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tammylc

Report: 2008 Heartland Gathering in Chicago

158 posts in this topic

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I took the picture before I realized I'd forgotten to add the olives.  Once the platters hit the tables, I ran around with the olive container and added them.

Though the olives are missing, this photo best captures my memory of that Nicoise-ish salad. I confess I had low expectations. When I heard Randi was making a "composed salad" along the lines of a Nicoise I thought well, okay, that's a boring dish, but at least there will be some tuna. Then I heard she was using swordfish instead of tuna. I also never saw the prep for this item because I was preoccupied with being useless in various ways elsewhere. So I was totally unprepared for the sublime composition that came out to the tables.

The stars of the dish were the potatoes and radishes, though the beans and lettuces provided good support. In addition to being beautiful, everything came together with a restrained application of dressing. And the swordfish, which I believe came from Whole Foods, was juicy and an unexpectedly great complement to all the produce.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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A few more....

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shrimp

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creme brulee chocholates. I think these were my favorite dessert. I love them!!

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assorted desserts

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nxstasty's dessert(what was this called?)

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frying away

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stacy,( santo- grace's friend). Kerry beal

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Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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Incredible spread of food, everyone! You all are amazing!

Cali, the salad is almost too pretty to eat--notice I said almost :biggrin:

The rib people--gorgeous ribs--makes me want to sink my teeth into one

OH and the chicken and waffles and the pigs in blankets and the desserts and the breads and and and....*drool*

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nxstasty's dessert(what was this called?)

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Chocolate Velvet, from the Four Seasons in New York.
Edited by nsxtasy (log)

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So while I was doing a few things in the kitchen on Saturday I handed my camera to Stacy - a friend of santo grace - and asked her to take pictures while we prepped and cooked.  I finally had a chance to look through them tonight - and picked out a few to post.  She took some wonderful pictures. 

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Ratatouille.

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One of my pictures from the river architectural tour (thank you Rona for telling us about this).

Stacey was very happy to take pictures.

I think the ratatouille picture is my favorite - probably because it was my favorite dish. Too good for words.

I'm so glad you all did the boat cruise. It is a great way to see Chicago and very relaxing to cruise the river.


I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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I thought it was a fine moment when I announced the arrival of the ratatouille and couldn't remember the name of the film in which confit bayaldi had been featured.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That's cool! What other things did folks learn at the Gathering?

Take no backwards steps, and watch the sidewalk on maxwell street.

Good news - Cle Dr. says i'll be out of this sling in one week!


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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That's cool! What other things did folks learn at the Gathering?

Take no backwards steps, and watch the sidewalk on maxwell street.

Good news - Cle Dr. says i'll be out of this sling in one week!

I also learned its nice to be in a group with not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 doctors. There wasnt too much they could do, but it was comforting ( to me anyway) to know they were there!!


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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That's cool! What other things did folks learn at the Gathering?

Take no backwards steps, and watch the sidewalk on maxwell street.

Good news - Cle Dr. says i'll be out of this sling in one week!

I also learned its nice to be in a group with not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 doctors. There wasnt too much they could do, but it was comforting ( to me anyway) to know they were there!!

I actually appreciated the firefighter who was with the LTH group - lifting someone off the pavement was better done by him than any one of us docs.

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What a wonderful time. We were delighted to meet the faces behind the posts. Not only great noshing but we learned a great deal about fellow gulleteers recent travels. Pigs in the Blanket are also called "Poor Mans' Beef Wellington".


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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This is akin to looking at pictures at a Family Reunion, and you know how we feel about THOSE Down South. These are MY PEOPLE!!!

So, could someone---anyone, put some screen names AND real names to the first, second, once-removed and last cousins? It's such a treat to meet everyone, and I'm anxious to put face and name together.

Please---especially on the seated-at-the-family-tables pictures, with everyone looking into the lens.

