9.04.2015

Homemade Chocolate

No hurricanes or tropical storms this year have directly kissed Kauai. Close, but no pancakes on a cast iron over kiawe wood with the electric out, darn. Reassures us all that science is a few ranks below the wildness of nature. And above nature on Earth, I reckon the sun and cosmic rays have a bigger say in how our planet downgrades and distributes energy from the universe, but that's a whole other discussion for a rainy day. Thankfully, we got rain and thunder this week. 


We were prepared every step of the way. 



What's this post about? A little bit of this, a little bit of that... oh yes, my darlings, chocolate. Better yet, chocolate made at home. Once you try it, you'll never go back to store bought. The trick though, is finding a local bean and if you're not living in Hawaii then good luck for sourcing locally in the USdeA and Canada. Also, the raw beans need to be fermented and this process can make or break the flavour and health of the bean. Here are pre-fermented and semi-dehydrated beans from our farm.


Next you roast the beans. I did them for 30 minutes starting at 325 in a toaster oven and decreased the temperature 25 degrees every 5 minutes until I hit 250, then I let them cruise at that heat until they basically smell like lovely chocolate.


Then I ground them with organic coconut sugar into a paste.


I kept processing them until it became warm and liquid-like. Finally, I molded it and popped it into the fridge to cool for a couple hours. Out comes the best chocolate I've ever tasted... and this kind contains all the yummy cacao oil, too. Good for the body, but can make for a gooey treat if left in the sun like most other chocolates.


How it was done 4,000 years ago. Bringing back the dead.



Onwards to the lettuce patch. For a long time a pile of flats and shade cloth and pipes and more farmer necessities have been lingering beneath the java plum tree, but no more for they now have a new home... the nursery.




Tony worked like a horse to get the tent up before the rain came. While he tinkered with the bamboo posts and waterline I fixed the pull cord on the tiller. During this last full moon the jeep breaks went haywire, tiller wouldn't shift and pull cord broke, the farm truck had a gas leak... and the computer died for just the night of the full moon and the camera was lost. Interesting. Maybe, just maybe, nothing was meant to be done that day/night.


The ladies were off in the woods gathering avocados while the boys worked the farm.




Nursery is almost there.


I have water, a table and seeds... let's sow.


After 6 hours of dropping one little seed in one little cell I created a yoga called sowga. Sow, while you stretch in all funny positions taking deep breaths and try not to go cross-eyed.


6,000 planted by the end of today. Two weeks from now 6,000 more...


One happy cashew nut tree.