucester. See the blog post below, dated 18th Nov, for more info**