Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You Can Never Have Too Much Chocolate

Fudge Chocolate Cake Hershey Bar Hot Fudge Sauce Aztec Fudge Cake German Chocolate Cake Beate’s Killer Cake Chocolate Sheet Cake Hot Chocolate Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Soda


“You can never have too much chocolate.” Derrick’s words come repeated back to me as we walk out of DeBrands, stuffed to the gills. Barb and Derrick had taken me there after my birthday dinner. Needless to say, we were already full from that. (My birthday, but Derrick picked his favorite place to take me, Takaoka, the Japanese restaurant he loved to go to on his birthday.) I thought we’d go home after dinner, but Barb L and Derrick conspired to take me for a chocolate delight. Nowhere but DeBrands would do! What a treat! Too many choices on the menu, but I finally pick a chocolate brownie with ice cream and hot fudge sauce. Derrick was probably about 10 at the time. I remember enjoying the chocolate, but when I think about it now, what I really remember is the camaraderie of the evening, sharing conversation, laughing with each other, talking together, just being. Chocolate does that for me, helps focus in on the best of memories.

One of my favorite chocolate memories is actually tactile. Grandma made fudge. Truly a delight for all the senses! The sight of a freshly made batch, shinny in the pan before it has been cut. The sound of her beating the fudge by hand. What an upper arm workout! The smell of the chocolate concoction simmering on the stove. Don't stir yet or it will be ruined! Absolutely nothing compares to the taste of her fudge. She's gone now, but her tradition continues. My Aunt Nita makes it for birthdays and family gatherings. I make it for other family gatherings. I've even taught my college age niece to make it, assuring the tradition will go on well into the future. But the best part of thinking of the fudge brings me right to Grandma’s Love itself. She tests the fudge to cooked perfection, not with a candy thermometer as I do, but by dropping just a bit from a spoon into a cup of cold water. She pinches the small sample into a perfect, soft round ball. Then, on the tip of her middle finger, she asks if I would like to sample it. Every cell of my being can still feel the fudge and her finger on my tongue as the chocolate melts into my very soul. She’s already tested the chocolate to determine if it is ready to beat, rolled it between her fingers to feel if it’s cooked enough. Even that is a loving motion, followed through by my rolling the small fudge ball on my tongue, savoring it as long as possible.

When Derrick was born I was very particular about introducing food to him. Guess it was one way to show love and care to him. Protection even. I always knew what he had to eat and was certain the choices were the best. He didn’t nap a lot. So when he did take a nap, sometime in March of his first year, I was determined to make the best of it. I reached into the cupboard for my secret stash of Ghirardelli dark chocolate stir sticks. Left over from my Christmas stocking. Of course I couldn’t eat them in front of Derrick’s dad. But I knew where they were! I cozied into my chair with a book and ate a few of the chocolate pieces. Too soon I hear Derrick and up I go to return to mothering. Sometime later, I’m in the kitchen, keeping an eye on him in the family room, peeking through the fireplace so I know what he’s up to. He’s just started his cruising around furniture. I go into him and he turns around to face me from the footstool. I’m horrified to see his face, covered in dark goo. Has he gotten into a forbidden diapee? But then I notice the look of ecstasy and realize he’s discovered the joy of chocolate! The joy I felt then is immeasurable. Derrick takes after me! He likes chocolate! Later he would tell me not I want chocolate but I NEED chocolate.

Chocolate, streaming in and out of my life. Poured amongst the cracks and crevices of memories. Flavoring my life with richness, fullness, trust and love.


Fudge Chocolate Cake Hershey Bar Hot Fudge Sauce Aztec Fudge Cake German Chocolate Cake Beate’s Killer Cake Chocolate Sheet Cake Hot Chocolate Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Soda

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  1. Delightful!
    I'm a lover of that seductive taste as well, handed down from my mother :) My daughter didn't get the same gene, she enjoys but doesn't crave it, which I cannot understand.
    Do you know I didn't taste fudge until I was an adult, have no idea how that happened! I have a quick fudge recipe but now I feel I'm cheating myself (and others). Must give the regular fudge recipes a try.

  2. SO sweet ~ and YES,
    pun intended!!! Love the
    imagery of you and your
    grandma as well as the
    scene with your son. My
    daughter's first taste of
    chocolate was a sample of
    fudge at a craft fair. I put
    a tiny bit on her tongue.
    She immediately opened
    said, "More?" She's been
    hooked, ever since!

    xx Suzanne