Monday, November 7, 2011

To heck in a Christmas Basket.... Day Two

Another early morning today. I was downstairs shortly after ten to begin my work for the day. It was a busy one today, sadly not the busiest of them though.
On today's agenda was two batches of Oh Henry bars, peppermint bark, plain bark, and one serving of chocolate pretzels. An odd combination to say the least. But it's all logical. The bark and the Oh Henry Bars got doubled up because it's silly to use one entire day just for bark. It's really easy to make. The single serving of pretzels is because I have a cousin that's on a special diet so she can't eat chocolate. She mentioned that last year after she got her basket, and I felt bad that I gave her something that she could eat. She could however share them with her husband who the basket was also for, so I didn't feel that bad. But I wanted to remember to make hers with white chocolate this year. And since I planned on using all of white chocolate today I wanted to make that I remembered to do her pretzels as well.
I started off with the pretzels, I made 35 before I called it quits. That's how many everybody got last year, so I figured it's a decent number to make for my goal. While I was doing the pretzels I also started the Oh Henry bars. This is where my real trouble of the day started. Room issues. We have a large kitchen, it's just that nothing ever ends up back where it belongs, if it even has a place where it belongs. Recently we've added a crock pot, a rice cooker, and a pasta machine to our kitchen and they're all out on the counters and the tables taking up space. And really, they're not mine, why should I be forced to find a spot for them in the full cabinets? Anyway, I was making three things in a space roughly three feet, plus half of the stove top. It was some very cramped quarters. And it doesn't need to be like this. If people just put away their stuff, or stopped buying random kitchen gadgets I wouldn't me in this mess. It just made my work more difficult, and I was not happy. I learned today that I keep a lot of stress in my jaw since by the end of the night it was killing me from all the clenching I was doing. *The more you know*
Let me tell you, I am so done with these baskets. I swear that I'm not doing them again next year. I'm tired of people making empty promises to help, then don't even bother to clean up to make my job easier. Why am I doing all this work to only have them not really care? Forget them, I'm doing this year, then never again.
Anyway, the pretzels went well, it was a nice refresher for tomorrows official pretzel making day. The bark went well, and it was fun getting some of my aggression out on the peppermint when I was breaking them with a hammer. The Oh Henry bars on the other hand... the first batch was a little crumbly for some reason... I figured that it was because they didn't cook long enough, so I let the second batch cook a bit longer. And when I tried taking them off the pan, they just fell apart. They were even worse than the first batch! Why do these things happen? Well, these things happen because when you use a stick of butter compared to the 2/3 cup it calls for you get crumbly bars. I got my recipes mixed up. So this evening I ended up making a third batch of the bars. Didn't add the topping yet since I ran out of chocolate chips. That can wait for another day. In case you want the recipe I wrote it in last years post. Here that is. Just remember that you need all that butter, one stick just won't cut it!

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