What 37 Degrees Celsius Feels Like

Every room in our house has vents for heat and air, except one.  That happens to be the kitchen downstairs where Marilyn and I produce over 300 fruitcakes in two days.  Luckily, I still have the wonderful Monarch brand fan that my grandparents had in their house.  They bought it at the Osoyoos Hardware Store sometime around 1966.  I have fond memories of lying on their living room carpet, watching TV, fan set on high.

In those days it was often around 40 degrees in the summer.  My grandparents’ tiny house had no air conditioning, and was really poorly insulated as well.  However, we managed to survive, though I can’t imagine doing it now.  Last night we had to leave the air conditioning on all night due to the extreme heat.  At my grandparents’, we would open the windows at night and pretend that it was cool.

It’s been a good week for the business, as I received a nice e mail from Dufflet Rosenberg saying she wants to carry Totally Decadent Fruitcake at her stores this Christmas.  This means I’ll be in a store in Toronto for the first time, and can perhaps direct Toronto customers there.  This would save postage, as I know some people are shocked by what Canada Post charges for one fruitcake.

I had re-orders of the Okanagan Fruit and Rum Bars from the local wine museum, as well as Tin Horn Creek Winery in Oliver.  Wonderfully, I made contact with Monda Rosenberg (no relation to Dufflet), the Food Editor for Chatelaine Magazine.  She very kindly said she’d sample my product, though sadly the December issue is already in the can.

I also bit the bullet and asked for quotes on business cards, letter head and my coloured flyer.  As well, I ordered 5,000 Totally Decadent labels and also my bags for vacuum-sealing.  I figure there’s no longer any point in pretending that this isn’t really going to happen.  I’ve acted like that in the past, and then as you know, at the last minute I was labeling, packaging and crying.

Though it’s one of the most unpleasant things a person can do, I decided to rent a booth for one last year at the monster Christmas craft fair in November.  On the positive side of things, I asked a clerk at the downtown postal outlet for information on how I could calculate postage myself.  She very kindly said that she will accept my parcels as they are, and she’ll gladly do my my orders for me! “Ask and ye shall receive” is so true.

So, an incredibly busy and productive week’s gone by, in spite of all of us nearly keeling over from the heat.  I often think of my granny, making three or four dozen jars of jam a day in her incredibly hot kitchen.  She did this for the entire summer, seven days a week, for my mom’s fruit stand.  That’s why two days of baking a week in a hot kitchen is nothing to complain about!

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