Not long ago, before I worked in a chocolate factory, I would go visiting at friends’ houses and bring a dish to share. They’d ask me to bring my curry dip or my asian wings or even this fabulous red velvet cake I make. It was fun. I loved preparing things I knew they’d love and I loved the accolades I received while they ate them. It was a sense of accomplishment. How times have changed.
These days, when invited to a party or a shindig, I ask the age old question “What can I bring?” I don’t know why I ask. I already know the answer. Chocolate. It never fails. Someone of less confidence might even wonder if my invitation to said event was designed around having me bring chocolates. So, I try to switch it up bringing chocolate truffles to one gathering, chocolate caramel nut clusters to another. Perhaps even some Belgian chocolate pistoles for making chocolate fondue.
Well, this past weekend, I planned to meet friends for opening day at the horse races in Saratoga. What to bring. Hmmm… I could do chocolate covered nuts. I could do our Chocolates of Vermont. But it’s summer and it’s Saratoga and I really wanted to do something different. Something no one would expect.
The idea didn’t come from me. It came from Jim, our owner. He suggested I bring some of our pre-packed pints of ice cream. He even knew how to get dry ice for me so they’d stay frozen for the 2 hour ride. Seemed crazy. Even a little ambitious. But I did it. And it was a huge hit! I think the Chocolate Banana might have been a bigger hit than even the ice cold bottle of Moet that friends sent to our table. Not only was the ice cream just yummy, it was a huge surprise because they never saw it coming. I didn’t win big on the ponies but I did win big with my friends and in the grand scheme, that might be more important.
But now comes the problem. How will I ever top it? They’ve come to expect great things from me and I just don’t know where to go next. Maybe next time I’ll have to make our Ultimate Chocolate Cake. Mmmm mmmm mmmm!