Wednesday, February 23, 2011

For the Love of Chocolate

Yes, I know Valentine's Day was over a week ago, so I figured I should delay no longer in sharing about one of my greatest loves: See's Candy dark nougats. I received 1/2 lb. of these babies from my husband on Valentine's Day. I had to restrain myself from devouring the entire box that first night, and I'm glad I didn't immediately eat the whole thing for the following reasons:

-The next few days with my kids made me want to drink myself silly and hide in a corner never to be found. But seeing as I don't drink and whisking myself away to a remote location would be considered child abandonment, I drowned my frustrations in prayer and a few pieces of dark nougats. When Justin came home, he'd check the chocolate box to gauge how bad my day had been. Things got better with around 4 pieces left.
-Following those trying days, I noticed my face start to break out. Stress related? Possibly. Chocolate related? Definitely. Oh, my boys have stressed me to the outer limits before. But Valentine's Day comes once a year and, with the arrival of my favorite candy, so do pimples like the ones I had. Just when I thought my problems had been solved by the mass consumption of what I consider heaven in chocolate form, I began to resemble my 7th grade school picture. I don't even want to THINK about what my face would have looked like if I had eaten all of it that first or second day.

So I am pleasantly surprised that I still have two pieces of dark nougats left one week after Valentine's Day. They are tokens of how much my husband loves me, and a reflection of how my vanity has motivated my restraint. And, as long as they last, they will be reminders that it is better to be zit-faced than to leave my children at the curb. Ah, the things I do for love.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Morning Dance

Like many of you, I look forward to my morning cup of coffee. Unlike many of you, I have four sons who also have their morning needs so, more often than not, I don't get to enjoy my coffee freshly made, nice and hot. I have a mental schedule of everything I need to do for them in the morning and somewhere at the end I have "eat breakfast" listed for myself. If I told you this schedule your eyes would probably pop out of your head, and if I told you what has to happen daily I'm sure your head would explode.

Well, today is momentous because not only did I get to that "eat breakfast" part for myself, it worked out like a beautifully rehearsed sequence of events. First, I heated up the water for my coffee (I use a French press). Then, while the water got hot, I washed out the press (I have a bad habit of not washing it after I use it) and scooped into it the coffee grounds. I sliced my bread and put it into the toaster oven. I turned on the stove to heat my pan. The water boiled so I poured it into the press and set the timer for exactly 4 minutes. I scrambled my eggs (whites only) and put it into the pan. I poured milk into my coffee mug and put it in the microwave to heat (1 minute 15 secs to be exact). I cooked the eggs till they were done and turned off the oven. "Ding!" went the microwave to indicate the milk was heated. I put two teaspoons of sugar into my mug of hot milk. "Ding!" went the timer, so I poured the pressed coffee into my mug. "Ding!" went the toaster oven and out came my toast. It all came together, my exquisitely choreographed meal of the morning.

Now with one son on the potty, another running laps up and down the hallway, another reading the numbers 1-100 at the top of his lungs and another asking questions related to equivalent decimal numbers, the morning dance is gradually turning into noontime freestyle. But I certainly relished my 7 minutes of order and trust that I will get through the afternoon's mental list with the help of another cup of coffee - even if it is lukewarm.