Even though the weather was less-than-stellar (or solar) for the first few days, we managed to have a good deal of fun, including gaming; yesterday's sun was a very welcome change, and we got some good hiking and swimming in.
I didn't go all the way to the top of the mountain we hiked up, because I'm still getting used to having actual hiking shoes, and so underestimated the ease with which I'd be able to descend again. Even in very steep, damp terrain with no trail, they give enough grip that I could trust my footing much more than I'm used to.
The company was excellent too; y'all know who you are!
My growing infatuation with chocolate and cheese is not going unnoticed: we broke out a block of Agropur's 5-Year Old Canadian Reserve Cheddar, intending to sample it; we didn't stop "sampling" until it was gone. Le Baluchon also went over very well; sadly, L'Empereur was less well-loved, the rind having a "grittier" texture than most folks liked with such a soft cheese, even though I'm fond of it myself. Another review of Empereur can be found here .On the chocolate front, I brought a frighteningly large selection. The surprise find of the weekend was that the 100% cacao from Stubbe was found to pair beautifully with the cheddar. Amedi's chocolates were perhaps the biggest disappointment: they were good, but not worth the price, costing about twice as much as comparable chocolates from other sources. Dolfin's Hot Masala chocolate continues to be a crowd-pleaser, although I think I would have to find another to top my own list. Baratti e Milano have two solid successes, the Gianduja making a particularly fine "dessert" (think of the platonic ideal on which Nutella is based), and the Di Rosa was the most surprising thing I've tasted in a while, so I'll be looking for more of their stuff. (Also, if I'm ever in Italy, I'd love to stop by the café!)
• Stubbe (peanut-free)
- Mint (dark, 52%)
- Chili (dark)
- Cappucino (milk w. cacao nibs)
- Cinnamon (milk)
- Orange (colored white chocolate with cacao nibs)
- 100% Cacao
- Trinidad Oropucce Plantation dark 65%
- Peru Alto El Sol Plantation dark 65%
- Madagascar Madirofolo Plantation dark 62%
- White with dark swirl
• Dolfin (peanut-free)
o Pink Peppercorn (dark, 52%)
o Hot Masala (milk, 32%)
• Valrhona (may contain peanut traces)
o Abinao African (dark 85%)
• Baratti e Milano (peanut content unspecified, but warning given of hazelnut traces on Di Rosa)
o Gianduja (hazelnut) (milk 31%)
o Di Rosa (with rose extract) white
• Lindt & Sprüngli (may contain peanut traces)
o Fleur de Sel (sea salt) (dark 47%)
• Amedi Tuscany (peanut-free)
o La Tavoletta Toscano Black (dark 70%)
o Chuao (dark 70%)
• Chocolate Santander (may contain peanut traces)
o Colombian Single-Origin Espresso (70% dark)
• Côte d’Or (peanut-free)
o Pistache Noir (pistachios) (dark 70%)
• Cémoi Chocolatier (peanut-free)
o Noir Orange organic fair trade (dark 60%)
Anyone knowing how to make LJ do multi-level lists properly, please let me know!
All in all, a very fine weekend, even though we found it necessary to remind each other at every occasion--indeed, every opportunity--that it was not that kind of party!