Unclean Archie and…Christmas Coconut Swirls

A terrific opportunity surfaced for Archie.  Still trying to break into the industry he would love to make his career, I applied, on his behalf (and on the quiet), to an organization offering training in Archie’s field of choice.

Coconut Swirls

It was a fabulous opportunity but Archie just wasn’t that interested.  Not because he didn’t like the sound of the course but because he’d have to leave Sydney and live in Perth for the next three years.  ‘Why would I want to go and live there, mum, what’s over there besides mines?’

‘Because it’s a wonderful opportunity for you, Archie’.  (And a wonderful opportunity for me to have his bedroom back into a neat, tidy and less embarrassing state).  And with that I poured all of my energy into completing the application form and I must have done very well because a few days later I (he) received a letter advising the director of the course was coming to Sydney to interview applicants and he would like to see Archie at 2pm on December 1.

When Thursday arrived I made sure Archie showered, shampooed and used soap, brushed his teeth and flossed, sprayed his underarms and his feet, dried his hair rather than do a ‘wet-set’, scrubbed under his nails and shaved.  By the time we were ready to leave he was dazzling.

On the way to the appointment I extolled all the benefits of life in the Western State and that took some embellishing seeing as I have never been there.

Teaspoons of irregular shaped swirls

When we reached our destination Archie made me wait in the car.  He didn’t want to be seen arriving with his mother.  Fair enough.  But as he was walking away I couldn’t resist yelling out that he should stand up straight, pull his shoulders back, be enthusiastic, humble but confident, look the director in the eye etc and by then Archie was just a speck in the distance.

Not ten minutes later Archie was on the phone.  ‘Mum, I’m on my way back to the car.  I didn’t get in.’  And he sounded very dejected.

He approached the car carrying his folder that contained a headshot, a biography, a resume and some glowing references.  I gently asked, ‘What happened?’

And I couldn’t believe it.

Archie, because he’s been brung up proper, walked confidently into the room, looked the man in the eye and outstretched his hand.  The man then leapt back, threw his hands in the air like he was being arrested and said, ‘I have no wish to be rude but I will not shake your hand because I am seeing six people an hour’.  And then he stared at Archie.  Archie was baffled to be sure but returned his hand to his side and said, ‘Fair enough’.

The man then said, ‘Sit down here so we can talk to you’.  And Archie sat down opposite the director and a few others who weren’t introduced.  Archie was asked some questions about his experience in the field that obviously considerably under whelmed the panel.  The director then told Archie he needed to work full-time for two years in the industry then come back and re-apply.  Archie asked if they would like to see his biography and the man said, ‘Not at all.  You can go’.

So that was it.  An opportunity dashed by a very unusual director.  I have blogged before about weird interview experiences but treating an applicant like a leper and practically yelling out, ‘unclean, unclean’ by refusing to engage in the common and polite greeting of a firm handshake is now at the top of my list of bizarre interview experiences.

So Archie’s bedroom remains in a dire state and he won’t be packing his bags for the Western State any time soon.

Applying the ‘holly’

Coconut Swirls

These swirls are simple to make and look very festive with their miniature pudding features and holly made from glace cherries.  The recipe I’ve used is based on a very old Elise Pascoe recipe that I first used when I was a teenager.  I used to make these for my mother’s Christmas Parties and as gifts for neighbours and friends.

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Makes:  30

Cost:  Inexpensive because most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry and these are a great way to use up leftover glace cherries.

60gms chopped butter

3 tbspns water

1 tspn vanilla extract

2 cups icing sugar

3/4 cup powdered milk

2 cups desiccated coconut

200gms dark cooking chocolate

Green and Red glace cherries for decoration

In a small saucepan combine butter and water and melt gently.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

In a medium sized bowl sift icing sugar and powdered milk.  Add butter mixture and stir to combine.  Add coconut and mix well.

Place teaspoons of mixture (rough looks better than neat balls) on a baking tray lined with cooking paper and place in the fridge for 20 mins.

Melt cooking chocolate gently in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.  Spoon a little chocolate over the top of each swirl and decorate immediately before the chocolate has time to harden with cherries cut into the shapes of green leaves and red berries.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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  1. Poor Archie! What a jerk the director was!

