Food for Thought: Bark, Bark

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jean
Food for Thought

By Jean Hecker


A Columnist for the Grapevine Newspaper


Make a sweet and salty treat while wearing your favorite holiday sweater.
For as far back as I can remember, November was the month to start the search for the perfect holiday sweater. Linda and I would start the search at Cherry Hill Mall at Strawbridge & Clothier’s, then on to Deptford Mall to Macy's and then if we still didn't find anything, it would be on to the big gun, Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia. Over the
Over the years, I got many different styles and colors. Once it was a black dolman-sleeved sweater with a gold lame design stitched in. Another year it was a ruby red fitted sweater with black soutache braid swirled all over the sleeves and down the arms. Still another year, it was a green sweater with patches of silk and lace and plaid, still one of my all-time favorites.
I always made sure that they were wearable for the whole winter season and not specifically with a Christmas motif. I still have these sweaters and maybe some of them have gone out of style, or no longer fit, but they bring back a plethora of memories and I can still remember wearing that gold-lame trimmed sweater out to the clubs with my sister and our cousin Mary Ann, an especially heartfelt memory this year because Mary Ann just passed away last month.
And the red and black soutache braid sweater reminds me of an old boyfriend who thought I looked so great that night that he took me out to dinner! He is gone too, but those memories also remain. Things can be replaced or duplicated and styles can go out of fashion, but memories are always in season and they always fit just right!
I always enjoy making my own candy during the holiday season and here is one of my favorite treats. Put on your holiday sweater, make up a big batch with family or friends, and be sure to file it away in your own memory box!
Cranberry-Pistachio Bark with Sea Salt
Ingredients:
4 ounces premium white chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/3 cup roasted and salted pistachios
extra cranberries and nuts for the top
1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt
Directions:
Place each chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave each at 20% power for 15 seconds; remove bowl from microwave and stir. Repeat process until most of the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until all of the chocolate melts and is smooth. Line a jelly-roll pan or other short-sided baking pan with waxed or parchment paper, lightly butter paper.
Put the melted dark chocolate on the bottom of the pan over the paper and let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes. Then mix remaining cranberries and remaining pistachios into white chocolate. Spread mixture onto top of dark chocolate. Top evenly with reserved cranberries and pistachios, and sprinkle evenly with salt, pressing gently to adhere. Refrigerate one hour or until set. Break into bite-size pieces and enjoy!
Jean Hecker is a full-time travel agent at Magic Carpet Travels and a part-time foodie. She has a B.A. in Home Economics Education from Rowan University and enjoys exploring all facets of the food and restaurant industry.

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