06 September 2007

Chocolate Partay

In the office, there are many levels of hierarchy.

Those like me, would be the minions, which (for some reason) when used as an adjective means 'dainty, elegant, pretty and trim'. We're right at the bottom of the pecking order, and have to do all the tedious leg and arm work.

A paper has to be written? Guess who has to create the first draft out of air.
Are there amendments? Guess who works on the million-th draft.
Presentation slides need to be numbered? Guess who spends an entire hour sorting out the slide numbering, AND ensuring the slide background used for the presentation has the organisation's logo on it.

Beyond the minions, we have the supervisors, managers, assistant directors, deputy directors and wachamacallits. They are the ones delegating papers to be written, making amendments to documents and requesting for slide numbers.

Directors do all of the above and then some. They go to huge, high level meetings to discuss excruciatingly cerebral issues. They try to manage expectations of their bosses, to protect the welfare and work-life-balance of the minions in their office, and decide which email to read first [Urgent: For your approval pls] or [URGENT NEED D'S APPROVAL].

I know how irrelevant all this seems to chocolate, parties and food. Except for the lucky bunch whose work is centred around food, the rest of us usually have just colleagues (good or bad) and your work tools (laptop, desktop, drawing board and pencil, scalpel, dustpan) for company.

Or so I thought.

I've always raved about how fortunate I am to be a part of the division I'm in, because the people 'above' are super fun. And by fun I don't just mean that they laugh alot and crack lame jokes. They are fun in the Chocolate-Day-Sounds-Great-I'll-Bring-A-Fondue-Set! kind of fun.

Responses to Salad Day? 'Cool, we really need that! I'll bring Thai Salad!'

Responses to Waffle Day? 'Is anyone bringing the ice-cream? If not, I'll bring that!'

Responses to Sandwich Day? 'Sure! We could even have an exchange-your-lunchbox-day!'

So you see, while the work is not always wonderful and meaningful, I've never regretted being a part of the organisation. There's always something to look forward to or something in the pipeline. And I know that most of what us minions suggest, will be received with much gusto Okay, I guess the Bring-Your-Spouse-Day would be a little tough.

Of course, having enthusiastic colleagues is just as important as having super fun bosses. They often nod eagerly at my suggestions, and offer ideas almost immediately. And so Chocolate Day happened with a big, big bang. It was organised to coincide with the last day of one of our colleagues, who lives and breathes chocolate.

Naturally, our gift for her was the fondue set she never had, and some personalised chocolate goodies for her to bring home and overdose on. The chocolate cupcakes I baked till the wee hours of the morning was precisely for that. Baked, cooled and frosted, I left them in that semi-naked state for individual quirks to be expressed on the shiny smooth surface using pastel pink, green and yellow icing.

Contorted faces, deep-in-thought, contemplating between the pink or the green, the red heart or the white heart, the m&m or the chocolate drop. All very amusing and fun to watch.

In addition to my plain chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, one of my bosses also baked chocolate cakes but with a 'yumptious' cream cheese and vanilla bean frosting. Though it was not possible to write on with icing, everyone had fun squiggling the frosting on and decorating with chocolate rice, red/pink/white hearts, m&ms, chocolate drops and weird looking white chocolate covered chocolate balls.

These cupcakes were really moist, with an equally delicious frosting. It was a recipe my boss got from J at Kuidaore, when she attended a class conducted by J at Shermay's Cooking School. Coincidentally, J just blogged about a Cookie Decorating Class that both my boss and I have signed up for! It's never too early to learn how to decorate christmas cookies.

At the end of the day, our dear chocoholic colleague, Belle, brought all these goodies home in a big basket to share with her family. I sure hope she invited friends to share these with, because it was helluva lot to bring home.

I took the recipe for the chocolate cupcakes off Cupcake Bakeshop, one of the most reliable and addictive blogs I know for cupcakes. She's the reason I don't get tempted by cupcake bakebooks, and am therefore able to save some money, to indulge in other types of bake/cookbooks of course. The frosting, also from her blog, was a virtually foolproof recipe and was slathered on the naked cupcake easily.

Unfortunately, as I used a slightly taller cupcake mould, I made only 13 cupcakes and wanted to leave one for my mum for breakfast the following morning. That left me with 12 cupcakes to bring to office, the exact number I promised to bring.

So I had no chance to try them, which I know is a cardinal sin among all real chefs, to serve food that has not been put through the taste test. In my haste to put bring the food out, I almost always forget this bit. Well, my mum did tell me the cupcake was very good, though it could just be her ploy to ensure I keep feeding her.

And so to all bosses out there, live and let loose a little, and your minions will strive to serve you well. :)


Jaime-La-Nouriture said...

NICE! :)

Anonymous said...