Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Continuing Saga of Sally and What Else? Chocolate, of course!

The delicious aroma of Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake was wafting through the house as the doorbell rang.
“Sally,” I said, as I opened the door. “Come in.”
“Oh, my!” exclaimed Sally. “You have done it again! I thought the dessert we had last time was marvelous, but this one smells even more glorious! I must have the recipe.”
“Of course,” I replied. “But, first let’s go take it out of the oven to cool so we can frost it!”
“I can hardly wait,” Sally said with a deep breath. “And, you can tell me about your Etsy team while the cake cools. Remember, you said you would last time we indulged ourselves with a chocolate cake.”
“Okay,” I answered. “Let’s sit down.” We did.
“First, the Boomers and Beyond Team is totally terrific! It was the first one I joined when I first signed up for Etsy in October 2007. I can’t even recall how I found it! What I remember now is that this very nice lady named Pat answered my query about the Boomers and Beyond, told me what to do to sign up, and about a chat room where I could meet other team members and have a real time chat. Well, I told her I was rather shy and wouldn’t know what to say, but she said it would be fine, and I discovered it was! Talk about friendly!! That is one of the greatest traits of the team members. When a new shop owner signs up, she or he is welcomed on the weekly team chat thread by other members. Usually, the oldies will go to the newbie’s shop and look at the items listed and then tell the new member what they saw and how much they liked it.”
“Wait a minute,” said Sally. “What is this weekly chat thread all about?”
“Well,” I replied, “Each week a chat thread is posted under “Community” on Etsy. One of the team administrators does this for us. In the introduction to the thread, you can find all sorts of information: links to the team blog, the message board, treasury west, squidoo, yahoo group, flickr, and this is followed by a complete list of all the team members. There are 300 or more team members, by the way!”
“No way!” exclaimed Sally.
“Yes,” I answered, “And there is even a waiting list of people who want to join!”
“That must be some fine team,” said Sally.
“You have no idea,” I replied.
“Well, what do you do on this chat thread?” queried Sally.
“We chat! About this, that, and everything. We tell each other about what we have just made, whether we have sold anything or not, if we have any local shows we are doing. We look at each other’s new listings and say how much we like each other’s creations! We try to find ways to market our creations to people who are not on our team. Sometimes we talk about the processes involved in how we make things. Lots of times we say we hope the PayPal Fairy arrives today. That’s a fun way to say we will enjoy having sales when they happen!”
“Do you only talk about business?” questioned Sally.
“Oh, no!” I said excitedly. “We talk about what is happening in our lives, with our kids, grandkids, other family members, pets, jobs. We discuss the weather and express concern for people’s safety, such as with Hurricane Ike. We share our trials and send positive thoughts to those who are having illnesses or injury or other difficult times. We joke, talk about our travels, music, books, movies, and food.”
“Food?” asked Sally.
“Yes, that is one of the favorite topics, especially if it involves chocolate!” I replied.
“Speaking of chocolate,” said Sally. “That cake must be cool by now.”
We went into the kitchen, got knives, spread the frosting, and sat down at the table to indulge ourselves.
“Mmmmmmm!” exclaimed Sally. “This cake is more than fabulous. Your Boomers and Beyond Team sounds fabulous, too,” said Sally.
“Oh, they are,” I answered. “They are simply the Best! Actually we call our team Bbest!”
“I have just two more questions,” Sally said. “You said there are more than 300 members on your team. Do you know everyone?”
“Oh, I wish I did! But, I have to admit that I don’t.......not yet, anyway.....but, I have a plan for that,” I said.
“What is it?” asked Beth.
“Well, that will have to be for another day,” I answered. “Meanwhile, what was your second question?”
“What about that recipe? Beth asked.
“Anything for you and the Bbest team,” I replied! “After all, it’s chocolate!”

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Directions:1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. 2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. 3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings. VARIATIONS:ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost. BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes. "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa3 cups powdered sugar1/3 cup milk1 teaspoon vanilla extractMelt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


Dayna said...

I'll stop by and have a small piece if just a few mintes! Great post. Love your conversational way of writing.

AltheaP said...

I hope there's enough for everyone! How big a cake have you got?

On a Whimsey said...

OOOh you sweetie! And, chocolate cake too, life is the BBEST!!

The Filigree Garden said...

Chocolate, chat and Etsy...what could be better? ;-)

Chauncey said...

Pam, you KNOW I will try this! Thanks for sharing.

Judy said...

Amusing, but true, story about what it's like to be a BBEST team member!

Asianexpressions said...

I have a birthday party tonight. I'll make this cake. I coppied the recipe!

Pam said...

Hope it is delicious!