Monday, November 16, 2009

Chocolate Walk 2009 Part 1

As you know, Sisters and Brothers, The Chocolate Cult had its first official Pilgrimage this past weekend on Saturday, November 14, 2009.  Your Chocolate Priestess chose the Brown County Humane Society's Chocolate Walk in Nashville, Indiana. This was their second year and after discussing what they do at that particular humane society and the background of this fundraiser with their coordinator, Heather, whose picture you will see today, I decided it was a worthy cause.

The Chocolate Coconut Acolyte (mavido) and I left around 9:25am, here you see us in front of her car, both dressed in loose casual clothes.  We planned to take it slowly partly because of my hip which you heard about last week, but mostly so we could truly emerge ourselves in the experience.  Going on Pilgrimage for us, as in all religious traditions, isn't so much about the final destination as it is about the journey and opening yourself up to the changes such a journey may create in you.

Getting to Nashville is almost a straight east shot from where we began that morning.  There had been an accident earlier on this simply two lane road and it backed up traffic for about ten minutes.  Since we left a bit early and since mavido was a good driver we arrived in plenty of time to find parking.  We didn't know exactly where the start was but we found a free parking spot at the southwest section of the town.  Unfortunately for our beginning, the start point was at the furtherest eastern point of the laid out walk.

We went to the Brown County Art Gallery and picked up our tickets.  Heather and her husband were there and they let us take this picture.  As you can see they had a lot of envelopes with information to hand out but the event was still selling tickets at the Visitor's Center and down by Coachlight Square.  All day long we ran into people who didn't know what our orange buttons were for because in general this artist county has a good flow of tourist in the fall.  Some probably went and got tickets so they could participate.  I hope Heather will tell me later this week how many tickets they sold.  In the packets was some information about a free trolley you could use to get around but we wanted to do this the old-fashion pilgrimage walk and walk.  It also had the orange button, an orange score card to be marked off at each venue, and a booklet that listed the locations, chocolatiers, sometimes what they were serving, and background information about everything connected to the event.

In the the art gallery at the other end, FARMbloomington, a restaurant from my town, was the first official stop on the walk.  They handed out triangles of very delicious "Baily's Chocolate Cake" along with a print out of the recipe.  Some places I took pictures of the chocolate, some of the displays, and some of the signs or store fronts.  I did what I was inspired to do at the moment.

Then we left and headed west, planning to stay on Mainstreet until we got to this pizza place where we could relax and plan our trek and I could take my next dose of pain medication.  Don't worry, we made very sure to go carefully and slowly so I was in no more pain after the walk than before.  Our next stop was at Trilogy Gallery wehre the Salt Greek Golf Retreat gave out these 1/4 cup servings of very nice, fluffy, and cocoa intense mousse with Oreos along with information about their business.  Inside the gallery was so small we went outside to eat; this was the case in many venues.

Stop #3 was at the Brown County Craft Gallery where the Martinsville Candy Kitchen had a table set up as you can see here in this photo.  Most of what is on the table was for sell for under a dollar but they were giving away Tiger Butter a sort of peanut butter and chocolate fudge that was far more peanuts than cocoa in flavor.   Are you noticing a theme yet?  Different art galleries and supply shops are the main stops on this walk.  The venues, of course, hope you will shop in the stores as well but since we had to move at a careful and slow pace we just generally did a once around the venue before relaxing to enjoy the offering and then moving on.

We walked passed the courthouse square and passed the Visitor's Center to a block with two of the next stops.  The Candy Emporium was exactly as the day suggests  with treats from around the world as well as candy making supplies.  They offered two different samples so we each got a different type then shared the Chocolate Caramel and the Chocolate Honeycomb.  Both were very sweet but also had a good chocolate flavor that blended together well.

Next was this tiny, tiny Gallery by the Green in this house, you can see it was #24 on the Chocolate Walk.  It really didn't have a great sign and inside was too small to take a good picture but there was a lot of interesting art as well including not just painting but a good selection of fabric arts.  Inside was a representative of Bloomingfoods, again from my town and one of their biggest stores is only a few blocks from my house.  They had two samples to choose from of the organic mass produced chocolates you can buy including the small Equal Exchange bars I talked about before Halloween and a 70% cocoa Green & Black sample which tasted a lot more bitter than 70% normally does to me.

Our final stop on this first leg of the Pilgrimage was at Harvest Moon Pizzeria which was decked out inside with posters related to the "New Moon" movie for some reason I can't honestly grasp.  Right inside the door they had little cups with haystack style no bake treats, not so much cookies as lumps that tasted good after we each had an individual pizza.

We took this opportunity to look at the booklet for the event and plan out the rest of our day so we could start off fresh again at around 12:30pm or so.  Little did we know that the crowds were going to explode on us slowing our progress down and sometimes creating waits in line for up to ten minutes at one point.  But I'll get to that later this week as I continue to share with all of you, who should have gone if you lived in the region, so you can see how The Chocolate Cult's First Pilgrimage went.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.


mavido79 said...

Reading this is bringing back really fond memories. The weather was perfect for a pilgrimage and the chocolate was memorable. Some really unique treats and some that were familiar but of high quality.

This weekend I'm going to attempt making the Baileys Chocolate Cake from FARMbloomington. The recipe doesn't look too complicated but I noticed they didn't mention what size pan it should be baked it. I guess I'm going to have to eyeball the amount of batter and then guestimate.

TheChocolatePriestess said...


If you want to write up about what you did and add some photos, just let me know, and we can post if.

Lisa Kay said...

I finally grabbed the recipe from FARMbloomington and the first thing I saw was that it was a recipe for Orange and Ginger Brownie Bite, not Bailey's Chocolate Cake. This was my first big hint that thing probably weren't going to turn out well. Aside from the title I found several other errors and wondered if they'd taken the time to have someone proofread the recipe before they printed it up. The finished product was inedible and went into the trash along with the recipe.

I did, however, take the time to write the company a letter thanking them for their participation in the event but also pointing out that if they're going to pass out a recipe at an event, they should do a better job than this.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

And this, Sisters and Brothers, is an excellent example from our Chocolate Coconut Acolyte of how to address problems you may encounter at a charity event.

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