A taste of Norge

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In another life I would be a professional chocolate taster; in another life I would also have a model’s figure…

While I was in Australia I got an email from a workmate which said
“a package of chocolate has arrived for you from Norway.  What do you want me to do with it?”    (the ruin of an international surprise is the customs form!!).

I promised that if she locked it up in her cabinet I would share the chocolate with her when I got back.  That was before I realised how much I was going to have to share 🙂   There was a wonderful selection to sample  (here is the package minus a bar – a Stratos which was a malted chocolate and which was devoured before I thought to get my camera out!) …

So for 5 days now we’ve cut a bar in half and evaluated the chocolate.    So far the nicest has been the Cuba –  lovely texture and smooth taste.  The bar with the coolest wrapper (the Nero) was disappointing as I discovered it was chocolate coated licorice and I hate licorice –  my friend was pleased as she got that entire bar!

The tasting continues this week as we have 1 bar left and 4 blocks (each block is big enough to be consumed over a couple of days –  at least that’s the plan for now….)

This is so much fun!   First getting the chocolates from England and now Irony supplying Norske sjokolade.    I *love* this game!

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Obviously ….

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Tonight my train operator said "Please use all open doors; please use all open doors" …

And I thought today was going to be the day I could walk through doors.

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I know I did a lot of complaining about the heat while I was in Australia but do I have to be punished now by this hideous cold?   The wind is just plain spiteful.

When I was home, the princess shouted me to brunch at the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar.  Their menu includes:  Danish Toffee Chocolate, Italian thick chocolate, Mexican spicy chocolate;  warm Belgian waffles drizzled in chocolate and chocolate pizza.   We had a Tutti Frutti waffle between us.  The menu is here if you are interested.

This is a big pot of melted chocolate: 


Which then travels along the pipes to the prep area: 


Mmmm….  eat more chocolate; get bikini body?   Well obviously! 

  

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Goodies…

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The manservant did a great job for last night's dinner party; coming up with 4 dishes for our enjoyment:   green string beans, an eggplant dish,  delicious chicken with black beans and prawns cooked with a lot of peppers and chillies. 

My contribution was mini profiteroles and eclairs with 4 different icecreams – yes, not a whole lot of effort on my part! 

It was a really enjoyable night – we have some really interesting friends.  And, I love guests who bring goodies (though it is not a pre-requisite to visit us):

One couple provided hand "painted" truffles: deliciously rich!

And the other couple brought this: 

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Last Cast

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I had a lovely morning re-visiting the couch before my doctor's appointment this afternoon.  He took the stitches out  -  I snapped a photo before the extraction and after  – they are blurry because I didn't have my glasses on to see if my camera was focusing – it was not!!   (for the curious the poor quality photos are in the photo section).

I got my wish for a green cast….  it is quite a nice shade of green really – and lighter than it seems to be in the photo:

In 2 weeks and 2 days this cast absolutely comes off ….   this is really good news!!  I will go into an air-boot then -  it is possible that I might still be on crutches though until I can put weight on my foot without pain.  But at least the air-boot can come off at night.  

The manservant promised me chocolates if I was a good girl when the stitches were being taken out.  After 4 weeks threaded in my skin it did feel as though the doctor was having to rip them out and a couple of times I winced and jerked about as it hurt.  There were no tears though so the manservant raced into a store and got these:

Which look like this inside the box: (and taste delicious inside the mouth!).   

I am so happy about this being the last cast that I am going to have a glass of wine tonight.  I have not had alcohol for 4 weeks and 2 days (I had to stop before the surgery)  -  I suppose I didn't notice the withdrawal symptoms with everything else going on!  ha ha.   I did clear it with my doctor considering I am still on the Lyrica but he said I deserved some – and I will have about 4 hours between imbibing and downing the drugs!    This is what I am going to drink:


It was a good day – but it is going to be a better one on October 6th!  I never thought I would say I am looking forward to being in a cam-walker (airboot)!!!!  

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The last prick….

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I have given myself the last shot in the stomach!!!  Well, it's not actually into  the stomach, but rather into the subcutaneous fat.  Over the past 12 days I have made little red holes and bruises around my tummy.

When first told that I was going to have to inject myself to prevent blood clots in my leg I was grossed out by the whole idea – funny, if I'd been told to inject someone else  that wouldn't have been a problem at all!

I was given instructions:
* Do not inject within a 2" diameter of the navel – to avoid hitting any large veins (good advice & studiously followed!)
* Clean the chosen area with alcohol (not the drinking kind) and allow the site to dry (it stings if it's not dry – it really does !!)
* Pull up a fold of skin and inject at a 90 degree angle – I was never really sure if they meant 90 degrees relative to the top of my pinch or relative to the side of the pile.  
*Inject alternate sides of the stomach (this gives the other side time to recover from poor needlework)

What I discovered:
My diet is not working & I have more fat on the left hand side of my belly!

So …..  I was quite excited getting ready for the last shot.   Of course, this could have been because I was about to get  my "reward" for sticking with it  – the astro-dweeb man-servant had bought me a box of delicious Godiva – thanks to Queen of Fractal Beauty  for the "hint link"!   🙂
   

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Second Round ….

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More random things about me – for SandyU  who tagged me……..

1.  I love Plain Non-Fat yogurt.  I have it for lunch every day.  My lunch has never been stolen out of the work fridge.

2. I do not watch any "reality" TV shows  – I seem to be the only person I know who doesn't.  However, I did watch the first season of Survivor all those years ago.

