I got up in the wee hours of the morning today (which means around 4:30am; I’m still not adjusted to the time change!) and started slogging my way through software. I’m working on iteration 3 of Weavolution, which is all about advertising. Which is of course essential since that’s how we’re going to bring in enough money to keep the site going, develop new features, etc. Of course, someone has to design that system, and right now that person is me. So I spent three hours before the Weavolution business meeting playing with Drupal’s Advertisement module. I think I understand more or less how it works now. So now I can write requirements and then start developing the actual functionality.
I am actually quite pleased with how Weavolution is going. We raised over $1100 with my chocolates offer (okay, now I have to make another 22 boxes of chocolates, but what the heck – 100 lbs of chocolate, 120 lbs of chocolate, who’ll notice the difference? 🙂 ). The auction is going well and I’m guessing it will raise another $1500-2000. Add that to the large chunk that Alison, Claudia, and I are all personally sinking into the project, and we’ll have enough money to pay for (offshore) development and graphic design if we absolutely need to. We also have 150+ people on the Weavolution notification list, which shows there is serious interest in the site. And we have four companies that have already expressed interest in advertising, once we’re up and running.
In short, there has been a great swell of support for, and interest in, the site. I used to stay up late at night wondering whether we were going to build this glorious site that nobody would visit. Now I stay up late at night worrying about whether we’re going to finish development in time for our launch date. I am confident that people will come. We just have to have the site ready. It’s a hell of a job.
Meanwhile, after taking care of laundry, cooking, a 20-mile bike ride, and other regular Sunday events, I found myself with a little bit of free time. So what did I do? Chocolate, of course! In addition to the 23 flavors of fig, guava, and Scotch that I put together yesterday, I made five different flavor variations of saffron-infused dark chocolate ganache, and white/milk/dark chocolate Oregon black truffle ganaches. Tomorrow I will do a full tasting on all 30-odd flavors, once they’ve had a chance to mature.
However, I did sneak a taste of the saffron blends, and WOW! I had been warned that using too much saffron produced an unpleasantly mediciny, astringent undertone, especially with low-grade saffron – so I ordered some Mogra saffron (the best quality available) from Penzey’s Spices, and used 50 strands to 200g cream and steeped it for about 5 minutes. Mixed the result with dark chocolate and was blown away by how cleanly, fragrantly, WONDERFUL it tasted. (I guess using expensive saffron pays!)
I tried blending it with honey, cardamom, Vietnamese cassia cinnamon, and rosewater. (By the way, if you think all cinnamons are alike, well, order a selection from Penzeys and taste for yourself. They have very different characters depending on where they come from – Ceylon cinnamon, for example, tastes nothing like cassia. I think I have four different varieties of cinnamon in my spice cabinet, though I admit I’m probably overdoing it.)
I’m also trialing a smoked Roma tomato blend (don’t know if enough smoke flavor will come out to do a good test), just because I think saffron and smoked tomato MIGHT work. It’s a little bizarre, but then, aren’t we all? 🙂