Touring a Chocolate Factory
For week 19 of my 52-week project, Leigh and I went on a tour of a chocolate factory. We visited Schakolad, a chocolate shop that makes its own sweets fresh on the premises. The tour included a brief lesson on the history of chocolate, lots of sampling, and making our own goodies.

First, we made “chocolate business cards.” This is one of the owners making his, which looked a lot better than mine. I think I spent more time eating the white chocolate out of the tube than actually writing my name.

Chocolate Businesscard
Next, we learned how to make chocolate lollypops. We made them by scooping chocolate out of the vat and filling smiley face molds and adding sticks. The molds sat on a box that vibrated to shake out any bubbles in the chocolate.

Making Chocolate Lollypops

We then moved on to dipping strawberries. It was pretty simple to do, just dip the berries in the swirling vat of chocolate and spin the berry until it was completely coated.

Dipping Stawberries

Finally, we made dark chocolate covered marshmallows. These were my favorite. So delicious. We made them by dipping our fingers in chocolate, picking up a marshmallow, covering it in chocolate, and and setting it out to harden.

Dipping Marshmellows
I wish I had pictures of the final product of everything. But, to be honest with you, the treats didn’t last very long after I got them home. I have a bit of a sweet tooth.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I used my newly acquired skills later in the week to dip strawberries for Leigh’s going away party. They weren’t as pretty as the ones at Schakolad, but they were mighty tasty.

As I mentioned above, I attended Leigh’s going away party this week. She is moving back to Germany so this will be the last time we will have an adventure together for a while. However, I am sure we still have many adventures to come. For her party she decided to prepare Feuerzangenbowle, a German fire drink traditionally served at Christmas and New Years. Feuerzangenbowle is made with mulled wine, fruit, cinnamon, cloves, rum, and a sugarloaf.

First, you add lots of red wine. Leigh said it’s best just to go with cheap wine, so you don’t waste the good stuff. Please note that the wine has no specific variety and is simply classified as “red.”

Franzia Chillable Red
After dumping 5 liters of Franzia into the pot, Leigh added oranges, lemons, and cinnamon, and let it simmer on the stove for a few hours. It smelled amazing, exactly what you would expect Christmas to smell like.

Feuerzangenbowle on Stove
Finally, it was time for the show! A cone-shaped sugarloaf is placed in a tray above the wine. The sugar is then set on fire, either by soaking it in rum and then lighting it, or by lighting the rum and slowly spooning it onto the sugar until it is completely melted. According to the instructions, you need to use 54% percent alcohol in order for it to burn properly. Leigh said she once used Bacardi 151 and that the resulting flame was terrifying.

This is Leigh’s uncle Dave and me spooning rum over the sugar.

Feuerzangenbowle Pouring

A few times the flames got pretty high and engulfed my hand or caught the spoon on fire. No injuries though!

Feuerzangenbowle Fire
I don’t remember what was happening here, but I think Leigh and I were excited to be done and that nobody caught on fire.

Feuerzangenbowle Celebration
The Feuerzangenbowle was hot, delicious, and tasted a bit like cider. It was the perfect drink to warm us up as we sat around the fire telling stories and singing Rocky Top.

Thank you to Amy Williams for letting me use her Feuerzangen-photos. Check out her Freewill Photography Facebook page!

Constitutional Law: The Music Video
Apropos of nothing, here is a video of Leigh and her uncle Dave singing about Constitutional Law. I’m going to miss her.