3.  I have peroneal tendonitis in my left foot.  I have had it for 2 years now.  I don't think it is ever going to get better – it is an "overuse" injury and I just can't see how you can not use your foot.

4.  I admit to having owned some Abba cassettes – but surely I did not purchase them myself! 🙂

5.  For seven years I lived in a 12-storey apartment block with hundreds of others and only learnt the name of one neighbour.  Ophelia!  A fabulous name  – I wish I was called Ophelia. My father wanted to call me Fleur – I'm glad my mother resisted – though Fleur would be a good Vox name. 

6.  I think of worst case scenarios for every situation.  I am a "what if worrier".  What if robbers suddenly appeared to rob that armoured truck as I'm walking past,  what if my waiter just sneezed all over my plate and has some incurable disease spread by "droplets"; what if the plane really does have to make a water landing; what if the life jacket is not under the seat;  what if ….. you get the idea!

7.  I have morning "tea" at 10am every morning – weekday & weekends. Though this actually consists of coffee rather than tea; if I miss out for any reason I turn into a very nasty person.

8. I have probably eaten tons of chocolate in my lifetime.  I have still not perfected the art of making a box last longer than a day.  I intend to continue practising on this!

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Yesterday

We "gaggle of girls'  had so much fun yesterday.   There were 10 of us; much was imbibed and many good stories were told. The combined age was in excess of 500 years so there was a lot of life experience to share!

As three of us are in the "chub club" (will have to do a blog on that soon) I provided carrots, celery, peppers and wholemeal "healthier" crackers to plunge into a homus dip and guacamole.  Not so healthy were the gorgonzola & bacon bites or cheeses and definitely not that fabulously rich chocolate cake which was actually called Ecstasy Chocolate!

Miss D brought over her tea making set so that when we were sick of wine she set to making tea with all the appropriate timing and ceremony  – very entertaining. Especially the part where she asked where the kettle was….   kettle?   we don't have a kettle ….. (considered a non-essential item like the grater of a previous post).  Water had to be boiled in a saucepan and then very carefully poured into her little tea maker.
Myself and two others were considered quite anti-social as we drank our coffee!!

This is Miss D starting a tea – assisted by Rach with her glass of kahlua!

I did not get my grandmother's cups out of the cabinet as they are way too precious to me. When my grandmother was in her late 80's it was considered time that she went into a retirement village and so the grandchildren were invited to 'raid' her house for things that they might like to have.  I flew from Sydney to Dubbo and drove to Narromine and selected things I would like to have – it seemed sad and somehow wrong to be doing this though Nan wanted it.

As well as the gorgeous tea cups & plates I chose a crystal ashtray which she and Papa and got in Paris during a world trip in the late 1950's, an art deco style water jug and 6 matching glasses and a glass compote bowl. I also received a couple of etchings and a watercolour that Papa had done as well as a leather box he had crafted during WW2. 

When I was moving to America I agonised over these precious items.  I did not want to part with them but the logistics of getting them here in one piece seemed frightening!

I put tissues around those fragile little handles and filled the cups with cotton wool; the glasses were filled with cotton wool also.  I then wrapped them in many layers of bubble wrap.  In an Australia Post box I put a small blanket in first to line it and then my precious items, laying the blanket over the top as well.  I think I had three, maybe four, boxes because of the bulky packaging. 

I then entrusted them to not only Australia Post but also to Qantas airlines and the United States Postal Services!!!! 
I sent them by Economy Air (a service that no longer exists) where they were flown to Los Angeles and then trucked across America by USPS before being delivered by parcel post.

They were on display in our apartment for 7.5 years and 3 months ago when we moved into our house they were moved by the astro-dweeb as I considered them as important as his electronics/computers  -  i.e.  too precious to be trusted to the movers!!

They have travelled many miles without one crack, chip or breakage and every day I appreciate not only the beauty of them but the history that comes with them.  

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That Christmas Godiva

 

For those of you wondering about my Christmas Godiva …….

This is what my $60 box of Godiva looks like:

 

 

 

 

This is what it looks like inside….

 

 

 

 

A close up of the tops which are hand painted:

 

 

They are:

Apple crumb pie; Chocolate cream pie; Pumpkin pie; Pecan pie; Strawberry Rhubarb pie; Chocolate Peanut Butter pie; Key Lime pie and Coconut Cream pie.

It is now 3 days since I opened these and not one has been eaten!!!!   They just look too beautiful to eat.   I will have to check the use-by date to see how long I have to simply admire them.

 

 

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Well, you all know what…

I've been doing for the past couple of days!   Eating my way through a lot of chocolate!

 

I  also re-discovered the well known fact that although we think we will, we never do remember what that  unlabelled package in the freezer is!    I seem to have a lot of “what the hell is this”  stuff!  Of course I did not throw it away because I might remember what it is!

 

And I discovered that we have a house guest – a really blatant mouse!   I had left a packet of corn chips on the bench and when I went out to investigate the rustling noise I spied a mouse running away.   So … traps were purchased and placed strategically around the oven, the back of which seems to be home to the pest.

 

Our mouse does not like cheese apparently  – the traps are undisturbed – but last night I heard rustling again and when I turned the light on, the mouse was sitting there eating dried bananas!!  It looked at me nonchalantly, picked up another piece of dried banana and just trotted off steadily across the bench to the corner of the oven, where it turned its little rodent head to look at me again before disappearing!    I’m starting to have images of the Willard movie!!

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