The holidays have officially crashed.
Archive for the ‘lint’ Category
It’s been a great Christmas, even though it was nothing like the Christmas celebration we had originally planned. Before I started packing up for home this morning, I spent an hour on the floor of my son’s office going through some old family photo albums. Turns out there’s a good reason why I spend so few days lounging about in my pajamas.
I like fancy.
Of all the carols of my Catholic upbringing, it is this O Antiphon hymn I love the best. Despair, tinged with hope all wrapped in a solemn minor key? Pour yourself another toddy and have your hankie ready. It’s going to be another ThreadingWater Christmas.
I know there are a lot of chocolate bark recipes out there. Trust me. I’ve done my share of sampling. This one, however, has become my standby. It’s fast, delicious, gluten-free, and one of the most requested recipes from my kitchen since I started making it about seven years ago.
The recipe – as it appeared in Gourmet magazine in 2000 – is listed below. I’ve made it with and without nuts, and I often add other dried fruit like cranberries, blueberries, pineapple, etc. For an extra special batch, try adding candied ginger. Oh baby, baby, baby . . .
Chocolate Anise Bark
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1/3 cup dried tart cherries (coarsely chopped)
- 1/3 cup dried apricots (coarsely chopped)
- 1/3 cup salted roasted cashews (coarsely chopped)
- 6 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)
Line a small baking sheet with foil and chill.
Finely grind anise seed in an electric coffee/spice grinder.
Stir together chopped fruit and nuts.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. [I melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave and I leave it in large chunks, not chopped fine as the recipe calls for. Microwave for one minute. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds. The chocolate should still be quite lumpy and not completely melted. Stir until smooth and lumps have melted.]
Stir in anise and half of chopped fruit and nuts. Spoon onto chilled baking sheet, spreading with a spatula to a rough 10 x 5 inch rectangle. Sprinkle with remaining fruit and nuts, pressing lightly to help adhere.
Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces.
In no particular order, here are surprising things one can do without the use of their non-dominant thumb.
- Push ups
- Roll out pie dough
- Drive a car (stick shift) AND talk on a cell phone without BlueTooth
- Lift weights (barbells and hand-held varieties)
- Knit (at reduced speed)
- Type (now referred to as keyboarding because, godforbid, any man would want to be associated with the word typist)
All of which contribute to the notion that anything is possible, along the lines of “if they can put a man on the moon, . . .”
How wrong. Here are things that I am finding near impossible to accomplish.
- Tie shoe strings
- Floss teeth (my own)
- Scrape out the contents of a bowl into another container
- Put on pantyhose
- Zip up coats and vests
- File nails on right hand
- Put those tiny rubber stops on the backs of earrings
I’m such a baby.