All My Life’s A Circle . . .

coconut bark-2All my life’s a circle, sunrise and sundown

The moon rolls through the nighttime, till the daybreak comes around

All my life’s a circle but I can’t tell you why

The season’s spinnin’ round again the years keep rollin’ by.

As so often happens, I woke up with a song in my head. I think my subconscious provides me with the lyrics, depending on my mood and what is happening in my little piece of paradise.

This morning, the song in my head is Harry Chapin’s “Circle.” I know why.

It’s because the seasons are spinning ’round, and it’s autumn, and candy season has begun.

As I’ve explained before, I sell handmade chocolates, and I can’t temper chocolate for the candy when the temperature is warm. Every spring, when the mercury goes up, I put away the candy-making paraphernalia and my circle spins to other pursuits.

Every September, the circle spins again, I take out my lucky tempering bowl and my digital thermometer, my sugar and butter and chocolate, and I commence to make candies.

I’ve had my first candy foray of 2015 this week. I made a double batch of caramels—about 200 candies—and yesterday I dipped half of them in dark, beautiful Callebaut chocolate. This morning I made white chocolate bark and will dip the rest of the caramels in Callebaut milk chocolate.

(On a side note, there’s a story in the news about someone who worked at Callebaut in Vermont, who hated his job so much he called in a bomb threat, in order to get fired. Never mind, how twisted his thinking was—can you imagine hating a job at a chocolate factory?!)

In the next few months, “candy season” in my world, I’ll make the equivalent of about 500 half-pound boxes of chocolates.

This arc of my circle is pretty predictable. I’ll chop, stir, temper, dip, garnish, package, label, rinse, repeat. And repeat.

I’ll get knickers in a twist about preparing enough candy for the one holiday boutique I participate in, and then I’ll have too much.

I’ll get up in the morning and check Etsy, half hoping to find more candy sales, and half hoping I won’t.

I’ll worry about running out of chocolate or out of half-pound boxes.

At some point, I’ll probably get a nasty sugar burn and I’ll get very, very sick of chocolate.

And, while this arc waxes, others aspects of my circle will wane for now. I’ll have much less time for vintage linens and weaving and blogging and quilting, and I’ll pout about all of that.

I’ll wonder why I do this candymaking thing at all.

But then, I’ll get my first order of the season from the “Queen of Sienna,” a blog friend, fellow seller of vintage lovelies, and loyal lover of chocolate. She’ll say kind things about my candy and be excited I’m back, selling again.

When I do the holiday boutique, people will come specifically looking for something they loved last year or because they heard about the chocolate from a friend. Etsy shoppers will buy candy as Christmas gifts and ask me to include sweet messages to their loved ones far away.

And my family and friends will be pleased when I have extra candy around!

I’ll find I enjoy quiet mornings in my warm space, with the smell of chocolate and caramel and vanilla. I’ll achieve a certain satisfaction from the repetitive motion of dipping caramel after caramel into silky dark chocolate. Zen and the art of candy making.

And, through it all, I’ll know that, when and if it stops being fun and fulfilling, I can put away the lucky bowl and digital thermometer for good. Because the circle of my life isn’t a stone circle, and the seasons can be filled with whatever I choose.

For now, though, I choose chocolate, and candy season.

28 thoughts on “All My Life’s A Circle . . .

  1. You have a lovely circle, that makes others so happy. What a wonderful purpose! Cheers to the chocolate maker who sells beautiful linens, weaves beautiful fabric and writes the most thoughtful posts!

  2. Ah, yes, candy season has arrived and I know who that white chocolate bark is for. How I love it! My next order will be the spicy dark chocolate bark. Don’t know which is my favorite…

    No, I can’t imagine hating my job at the chocolate factory!

  3. If someone told me I had to make 500 half pound boxes of chocolate… I think I might be the bomb that would explode..Just plop some flour and yeast on my counter, please.😉 I enjoy your chocolate stories though!!!!

    • Isn’t it interesting how different people are drawn to different kinds of cooking/baking/making? The chocolate making comes so naturally at this point that i don’t think twice about it. But baking bread would take my full concentration!

  4. Mmmmm…what a wonderful time of year at your house!
    I understand about the crazy, busy-ness. I’m so not ready for the holiday rush yet. But then, I am reminded by my customers why I do what I do. Getting a note that one of my cutting boards brought smiles to their family makes it all worth it 🙂

    • It’s hard to go wrong with toffee and turtles! I haven’t even been offering the toffee for that long–I knew how to make it but just didn’t add it to the shop. Since I have, it’s been a favorite!

  5. Wonderful, wonderful candy season again! I live vicariously through your chocolate posts and indulge my sweet tooth with your poetic and song filled thoughts. It so happens that this song has to be one of my favourites – it is on my funeral list 🙂 Harry Chapin was an early love of mine and I was devastated at his untimely death. I still have a copy of his live album, backed up by a CD of the same, I fortuitously found online a few years back, with a fabulous live version of that particular song………..

    • I love that you have a funeral song list–even though I sure hope it’s 50 years before the list is put into use! I could easily put together such a list and this song would probably be on mine, too. I love Chapin and always thought he was under-recognized (except I’m really sick of that one song they play ALL the time–Cat’s in the Cradle . . .)

  6. It’s wonderful that you have that attitude, of stopping if it ever gets to the point you don’t enjoy it any more. That probably makes it more fun and less pressure. The chocolates in the picture look absolutely delicious! I can’t have more than one bite of candy or chocolate – all the sugar is a headache trigger and even when I was a kid, it was just too much sugar for me. Funny, huh?!

  7. Happy candy season! I can not imagine not liking at a chocolate factory 🙂 I just ordered chocolate for the brick and mortar shop, from a Dutch brand named Tony Chocolonley. The chocolate is slave free, and they are known for their funky flavours. Each year they make limited editions, and this years’ flavours are milk popcorn disco dip and dark chocolate with almond and seasalt. I am very curious, and can’t wait for them to arrive. Ofcourse, I need to taste them, in order to see what kind of product I’m selling…. I wish there was a way for you to ship to the Netherlands, I would love to place an order!

    • You know, after doing this blog for 2 and a half years, I often feel like I’m saying the same things, over and over again. But I love fall so I can’t help but talk about it!

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