Thursday, December 27, 2007

Quarter Christmas Meme

I promised fellow ched Ms. M. a Fav Things of Christmas meme, but I cut my finger on a can of Black Label so here's little copy (~applause~) and my top three. Hey, for very few would I even make the attempt. Did I mention my finger?

JoeyNephew #1, Joey the sailor boy and oldest (the other two call him "The Prince"), full of enough Christmas cheer to propel an aircraft carrier. The more he drinks, the younger he gets. He's about six here.

ChrisNephew #2, The ignored middle child, Chris, the college boy, with Leinie's lip balm and Miller Lite Beer Mints. Do you see a pattern?

AndyNephew #3, Guido, the baby, all tuckered out from helping with the spedini and sitting on the couch. The downstairs is beginning to look like a frat house.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Cheers

An icy night spent playing Gassy Gus, stuffing our collective faces, and swilling pomegranate martinis helped count down the final days to Christmas. My cousin coated her pomegranitini rims with Pop Rocks.
Some of us tried to watch New England bully the poor, defenseless dolphins. Eeee, eee, eee, eee. Some of us still discount the importance of return yards and special teams. Guido.
Merry Christmas, all. Or in Jimmy's case, y'all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scharffen Berger Milk Chocolate

Scharffen Berger Milk ChocolateDay 8, Scharffen Berger: Extra Rich Milk Chocolate, 41%
The now defunct Twee & Luliloo (which still has a Web site for their Madison location further shedding light on their demise) introduced me to Scharffen Berger. One thin nibble feels as if you've eaten half a bar twice the size.

Scharffen BergerI thought the salacious Hachez Cocoa de Maracaibo won my fickle heart (with its impudent 55% cocoa), but the Fine Artisan Chocolate of the 3 ounce Scharffen Berger Extra Rich Milk Chocolate bar continues to tempt me. Until I find something better. Not that I'm looking. Hell, I'm always looking. Told you I was fickle.
I may use one of these recipes with the 9.7 ounce home baking bar I picked up by accident thinking it was hot cocoa mix. I'm thinking wreath shaped chocolate chunk instead of the never ending ordeal that is making cut out cookies. Goes better with Irish Coffee.
Scharffen Berger is made in Berkeley, a so-called Madtown mirror city, at least in the sixties. Major plus, the label is in English.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hachez: Lousy Photo, Great Chocolate

Hachez chocolateDay 7, Hachez: Cocoa de Maracaibo, 55%, Cocoa d' Arriba, 77%, and Premier Cru, 88%, German milk and dark chocolate
Being one of those plebian milk chocolate lovers, I have to say the Hachez Cocoa de Maracaibo milk chocolate reigns o'er me. Ah, the things you could do with this chocolate. Too good for chocolate porn, it's more like a charming guy that drinks all your Jameson and goes through your stash like a two-spotted spider mite on a garden tomato. Only sweet on the inside. I lost my train of thought.
At first I thought it was creeper chocolate because it took a second for descriptives such as milky, melting, and voluptuous to spring forth. Is it really voluptuous? Well, I'm out of adjectives and hold on—yes, yes it is.
The classic Cocoa d'Arriba is crazy loaded with cocoa at 77%; to the extent I almost confused it with the 88% Premier Cru. But no. It's flavorful and strong, with a sinful-rich subtlety that clears your mind of everything but your next bite.
The Premier Cru Chocolade on the other hand, is the espresso to the Cru's half cap. At 88%, it tastes primarily of cocoa—what else? It's smooth with far less discretion. But I must draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at 88% cocoa.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Redneck M&M Dispenser: This Counts As Day 6

You Know You're Blogging With A Redneck When:
•Your computer is up on blocks.
•Someone parked the truck in your carport and you have neither a truck nor a carport.
•The dog has a hankering to go hunting. The dog is a 12-year-old Pomeranian who's never in its life heard the word "hankering" or "hunting."
•There's a gun rack where your poster of 50 Wisconsin Cheeses used to be.
A Word From Clem: We here at the dish do not condone the combination of dogs and chocolate. Or dogs and mason jars, or dogs and shot glasses. We further urge responsible readers to consider Dogs Eating Candy: For Heaven's Sake and Fact vs. Myth: Will Candy Kill My Dog? Please disregard the foolishness perpetrated by my granddaughter and her cousin on her mother's side (an Italian), in the post entitled Chocolate Gift Boxes.
Thank you and Merry Christmas.
A Word From Me: Jimmy's boss's dad (still with me?) is making Redneck M&M Dispensers for Christmas this year. This handsome construction collects M&Ms in a shot glass, normally filled with Jim Beam I suspect, between two critters who probably got lost looking for the front porch (and turned into stone). You're not going to find this gorgeous Rube Goldberg at the Wal-Mart.
See Jimmy's related post at Uncivil.
Photo and idea by Jimmy, who thinks a keyboard is something to hang your truck keys on, as suggested to him by Heidi
Thanks to The Tamster for the redneck jokes

