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I thought loganberrybunny might be interested to note the existence of the Academy of Chocolate, whose aims seem noble; to:

Encourage chocolate lovers to ‘look beyond the label’ to differentiate between chocolate confectionery and ‘real’ chocolate;
to improve the standard and knowledge of chocolate in the UK by promoting an understanding of the ingredients of chocolate, through the chain, from bean to bar;
to encourage the transparent sourcing of cocoa beans from the plantations, and their production in socially fair and environmentally undamaging conditions.

I did enjoy their Choco Police Blog entry: "A shopping mall in Olathe, Kansas, was evacuated after a woman robbed a bank with a box of chocolates. The woman walked up to a cashier at the Capitol Federal Bank and said the box contained an explosive and demanded money. She got away with an undisclosed sum, but after X-raying the package, the bomb squad discovered it contained chocolates and harmless wires."

(I was led there via Saturday's purchase of one of Rococo Chocolate's bars, their Arabic spices variety; "Organic dark chocolate with 65% cocoa solids. To begin, a cinnamon flavour, which evolves into a deeper scent of cloves and nutmeg. Long lasting." Review to follow, even if it'll likely be just a paws up or down - I'm generally quite awful at composing meaningful criticism, as food's so much about impressions and emotions for me, not to mention the settings. And after all, what may ring one person's bell might leave another entirely cold, though one would hope the glory of something like, say, Westvleteren Abt.12 would resonate with anyone with a pulse =:)

A couple pics of the kitchen, meanwhile. ^_^ I should note what's behind the doors, but I'll leave that for another day. =:) Suffice to say, I'd never have expected to find a furnished rental so well equipped - but then, the owners did seem to have a passion for good food. I just happened to luck out on finding this place, and so close to the office. The links go to (more or less) 1024x768, and the full res to about 3500x2500. The fullres ones aren't all that much more data, and convey that much more visual detail. ^_^ (Wow. I'd forgotten how hideous LJ's gallery upload UI is.. remind me to get a good package set up on my domain. Which might include Coppermine, if if can be configured for bulk downloads. I'm tired of web interfaces that make multiple image downloads far more tedious than an old ftp mget ever would be)

full res (window side)full res (beer!)full res (cooker side)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arabic spices chocolate, now that does sound inviting. I am immediately urged to think of Melange, the spice from Dune.

How I would love to finally sample the delights of Westvleteren Abt.12. Perhaps attend another Maifest or the Great British Beer Festival to whet my buds and train them to notice the subtleties.

What a nice looking place you've got there. These old farts we're renting from could take a little lesson in interior decorating. Namely, more halogen spots, less eggshell and dusty pink scheme. If I'd be suited to pursue any three jobs, they'd be composer, geologist and architectural lighting designer.
Well, then, drop by - I'm wanting to work out another .be run sometime soon. ^_^ It's a little tricky finding the place, but not that awkward, and so worthwhile.. (I loved the ratebeer comment calling it the "unicorn beer" =:)

Oooh, the GBBF! I should make some plans. I should be able to get back on just the usual train services, though, as I did with the former roomie; we went down there together a couple years back, and had a spectacular time, even if I'm not quite sure I believe how much we enjoyed. It seem our afternoon session tallied to about ten pints, and then there was the evening as well, amounting to roughly the same.

It was, we agree, a very happy day. ^_^

Pink, yay! Not so much the dusty kind, though, no. =:P I'd like more natural fluorescent lighting here, but it'd be a little awkward doing much about that. I adore the natural quality of lighting fluorescents can achieve now - the same kind of depth of illumination, without having to spend so much energy on burners *cough* torchières.

Hey, did I mention the coworker's a long-time friend of a movie guy who's seen some amusing tales? He's barely on IMDb, quite deliberately. Fun hearing how Alien almost didn't get made, because of the cat and the producer, and the scene where the chestb ursting pak made itself known..

I wonder if there are permanent positions for such folks at the flagshIp Apple stores..
That's nice large kitchen, and you have one of those deluxe LG fridges! The lighting really makes it look warm and inviting and I recognize the Ikea light fixtures above the sink because I have a brand new set of those still in the box.

Edited at 2008-05-25 01:23 am (UTC)
It's a lovely fridge - and cool enough I've seen ice crystals on my carrots. =:) Seems to do a perfect job of remaining frost-free, too, which was always a problem with the previous one back in the old warren, thankfully dumped a few months back.

Ah, they're Ikea? Definitely a nice look, and they fit in very well with the overall design.

