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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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January 24, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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January 24, 2001
 

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lOB Wednesday, Jan 24, 2001 Bulletin, BIB By Terri Nacar chocolate. Portola Editor Michele makes all her own For some, eating candy is a fillings, such as the caramel passion, but for Michele she uses for her turtles, the tof- Furnas, it's the process ofmak- fee, paste for the cherry cor- ing the candy and seeing thedials, truffles and the peanut smile after someone pops onebutter cups, which are the only into their mouth that is theones which are made using a passion, mold. Michele first became impas- Michele can spend as much sioned with candy making 16 as five to six hours each day years ago when she began making thecandy. making truffles at home to give Some fillings, like the away as gifts, almond toffee, can take as long She enjoyed working with as two hours before it reaches candy and secured a job in athe right temperature for pour- small candy shop in Los Altos, ing. where she remained for two Michele uses a candy ther- years, mometer to bring the toffee to "It was one of those jobs you hard crack stage: 290 degrees could work 12 hours a day, get- Fahrenheit. ting $5 an hour, because youThe hard crack stage is loved, what you were doing,"when the toffee caramelizes, she said. causing it to harden quicMy. At the candy shop, she After reaching that tempera- learned quite a few tricks and, ture, Michele has about five as her knowledge grew, so did minutes to pour it into the her passion, pans before it hardens. About 11 years ago, while "If you don't cut it, or at living in Modesto, Michele least score it, then you can't started making candy in her break it apart," she said. home kitchen and selling it to Michele tempers the choco- retail establishments. A lot of late in double boilers, but is individual orders were takencontinuing her search for good from e-mail and fax. tempering pots. Michele moved to Plumas The chocolate comes to her County about four years ago in large blocks; she hammers and now works out of a into smaller chunks, which kitchen especially designed will fit into the pots. and constructed for her busi- If the chocolate is not tern- hess. pered correctly, the cocoa but- Michele's candies are hand- ter and chocolate will separate, dipped, which she said givescausing the chocolate to turn her more control of the quali- white and stale looking. ty. To temper her chocolate, She has gotten to the point Michele melts the chocolate where she can feel the slightest over high heat. difference in the consistency She said if, at that point, you and is not afraid to throw awere to pour it out of the pan, batch out if the consistencyit would separate, losing its isn't right, chemistry and forgetting how Michele is very particular toharden. about the chocolate she uses, Instead, Michele said, when saying she doesn't want it to the chocolate has melted, you overpower the filling, add fresh chocolate. "I make things that are "It cools down what you dipped in the chocolate so the already have in the pot and it chocolate is secondary to the reminds it of how it is sup- filling," she said. posed o harden up," she said. She is currently using Michele said chocolate Vanilla Satin, which she said which has to be tempered is a rich, smooth semi-sweettends to be of a higher quality Michele Furnas spends hours in her candy kitchen, making sure each piece she hancklips Is worthy of her name. It is a piece where only she Is allowed, giving her complete quality control over her product. with a richer taste. It took her awhile, but Michele has gotten to the point where she knows when the consistency is just right by feeling the melted chocolate. "There are times when I do everything right during tem- pering, but it just doesn't feel right and sure enough it will bloom," she said. Blooming is when the cocoa butter separates and rises to the top. For those who would like to make candy at home without tempering, Michele said there are candy melts on the market which do not need tempering. For cherry cordials, Michele coats the cherries with a paste that hardens quickly and can be dipped in chocolate. The cherries need to sit at room temperature for a day, while the paste filling works at liquefying the cherry. Michele doesn't have a favorite because she doesn't eat candy herself. "Ever since I started it has always been more of a craft and then a job," she said. Since she doesn't eat candy, Michele uses testers to decide which new recipe she'll use. Continued hom page 9B bathwater. In closing, I want to express my gratitude to the Seneca staff for their skills, their pro- fessionalism and--their patience. Don Kelly Lake Almanor With a degree in computer science, Michele could be spending her time in Silicon Valley making big money, but says she's not interested. "I enjoy where I live and I love what I do and every time I've tried any other job I find myself coming back to the candy," she said. She is proud of her craft and feels good about making other people feel good, even if it's just for a few short minutes while they savor the creamy smooth taste of her rich hand- dipped chocolates. Michele's turtles aren't the kind which retreat shells, but they can disappear almost as quicklyI mouths of sweet lovers. The rich dark chocolat and nuts are hard to resist. From chocolate covered cherries to truffles, Michelo demands perfection. kitchen is usually crowded with trays of candy waiting to be packaged. What's for the best? I have been living in Plumas County for seven years now. From Sierra Valley to Willow Lake, Genesee Valley to Bucks Wilderness, I have fallen for this place. This Feather River Watershed and its people have become as much a part of my identity as my family and the home I grew up in. Although I could happily make my home in any part of this region, I have settled in the American and Meadow Valley communities. I have not taken this for granted and have tried to learn the history and culture that make it unique. I know many of you, recognize more and hope to encounter the whole lot even- tually. I wish only to speak here of the natural and cultural value of this home we share. There is a tendency in our society to accept any and all things that have money attached and fall under the heading of develop- ment and economy. It is just assumed -that this is a univer- sal good and damn the efforts of anyone who might step into the path of this "progress" to speak of other