28 November 2010
Chocolate Thoughts and Chocolate Times
The afternoons - as I imagined them - were dark and gray, but I would be protected from the elements inside a toasty little niche, reading a slender book of poetry and waiting - waiting for what? My tender imagination stopped there. I only knew that chocolate and dark days and romance belonged together.
My memorable moments in college often involved chocolate: The Thanksgiving afternoon I spent alone with Colette and a hastily-made chocolate souffle, the Christmas Eve a box of chocolate was delivered to my mother's house from a friend in Switzerland, the winter afternoon a friend and I shared a chocolate torte at the Ovens of Brittany on Monroe Street in Madison, the chocolate bars gobbled down between classes in place of real meals.
Sometimes I think it has been the idea of chocolate that matters as much as the smooth, dark taste of it. As I once sought a life of romance, so I now seek chocolate at certain moments. The fruit desserts I make at least 10 times a year - apple crisp or a blueberry pudding or a pear tart - will not do. Chocolate and only chocolate brightens a dark day.
For a time my little town had its own chocolate shop. A pair of artists opened a chocolaterie in a tiny building in the old downtown across the river. It thrived that winter, and then suddenly it was gone the next year. Now you can buy serviceable chocolate bars in supermarkets and drugstores from famous makers. It's not the same, though, is it?
Tell me your chocolate stories. The days are dark now, and short. It's chocolate time.