And KUDOS, trumpets, flights of angelsong to everybody who worked and cooked and organized and washed dishes and deep-fried and brought all manner of manna to the proceedings.

PS---I'm delighted that Y'all are not of the anti-food-pics persuasion!!! I just LOVE this.

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This is akin to looking at pictures at a Family Reunion, and you know how we feel about THOSE Down South.   These are MY PEOPLE!!!

So, could someone---anyone, put some screen names AND real names to the first, second, once-removed and last cousins?   It's such a treat to meet everyone, and I'm anxious to put face and name together.

Please---especially on the seated-at-the-family-tables pictures, with everyone looking into the lens.

I can do this for the table at which I was seated:

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Going around the table clockwise, starting with myself at the far end in the Princeton t-shirt:

Ken - nsxtasy

Beth - HOLLY_L

Hwa - einberliner

Richard - companion of LAZ

Leah - LAZ

Hillary - hsm

Tom - nr706

Sharon - companion of nr706

Kathy - companion of nsxtasy


Edited by nsxtasy (log)

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I can do this for the table at which I was seated:

gallery_34671_2649_1424.jpg

Going around the table clockwise, starting with myself at the far end in the Princeton t-shirt:

Ken - nsxtasy

Beth - HOLLY_L

Hwa - einberliner

Richard - companion of LAZ

Leah - LAZ

Hillary - hsm

Tom - nr706

Sharon - companion of nr706

Kathy - companion of nsxtasy


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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And a special thank you to Dr Kerry Beal, who kept me calm and triaged until the EMTs arrived.

That's cool! What other things did folks learn at the Gathering?

Take no backwards steps, and watch the sidewalk on maxwell street.

Good news - Cle Dr. says i'll be out of this sling in one week!

I also learned its nice to be in a group with not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 doctors. There wasnt too much they could do, but it was comforting ( to me anyway) to know they were there!!


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Had to have a couple of pictures of Rona - not to allow her to be upstaged by her mom Cecilia.

That's my Gavin impression (a la Kids in the Hall)! OK, I'm actually a lot like Gavin in real life, too, so it's not just an impression...

I think one of the table pics is missing--my table! It's all about me, doncha know. :raz:

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For my table, clockwise from the far left:

Toby - nyokie6

Ron - Toby's spouse

Maggie (aka Margaret) - maggiethecat

Lou - Maggie's spouse

Ann - Alex's spouse

Richard - Alex

Cathy - Cathy2 (LTH)

Randi - CaliPoutine

Kerry - Kerry Beal

Steve - Fresser

Please let me know if I got any of this wrong; I'll correct it ASAP.

(Edited to add Cathy's name -- see CaliPoutine's reply three posts down.)


Edited by Alex (log)

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

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I think one of the table pics is missing--my table!  It's all about me, doncha know.  :raz:

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Mea culpa. I'd uploaded it, just didn't move it over - I'd better look and see which others I missed.

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Ethnic Market Amuse (tammylc, Fat Guy, Torakris and a lot of sous chefs)

- the challenge - at least one ingredient from every one of the ethnic markets

- the result:

1) fried plantain chip with apricot/mango schmear, smoked goose breast, asian pear, and chives (Filipino, Armenian/Middle Eastern, German, Korean)

2) crostini with smoked trout, fried quail egg, and dill. (Polish, Korean)

I've been meaning to go into more detail here. I hope I remember everything correctly.

The Niles/Milwaukee Avenue ethnic shopping tour, led by Leah and her husband Dick, was to take us to six ethnic markets, though in the end it wound up being five because we ran a bit short of time and had to edit out a stop.

The first stop was Uni-Mart One Stop, a Filipino grocery. They gave us a great reception: we got a guided tour, they put out lots of samples of food for us to taste, they sent us away with gift bags, and they even did a press release about how they hosted us (maybe someone has it so we can post it). Anyway, while we were there, Tammy came up with the pain-in-the-ass idea that her amuse course (which I was to assist with) should include an ingredient from each of the ethnic markets we were to visit.