It's the space that really makes it, of course. It's so nice to have the space to get some ingredients out of the fridge and be able to spread them out, prepare whatever vegetables, without having to play a push/pop game with uncovering the workspace for one activity at a time.

Ye gods, when I decided to try finding a furnished place rather than unfurnished, to save me the hassle of buying all the necessities for months to come, I didn't reckon on finding something like this. ^_^ Now I just need that teleporter, so I can drop by the Lord Nelson back in Sydney, or the Magnolia Cafe. Don't suppose you've got one kicking around in all that kit?

Very nice... I wish my kitchen had that much room :S *sigh* Apartment living...

Is it always that dark though? I dunno, I really prefer a bright cooking environment.
Mm, some kitchens can be surprisingly minimal.. the one at the place two moves back was pretty horrid in that regard, with very little workspace available - the microwave took up much of it, and the rest was taken by vegetables and utensils, leaving barely enough room for a plate. (Much of the time, not even that, forcing me to use a plate on the stove top)

It's actually quite bright - it's just the photo, with the camera having apparently decided to drop the exposure and turn everything yellow. ^_^; Yep, definitely nice to have a bright (and clean!) kitchen. And well-stocked, ideally. ^_^ Reminds me, I need to pick up some more instant soups on the morrow - I used the last wild mushroom the other day, and left the chicken & leek and spicy lentil ones at the office. Though it's not much of a walk back there, of course, but I think I'll leave them there - handy if I'm in the mood for a light lunch, or I've forgotten to make something for lunch the previous night.

Maybe I'll bring in some teas from that Vietnamese importer, too - it's been a long time since I enjoyed good green tea. Hafta find somewhere to pick up genmaicha, too. =:9

the Academy of Chocolate

A good read for the most part. I am a bit fed up with chocolatey people like that constantly having a go at mass-market chocolate, though. Yes, of course the sort of chocolate the AoC are promoting is a different proposition from a Dairy Milk. But that does not make the Dairy Milk a bad thing in and of itself, and I find it deeply irritating that the AoC seem to think it is.

So there. =:P
Waaaah, kitchen envy!!! :)
So where in the world is this kitchen? I lose track of where you're at these days, as you always seem to be on the move. =:P
Not far from Eastbourne. ^_^ With any luck, I won't be moving again for a while - time to settle for a bit, and get things sorted out.

San Francisco is still an extraordinarily cool place to live in, though. ^_^ I'm hoping to get back for a week or so in the summer - by then, I'll have finished repaying the moving costs, so I'll be free to indulge myself with a shiny new MacBook Pro. There should be another bump in the range by then, hopefully including something equally shiny in the GPU line, and preferably less troublesome than the 8600M seems to've been in some circumstances, across multiple OSs.
Promoting a better understanding of chocolate is certainly a good idea, but they kinda lost me when talking about "'real' chocolate". I'm not 100% sure that's intended the way it comes across to me, but it sure reeks of snobbery and elitism.

The arabic spices bar still sounds interesting, though. ^^

And the kitchen pictures are also nice. :)
Actually, I should correct that - it's the milk cinnamon I bought. And I did give it a try today.. oh, good stuff indeed. The pink peppercorn variety sounds quite interesting.. rather eye-watering prices, but so it goes - a good way of ensuring you don't eat too much of it. =:D

I'm really quite enjoying the microwave, I have to say. ^_^ Not just for being good at irradiating, but its convection oven mode - really nice not to have to wait for a full oven to come up to temperature, and it works wonders with pizzas. But just having the space is so, so nice, not to mention such good lighting - it doesn't really come through in the photos, but it's both bright and nicely distributed, with one circuit inset below the cabinets, another above, and a third row by the window.

*noddles* Quite eye-watering, yes... but as long as it's good, at least. ^^

Mmm, and yeah, convection ovens (just to be sure, that's the same as fan-forced ovens, right?) are nice. I've got one myself, and it's quite useful to have - although I never actually had a "regular" one and thus can't really compare. :)
Photobucket recently graduated to a "select all the files at once, and we'll do the rest!" approach. Finally.
Ah, right! I did notice ImageShack recently started offering something along those lines - their "multiploader" option. Catch is, it doesn't always seem entirely reliable, and the progress bar doesn't update often, so it can be simpler just to upload two or three separately.

I'm more thinking on the download front - things like con photos are so much more easily enjoyed once they're on the local drive, but so often, galleries force you to fetch each one separately. (Which is the point where I usually just move on)