Wednesday, January 13, 2010
At home every year we make a gingerbread house with a different theme. One year it was a castle (actually a keep) with tiny catapults and cannons and a few gummi bears floating in the moat, another the Pompeii volcano mid-eruption covering gummi bears with lava, and another Survivor Gummi Island.
This year, after making a standard house with my little one, I got more globally minded and made an Ivory Coast cacao plantation.
The yellow, white and green gummis are the slave boys picking the cacao pods in the field. The orange guys are the guards keeping them in line. There's a couple on top of and in front of the building with tiny shoestring liquorish rifles. At the left you can just make out a white guy bloodied by the whip of a guard. In the little house are the red owners sitting around a table of cocaine - all due respects to Scarface. Cacao pods produce chocolate while cocaine is from the coca plant, totally different, yet cash crops often fuel the drug trade as a means for producers and villagers to make enough money to feed their families. Once people till over their fields for cacao or cotton or coffee, and no longer grow food, their standard of living tends to decrease as the corporate owners take the lion's share of the profits.
Of course it's ironic that I used store bought Duncan Hines' chocolate icing which is not fair trade. 2010 will be the year I learn to cook using real ingredients - if it kills me.
In other Christmas news, running a string of LED lights on a timer for six hours a day uses more electricity than running them 24/7 because they're just that efficient. Manually plugging and unplugging uses the least energy. Now you know.