    Your coconut swirls are absolutely beautiful.

  2. What a shame for Archie but by the sounds of it he would not want to work for that type of person anyway. Hope these coconut swirls cheered him up!

  3. Oh, my gosh, these look good!!!!!!!!!!! Must try.

  4. These look so decadent!

  5. aww thts so cute.. a good xmas present!!!

  6. What a strange man to encounter! Although I suppose all interviews are experiences and he just got to meet the eccentric end of the spectrum!

  7. Sounds like Archie got off lucky, Charlie. Could you imagine working for a guy like that? Just as well. And you get to keep him at home for a little longer.. 😉

  8. Even if you are seeing 6 people an hour, there is no excuse to shake a person’s hand. How does this guy function in the real world? I assume he doesn’t attend conferences or large meetings where hand shaking of more than one person would be required.

    I feel sorry for Archie that he had to experience such a terrible interview, but it’s all experience.

    Your festive coconut swirls look awesome.

  9. I think the humble handshake is completely undervalued. I love a good handshake.
    Next time Archie, next time…

  10. That’s not cool. Jerk! Coconut swirls however, awesome!

  11. Poor Archie, and after all the trouble you went too as well! 🙂 It doesn’t sound like he would have fitted in if that guy was any indication, and I sure hope it doesn’t put you (or him) off applying for more courses.
    Yummy bikkies, I just love coconut!

  12. Those coconut swirls look so good! I love baked stuff with coconut!

  13. i hope archie wasn’t too dissuaded by that unkind man–there’s certainly no call to be rude! lovely treats, by the way. coconut can do no wrong.

  14. Just discovering you site; thank you for your visit. I know these coconut creations would be a hit with my guy.

  15. So sorry to hear that Archie’s interview didn’t go as planned. That was a strange interview. I think the strangest interview I’ve had was when I interviewed for an office job at a gym. I came dressed nicely and was told the owner would be with me shortly. Than this guy who smells horribly, wearing ragidy sweats and is just soaked in sweat comes up to me and introduces himself as the owner and interviewed me at the front desk while greeting members as they came in. It’s the only interview I’ve ever had where the whole time I’m trying not to gag or breath through my nose. I got the job and put airfreshners in the office for when he would come an visit.

    Your coconut swirls look lovely! I’m going to try and make them this weekend! Have a nice week!

  16. Such attention to detail! I hope these delicious bites cheered Archie up.

  17. Someone should have just provided some hand sanitizer for the paranoid director. Crazy. The coconut swirls, however, are adorable with the glace cherries!

  18. How rude! Maybe archie is lucky to not be accepted by THAT director! And I agree with lisa, the coconut swirls “are adorable”, wish my family liked coconut!

  19. What an unusual experience your son had, I’m sorry it didn’t go well. The swirls look delicious and I love the Christmas colours on them. I’m going to start my Christmas baking this week.

  20. Coconut is seriously my favorite out of any other foods so I definitely want to give these a try! Love the chocolate on top too.

  21. Wow…that’s so mean! But at least Archie has a lovely mother like you 🙂
    These coconut swirls look beautiful and delicious too- I love coconut!

  22. Ugh that sounds like a weird and awful experience. Poor Archie!

    At least he had these delicious coconut puffs to cheer him up. They look delicious!

  23. I think you’re being kind by calling him unusual. I would use the word “arsehole” to be honest. On a happy note, your coconut swirl looks too cute!

  24. that’s rather disappointing, and quite infuriating actually. I’m from Perth, and it’s lovely place to live in (it has its flaws though, like everywhere else). I’m sorry Archie didn’t get in. I sometimes wonder what the point of these selection panels are, aside from stroking the egos of those on the panels. I’ve been in front of a few for various research/funding and scholarship related things, and they are unnecessarily intimidating and condescending experiences. I hope he isn’t too discouraged by this – if it’s any consolation, some of the best and most successful people have been rejected numerous times. It’s sadly, just part of life.

  25. are glace cherries just ‘candied’? i think so but i’m not sure…. 🙂 and coconut dessicated?? is that just shredded?? lol i think we just word things differently is all, but i don;t want to mess a good recipe up! 😉 also the grams verses oz thing is gonna get me in trouble, but i think my hubby can ehlp me with that…these look fabulous!! thanks for stopping by my blog!! i was hoping someone would ask for the dark chocolate chip ones (those are the ones i wanted!!)

