Cocoa bean sacks and bad backs – Week 51
Week 51 notables.
Monday – Since it was 33 degrees at 6:00am (according to accu weather, but there was a boat load of yards with heavy frost so it had be colder) I had to climb into the long johns for the morning doggie walk. Handsome Gus the Border Collie loves this weather. The Chocolate Maker does not.
While climbing back out of long johns, I wrenched my damn back. Felt that twinge shoot down my leg and up my back. I know what’s in store for the next few days. Michelle is going to start off taking care of me and by Wednesday I’ll be dragged to the curb in a body bag. I’m a poor sick and wounded person.
Monday Early Afternoon – Madagascar and Belize cocoa beans arrive. Getting in and out of the fork lift was dicey. Fresh cocoa beans arriving is a day maker.
Monday Late Afternoon – With soreness in my back settling in, Michelle and I watch Greg park, and is barely able to get out of his car. He slipped in the attic getting the Christmas Tree and wrenched his back. This is what he gets for waiting until December 15 to put his tree up. I have no sympathy for him. Michelle is looking at flight schedules.
Tuesday – Skipping doggie walk is not easily sold to Gus, but a squirrel in the back yard gets us off the hook. The day is a long grind. Stuff’s got to get done (day job…zzzzz), and it did. A happy and loyal chocolate customer returns to buy gift sets. The reason I make chocolate is refreshed and pain subsides.
Wednesday – Woke up in bed and not the curb so it’s good start to the day. Back is better, but still tender so Michelle is on her own for doggie walk. It’s 37, clear & crisp, and Gus is ready to go. Cocoa bean cleaning and sorting is a good task to let the mind wander. Six more gift sets to ship out for another returning customer. Michelle and I head in to town to catch up with a friend and client over cocktails and a casual dinner. A lovely evening was had by all.
Thursday – Yes Gus, I can walk again, so we did. Time to roast the cacao. Roasting last of Carenero Superior. We are considering upgrading to Cuyagua for our Venezuela cacao.
Friday – It was 68 degrees this morning. The Chocolate Maker is happy to doggie walk now that Winter has finally returned to Houston. While roasting Belize Jim and Lola Lucas pay a visit. Jim and Lola grow cacao in Brazil and we’ve used their fabulous cocoa beans before. This cacao is among my favorite and we discussed a future delivery. Jim and Lola are a delight to be around.
Saturday – Grinding adjustments made on overnight batches. Its time to temper and mold our new PNG 64. This PNG 64 is really rich & creamy with notes of honey that is met a gentle hint of smoke. The difference between our PNG 70% and PNG 64% is remarkable. The PNG 64, for me, is an outstanding semi sweet chocolate. It’s very complex and interesting and rich enough to tickle the back of my throat. Not overly bitter and not overly sweet. I love this balance in PNG 64.
Sunday – Slept in as long as Gus and Cooper would allow…7:15am. Chocolate shop check, church, lunch, and some football. Back to the chocolate shop to pick up inventory for Monday’s deliveries.
On a scale of 13, the number of the Houston Texans’ losing streak, I give the previous week a 12.6