It took six of us four and a half hours to pack all the chocolates – first putting over 2000 candies into cups, then packing the boxes, then applying stickers, tying bows, and packing them into shipping boxes. Quite a production!
Here is a photo of a finished box:
In previous years I’ve used a plain gold box with a red ribbon (bow in center). This year I designed some box art, printed it out on clear labels, and used them on white boxes. The result is not only more attractive and better “branded”, it’s also a lot cheaper – white boxes are about 1/4 the price of gold ones. And – added bonus – the stickers double as closures – they extend over the edge of the boxes to seal it closed. All in all, I liked this method, and will use it again.
Packing required a certain degree of ingenuity, especially in packing the last few pieces in each layer. It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – trying to figure out which pieces fit where. In the end we had to leave out the dried apricots and (in some boxes) the English toffee; the boxes were stuffed absolutely full and there was simply no space for them. Each box weighed approximately 1 full pound, remarkable since last year’s boxes contained only 13 ounces and I would have sworn they were stuffed completely full! I suspect some fourth-dimensional twist of magically permitting more candy.
And then it was time to sort out the leftovers. There were about 24 pounds of leftover chocolates, plus some “chocolate slag” left over after the last dipping. My volunteeers must have carted off fifteen or sixteen pounds of chocolates, leaving about four pounds each for Mike’s coworkers and mine. (Well, and a small stash of jasmine tea caramels, which I love too much to part with completely.) They went home, I printed out and applied all the mailing labels, and stacked the “to be shipped” boxes into a giant box.
End Chocopalooza 2011! Another successful year of candymaking.
What now? Well, there is at least another day’s worth of cleanup: washing out chocolate molds, putting away the chocolate containers, and picking up bits of ribbon, extra candy cups, etc. Tuesday I will probably spend weaving and packing, and then Wednesday it’s off to Maryland! We are visiting my family for Thanksgiving, chocolates in tow.
Which reminds me – I better prep myself something to do while traveling! Perhaps it’s time to pop over to the yarn store (or to my stash) for some sock yarn. Or maybe I’ll just pack a bunch of weaving books. All things in time.