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BREADALBANE, P.E.I. - There were no pine needles to be found on this Christmas tree.
Instead it was decked out in edible milky white, dark, and brown premium chocolate ornaments made entirely by hand.
“It started during our last power outage and I couldn’t make chocolate, so I thought I can melt some on the wood stove,” said Sue Humby of her creation that had a few shoppers at the recent Breadalbane Small is Beautiful craft fair salivating.
“I made the cone and then started filling it up with stars and gingerbread decorations.”
Underneath the tree was a tapestry of gingerbread truffle squares, brown butter caramels with pecans, peppermint chocolate squares and premium chocolate bars with decorations of berries, nuts, coco nibs and P.E.I. sea salt, as well as chocolate Christmas calendars and melting Morley to name but a few.
“The Morley is a chocolate shell pig that makes a hot chocolate,” she said. “A mix goes inside the shell, and it includes homemade marshmallows, so when you melt it in a pot it dissolves and the mix comes out. You stir it up and there you have hot chocolate.”
Humby started her career working in a restaurant with her sister, Jane. While in their 20s they dreamed about branching out on their own, but that would only happen after retirement.
“I completed the pastry arts program at Holland College after my retirement and then started making chocolates to sell at the Summerside Farmer’s Market this year. My sister, Jane, came from Ontario to join me here for this year, but she is the expert with the sourdough bread,” said Humby.
The sibling’s ultimate goal is to run their own chocolate shop.
“We’re not there yet, but we have our sights set,” she said, while noting their focus is on quality, not quantity. “We feel strongly about using organic, local ingredients and sustainable premium chocolate.”
Joan Sutton, the organizer of the craft fair, was among the 18 vendors selling handmade items.
Sutton, a P.E.I. landscape photographer, says the funds raised from the craft fair will go mainly towards repairs in the community centre, which is where the event was housed.
“It’s just like a house and things fall apart, and you have to fix them, but this is a very active and supportive community,” she said.
For more information on Jane and Sue’s Simply Splendid items that can be made to order, visit Heysplendid.com.