Upbeat Times HOLIDAY GUIDE #1 The Season of Indulgence

by David Gambill •

Sebastopol, CA. ~ What a great time of year. The annual Season of Indulgence is in full swing. When we get to brave the cold and rain with care- fully protected gifts of sweet and savory treats to gather with friends and


the promise of light as the days


slowly I

love this time of year. I em- brace the challenge

indulging suf- ficiently

of to

mark the sea- son as a special time, and not so much that the inevitable waistline ex- pansion is ex-

cessive. But what fun, sharing all those sumptuous delights and the smiles they bring. What traditional


marks this season for you and evokes your childhood kitchen? A luscious, rich chocolate Buche de Noel? A quintessentially southern in- dulgence like chocolate bour- bon pecan pie? Maybe some sinful triple chocolate brown- ies? Or do you go for the classics, like chocolate gin- gerbread cookies or mounds of chocolate chunk cookies with walnuts? Whatever your Holiday predilection is, may you embrace it fully. My preference for chocolate

may be showing. I started my career in chocolate by mak- ing chocolate truffles to give to friends for the Holidays. I would make hundreds of little delights and distribute them in tins. My fun was seeing friend’s faces light up when they


ered what was inside. What a treat. For me, sharing smiles is what the Holidays are all about.

Unblemished chocolate truf- fles are decep- tively easy to make at home. That’s where I started and where I rec- ommend home

chocolatiers begin. It only takes a few batches of truffles to get a feel for the process. From there, mint, orange and nuts are classic additions for the Holidays. The key to producing fine chocolates is to use the fin- est ingredients you can. I recommend organic Clover or Strauss cream and butter.

Chocolate brands that satisfy almost any palette and are easy to find include Valhrona, Scharffen Berger, El Rey, Green & Black, and Tcho. There are less expensive, ubiquitous varieties, but they tend to be much less flavorful. A fun event is to collect a

few varieties and do a taste test. Try to do the test blind, so you don’t know which brand you’re trying. Find the choco- late that has a flavor you enjoy and for which the flavor lin- gers on your tongue long after you finish the chocolate; reject a chocolate for which the fla- vor fades quickly. Truffles you purchase will

almost always be encased in tempered chocolate. Temper- ing gives the chocolate that shine and snap of a chocolate bar. Tempering at home can be a challenge, and is not neces- sary for homemade treats. If you make truffles, life will be easier if you forgo temper- ing. The recipe describes how to encase your truffles in choc- olate without it. Have fun. With these sim-

ple balls of bliss you’ll bring a smile to everyone with whom you share them. And is there any better gift for the season?

Order your Willie Bird Turkey from Andy’s!

• Health & Wellness • Bulk Foods • Dried Fruits & Nuts • Sandwiches & Salads

•Organic Fruits & Vegetables

• Gourmet Cheeses • Local Wines

OPEN DAILY 8am-7:30pm • 1691 Gravenstein Hwy N, Sebastopol

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart” ~ Confucius UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • NOVEMBER 2019 • Pg 17

November 2nd -30th 2019

Holiday Arts & Crafts Market

NOVEMBER 2019 Weird Facts & Trivia - 5

Healdsburg. CA. ~ In No- vember the Healdsburg Certi- fied Farmers’ Market expands to include dozens of additional fine artists and craftspeople. The market will be filled with ceramics, jewelry, wearables, fiber arts, fine art, wood work, 2-dimensional work, and more...all made by the artists. Shop a fine selection of fresh, local produce, seafood, meat, baked goods, breads, al- monds, fresh tamales, oil and vinegars, spices, chocolate, and much more. Enjoy live music and prepared foods at this authentic farmers’ market. Starts at 8:30 am. West Plaza Parking Lot (be- hind Bear Republic Brewing Company) North and Vine Street, Healdsburg, California. Healdsburg Farmers' Market Email: manager@healdsburg-

Traveling can improve prob- lem solving skills and boost creativity. New sounds, smells, tastes, languages, and sights create new synapses in the brain and promote neuroplasticity.

The average person in the United Kingdom has vis- ited 10 countries. On aver- age, Germans have been to eight, and the average French person has trav- eled to five. Only 29% of Americans have even been abroad.

The busiest airport in the United States is the Harts- field–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, Georgia, with over 50 million flights a year.

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