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Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

Yahoo Weather said we'd be having a sunny day, high of 51. Woke up and it was snowing! It snowed all day, we must of had about 5 inches of snow. You'd think with the advancements of technology, they would of seen this one coming.

We're not much of a Valentine's couple. We try to have dinner together, but don't go buy a bunch of stuff for each other. David got me some Super Nutty Toffee Clusters cereal, and I got him some bike stickers (which hasn't come in the mail yet.) And just some candy for the kids.

Valentine's in Japan is kinda different. The WOMEN give the men chocolate. Yes, you read that right. It's not a day where you show your love, but a day taken over by the chocolate industry. Half of the annual chocolate sales are during the days leading up to Valentines. Being a country where you don't express yourself, this is one day the girls can express their feelings. But not only do they give to people they like, they also have to give other guys in their life, called "giri choco" or "obligation chocolate." These are guys like their bosses, friends, etc, that aren't "special" but you have to give to be polite. So they get these little, cute chocolate, the "special" guys get bigger, or homemade chocolate. I guess the more chocolates a guy gets, the more his ego is stroked. Most guys I know aren't big fans of chocolate. I wouldn't think they'd be happy getting all those chocolate, the girlfriend might be though. Being a male dominated country, if they're going to make a day for themselves, you'd think they would of chosen something other than chocolate! Well, what about the women? That comes a month later, on White Day (March 14th), when the men give something to the women. And this is only celebrated in Japan. Japan's a neat country, but they're strange sometimes.

I bet it's psychological, but I usually start craving chocolate around this time. Dark chocolate covered caramels from Trader Joe's is one of my favorite chocolates. So I tried making these again. Creamy caramels, a little too soft for it didn't hold its shape during the dipping, but still tastes GOOD.
Another favorite is Scotchmallow from See's candies. Caramel and marshmallow dipped in dark chocolate. So I tried making a couple of these with my caramels and some store bought marshmallow. A little more work, but YUUUUMMY! Also made some English Toffee (forgot to take pics, sorry ^_^ )
My first sourdough bread with my new starter. Unfortunately, it didn't taste "sour", but still had the dense sourdough bread texture. King Arthur had given me two recipes, one for begineers which is quicker and uses instant yeast, the other has no yeast and takes a little longer. This was the beginner recipe. Still good bread, and we were happy, but next time I'll try the advanced recipe.

Dinner was the bread and some homemade clam chowder.
And for dessert, cream puffs. I think I need to learn how to make better whipped cream. I laid a little custard on the bottom, and then added some whipped cream. Drizzled some chocolate on top and some powdered sugar. Looks better than it tasted, but was worth trying.

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