Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Chocolate Party

I have been married to Penelope for over 35 years but in my youth I was married to another woman and it was said that if there were only enough chocolate for two people in the world I would still be married to her.  Yes, I am a chocoholic!

I had planned to come back to Santa Fe only the following week but when we received an invitation to a Chocolate Party how could I turn that down?  I quickly booked an earlier flight.

The party started at 8pm and we drove up this winding road in the dark.  Even though we had been up here before several hundred feet above our home which is already several hundred feet above Santa Fe which is at 7,000 feet, we were not too sure exactly where we were in the dark.  We had been told to put our car in a lot below and wait for the shuttle bus to take us up but I did not want to be waiting outside for the bus to come and, anyway, I am not very good at obeying instructions!  Since our hostess’s house is at the beginning of a hiking trail we were lucky enough to find a legitimate parking spot just in front of the house.

From up there you can see the lights of Santa Fe far below, a magical view.  Inside the house there is a wide and winding long stone spiral staircase with rooms off of every level and near the top there is a landing where we find the kitchen, and then the dining room and at the top the large very high ceilinged living room where many gathered

Our hostess was Rebecca Wurzburger, our councilwoman, who requested elegant attire and all the ladies responded with long dresses making for a most festive atmosphere.

The core of any party is the mix of people.  There is nothing drearier than an event where either no one communicates or there are only people who see each other all the time and split into tiny cliques not wishing to speak with anyone other than their group.  Well at this event, though many knew each other in this small town, there was plenty of variety.  Since Rebecca is also Mayor Pro Tem our Mayor David Koss was in attendance.  He is a large supporter of the arts and somehow manages to attend almost every public event that occurs in Santa Fe.  This makes him approachable and a Mayor of the people.

Councilwoman Rebecca Wurzburger & Mayor David Koss
We spoke with a couple of interesting architects, one of whom had a degree from Harvard, worked in New York City and then ended up in a small town in New Mexico before eventually finding work that she enjoyed and opening her own practice in Santa Fe.  We spoke to an officially retired art dealer, Marc Navarro, who was clearly not retired at all, but let his son and partner run the gallery day to day.  We met a local doctor who came from central casting, the perfect image of the doctor you can put all your trust in.  Unfortunately, his specialty is one of the few that I do not need…yet!

The mingling was wonderful but we came there for a Chocolate Party, but what is that?  Well, you might ask.  Of course, it includes lots of chocolate.  In this particular case our hostess asked her guests to bring either a home made chocolate concoction or their favorite champagne. They go well together though my personal favorite combination is chocolate and red wine.  Either way it works!

The piece de resistance was the chocolate fondue that our hostess makes every year.  It is a hot rich chocolate fudge sauce surrounded by bananas, strawberries, dried apricots and marshmallows.  Of course, there were long wooden skewers on which to spear our prey and dip into the rich sauce… divine!

There was a room with platters for various chocolate cakes, such as fudge cakes, nut cakes and German chocolate cakes.  The most innovative concoction was bacon, chocolate lollipops held together with caramelized sugar to add some crunch.  These were stuck into two metal balls on top of each other so the lollipops could be taken out easily one at a time.

What better way to spend an evening than with tasty chocolate and great company.  I can’t wait for next year.  Sure hope we get invited.

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