Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Posted This In A Coment

over at Big Brass Blog so I won't be bothering with a crosspost. But it was a cool little moment during the day.

During the email exchanges to get the payment made and the shipping information covered I found out some great information about the lady I bought the tempering machine from. It turns out that she is closing a chocolate shop of her very own and is selling off the equipment. I sent her a link to let her see the truffles and other good stuff that is going to be made using her machine. She then offered to send a grip of molding equipment and other specialized chocolate tools. She said that she would rather have them be used than watch them gather dust. She also asked for a box of the Sofia's Mexicali Spice truffles. Turns out that her name is also Sofia.

I explained to her how the truffles that have names got that way. About five years ago, on a whim, I decided to ramp up and make truffles for my family and friends. I had some down time and it just was something that I wanted to do. A couple of big boxes went to a cousin in Idaho's family. The day after they were received I got a call from his beautiful daughter Audrey. She said "Uncle Steve (I know we're cousins technically but among the Apache "uncle" is a catch all term of endearment for any older male) I was thinking that a great truffle flavor would be S'mores." As soon as the words were out of her mouth I knew exactly how to achieve this. Next batch of truffles I made a run using graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow creme. They were exquisite. Thereafter I called them "Audrey's S'mores." Thing was there were a whole lot of other kids in the family who all began to claim their very own truffles. Sofia was the daughter of a close friend of mine in Mexicali. She is a total charmer and one evening she flat out demanded to have a truffle that was not only named after her, but one that reflected her heritage. There was no way I could refuse. I started sampling mexican chocolates like Ibarra and Arbeulita, but quickly found that they would not do for making a ganache. I instead headed to the spice rack and began to experiment with the proportions. I hit upon a combination of, in order of proportion, cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg, and cloves (all mixed in with a heavy dose of Santeria and VooDoo). It is a complex, and intruiging flavor. A fitting homage to the Aztec and Maya people who were the ones who brought chocolate to us.

Later that same morning my nephew from down the road, a guitar playing demon, came by to say goodbye. I noticed his guitar loving eyes wandering with love and longing over some of the guitars that he has been allowed to have free play with while I lived here. I remembered the generosity of Sofia and her wanting to see things be used and appreciated rather than simply stacked and stored off somewhere. I did a quick inventory and realilzed that the guitars I am mainly planning to use over the course of the next several months were already loaded for the trip so I gave into my impulse and said "Go ahead and pick one of the electrics. It's yours now."

His eyes lit up, first with disbelief and then with joy. He picked one of the Strats that I built myself. I was thinking that was extra perfect because if I need a project post-op to keep from going apeshit building another Strat should I need one would be a great choice. He's going to have a ball with it. He takes a guitar class at his high school and has taken most of my guitars in for it. The homemade Strats were huge hits with the teacher and the class. They are real screamers that beg to be played.


Blogger Angelos said...

Generosity is the greatest thing in the world.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God your stories are cool! That gift was so excellent!

- oddjob

10:00 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i'm almost ready to throw in one of the basses too. there's something that is liberating about passing stuff down the line. it is not only something that he will get a huge kick out of, and will play far more than i will, it's one less thing that i have to pack, ship, tote, and unpack. . .

works out well that way.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

i have always thought that some things end up where they are supposed to go.
i do that, or rather i have the privelege of doing it from time to time. i like to get that feeling.
the one that says a special object has decided to bring a smile to another. you are a very special man.

and those truffles sound like heaven.

7:36 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

they are. it's one of the very few flavored truffles that i don't think would be improved by simply getting the two ingredients together (plain truffle - bowl of raspberries). mixing the spices into the ganache softens them.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous tata said...

Harp & Sword is my favorite reality show! I can't wait to see what that guy does next.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

yep, heaven!

1:38 PM  
Anonymous constant comment said...

So pleased and happy for you that so many things are falling into place for you...

1:54 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

It's a great feeling to pass along something special when you get to be our age.

3:30 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

So pleased and happy for you that so many things are falling into place for you...

it's a constant subject in AA about how to discern if you are acting within "god's will." i tell folks that if anyone else ever tells them that they know the will of god that they have my permission to run the fuck away screaming. but one thing that i've noticed after i sobered up and started wondering about higher meanings and shit like that, is that when something is right and has a high chance of not only being a success but being something that might be good beyond the short moments of present existence they seem to happen effortlessly. it doesn't mean that i sit back and allow stuff to just happen, quite the contrary, i pride myself on my ability to make a sober assesment of situations and then act upon that assesment. it's just that when things fall together without a lot of managing or super heavy duty construction on my part i feel fairly secure that i am not acting outside the bounds of rational thought and action.

i am writing this while set up with a gorgeous view of a lagoon full of egrets, herons, and white pelicans at sunset. it's a beautiful sight and i feel very good to be here. if it were otherwise i'd be taking action.

instead i'll sit here surfing the net, listening to the dropkick murpheys and enjoying my life.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous constant comment said...

I concur with that! And, you did act quickly--I'll say that much for you...(the scene you paint is enviable, by the way).

One of the other cool synchronicities of life is the adage that when you're ready to learn something, the teacher will appear. That's happened too many times to me, it's downright freaky.

Also, another thing that works for me is asking for help or for "a sign" out loud. I refer to this as "throwing it out into the universe." Sometimes it's just speaking out loud the words, "I need to find someone to help me with ..." It's AMAZING how often help appears. Too cool. An example of this is how I found my youngest cat, Blue. I wasn't looking to adopt another cat at the time (I already had three), but I came home one night and saw this little 2-month-old bluepoint Siamese kitten under a car parked in front of my house. It was too wild and wouldn't come to me but I decided at that time that I would adopt her if I could catch her. I caught sight of her a few nights after that but she was too afraid to come to me. I muttered to myself, "I have to find some way to catch this kitten." Two days later, I'm getting ready to go out at 7am and I looked across the street to see this man who was petting this same little kitten. I was astonished--I had never seen him in the hood before this. I asked him if it were his kitten and he said no, that he just feeds the strays in the neighborhood and she follows him. He was thrilled when I told him I wanted to give her a home, so he gave her to me that day. She was a wild little thing for a few years but, eight years later, she has grown to be the most special cat I've ever had and the man, her personal saviour, is still in touch with us. Sorry to go on and on, but this is but only one example of the kinds of things that happen to me on a regular basis.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...


A fine and generous gesture. I have always had a strong impulse to live simply, and to pass things along when their end time with me comes, to the person who next needs them.

There is a great pleasure in knowing that there is someone out there who truly needs something you might have but no longer need, and being able to repatriate it into those grateful hands.

It is the best of recycling, and it has a certain dynamism to it, as though one can be a proper part of the exchange of energy in our little world. To me, a great sadness is the bottlenecking of energy and impulse. Your gift will be cherished, and a repetitious cycle of generosity may issue forth from it. Bravo for living well in your world.

3:25 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

One of the other cool synchronicities of life is the adage that when you're ready to learn something, the teacher will appear. That's happened too many times to me, it's downright freaky.

and i totally agree with that!

one of biggest blessings in my life has been the people that have taught me about life by coming into and most times, out of my life but always helping me learn and grow on my journey.

6:53 AM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

I think it's Madam Karma and she's having a wonderful time visiting you and returning some of your good deeds to you.

7:56 AM  

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