Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Third Day of the Rest of My Life

Peppermint Bark

I feel like the reset button has been pushed on my life. Last Friday was my last day of work. Not my last day of work until maternity leave was through, but my last day of work. As in, I no longer have a job outside the home (by choice). My new job is of the frighteningly traditional domestic sort. Needless to say, there are some mixed feelings, including a healthy dose of anxiety, that go with this choice*, but I'm pretty sure this is the right decision for our family for the moment.

This week I'm embracing the domestic. Albeit slowly, since being 37(!) weeks pregnant does not allow for sudden movements. Yesterday I spent a bit of the afternoon making the suddenly ubiquitous peppermint bark. I remember my mom making it with confectioner's coating and smashed starlight mints when I was a kid. I, however, now have a taste for the layered dark and white chocolate version so popular now. I thought that making it would be a cinch: layer some melted chocolate, incorporate some peppermint extract and pile on some crushed mints. Easy right? Um, not quite.

All of the recipes I saw called for the bark to be stored in the refrigerator. Why? Tempering. Or, rather, a lack thereof. If you just melt chocolate and allow it to cool, you lose the temper- the snap, the shininess, and the solidity at room temperature. So, in order to make something simple more difficult, I followed the "seed method" directions at Cooking For Engineers, and somehow managed to temper my chocolate. And my white chocolate. And produced three pounds of non-refrigerated peppermint bark.

Hmm, this domestic stuff is not so bad so far...

*I also feel very fortunate to even have this choice both financially and career-wise.

No comments: