Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Good Friday Bunny Molds and Fire Trucks

Good Friday was a little hazy in the morning. So was Aunt Nellie. Congress Hall was a short walk away and served La Colombe coffee. Thank the Almighty Lord.

Everything is within walking distance. The Pink Cottage is just a step away from town, the beach and a few miles from the preserve in Cape May.

Mark arrived mid-day and we headed straight to the water. It was so great having the whole Friday to relax and skip weekend beach traffic. We had absolutely no plans. We have traveled with most of this crew before. The Kentucky trip was so planned to the minute that our hostess decided we should be chill at the beach. Thank the Almighty Lord.

The sea foam had all disappeared by Friday.

The beach is really wide for the Atlantic. The four of us were basically alone for an hour by the water. Simply marvelous photo taking day.

Back at the house, Robert had been preparing a feast for our dinner. He brought everything he needed but the kitchen sink. We had been talking about craft-tivities for the weekend. We didn't want to over plan but I mentioned since I knew they had a lot of chocolate molds I thought we should try to make chocolate bunnies in celebration. I found a cute Bunny mold on eBay and gave it to Gretchen and Robert as a thank you gift for letting me crash at their place at Christmastime.

There are a lot of videos on-line on how to temper chocolate. Robert was a pro so we didn't follow any rules. We chopped, microwaved half of the chocolate and then put some of the chopped chocolate into the hot melted chocolate to cool it down. Once you get the feel of it, it's really pretty easy to temper. We did not use a thermometer.

Mix the hot melted microwave chocolate until there are no lumps.

Add a small amount at a time to cool down the chocolate and stir until smooth.

Clean off the molds with a dry cloth and rub those little bunnies as hard as you can. Even after they are clean it's good to rub them extra dry. Make sure you have lots of clips.

Robert used the squeeze bottle and I painted my half with a dry pastry brush.

Make sure you cover the whole mold and then scrape off the edges with a rubber spatula.

Clip the sides together. Dip a spoon to test that it hardens. Then you know for sure you tempered it properly. You can use this for your coffee later.

Work as a team, God Bless America, and fill the mold with chocolate. I was in love with the efficient kitchen at The Pink Cottage. The cabinets went all the way to the ceiling and the peninsula was perfect for that open floor plan feel.

I know this is super trendy but I do love Carrara marble and dark cabinets. But how presh are the yellow and white linoleum floors? Tres charmant.

After admiring your ktichen put your bunnies in the fridge to harden.

A few hours later you have PERFECT BUNNIES. Oh my gosh it was so easy. We didn't care that the edges were showing.

Seriously, how cute are they?

We also made bunny origami napkins. We meaning Katie and Robert.

They doubled as wine stopper covers.

Peaceful, peaceful.

After crafternooning and cooking we were parched.

We had a gorgeous cocktail spread with house-made pate, pear gelee and pickled rhubarb. Robert is a bit of an over achiever. He loves to cook and we were the lucky ducks to reap the benefits of his toils in the kitchen.

And just like that all hell broke lose. Robert was searing off the chickens and pow, the fire alarms went off in the dining room. It was a bit excessive. The smoke was minimal. Barely a puff...but the alarms were blazing and no fanning of the buzzers worked despite Gretchen and Mark's valiant effort. 

The Cape May fire department showed up to cancel the alarm, even though there wasn't a fire.

The firetruck lights illuminated the Pink Cottage splendidly I must say.

It's standard procedure to open the fire hydrant too with any alarm. The team from The Virginia walked over causally and said this has happened in the past and they wanted to ensure our safety.

We were plenty safe. These guys had clearly gone through this before and were so sweet about photo ops.

Robert was such a good sport when we blamed the "fire" on him. 

Eric and Scott arrived just as the firetrucks arrived. They Robert shut down all of Jackson Street. Sorry calm and quiet Cape May. There was really no way out. The guys took the car to valet at The Virginia and walked down the street to The Pink Cottage.

It was wonderfully exciting. Especially for Mark. 

That evening as the smoke dispersed, the trucks moved out and the sky began to match the cottage. E sipped his bourbon on the porch and rocked away the cares of the week. Now this is a place to "come down".

The sunset was gorgeous after all of the drama.

Robert put the finishing touches on the birds and plated up dinner. What a smart chef. He set up a double buffet for the eight of us so no one had to pass platters very far for dinner. Brill.

The chicken was by far the star of the meal even though they did create the drama for the evening. They had been marinating for three days in salt, pepper and dried fennel seeds. The golden beets came in at a close second with toasted almonds. There were perfectly cooked carrots, Meyer lemon risotto and a Cannellini bean and spring pea salad with pancetta. Thank the Almighty Lord.

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And just like that is was time for puzzlin, political conversations and bed-E-bye. We crashed hard before the tart tatin. 

Thank you Robert for the beautifully planned meal and for summoning the fire department.

Thank you Cape May FD, you win greatest sports of March Madness.

Thank you Lord for matchy matching The-Pink-Sky-at-Night Pink Cottage.