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I really must start writing my recipes in both imperial and metric. I think glace fruits are what you call candied fruits and dessicated coconut is the finely grated coconut which is different to shredded which is in short thin strands. I think dessicated coconut is really just the ‘normal’ coconut you buy in a bag at your local supermarket. I hope that helps clear the confusion!

  26. Archie will be stronger for this experience and most likely find a better position that actually cares about its staff. I love your website and am drooling over your latest coconut chocolate treats. Thanks for stopping by mine so that I could find yours. Looking forward to keeping in touch. Take Care

  27. Potential employers seem to expect a great deal from applicants these days. My daughter has jumped through hoops for some of them, only to never hear another word. It’s a bloody shame they can’t be bothered extending the normal polite civilities to young people. The same civilities that they actually expect their applicants to have.

  28. B at Just Add Attitude says:

    What a shame that Archie had such a bad interview experience. The coconut swirls look both pretty and festive.

  29. I am now drooling. Yum

  30. I’m sorry your boy had to have that experience. What a strange man.
    Thanks for sharing the coconut recipe – they look great.

  31. That’s shocking! Sad that sort of things still goes on today. Thought we’d come further along than that.
    I’m sure those drool-worthy treats made everything better though. Nom nom! x

  32. Sounds like a disheartening experience for you and Archie – the head of the interview panel really should invest in some anti bacterial wipes if he has OCD. I can’t help but think that Archie’s way of describing his experience didn’t tally with your way (obviously from the blog you have a way with words). I believe that no one wastes their time with interviews if they don’t think the applicant is inexperienced. Unfortunately if the interviewee is inexperienced at interviews they might not know how to sell themselves. I know someone who recently did an interview where he had inside advice that it was a shoo-in – yet he didn’t get it. I think his problem was not that he couldn’t do the work but that he hadn’t had enough interview experience.

    Sorry to blather on but have done enough interviews myself and worked in the recruitment industry enough to have thought about this a lot. Lovely blog and lovely recipe – I love anything with coconut and a christmas theme.

  33. Oh heyyyy… I really LOVE how glossy the dark choc surface looks. The natural light just bounces so beautifully off the surface. Love these jewels of a snack!

  34. How festive and beautiful! Love the chocolate running down all sides 🙂 That’s too bad about Archie… it’s unfortunate that there are such rude people out there, especially when they’re in charge of hiring!

  35. Thanks so much for popping onto my blog and leaving a message. You are so right – the pressure we all put ourselves under is what causes all the meltdowns in the world !!!! Last night we managed to resolve some of the issues which were making me feel so cr*p so that was good – some I just need to roll with until they are over !

    Poor Archie – it is so difficult for people in this type of situation – looking for a job and having to deal with people who are idiots !!!! How do some people get off treating others like that ? I just don’t get it. I hope he finds something soon and that you can get his bedroom back to the state you would like it !

    Have a great day – love, hugs and positive energy !

  36. Probably a lucky escape for Archie, I believe that Perth’s population is made up mainly of South African expats …

  37. Totally weird Director.
    There’s more opportunity for you, Archie. Hang in there buddy 🙂

  38. Definately someone you wouldn’t want to work for. Having such a bad experience at the interview should only mean that the interviews should get better. The coconut swirls look yummy.


  39. Such a shame about the interview.

    Those Coconut Swirls look lovely!

  40. So festive! Coconut sweets always remind me of holiday time for some reason. I think its cause I always made them with family 🙂

  41. I’m struggling to fathom how this director possibly survives in the corporate world on a daily basis when he would have to meet people and avoid shaking their hands!

  42. You guys manage to experience some very whacky recruitment processes! What a complete sh*t that your son had to have such an off the wall experience. Everything happens for a reason, that’s what I believe, something much better will happen to him because this didn’t. The recipe looks yum, may have to give it a go methinks!

  43. Oooh That’s an aweful experience for your boy! They weren’t interested at all in him! How rude of them!

    This experience will help him further in life: be strong & keep your head high! Good luck! 🙂

  44. The little treats look also very festive & ooh so delectable! 🙂

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