Chocolate does not like it when it’s hot out. Or when it’s cold… actually, chocolate is quite tempermental, but we’ll leave that for another discussion. Since last summer, we’ve done even more research on how best to protect our chocolates as they traipse across the country and locally in hot, hot weather. Sitting in percolating USPS trucks, which we learned last month from our local postal worker have no air conditioning, and are required (understandably for security purposes) to have the windows and doors locked shut when no one is inside. Being left in a black mailbox in the sun for hours on end despite our “Don’t leave in Sun” “Fragile” labeling. It causes us nightmares.
So our plan for the summer (June – mid September), and we apologize in advance, is to have everything shipped by USPS Express, 24 hours, using a biodegradable heavy duty insulation material and ice. Hardcore. We’ve been trying to avoid this like the plague, as this adds on to the shipping costs in a big way, but now we know the chocolates will arrive looking fine and dandy and solid, and we’ll be able to get some sleep.
This week, Catharine and Elaine took a field trip to visit with Jason McCrae and his crew down in Hyde Park at McCrae’s Caramels. We make very small batches of caramel on our stovetop in big stockpots, and thought it would be great to see how the “big” guys do it. They make batch sizes ranging from stovetop to a 15 lb cooker (a real beauty) to a big old copper cooker that makes at least 30 lbs. But what we really came down to see was the caramel wrapper. We wrap ours by hand, and so did they when they started. But now they have two of these lovely red wrapping machines. Oh my…
In turn, we hosted Macaron Sweeterie this week for a little visit in our kitchen and made a return visit on Friday to their very sweet (in more ways than one) shop in Lexington. Macaron Sweeterie is the only macaron shop in the Boston area that has multiple flavors of freshly made macarons each day. The texture has just the right balance of crunch and chew with a very smooth filling. And look at these amazing colors! Please note, there were at least another 5-7 different macarons in the display that I couldn’t fit in the photo :) . -e