Everyone’s a winner! Truffles all around!
I have never been very good at judging. I think I have this from my mom. I can’t pick anyone to lose. Joshilyn’s Boobs Stuck Under a Bed in Paris story not only fulfilled but SURPASSED all expectations and had me laughing in stitches; considering that the purpose of the contest was to encourage her to tell the story, she’s an obvious truffles winner. But Amy and Dee’s stories were fun and romantic, and Dee told TWO stories, and Amy in addition to her story came up with the nefarious ideas to get the true story, so…truffles all around!
Keeping in mind that these truffles are no longer the best I have ever tasted, because of the slight grainy thing and doubtless because my sister was too sick to closely supervise. But, lest anyone judge my truffle efforts too harshly, kindly remember the CONDITIONS under which these truffles were made. That is, a house full of mad chocolate devourers. I know a sextupled recipe sounds like more than enough truffles, and I know I used the word “give” in my earlier post where I mentioned giving truffles to my family, but the true story is this:
The truffles took THREE DAYS to make, meaning that there were periods during those three days when the truffle material was in the kitchen and I was not, or when I was not even in the same house with the truffle material. And during these time periods, THINGS HAPPENED.
“‘Mary Kay,'” I would say before leaving the truffle material defenseless, “do not eat that truffle material. Do not eat those half-made truffles. I NEED those for my contest. Eat all the other chocolate things I made.”
“Okay,” she would say in a totally unbelievable way.
“No, really,” I would say. “I mean it.”
“Okay, Laura,” she would say, in a way so unbelievable it would make you tear your hair out, or at least it would if that was your truffle material in danger.
“‘Mary Kay’, I am serious. Don’t you dare touch those truffles.”
And so it went until the hairs were crawling on the back of my neck as I left the house. (We were sleeping at my sister’s, due to an overload of the parental home’s bedrooms. But I was making truffles at my parents’, due to the fact that we were spending most of the days there. You see right away the problem. So did I, and I suffered separation anxiety every time I left the house to go sleep.)
As mentioned, the truffle making process involves the formation of lots and lots of truffle balls from a big batch of chocolate that had to be maintained at the right temperature for truffle ball-making. Whenever I exhausted my stamina for forming truffle balls, I would put the batch of chocolate in the refrigerator until later and the truffle balls in the freezer to chill enough they could be dipped into another chocolate layer later. It was at this moment of weakness that people struck.
And what people, you may ask? I certainly did. “WHO ATE MY TRUFFLES?” I said, upon discovering missing spaces in my neat rows of truffle balls, spaces that had left little round spots of chocolate on the aluminum foil. “MARY KAY!!!“
“I didn’t touch those truffle balls, Laura,” she said firmly. “Don’t you look at me. I didn’t touch those balls you had in the freezer.”
“Then WHO DID?”
“I only had one!” a niece protested.
I stared at her. I could not believe she had actually admitted to even having one. Where had such audacity come from in the younger generation?
“Well, Grantie had one!”
I gasped. This was pretty much like being knifed in the back by your teddy bear or something. The last place you would expect it. Grantie=grandmother=MY MOTHER. My mother doesn’t even like chocolate normally. Plus, she just does not do that kind of thing.
“MOM!” I said. “How could you?”
And she gave me a little Puck-pursed-lips-smile, like she would have felt guilty if she could, but given that she had born me through natural childbirth and raised me–as well as six other children who had spent entire adolescences saying “MOM!” in that tone–couldn’t. Just couldn’t quite manage real guilt. Her “I-would-feel-guilty-if-I-could-honey” smile actually meant: After all that, I’m due a few stolen truffles.
But the problem was, if MOM did it, Grantie, the very last person you would expect such base truffle ethics from, then it was okay for everyone to have just one. Or maybe two. After all, no one has ever even dreamed of claiming a better sense of morality than my mother. When we went to Confession, our priest would say either one of two things: “Oh, my Jesus, oh, my Jesus.” OR, “Your mother’s a saint. Your mother’s a saint.” All seven of us got this.
If a saint can steal one truffle, ordinary people of dubious chocolate ethics feel rather liberated to steal several.
“Mom, you don’t realize what you’ve done. You have opened the floodgates.”
“I didn’t steal any of those truffle balls,” Mary Kay bragged. “Mary Kay” has a bad reputation when it comes to stealing chocolate. She once tried to make me open up someone else’s Christmas present, which contained chocolate, so that she could eat a few pieces. She claimed she had an intense headache and only chocolate could save her. Come to think of it, maybe that’s where I got that chocolate-migraine-cure idea from.
“What did you steal?” I said distrustfully. “The truffle material in the refrigerator?”
“Mary Kay” attempted to look noncommittal. But stealing the unformed material was actually much better than stealing the formed truffle balls; forming them is a pain in the neck. My hands kept getting so sticky from chocolate that eventually it was as if they were totally clogged, and I would have to lick them clean (during which period people such as my husband and my brothers and even my brothers-in-law would come out and take pictures of my hands completely covered in chocolate stickiness and say things THEY thought were hilarious about me and chocolate) and then wash my hands thoroughly so I could start over.
It was all very trying and difficult, and I have suffered, and I have had to defend truffles against the world and worse my own mother, and so…that’s probably the reason for the graininess. It was the stress coming out in the cooking. But even though I had to promise to give these thieves actual finished truffles to prevent them from stealing even more, I did manage to defend enough truffles to have three prizes, so I’ll mail them out Friday. Email your address if I don’t have it! And thanks for playing, Joshilyn, Amy, and Dee!