Monday, December 17, 2007

Angel Food

Fairy FoodDay 5 Angel Food Candy: Honeycomb center covered with luscious milk or dark chocolate, aka Devil's Food or Fairy Food
Awhile back someone asked about a good Angel Food recipe, and here's my favorite:
Drive to Monroe Street, attempt to find parking behing James J. Chocolate, enter shop, buy Fairy Food, sample said candy on way home. Share, regret, buy more.
I went to a chocolate and wine tasting party sponsored by James J. last year, and they made Fairy Food in a giant copper cauldron for us. Watching the birth of the scalding golden mass was quite cool. Eating more free samples than was polite wasn't bad either. This photo is from one of the many trays of candy they set out for us around the chocolate factory.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Côte d'Or Lait Melk

Cote d'or milk chocolateDays 3 & 4 Côte d'Or Lait~Melk: Two 75g Belgian (Kraft owned) solid milk chocolate bars, 35% cocoa
According to the Côte d'Or website, "Belgians consume more cocoa per capita than any other people on earth." Yeah, well they haven't been to my house.
Thanks to what in retrospect seems like a lapse of judgement, I committed to this Twelve Days of Chocolate business. Did I mention I'm on a diet and now dreaming in chocolate. Actually, it's a jumble of chocolate and the last season of the Sopranos, which I'm just now watching. I was a little surprised by the Christopher move, but then again he was "an idiot all together."
I picked up this elephant stamped chocolat in Boo because of its girth. Turned out to be two bars, but see how big it is?

Chocolate HomeysEach piece is so substantial, it leaves an imprint on the silver foil.
Instead of American wax, you know you're getting quality chocolate in the first bite. Not the first whiff though, which smells sweet and mildly of cocoa, but why are you standing around sniffing chocolate?
Three of the seven two inch long pieces did me in (I said seven two inch long pieces, James). This chocolate is smooth, thick, soft, slippery, silky, buttery, smlkuttery, all of that.
Jodi down by Will Work For Noodles misses the filled Côte d'Ors, some of which may or may not be available on this site. Why not try Milk Chocolate with hazelnuts, 33%, with raisins and hazelnuts, 33%, Noir Orange, 69%, or Dark Chocolate with Raspberry, 70 %.
Although I sensed the slightest of aftertastes, Côte d'Or Lait Melk easily makes it on the short What Chocolate Should Taste Like list. Now let's see if Tony's gabagool turns into a hunk of chocolate. Zzzzzz...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Where's Carl Spackler When You Need Him?

Cadbury PicnicDay 2 Cadbury Picnic: Cadbury milk chocolate, caramel, crispy cereal, peanuts, and raisins
The first thing I tasted when I bit into this candy casserole was the wrapper. It's unfair to judge a candy by its wrapper, but this candybar tasted as if it had been sitting around since the Thatcher administration. I noticed the original price was slashed by a buck fi'ty which clues you in to the fact that it was over priced and old [insert joke].
These things happen when you pick up mass produced candy, especially imported, although I expected more from Cadbury, salmonella and all.
This level of barely (notice I said "barely") edible staleness has never been a problem with Cadbury Turkish Delight or even Flake, and someone once schlepped the most decrepitly flaked Flake (what is going on in that ad) across the pond for me.
After you unwrap the thing and let it breath in the fresh Wisconsin air, you'll find a Watchamacallit with raisins. There are too many tastes here (including purple wrapper) that don't blend with the ease of a Chunky ("The thickest nickel chocolate bar in the USA"). And it looks like something you'd find at the bottom of the Caddyshack pool.
I spoke too soon, this is a step back from the Elysia's Orange, although I was right about things getting more expensive.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Twelve Days Of Chocolate

Elysia ChocolateDay 1 Gefüllte Milchschokolade: Elysia German milk chocolate with orange filling and a little alcohol
So, Ralph Pierce of the Boo Pierces stuffs this 3.5 ounce bar in my already bursting candy sack. Does that sound as obscene (and confusing) as I think it does? He likes this chocolate bar because it's a decent candy for two bucks, which, if you like to buy imported chocolate, is a bit of a deal.
I will say that one row of this sinister candy sent my recently perfect blood sugar level one point over good at a poorly timed check up. So that should count for something.
The orange filling smacks you in the taste buds and is almost overwhelming. I didn't have a clue it was one of the fruit liqueur filled Elysia chocolates until by the process of elimination, I figured out who makes it. I think. Hey, whaddya tink dis is, Milwaukee, I can barely say "Are you from the Apple Store?" in Spanish.
The orange filling is nicely tart, the chocolate is a little too sweet and not what I think milk chocolate should taste like—in other words, a little cheap and waxy, you know, like American chocolate.
Elysia Milkchocolate With Orange Flavoured Filling is okay; perfect as a gift for those who don't appreciate good candy. Ahem, you know who you are. Maybe you don't, but you wouldn't be reading this anyway so the hell with you.
Dis German bar yah hey is a good price, imported, whaddya want?
A good choice for Day 1, it can only get better. And more expensive.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chuck Norris PEZ