At the Uni-Mart One Stop, I argued for calamari (which I volunteered Kris Yamaguchi to fry) but Tammy came up with the idea of buying a bunch of plantains and making plantain chips to act as foundations (which I volunteered Kris Yamaguchi to fry). So we did that.

Next, at Schmeisser's, we spied some smoked goose breast and the woman at the counter was nice enough to make very thin slices for us. The plan took shape: we'd do one plantain chip with smoked goose breast and some sort of Asian condiment (at the time I was thinking kimchi or a pickle) and one plantain chip with something from the forthcoming Russian smoked fish place plus a Middle Eastern condiment. But when we tasted the smoked goose breast it was very salty, so the idea of kimchi or a pickle with it seemed a bit much. We were still thinking. The folks at Schmeisser's were super-nice and took us in back to see the sausage-making and smoking operation.

At H-Mart, we wound up getting two ingredients: Asian pear, which we intended to use with the goose breast, and quail eggs, which we figured would go with the smoked fish. The welcome we received at H-Mart, by the way, was amazing. Not only were there gift bags but also there was a video presentation about traditional Korean table service.

After H-Mart, we took an ice-cream break (Leah and Dick got us assorted Asian-inflected ice creams from the Village Creamery). It was then that Leah and Dick decided, based on time constraints, to ditch the Russian smoked fish place.

At our next stop, the Niles Polish Deli, however, they had some mighty nice looking smoked trout. So we bought two of them.

Finally, we stopped at a Middle Eastern market that I believe was named Arax. There I (foolishly it turns out) convinced Tammy to get a sheet of apricot paste. I figured it would be like quince paste but with apricot, but instead it was more like an apricot Jolly Rancher. Our prep crew couldn't cut it and when Tammy put it in the Cuisinart with some of the mango nectar from the Uni-Mart One Stop gift bags we almost destroyed the Cuisinart.

Heat couldn't break down this substance either so, after trying to cook it in a saucepan for a while, we dumped everything in Edsel's Vita-Mix. That did the trick, and we wound up with a pretty swell tasting mango-apricot creamy puree thing.

Meanwhile, Kris painstakingly fried the plantain chips twice. First she fried them, then she sat on the floor and flattened each one with the bottom of a glass, then she fried each one again. She did this for 50+ chips. For the other half of the amuse, at some point Tammy had made the executive decision to use crostini.

We also had help from White Lotus and another person (raise your hand please) in making julienne of Asian pear.

So, in the end, the amuse was two items. The first was crostini with smoked trout topped with a quail egg and garnished with some chives. The second was a plantain chip with a schmear of apricot-mango stuff, topped with smoked goose breast, julienne Asian pear and a little dill. The trout-and-quail-egg one came out as we imagined it would. The plantain-with-goose, when we did a preliminary taste test, was too sweet and not salty enough. This even though our whole premise had been to minimize the saltiness of the goose. So we wound up asking Kris to salt the plantain chips and we added the dill to the ingredients list. In the end this part of the amuse was not, in my opinion, fabulous but it was pretty good and it met the ethnic challenge. I loved the trout and egg, but there were some little bones in some portions that made it difficult to navigate.

Maybe someone can supplement with a photo.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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For my table, clockwise from the far left:

Toby - nyokie6

Ron - Toby's spouse

Maggie (aka Margaret) - maggiethecat

Lou - Maggie's spouse

Ann - Alex's spouse

Richard - Alex

a friend of the family whose name I forgot -- help!

Randi - CaliPoutine

Kerry - Kerry Beal

Steve - Fresser

Please let me know if I got any of this wrong; I'll correct it ASAP.

The woman between Richard and myself is Cathy2( on LTH forum). I'm not sure if thats her Eg name too.

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Here are some pics from the Maxwell Street Market Tour

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This tamale was excellent. Dare I say I liked it better than the tamale I had at Frontera Grill on Tuesday?

