Posts Tagged ‘Queen Cake’

Bobbing With The Kardashians

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Monday. Fred drops by the Café to pick up a spare cash drawer for his Halloween costume pop-up shop. He tries to convince me that more people than not want to dress up as vampires, the Hulk, or Pan-Am stewardesses circa 1963, in order to get drunk in public.

“What happened to going over to someone’s house with just a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, and bobbing for apples?” I ask.

“Two words. Un Sanitary.” he says.

“Maybe. But apples are healthy, so it’s sort of a wash”, I reply.

Tuesday. My 3-1/2 year old announces that this year he wants to trick or treat as Spiderman. My wife comes home from Superstore with a bagged and branded size small. Although he picked it out himself, he’s very concerned about costume authenticity, and being able to spin real webs. The concept of hitting up strangers for candy doesn’t necessarily appeal to him, and he can’t be convinced that carrying a small pillowcase is integral to the look.

In spite of the fact that our neighbourhood is experiencing a birthing boom, the number of kids trick or treating at our door has been decreasing steadily every year. Early indications are that this year will be no different. Some kids are going to the mall, some kids will only be allowed to canvas their own street, and most will have flashlight wielding adult accompaniment.

“When I was a kid, it wasn’t uncommon for a pack of us to run wild over an entire district, coming home once or even twice to drop our loot, before heading out again,” I reminisce to my wife.

“The chocolate bars were full sized and you could count on at least a half dozen homemade popcorn balls,” I continued. “Safety First was not yet a slogan in our lexicon.”

Wednesday. Mrs. Mink tasks me with the bulk purchase of mini Cadbury confections from Costco. We agree on volume, and at the same time, I negotiate the right to stay home and dole out the goods. This year, Halloween falls on a Monday, and Monday Night Football will be there to keep me company in between doorbells.

The downside to winning the right to stay home and avoid sidewalk small talk, is having the big smile and the big stiff arm wave working for the attendant parents, who will furtively suss out their kids bags, expecting this to be the year I relent and hand out PB Wannabe’s, Queen Cakes and No Grumpy’s.

Fred calls. “Last chance to have me put aside a Kissing Booth costume for you,” he announces. “It’s proving very popular with guys who think they’ll hook up with all the Kim Kardashian’s that will be out in force this year.”

“I’ll take my big butts with the point spread,” I say. “But if you see Kimmy bobbing for anything, send me a picture.”

 Marc Lieberman

Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.

Call the store: 604.633.2451
Call my mobile: 604.376.3464
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181

Shop: minkchocolates.com
Tweet: twitter.com/minkchocolates
Join: facebook.com/minkchocolates.van
Read: blog.minkchocolates.com
Watch: youtube.com/user/minkchocolates
In Person: 863 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC V6C 3N9

What Does it All Mean?

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

This post first appeared on Annmarie Kostyk’s blog, Chocolate Goddess. Check it out for great recipes, and the largest resource of makers of 70% or higher dark chocolate bars.

Well into my vacation, I dream that instead of putting the nightly deposits in the safe, Ben puts five bags of cash in the milk chocolate ganache and all the deposit slips and till tapes in the dark chocolate ganache. All the while the machines are spinning and everyone is oblivious to the shredded bits of banknotes floating in their fondues.

He rationalizes it as the equivalent of putting the family heirlooms in the cereal box because the home invader would never think to look there. I wake up fretting about whether or not that tactic is food safe.

I tell the story over breakfast to my wife who is trying to feed our 2-1/2 year old. Levi gets to pour a glass of water onto his make believe rock garden every time he eats a big spoonful of Cheerios. Picking her battles, my wife is convinced she’s won this one. Between shoveling processed oats into his mouth, and trying to feed herself, I ask her if she thinks the dream is indicative of my constant state of worry that the chocolate shop will be in disarray when we get back to town.

She thinks it’s simple; there was too much MSG in the previous night’s Chinese takeout.

Convinced I’ve foretold a variation of some sort of calamity, I send Ben a text. “How’s it going?” I’m nothing if not succinct. He’s slow to reply, which is disconcerting because like all my staff, their iPhones are in their aprons, set to vibrate, and always at the ready. I assume the Café has either burnt down, or Ben’s leading a staff retreat at the Lions Pub.

Soon my BlackBerry plays the opening refrain to the James Bond Theme, the song I’ve set as Ben’s alert. I like to think of him as an operative and me as the mysterious benevolent chocolate dictator, and all our communiqués are top secret. “May I speak?” is his cryptic text that lets me know he can chat on the phone if I’m available. I call him up.

We exchange hi, how are you’s, then he’s all business.

“Things are quite good”, he says, “people still want to eat chocolate even if you’re not here”.

I get the numbers, all the phone messages, and updates on various staff drama, and am temporarily reassured.

“Cohen’s taken it upon himself to make a merchandising statement in honor of Pride weekend, using only the Queen Cake chocolate bar”, Ben tells me, trying to contain his laughter. “You’ll definitely have to put it into production when you get back”.

Queen Cake is Mink’s 70% dark chocolate bar hand filled with marzipan. It’s my take on some versions of king cake eaten during the carnival season in the South. Didn’t think of it at the time, but I guess the cross promotion is self evident.

Ben and I hang up. I’m home in a couple of days. They’ve managed without me, and done quite well actually, so at my wife’s behest, I’m going to try and chill the rest of the trip.

I hit the pool. I’m trying to finish Candy Freak by Steve Almond, billed as a journey through the chocolate underbelly of America. I started the paperback just after Christmas, when the hysteria of the biggest chocolate season of the year slowly wound down, but put it aside as both the 2010 Winter Olympics and the start of construction on the new Mink A Chocolate Café retail outlet at Morgan Crossing was getting underway.

I pick it up at the bookmark. Two pages into this candy porn confessional, and I’m fast asleep. I dream that everyone in the Café is eating my chocolate bars like Big Walter Horton playing the harmonica, sliding them from side to side. Ben’s playing boogie woogie blues on an old upright piano. The keyboard not only makes music, it can send text messages. I learn the deposit is in the safe. It’s easier to sleep when there’s nothing to worry about.

Marc Lieberman

Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.

Call the store: 604.633.2451
Call my mobile: 604.376.3464
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181

Shop: minkchocolates.com
Tweet: twitter.com/minkchocolates
Join: facebook.com/mink.chocolates
Read: blog.minkchocolates.com
Watch: youtube.com search mink chocolates
In Person: 863 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC V6C 3N9

Nine out of every ten persons say they love chocolate. The tenth lies.
- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin