I’m sure anyone who regularly eats chococolate has had the disappointing exerience of having some that was exposed to heat before you had a chance to eat it. You eagerly open the package, and find that instead of a silky smooth and evenly dark brown surface, you have a blotchy discolored mass. Even more disappointingly, the texture of the chocolate is usually a bit changed, and not for the better.

I recently had several such moments, but instead of unadulterated disappointment, my disappointment was tempered by surprise and admiration. Somehow, my chocolate had transformed itself into little canvases, with fascinating abstract landscapes.

I ate them anyhow. After taking a few photos.


What do you see in these? In the first one (shown once cropped, and once in a hand), several people saw a winter scene.


What else do you see? I mean, aside from chocolate?


Somehow, I have made it to day 29 of (almost) daily blogging.

Dude, where’s my chocolate?

Okay, okay. I’m terribly slow to get around to things. Last week I put up a post wherein I announced that I would randomly select a commenter to receive a box of Brazilian chocolate in the mail. The deadline to enter this drawing was almost a freakin’ week ago, and I still haven’t announced a winner. But here’s the problem: once I announce the winner, I’ll feel compelled to act upon that announcement, and get my lazy ass over to the post office.

So here goes. We have a winner! (Ding ding ding!)

Madame Meow of
A Daily Dose of Zen Sarcasm

…is not the winner!

Oh, no, wait. She is the winner. (Ding ding ding!)

And as soon I get her snail mail address, you can bet that I’ll be heading right over the post office. Within the fortnight. (I also have a return gift for the lovely Dragonfly, who got the chocolate ball rolling.)

As a consolation prize for those of you not soon to receive chocolate in the mail, I offer you this scene, in honor of the meow-ness of the winner’s name. Meow! (It’s from the movie Super Troopers.)

Because Flutter asked about it (“um where is the chocolate?”), I will share some more details on the chocolate in question. It is currently on my kitchen counter, all boxed up and addressed and everything. It almost made it to the post office, but I ran out of time. I managed to get a couple of photos before I closed up the boxes.

Mme. Meow gets this batch: a box of various Garoto brand filled chocolates, a couple of small candy bars, and a whopping big bar of Lacta’s Diamante Negro (“black diamond”), which is milk chocolate with some sort of crunchy cashew bits.

Dragonfly, who has expressed a desire to visit South America, gets the slightly more tropical Garoto mix, which includes some banana and coconut chocolates, as well as two candy bars and a roll of guava cookies (which are not chocolate, but looked good).

chocolate: it’s what’s for breakfast

Tomorrow I will eat a chocolate bar for breakfast.

It’s the day I’m going to get to have my glucose test at the doctor’s office. This is the test to screen for gestational diabetes. Usually, one is made to drink a seriously syrupy “drink” that is reminiscent of soda syrup without the addition of carbonated water. Then an hour later, they draw some blood to check blood sugar levels.¹ I was quite pleased to learn that, at this medical group, I can opt to eat a Hershey’s bar instead of drinking the nasty syrup. So around 9:00 tomorrow morning, I’ll break my fast with chocolate. Sweet. (I must bring my own chocolate, though.)

I must confess that chocolate in the morning is not an entirely novel experience for me. You see, if there is chocolate in the house, I will be nibbling at it no matter what time of day or night. And recently there has been quite a lot of chocolate in the house.

About a month and a half ago, Dragonfly (who is living in Germany) offered to send a bundle of German chocolate to a randomly selected commenter on her 100th post. And I was that lucky commenter. Here is some of the bounty I received a couple weeks later:

This is the photo that she posted on her blog. There was actually quite a bit more, too. I meant to take a picture of it, but mysteriously most of it…um…disappeared. (Did I mention that it was weeks ago?) And it was some pretty wonderful chocolatey goodness.

I have to say, getting a package of chocolate in the mail is a real treat. And I would like to pass along the experience. I mentioned that I managed to stop by a grocery store to load up on chocolate during the last few hours of my Brazil trip. And you, yes you, could get some of this bounty. I plan on selecting a random commenter to be the recipient of a stash of assorted Brazilian chocolates. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by midnight on Thursday, June 5th, and I will enter you in the drawing. To make things a bit more interesting, leave the name of a chocolate bar (or other chocolate treat) in your comment.

Oh, that reminds me. Speaking of chocolate and comments. My chocolate-themed list has been getting some attention from a horde of bored 12-year-olds (judging from the content of the comments). Or perhaps mostly from the same 12-year-old, judging from the IP addresses. What did I do to deserve such attentions?

¹ I actually failed my first glucose test when I was pregnant with Phoebe. It was very annoying. I have a rant about it that I buried away when I realized that the footnote was getting as long as the rest of the post. But a quick word of advice or anyone faced with an upcoming glucose test: don’t load up on carbohydrates right before the appointment.

chocolate-coated list


Halloween is just around the corner, and this means a bunch of things. Costumes. Parties. Spooky decorations. Getting the crap scared out of you at fun “family” activities. But for a lot of people it’s all about the candy. And while there are loads of types of yummy sugar-coma-inducing candies out there filling up those plastic pumpkins, chocolate is the treat most trick-or-treaters prize the most. So I give you a ThThTh list that’s chock-full of chocolate. Enjoy!

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
    A children’s novel. Also the 2005 movie starring ever-versatile Johnny Depp, as well as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), starring Gene Wilder, both based on the Roald Dahl novel. The factory has a chocolate river.
  • Chocolat (2000)
    Again with Johnny Depp, and this time with Juliette Binoche. About a woman who opens a chocolate shop in a French village. Based on the novel Chocolat by Joanne Harris.
  • “Chocolate,” by Snow Patrol (video on YouTube)
  • Hot Chocolate, a 70’s band best known for the song “You Sexy Thing” (YouTube video)
  • Como agua para chocolate/Like Water for Chocolate. The book by Laura Esquivel, and the 1992 movie based on the same. Also an expression:

    The phrase “like water for chocolate” comes from the Spanish “como agua para chocolate”. This phrase is a common expression in Spanish speaking countries and was the inspiration for Laura Esquivel’s novel title (the name has a double-meaning).
    In some Latin American countries, such as Mexico, hot chocolate is made not with milk, but with water instead. Water is boiled and chunks of milk chocolate are dropped in to melt. The saying “like water for chocolate,” alludes to this fact and also to the common use of the expression as a metaphor for describing a state of passion or sexual arousal. In some parts of Latin America, the saying is also equivalent to being ‘boiling mad’ in anger.

  • The Chocolate Touch, by Patrick Skene Catling. A kids’ book based on the tale of King Midas, whose touch would turn things to gold. In this case, a boy’s touch turns things into chocolate.
  • Band Candy This Buffy episode is one of my favorites. All students at the high school must sell chocolate bars in support of the school band, but eating the chocolate makes adults behave like teenagers.
  • I Love Lucy Episode 39 – “Job Switching” (aka the “Candy Factory” episode). Lucy and Ethel get a job in a chocolate factory, and can’t keep up with the conveyor belt, leading to much laughtrack laughter. (YouTube video)
  • My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” A quote from “Forrest Gump“. (Also from the novel by Winston Groom.)
  • “Happiness is” by the Violent Femmes

    I don’t know what one means by happy
    I’m happy spasmodically
    If I eat a chocolate turtle I’m happy
    When the box is empty I’m unhappy
    When I get another box
    I’m happy again

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