Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chocolate in Brazil

Blue, white and yellow always capture my eye.

I found this dome at a garage sale in Colorado

It was one of three that were part of a table base.

Go figure.

I found these wonderful French looking napkins
at a store in Durango, CO. Dietz Market
The napkins remind me of Piere Deux fabric.

These little dishes for baking apples were my moms.

You just cut off the ends of the apples fill them with

brown sugar, or syrup, cinnamon and a little butter

and stick them in the oven to bake. Delicious.

I love these dishes that my daughters found for me
at Target in St. George, UT. They gave me a set of four and I loved
them so much I had my daughter-in-law look in California
to see if she could find more......long story short, between
my daughters and daughter-in-law I now have 24!

My daughter, The Style Sisters, gave me these plates "Cafe du Soleil"

and I adore them. They are so summery and I am so ready

for summer. It is freezing here in Utah.

Where has all the Sunshine gone?

I thought this would be a great setting for a little brunch of
baked apples, Swedish pancakes and eggs.
Each place setting has their own pitcher of syrup
and I think the other pitchers would be great for
powdered sugar, and other flavors of syrup.

One of our granddaughters gave us these cute
rooster salt and pepper shakers.

I found these glasses at a thrift shop for .50 ea.

And under the dome sits my wee little pot of tiny

lemons on top of a gorgeous blue bowl my daughter gave me.

Lemon juice is also great on those Swedish pancakes.

NOW .....On to Brazil

One morning, or should I say early afternoon, after my husband left to work with the Brazilians I decided that I would like very much to have breakfast brought to my room. I called down to the front desk and ordered what I thought was croissants, fruit and one of their silver pots of hot chocolate. To my dismay that is not what I got. Since it has been eons ago I can't really remember exactly what I received but it was not what I had envisioned. I called them again and carefully told them my desire. Again, it was not what I had ordered. By the third time I was not sure that they would even consider sending me anything let alone what my taste buds were relishing. So, I just got myself together and went down to dine alone with all the scrumptious goodies. It was lovely but I truly had wanted to lounge in my own room reveling in my delicious breakfast.

We did meet some lovely people, several who showed us where to buy semi-precious stones, a number of great places to dine and some of the local shops that were similar to our outdoor art shows. One evening while dining I thought I would like to try their national dish, Feijoada. One gentleman came to my rescue by informing me that the dish would make me quite ill. When I questioned him about it he said they put everything into this recipe, the pigs snout, his feet (that part didn't bother me because as a child I loved pickled pigs feet...now I would tell you yuck!) hair, entrails, the entire creature. It's good to be watched over. He did tell me however, that he would make it for me and it would be made with only the finest of meat and whatever else goes into it. Never did get to try his dish.

We were there in their spring time and when the trees blossomed it was magnificent! One thing that really impressed me was the upkeep of their cars. Even if their cars were old they were clean and well cared for. Amazing feat because they did not stop at intersections they just honked and went on through. They had lovely shops in large malls and their prices were very reasonable, I might even say cheap. The area that we were to live in was gated and their were armed men, armed? they carried bazookas. They provided a wee bit of concern on my part.
We would have had the luxury of a maid and chauffeur, but BAZOOKAS? NO! NO!

When we finally determined that Brazil was not the place for us, for a myriad of reasons, we returned to the states, kissed the ground and I began my quest for a new and exciting business.

I was inspired to investigate the chocolate industry. I spent one entire year researching the hotel chains and their needs. If you ever endeavor to start a business I would highly recommend this approach. You really need to know what your customer bank needs or wants. Some of us, just go out into the world of alligators thinking we know what everyone is seeking and assume they all need what we have to offer. Get it straight from the horses mouth, best to know first hand what is needed.

Those that I called on were delighted to tell me their concerns, wants and needs. Now saying that, you need to know that some of them took off on other roads that had nothing to do with what I was selling. I do believe that at one point I was more of a councilor than a saleswoman.

But all in all it gave me a wider spectrum of products and services that I should consider. I had a business consultant that told me once, "Joan you need to take someone that is highly successful in their business, buy them a very expensive dinner and pick their brain." I didn't have to do that though because he was a "quasi" friend and he was free and did not expect me to wine and dine him and besides his wife was my dearest friend in the world. That was a stroke of luck.

After one year of researching I was ready to hit the street selling. But what would I sell?
I went to the offices of the European Consulates in Los Angeles hoping to find a great company that wanted to export their chocolates. I found an exceptional one in Belgium.
The French Consulate also gave me several companies in France to contact.
All of a sudden I had samples arriving daily. They were all very generous and I ate

every little or large sample they sent. I think perhaps that could be why I gained 45 pounds.
Fortunately I have lost most of my chocolate fat.

It is now time to place this chapter on my blog.

P.S. Don't forget to enter our give-away.
You have two more days to enter.

I am participating in Tablescape Thursday


Americana Lady @Americana By Candlelight said...

Pretty colors in your tablescape! I love the tiny lemons! Your family sounds so loving, lucky you! Joan

Mimi said...

Your table is so warm and welcoming. I love blue and yellow together, something about it makes me smile. I have the same blue stemware, also found at the thrift store!
Have a great weekend, Joan!

Shugee said...

Your blog is fabulous! I love chocolate and anyone with a chocolate blog has to be someone I like.

Pam said...

Your table is so lovely. I have never seen a bowl for baked apples, that would make it so easy to bake an apple. You have a great family! Pam at Texas Tea Party.