Saturday, December 6, 2008

holidaze

Hallowthankmas is almost over, but there's still time to squeeze in a few Christmas parties at work:

frosty

Last year Frosty had a dance number, but this year he settled for just hugging. I haven't decided if that was more or less creepy, but I had fewer nightmares this year, so I'm going with less.

We also had a children's choir this year:

children's choir

They were an improvement over last year's R&B singing staff member, who started out singing "I've Got Sunshine" before making a smooth transition into that perennial Christmas classic, "Let's Get it On", but they weren't really that good. They screamed along to taped music that had vocals on it, they couldn't clap together or on beat, and a few of them forgot what they were doing and wandered off the stage during the songs. I applauded politely, but refused to stand when the rest of the room decided to give them an ovation.

Jeannie tried to make me stand.

"Why aren't you standing?"

"They were awful."

"They're FOUR!"

"I clapped."

"They're only FOUR!"

"And? If you start rewarding them for mediocrity now, they'll expect it the rest of their lives. That's how we end up with run-away self-esteem based education and Generation Me kids with overinflated feelings of entitlement."

"Scrooge."

Whatever. I know I'm right. Clapping was generous, but an ovation was ludicrous based on that performance.

I was still feeling the sting of the Scrooge label at the grocery store, though, so I remembered seeing Ina Garten make chocolate bark a couple weeks ago on the Food Network and decided I would whip up some Christmas candy for "Top Chef" night. I haven't worked with chocolate, really, since doing it as a kid with mom a couple decades ago, but it didn't look that hard on TV.

I got white chips, chocolate chips (which I ended up not using), and a container of fruitcake fruit (cherries, pineapple, and candied citrus peels) all diced up into small pieces:

candymaking supplies

The bag of chips said you could microwave them, but something went wrong there even though I did exactly what it said on the bag, and the chips in the measuring cup burned. Not having a double boiler, I set a stoneware bowl above a pot of boiling water, and started stirring and praying:

melting chips

It worked pretty quickly:

melted chocolate

When the chips were all melted, I poured the bowl onto a non-stick pizza pan, sprinkled on the fruit, and pressed it in a little so it wouldn't slide off. Then I stuck the whole thing in the freezer:

candy and fruit

When it was hardened up, I cut it into tiny chunks. I meant for them to be square, but it broke along its own lines, so I just went with it:

finished candy

Jeannie didn't seem to think I was Scrooge when she ate a whole bunch and took a bag home with her.

2 comments:

leo said...

RE: "And? If you start rewarding them for mediocrity now, they'll expect it the rest of their lives. That's how we end up with run-away self-esteem based education and Generation Me kids with overinflated feelings of entitlement."

I love you. Truly.

stanford said...

My first reaction: "Their FOUR"

On second thought, ovations are meaningless if they are not selective. I'm gonna go with "You are right"