values. Change is everywhere around us. Even my moving here has wrought some change upon this place. The questions we must ask ourselves when we consider change are: What are we gaining?. And, what are we losing? Let us realize the implications of our actions, not only in our own lives, but also for those who follow us. We must think, speak and act for them, as well. In closing, there are many things that this community needs, and some of them "des- perately," but I would hazard that except for a small minori- ty who would change a com- munity for their own conve- nience and commerce, a golf Please attend SHD board course doesn't fall under either meetings; learn the facts, then of those headings. Thank you. defend you medical needs, Robert Jordan Wade which may include a special Quincy election for a tax override. John Schumacher Support Seneca Lake Almanor The finance committee of intelligent volunteers with Happy face on catastrophe vast business and management I've been trying to work my experience are analyzing all way through the Forest aspects of your health care Service's new Sierra Nevada funding needs. Your involve- Forest Plan Amendment, all merit and opinions are vital to fourteen and a haft pounds of this effort. A meeting is sched- it, and about the third time, I uled for Jan. 25 at 4 p.m.came across the term "stand- (258-2067). Reporting of the replacement fire." I guess I just findings and recommendation boiled over. Stand-replacement are forthcoming, fire? B ...... ! (I was thinking Surely, reasonably minded "Baloney." What did you have citizens recognize and appreci- in mind?) ate the diligence and nobleWhat they actually mean is efforts of SHD-Board (past and stand-destroying fire. present) administration, physi- Replacement, if it happens at clans and personnel's contin- all, comes much later. Like if ued contributions, you side-swipe a PG&E pole, it SHD is financially on the is a fender-destroying event. brink of being forced into elim- Fender-replacement is what inating essential medical care, comes later, with a few days in for you and your community,the body shop. Stand-replace. Major devastating factors ment in most of our forest are: takes more like 200 years. 1) Balanced budget act of 1997, OK, I've been offended by drastically reducing Medicare that Forest Service reimbursements; MediCal andeuphemism for at least 10 private insurers do not reim- years, so why get excited now? burse commensurably with Some ancestral spin-doctor a the actual cost for medical ser- long time ago thought that vices rendered. "stand-replacement" had a hap- 2) Delays of misleading infor- pier face than "stand-destroy- mation based upon false allega- ing," and with bureaucrats, a tions against your hospital, by soothing fiction will always a small guard of self-appointed trump a harsh truth, so now medical business experts, it's a standard term. Untrue undoubtedly created confusion and deceptive, but standard. and distrust of voters against But, why did I boil over just your hospital, now? It took me a while, but Be advised, this group of dis- suddenly the reason was obvi- senters includes people that: ous. The "happy face" they've A) are no longer residents of put on stand-destroying wild- PlumasCo. fire has spread like--well, B) are not property tax payers wildfire. The whole new Forest in Plumas Co. Service plan, all 14-1/2 pounds C) Have filed legal claims of it, amounts to little more which have cost SHD over than a desperate attempt to put $100,000 to defend against a happY face on impending D) Interrupt SHD-personnel Sierra-wide catastrophe. and directors, refusing to whether your main worry is accept sensible prudent the possibility of being burned responses, interfering without or laid offorjust choked by your health care clouds of smoke, this docu- This group's letter (Jan. 17) ment will give you a lot of fails to acknowledge the uncer- soothing words, but not much tainty of the reported infusion real help. of forthcoming funds from For example, it admits that Medicare and MediCal. The fire protection depends on amount and date of payment is reducing the overload of forest undetermined, therefore fuels, but then proposes to action must be taken to ade- reduce fuel on only about one quately fund your hospital,quarter of the acreage that last year's national Strategy" says must And, when it at all, it will permit quate and reductions in or stands that are most ble to the worst fires. Furthermore, it ir heavy use of prescri which puts much removed fuel into a tants that breathe, instead of to the lumbermills plants, where it can ful products or with better than 97 reduction in air And, it would amount of 1 the second decade and What can we do Wouldn't hurt to write ernor, your senators, or even ident and his Agriculture. Meanwhile, my "Euthanize George One more seat I recently became member of the Health Care District's Directors. The WHCI) an entity that has itself numerous times years. When I first my desire to be the Board monly heard the "Are you crazy?" I "Well, maybe just a followed up by look forward to this and I feel it is back to a corn deeply about. I am share my own knowledge and help strengthen where possible. The board is in the of moving forward duties at hand, but one seat needing to We need our board plete best. I encourage any ed individuals in Valley region to come: to share their own knowledge and help us revitalize IVHCD Board. m By Victoria Metcalf fairgrounds for a single-day Polomsky had appeared check out Renegade': Staff W iter event remains to be seen. But, before the board with a tion at its other The Renegade music festival that probably won't be happen- request for a multi-day camp. he would only offer a probably won't be heard or ing this year. ing and music event in day event package. seen at the Plumas-Sierra August, following the Plumas- When County Fairgrounds this year. C4 mmm , thm Sierra County Fair. the board last fall, Manager Mike Clements told In a regular meeting of theAlthough the board did not single-day event the promoters of the organiza- Plumas-Sierra County Fair discuss Polomsky's proposal, work in Plumas tion there isn't room for a sec- Board of Directors Jan. 17,or his assurances that prob- audience had to ond multi-day music lest at the Clements said Renegade pro-lems experienced in last year's According to fairgrounds. One multi-day rooter Robbie Polomsky con-event were solved, no director Polomsky has music event is enough, at this tinues to approach him seek- spoke in favor oft he event, mind on the time. ing confn-mation of a summer Clements said he might be and its success. Whether Clements offers the event at the fairgrounds, inclined to wait a year, and