The Sound of a Door Closing

closed for the season

photo by Alison Hurt

Listen—did you hear that? That was the sound of the door closing on my candy shop, for the 2013-2014 season.

One of the best things about working with chocolate is that you can’t do it when it’s warm. Chocolate simply cannot be tempered if the temperature is above about 70 degrees. So, as a home-based chocolatier, with no interest in a bigger operation, the coming of summer means the end of chocolate making. Right when I want to do other things, I can!

I just finished dipping the last of the candy that I will take to a spring boutique later this week. Last week, I deactivated the candy listings on Etsy. I’m out of the chocolate business until October!

I’m both happy and a bit verklempt about the end of the season. It was a good year, and very busy. I plowed through the 230 pounds of Callebaut chocolate I wrote about in August and had to order 55 pounds more of milk chocolate. That adds up to something like 700,000 calories worth of chocolate, spread around the US!

I did my first-ever face-to-face sale in December and it went so well I’m doing another on Wednesday, with a lot let angst this time.

I developed some new candies, most notably lemon meltaways and Irish cream meltaways, both with silky smooth flavored-chocolate innards, dipped in more chocolate. I also added delicate, crispy English toffee to my offerings.

I’ll miss my little morning routine of drinking my coffee, getting caught up with the news, and putting on my apron. I mostly make candy in the very early morning and those hours will be open to me now.

I’ll miss the smells—the chocolate, of course, the caramel bubbling on the stove, the mint oil, the peanut butter. And I’ll miss the heavy responsibility of taste testing!

But, as they say, when one door closes, another opens.

It is finally beginning to be spring in upstate New York so the door opens to lawn and gardens, and they need a lot of work.

The door opens to the linen closet, too—I have been very lax about listing vintage linens on Etsy and those piles of pretty linens are not getting any smaller!

The door will open soon to another glorious summer on beautiful Lake Champlain and summer activities—bike rides to go for soft ice cream, garage sales, campfires, and s’mores, and family time.

Who wants to be in the kitchen, making candy, when there’s so much else to do?!

So, I’ll go downstate and sell candy for one more day. I’ll stash any leftovers for sampling and sharing over the summer. I’ll put away the candy equipment and ingredients and soak my apron in Oxi-Clean to get the chocolate out.

And I’ll go outside, to play in the sun. I’ll weave things and finish a quilt. I’ll talk to you and do a lot of ironing of pretty things. I’ll get back to that list of things I’ve been meaning to do (IBMTD)!

And, along about September, I’ll start yearning for the smell of melted chocolate and the comfort of the candy-making routine. And then the door will open again. . .


35 thoughts on “The Sound of a Door Closing

    • Definitely time to be outside! And, since I’m retired from my “real” job I only have to work at all if I feel like it–that’s extra wonderful!

  1. Do you know I thought I was already following you – but here I am to amend that error! I love the seasonal aspect of your creative endeavours. As a non sugar person, I don’t eat chocolate as a rule but I do love to read about them. I follow a lovely gal who makes exotic cupcakes and I don’t eat them either 🙂 And I do love me some linens and lace!

    As I am in the other hemisphere, I am hunkering down to do some art and crochet and other fire-side activities. Enjoy your longer, warmer days!

    • I’m glad you’re here! I definitely change activities according to season–quilting works great in cool weather, along with chocolate-making but spring and summer seem perfect for drying linens outdoors and, of course, gardening! Enjoy your fireside and your homey art!

  2. How lovely that your responsibilities carry you from one place to another giving fresh perspectives each season!

  3. Sounds like fun to have two totally different shops. Looking forward to reading (and seeing) more about your summer adventures. And 700.000 calories: wow!

    • I actually only have one shop, with the different items all glommed together. I’m not sure that’s the best approach but I can’t be bothered to have two.

  4. I love how you have a seasonal business that enables you to be free during the months when the weather is the nicest. Have a wonderful summer!

  5. There are so many summery things to look forward to! It must be nice to have a break from chocolate making, at least this way you’ll never get sick of it! I still need to try some of your delicious candy, I guess it’ll have to be in Autumn…I’m pretty excited for the bike rides and ice creams too 🙂 xx

    • Bike rides and ice cream! My faves! We have a place we ride to–the round trip is about 12 miles (19 kilometers). It’s far enough a ride that we feel justified in eating the ice cream with no guilt!

  6. Well that was genius! Tell me I can’t have any for a while but describe them so you leave me dreaming of them for months! 🙂 If I had known there was a season on chocolate I would have ordered some when I first browsed all that deliciousness on Etsy. Oh well, I guess I too will have to get by on Milky Ways until the fall.

  7. I love a routine but being able to set aside that rythem and open the doors to summer knowing in the fall you will pick-up where you left off sounds idealic! What a lovely life you have, chocolate and linens! I look forward to hearing about your summer adventures!

    • I DO have a lovely life, made possible, in part, by early retirement! I was just thinking about rhythms and the difference between the winter and summer rhythms. I love them both and am happy I don’t have to choose between them.

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