Chuck Norris PEZHey thare Jimmy. I know, I know, Chuck Norris doesn't dispense candy, he dispenses pain. But did you know...
˚That as a kid Chuck Norris dressed up as himself to go trick-or-treating.
He came back with a sack of candy, miniature liquor bottles, an Irish Setter, and two underage prostitutes carrying more candy.
˚If Chuck Norris' pancreas stopped working, he'd tell it to get a job.
˚What is Chuck Norris' favorite candy? Jawbreakers. Favorite licorice? Sour Punch Straws. Favorite Chocolate? Nestle's CRUNCH.
This photo was posted by Stella on

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Speaking Of PEZ

Snoopy PezChrissy from Random Thoughts got me thinking. About what? About PEZ dispensers. (I took these photos at Deb's.)
Have you noticed how much the Princess Leia dispenser looks like Joan Crawford (see last photo). No wire PEZ!
I love the glow in the dark PEZ you see around Halloween, like the Green Goblin and such. And they might be my favorite emergency candy. (Am I beginning to sound like Andy Rooney?)
PEZ has gotten a bad rap because of sneaky teens like the young JR Chandler on All My Children loading them up with recreational drugs. Most people put PEZ in their PEZ dispensers. We're not all Neely O'Hara you know. ("She took the red pills.") What a cast, Patty Duke, Susan Hayward ("She took the yellow pills."), Sharon Tate, and Barbara Parkins as Anne. I know what my next video rental is going to be.PezWonder if they have Valley of the Dolls dispensers? This old PEZ FAQ doesn't mention them. They do mention that the Spock, Michael Jackson, and Hitler dispensers are fake. Damn.Pez Wall

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I'm Fine Here, Thanks

indoor snowmanIs it cold enough for your @$*?
You know it's cold when snowmen are coming inside to warm up. I counted more snowmobiles than cars on the road last night. But hey, it's up to 18 degrees today, so maybe the tires won't freeze. It's no-bottles-or-pop-cans-in-the-cup-holder weather. I heard someone on the radio say the fog froze. Is that meteorologically possible? Is that even a word?
Still, things were merry on Boo Square. Gem City was bustling; Gløgg was sampled, candy was bagged. I left with a sack heavier than a small frasier fur.

Where to start? Chocolate bandaids? Candy Scabs? Taffy Tongues? Vertigo Pops? Wonder what Scharffenberger hot chocolate tastes like through a Sip-n-Chew?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sugar Buzz: Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints

Sugar BuzzPeppermint Crunch Junior Mints are the only candy I've been craving lately, and Hosanna Heysanna, there they were, in a Copp's Christmas display looking all cheery and "eat me." Ever since I got a load of Cybele's flickr photo, I knew I had to have them. And I'm not a mint, Junior or otherwise, type person.
My best friend growing up loved them, and because she also loved Boston Baked Beans, sardines and ketchup, chewing tinfoil, and doing something horrible with baking soda (filed away in my repressed memories), I wasn't a fan of the Junior Mint. Although it is one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes.
Maybe it's this bothersome eating less junk food business, but I was all over these like a Bumpus hound on a Christmas turkey.

They're refreshing and crunchy in a slightly weird way. Kind of like eating a mouthful of candy with a mouthful of bubblegum. The chocolate is way too sweet, but has a nice consistency and compliments both the mint and the "crunchy bits."
The candy itself is a bit homely, but who's looking at it. I wouldn't suggest peeking into the cavernous half empty box either (or is it half full, those miserly bastards). Just eat them, share with friends. I'll refrain from telling you how much sugar is in this sugar, but about 15 pieces should more than do you. Yikes, 170 calories in 15 mishapen pieces. Wish I hadn't read that. Must find new place to hide candy.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Miller Lite Mints

beer mintsI'm not sure how I missed these, but smack dab next to the Extra Cooling Hot Flash Mints at Gem City were a display of real gems, Miller Lite mints. They must be for "the stupid people." I think my neighbors keep a can in the front seat in case they're pulled over.
Speaking of which, I almost gave my computer to a complete stranger last night whilst running around in a minor blizzard.
What started out as a "can do" attitude gone awry, ended up with me handing off The Beast to who I can only guess was a well intentioned (non-English speaking) stranger. Not an Apple Store Mac Genius as I assumed (I was waiting at the wrong loading dock), but some poor schnook from the food court locked out of Quiznos with an orange handcart.
Cut to Sex and the City voice over:
"Are we too dependent on the computers in our lives? Have we unilaterally become a nation of binary bitches? I learned a lot about myself that night. That braking on ice never works out the way you want. That my high school Spanish continues to fail me. That they don't give illegal aliens keys."
Think I'll have a can of mints and go for a spin.