Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me. – Audrey Hepburn

I’m on my lunch break at work, where I can sit in either the frigid cold of an A/C running during the winter or comfortable warmth while listening to the scream of an air leak, and I realize what I need most, aside from going home, is some chocolate. This has become a recurring theme, so I head down to the vending machines. Today was a Heath toffee ice cream bar. I once read (?) a book by Tucker Shaw, who chronicled everything he ate for a year in photos (it is aptly titled, Everything I Ate, and at first you think it’s kind of weird but then you find yourself on day 197, unable to put it down). He ate a bowl of cereal around midnight every day, and I think if I were to do the same thing I would find an abnormally high concentration of chocolate.

A woman recently told me to take consideration when I eat. She said something along the lines of, “That chocolate cake might taste good at the time, but it will make you feel terrible later.” I immediately corrected her — that chocolate cake will not only taste great at the time; it will continue to make me feel wonderful till I forget about eating it (to date, I have yet to forget about any chocolate cake I’ve eaten, homemade or store bought, with delicious frosting or that really awful sugary thick mess that’s labeled frosting but you and I know is actually sweetened shortening). The emotional comfort has always trumped stomachache; you can take Pepcid or Tums, but you can’t get a hug out of a bottle.

I should specify that my heart belongs to milk chocolate, which for many chocolate aficionados is a real problem. But I suppose the same part of me that likes processed cheese is what loves milk chocolate; that creamy, sweet but still rich flavor. Dark is too bitter for my sweet tooth and white shouldn’t be recognized as being chocolate. It’s a horrible imposter that is made without cocoa solids. I’ve had many a cheesecake and cookie utterly ruined by the stuff.

When I was a little girl, I was babysat once or twice a week by a lovely woman with a kind heart. Around my birthday, she announced she would make me whatever I wanted. And even after I made my request, and she made faces and cried out that it was too much chocolate — that it would be just awful — she made it anyway. I vividly remember that small birthday party; chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles, with chocolate ice cream and chocolate milk to drink. I was probably the only kid who ate it all, and — this is something I never admitted to anyone — I remember thinking she was completely right. It was too much. The chocolate milk was what did me in, but I wasn’t willing to admit defeat and drank it enthusiastically.

That experience didn’t deter me too much. I learned the hard lesson of not mixing chocolate cake with chocolate milk, but I still thoroughly enjoy both…just on separate occasions. Husband and I have Nesquik Time almost every day (it’s pretty much exactly how it sounds – we sit down and drink tall glasses of Nesquiked milk) and I’ve never purposefully ordered a cake that wasn’t chocolate. At our wedding reception I offered up four different flavors of cupcakes, but Devil’s Food with cream cheese frosting was part of the mix, and frankly if I’d only been thinking about my own tastes and not those of anyone else I would have ordered German Chocolate as well.

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