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fat guy and edsel

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These were great too. I can't remember the last time I had a homeade tortilla. They used it to make a corn fungus( formal name is?)taco. That was a bit strange for me.

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Corn fungus

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A whole lotta chilies.


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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For my table, clockwise from the far left:

Toby - nyokie6

Ron - Toby's spouse

Maggie (aka Margaret) - maggiethecat

Lou - Maggie's spouse

Ann - Alex's spouse

Richard - Alex

a friend of the family whose name I forgot -- help!

Randi - CaliPoutine

Kerry - Kerry Beal

Steve - Fresser

Please let me know if I got any of this wrong; I'll correct it ASAP.

The woman between Richard and myself is Cathy2( on LTH forum). I'm not sure if thats her Eg name too.

Thanks, Randi. IIRC, her real-life name is Cathy, too (Ha! -- Cathy2). I don't think she has an eG name. I'll edit my post right now.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

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The other person would be Hwa.  Not sure of her eG name.

Hwa's eGullet name is "einberliner." But I'm not sure why, as she resembles neither President Kennedy nor a jelly doughnut. :blink:


There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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    • By Bu Pun Su
      French food is my favorite cuisine and l’Arpege is my favorite restaurant. Currently, entering the 4th year that I haven’t returned to l’Arpege (Since ’06, I usually make an effort to go there at least once every 2 years). At the very least I had a chance to savor Alain Passard’s cuisine in late ’12 when he became a guest Chef at Beaufort hotel Sentosa – the most memorable part was when Alain personally cooked 2 Brittany lobsters for me. Fortunately, Singapore has a restaurant owned and run by Passard’s apprentice & his former sous chef, Gunther Hubrechsen. Therefore, whenever I crave for (home-style) French cooking that’s light, delicate and delicious, I often come here. Similar to my Les Amis’ experience, I’ve actually been here about 4 times since 2008 but never wrote a (serious) review even once. As a matter of fact, Gunther’s is one of my favorite restaurants in Singapore
      I had dinner at Gunther’s in the same week as my meal at Les Amis. On purpose, I ordered carte-blanche here with similar budget to the Les Amis’ degustation menu. I wondered how these 2 elite gastronomy restaurants (cooking nouvelle cuisine without any molecular element) would fare against each other. A short comparison in a glance,
      Les Amis = 7 courses including one dessert. 2 courses with caviar and 3 courses with black truffle. There were scallop, lobster and wagyu beef
      Gunther’s = 8 courses with a dessert. 1 dish with caviar and also 3 courses with black truffle. There were scallop, gambas and wagyu beef
      Anyway, I ate and enjoyed very much the following stuffs at Gunther’s (my top 3 dishes):
      1st: cold angel hair pasta with Oscietra caviar - the restaurant’s most well-known dish and Chef Hubrechsen should be proud of it. It’s the 3rd time I savor this dish; it’s still very delicious – the flavor, the smells, the texture and all other elements were spot on. High degree of consistency...
      5th: carabinero gambas with tomato rice – given how far Spain from Singapore is, the kitchen did a good job in preparing this prawn. I tasted the gambas’ freshness and sweet flavor; it’s well-seasoned too. The Japanese rice cooked with the prawn’s stock and tomato was pleasant except I prefer rice with firmer texture (like in risotto or paella)
      6th: grilled scallop with black truffle – the main highlight of my meal. The Hokkaido scallop was juicy and tender though not as tasty as the one I had at Les Amis. However, it’s well-enhanced by the sublime and sweet caramelized onion below as well as the pungent winter truffle aroma and flavor on top of it. I liked the onion very much here – a good example how Gunther brought out the essence of its ingredient; possibly the closest one (in terms of ‘deliciousness’) to the Passard’s perfect onion gratin with parmesan that looks deceptively simple
