Issue 1 Volume 2 August 2000
by Ed Holt
The M and M Counting Book -
Okay, I have to say it, "why didn't I think of think of this!" A book that uses M&M's to teach counting, colors, and ties in a national candy company. Barbara you're a genius! This was an instant best seller. I wish my mother had this book; of course I'd probably be 100 pounds heavier and only know six colors. But what price should we pay for education?
The book teaches children to count to 12 and uses, artfully so, those cute little M&M's buddies. Since we are a branded society, why not use it to our advantage and teach our children at the same time. The hardcover book is made of sturdy material so those sticky little fingers don't mess it up. OOPS, but "M&M's melt in your mouth not in your hands."
This book is cute, cuddly, and full of great little exercises, but the best part is your child gets to eat his/her homework after it's graded. My only suggestion to Barbieri McGrath for future corporate allied, educational books - how about an adult version that features Godiva or Lindt chocolates so I could learn to balance my checkbook.
Chocolate Stout Silk Pie
This is a great recipe for those of us that love chocolate and love beer! This pie combines the best of both worlds. Who said you couldn't have your pie and eat it too. Of course this pie is for those 21 or older.
Serves 6-8 Crust: 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers 1/3 cup melted butter (no stinkin' store bought's for us - but, hey, no one will know if you do)
Filling 12 oz. semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips work well - if that's all you have)
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Add melted butter to crushed graham crackers and mix until well blended. Using fingers, press crust mixture into bottom and up the sides of a pie pan. Bake crust for about 6 minutes until set.
Place chocolate, marshmallows and salt in a blender. Blend until well mixed and chocolate is finely ground.
In two separate saucepans (in order to prevent curdling), heat stout and evaporated milk until very hot, but not boiling. Pour stout and milk into blender and blend for one minute. Add vanilla and creme de cacao and blend. Pour into the crust and refrigerate overnight. Garnish with whipped cream and EAT!!!! But, please do not operate heavy machinery, or drive while under the influence of this pie.
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Why Should I Care?
by Ed Holt
We love chocolate, we know it has health benefits, we know it has psychological benefits, but do we really know where it comes from and what’s in it? Most of us don’t necessarily think of the origin of our chocolate, or the farmer that produced it. But we should.
The issues of non-organic agriculture, the uses of pesticides, and the issue of fair trade are all linked. Especially since most all of the world’s cocoa beans are produced in Third World countries with little or no pesticide regulations, and little or no fair labor laws. As chocolate consumers we really know in conventional chocolate, or how it was grown. However, that which benefits the planet has to benefit the growers and the consumers.
Conventional dark chocolate is made from non-organic cocoa beans grown on large cocoa plantations. These plantations are cut from tropical forest land via slash and burn technics. Then, one and only one crop is planted - cocoa. Whereas, organically grown cocoa sustains the rain forest using traditional family farming practices. In Belize, for example, there are many small family cocoa growers. Many of these farmers maintain just a few trees, others have several acres. These farmers make use of the natural bio diversity of their habitat by planting cocoa amongst the tropical forests, or by planting indigenous species of shade trees.
Furthermore, as independent growers they are not workers subject to unfair labor practices and low wages typical of large foreign owned corporation plantations. Although you will pay a higher price for organics, you are paying the farmer, not a middleman. The fees go direct to the farmers and you get a product that is verified organic, pesticide free, and thus ensuring ecologically sustainable farming practices and a healthier chocolate.
To find the companies that produce organic chocolate, go to our Chocolate Locator and check "Chocolate is Organically and/or Sustainably Grown".
romantic gift idea