Saturday, June 16, 2007

Why Inlaws should not exchange Christmas presents

What to get for the in-law you don't know very well? You know, the one who married the Sister Who Didn't Quite Fit In. How about some Serendipity World Famous Frrrozen HOT Chocolate?

The gift has been sitting in the corner of my kitchen for six months, while the in-law mulls over the implications of despoiling the meticulous, pink ribbon wrapped packaging.

Enough. It's in the way. I'm going to open it and sample the frrrozen hot chocolate inside.

Equipment needed: scissors, small knife, nail file (to repair broken nail). There is quite a bit of packaging as you can see here. No matter, the fine print says that this package makes exactly two (2) mugs of either hot or frozen chocolate. I'm wondering how the contents of two 1-cup size cannisters of chocolate powder could produce so little chocolate.

Oh, I see:

Please note that this exotic presentation of two 6-ounce servings of chocolate came all the way from China. Which, in the light of recent news about food from China, gave us pause.

We decided to take the risk, and split the first serving, choosing the hot chocolate recipe. Next month when our coastal town actually warms up, maybe we'll try the frozen version (add ice and blend).

Here is the full complement of packaging:

Now, there is actually more than just chocolate in this kit. There are two tiny-mouth glass bottles filled with Garnishes: freeze dried marshmallow bits in one and cinnamon sugar in the other. We tried some of the marshmallows--the five or six pieces that were small enough to coax through the narrow bottleneck. Their texture depends on how long you wait after putting them in the chocolate: styrofoam, gummy bears, or puddles of marshmallow flavoring.

The cannisters are nice, the sort of thing you hold on to because you know you are going to find a perfect use it, along with the other little baskets, boxes, vials, tubes and cunning little bags patiently waiting in your drawers and closets for the magic moment.

The pink ribbon, when ironed, will do for a wedding or baby present. The plastic, being the non-recyclable kind, will find its way to one of our local middens to await future archaeological exploration, or will perhaps wind up in the sea, as much of our garbage eventually does, for the entertainment of marine life.

I generously let Steve have most of the chocolate--after all, it's HIS Christmas present. I lean back and think about that plastic box and all its parts, plus 4 ounces of chocolate powder and the petrified marshmallows being loaded into a container full of identical boxes and shipped all the way from Shanghai. What better way to celebrate the last hours of ancient sunlight?

There's a remote possibility that a certain person might read this post and be offended. To that person I say, your gift has provided us with hours of thought-provoking entertainment.

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