Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This whole percentage thing started back in the 90's when employers expected you to give your 110% on the job. I always had a problem with that...because I was all like: Will you be paying me 110% of my wage? Dude?

And frankly?

I need at least 70% of myself for myself. Heck, I need 30% just for peeing. Eating takes up at least 45%. Watching Netflix gobbles up the rest of it and somewhere in there I still manage to wedge sleeping, travel time, and updating this blog.

That whole 110% business pretty much went by the wayside. Now they just close the plant with one day notice and don't give you your severance package.

However, percentages started creeping into other areas and once again, nobody but me seems to find this annoying and unfair. Let's take milk, for instance.

Life was so simple when you had MILK, half and half, heavy cream and buttermilk. You could figure out easily what strength milk you needed. Plain milk for cereal, half and half for your coffee or tea, and heavy cream for whipping. Buttermilk was used for something but since I equate it with Eggnog I don't know and don't care.

But now. Some fool or fools out there decided that MILK wasn't any good for you anymore, even though they also tell us that we need a gallon a day or our bones will turn into dry kindling. So they came up with Percentage Milk.

You've got Vitamin D Whole milk. 2% milk. Reduced Fat milk. 4% milk. Lowfat milk. Nonfat milk, and Fat Free milk. I can never figure out what order they come in so I just get half n half and use it for everything; that way I can pretty much avoid having to learn what percentage everything is. For my clients I just go by the color coding on the milk carton. Miss E goes with the yellow carton, Miss B uses the blue milk, etc;

But now. Right here at Christmas Time when life should be joyous and contain lots of baked goods, I've run up against a Percentage Problem. One that required me to pin a poor Trader Joe's employee up against a stack of boxes while I laid out an assortment of chocolate bars and asked her to put them in order. Fortunately she was really sweet about it, and even showed an interest in my chocolate dipping experiences.

You know what I'm talking about. We used to have Milk chocolate and Semi-sweet chocolate. As far as I knew, semi-sweet and dark chocolate were just interchangeable terms. Well, maybe they were different. Semi-sweet are for baking Toll House cookies and the dark chocolate was for avoiding in the Whitman Sampler.

But NOW! We have percentage chocolate! There is Milk chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, 54% chocolate, 62% Cacao, 73% Milk Solids, etc; For all I know there are even chocolates in the 90 percentile range. Each brand has it's own variety of percentages, too. So if you are looking to blend a Guittard with a Ghiardelli, you'd better know their different percentages.

I have learned that the higher the percentage, the nastier the chocolate. You'd think that more percent would be more yum-factor but it's just the opposite. Like with employers, I'm not willing to go with the 90% chocolates. I bought an 80% chocolate bar one time and it ended up in the trash. Chocolate is supposed to be sweet and melt in your mouth, not taste like burnt rubber tires.

As far as I know, no one has yet come up with 110% chocolate.

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