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Wishing Everyone a Sweet New Year!

I’m going to keep this post, my last of 2010, short & sweet, so to speak.  While visiting grandparents in Florida, my kids ably met the challenge of enjoying indoor activities during the coldest December in Florida in more than 100 years.  Imagine our family’s delight at finding a free tour of  Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory in Daytona Beach.  We were like kids in a candy store!

Our guide shared trade secrets and free samples during a brief but informative tour of the facility.  We watched through the glass as she explained why the employees use copper pots to heat the chocolate– they are better than stainless steel for maintaining heat– and conveyor belts to cool the chocolates.  Meanwhile, mint creme-filled, dark chocolate-covered, delectable pieces made the 15 minute journey through the factory alongside us, as 2 air conditioning units cooled them to 54 degrees.  Can you see the man in the background of the picture?  He stands at the end of the conveyor belt, removes the chocolates one handful at a time, checks to ensure that the bottoms of the candies retained their shape and emerged undamaged, and then he boxes them to be sold.   Creating such delicious treats is quite a labor-intensive process.

We did spend an hour, on the warmest day of our visit, collecting sea shells and deeply inhaling the ocean air. We did not, however, collect the hand-crafted, chocolate sea shells pictured above.  Sadly, as we considered our 2011 resolution to eat healthy foods, we were forced merely to imagine this candy melting in our mouths.
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