      What makes Gunther’s special is that the talented Belgian chef-owner is capable of generating many different kind of ‘unassuming’ dishes and elevating them to higher level using no more than 3 fresh produce on each plate. It seems modest at times, but actually quite sophisticated. Let me describe a few more dishes I had,
      4th: roasted garlic with onion essence – if I had to pick one dish I like the least, it’s probably the one. The roasted garlic had smooth texture and good smell, well-integrated with mascarpone sauce. However, I found the (garlic) portion was too big. After consuming 2/3 of them, I just swallowed the rest (almost no chewing) so that I wouldn’t be too stuffed and/or dilute my palate for the next dishes
      7th: Char grilled wagyu beef in bordelaise sauce – this was the main course served in a nice portion with a right amount of “fat”. Delicate Japanese beef was generally a safe choice; the chef didn’t do too much and just allowed the natural flavor of high quality wagyu to shine. The sauce and the grilled corn were precisely executed. Nothing wow but it’s hard not to like Japanese beef J
      8th: Truffle parfait – dessert. It’s a soft and light vanilla ice cream served with rich chocolate brownie and topped with aromatic smell induced by the Perigord truffle (having slight peppery taste). I hardly eat dessert with truffle in it. This one was sweet and rather delicious
      There were a couple more dishes I had and you can see/read them on the picture link below. For the meal, I drank 2 glasses of wine. The first glass was 2010 Vincent girardin chassagne-Montrachet; it’s rich and creamy with buttery aromas. The second one was 2009 Black quail Pinot noir; it’s medium bodied with dark berries delicate fragrance and dry finish in slight acidity – a quite refined pinot noir that surprisingly went along nicely with my scallop dish (of course, better with the beef). Oh before I forget, this place only offers one type of bread and butter – to be exact warm mini baguette and salted butter served at room temperature – simple but good; I ate 3 baguettes if not mistaken. The meal ended with a petit four consisting of a green tea macaron and canele – both were fine.
      It was a quiet evening, about half of the restaurant’s capacity was filled. Probably most people were still busy to attend reunion dinner with their friends and colleagues. The dining room decoration was minimalist dominated by dark grey color for the walls (some paintings were hung on them) and medium lighting. This way guests would not feel overwhelmed and the food took center stage. The staffs were polite and helpful without being intrusive. Besides the sommelier, one friendly “Indian” maitre d’ and the greeter, most of restaurants’ FOH staffs were relatively new. Chef Hubrechsen, usually visiting the dining room to greet guests, explained that the staffs turnover at Singapore restaurants were still very high; he even did not have any permanent sous chef assisting him in the kitchen. So the good thing is that it’s almost guaranteed Gunther himself would always be in the kitchen daily to ensure food quality.
      I gave my overall meal experience at Gunther’s nearly 94 pts (a good 2 ¼* by Michelin standard) and it meant about the same level as Shinji by Kanesaka Singapore and Eric Frechon’s Le Bristol, seriously. Another lovely meal, and overall it ranked as the most memorable one I’ve ever had here. Well, there was no bad meal experience at Gunther’s. Hope I can return again sometimes next year, even better if not on my own expenses. Lastly, I prefer this place over Les Amis by a small margin. Check here for pictures, https://picasaweb.google.com/118237905546308956881/GuntherSRestaurantSingapore#
    • By Kerry Beal
      Today we started out with a trip to the college to start getting ourselves set up for tomorrow. Then at 10 am we met at ChocolateFX and started our tour. Of course hair nets are obligatory if you are going to go into a food manufacturing facility!

      Wilma and Art had the small pan set up so that we could pan some raisins.

      Here's Pat (psantucc), with beard appropriately netted, applying some chocolate to the raisins.

      Ava (FrogPrincesse's little one) preparing to add more chocolate, Kyle helping and FrogPrincesse awaiting her turn.

      The fancy packing machine.

      Listening with rapt attention to Wilma explaining the making of ganache truffles in the round silicone molds.
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