I have a list of a multitude of sins, flaws, character weaknesses and obsessions to which I can confess. The problem is choosing just one, which is a good thing for a writer of a blog, but alas, for you, maybe not so much . You would think that by now I would be running out of things to confess, but that is not the case. You are going to be subjected to confessions for many Fridays to come.
Today I read the most horrible news story ever. This news article has been the final straw to convince me that the world is surely coming to an end, and if not, when what is predicted in the story comes to pass, all women I know will want it to. I went into a pure-T panic. Hysteria. Rolled up into a ball in the corner of the room, thumb in mouth, shaking uncontrollably. Someone slap me, please, and wake me from the nightmare that is about to happen.
Sisters, I hope you are sitting down for this one. Here's the bad news: By the year 2014, all the world's supply of cocoa will be gone! Yes! As in NO cocoa - zip, nada, zero, - as in gone, good-bye, "hasta la vista, baby", vamoose, syonara, "bon voya-gi, don't forget to write" to quote Bugs Bunny, ciao, arrivederci, tootle-loo, so-long, adios.... And we all know what that means.....without cocoa, there is no CHOCOLATE! Don't believe me? Then read for yourselves...read it and weep! NO CHOCOLATE
Say it isn't sooooooo....... Insert wailing and gnashing of teeth here.....
"Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies."-- John Q. Tullius
I can't remember when I didn't love chocolate. I was born loving chocolate. My Uncle Jack was the manager of a food distribution warehouse for a major food company that supplied grocery stores in Western Tennessee. One of my fondest memories was taking a walk on a Sunday afternoon in the warehouse and getting to chose any candy I wanted....a whole box of Hershey bars...that is a COMMERCIAL box, not the"10 bars in the pack" box .... goes a long, long way when you are 6 or 7. At Uncle Jack's and Aunt Etta's, there was a never ending supply of Hershey's chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream. I learned at an early age that the more chocolate syrup, the greater the chocolate high. Aunt Etta could make a mean batch of Hello Dollies, too, and it is to this day my favorite bar cookie, even over chocolate brownies, although I have to say that my daughter Paige makes some killer brownies! If you don't know what Hello Dollies are, they are the most delectable mixture of graham cracker crumb crust, Eagle Brand condensed milk, shredded coconut and semi-sweet chocolate chips EVER!
"Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn't like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good." -- Lora Brody
According to Wikipedia: "Chocolate comes from the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the cocoa tree. The word "Chocolate" comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. The Nahuatl word xocolatl means "bitter water". The Precolumbian peoples of the Americas drank chocolate mixed with vanilla, chile pepper, and achiote."
It was Christopher Columbus that took some cocoa beans back to Spain to present to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Friars in Spain then introduced it to the rest of Europe, but chocolate wasn't really imported to Europe until the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs. They were the ones that figured out that by adding sugar it became the food of the gods, at least that's how I think of it. In 1657 the first chocolate house opened in London. Then a renowned doctor invented a milk chocolate drink distributed by early pharmacies, but the doctor then sold it to the Cadbury brothers. This chocolate drink was the only way chocolate was consumed and the process for making chocolate stayed the same for hundreds of years. But the Industrial Revolution changed all that. It was in the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution that machines were developed that could render the cocoa butter, essential to making hard chocolate. Chocolate then began to become available to the masses - lucky us!
Enter the names we associate with chocolate.....Cadbury, Nestles, Lindt, Hershey. With each improvement and step in processing, the cheaper chocolate became. Milton Hershey gave chocolate making his own American twist and chocolate went from being a delicacy to a product that could be consumed daily due to its low price. Thank you, Mr. Hershey! You are probably solely responsible for my chocolate addiction.
At the end of World War II, my dad was sent to post-war Germany. His German secretary informed him that the German people knew that the war was lost when they heard the day after D-Day when the beaches at Normandy had been secured by the American forces that Americans were landing Cokes and Hershey bars on the shore for the soldiers. The Germans knew that they could not compete with such a country. Who knew Hershey bars could be an unintentional propaganda tool? Aahh, the power of chocolate never ceases to amaze me!
Man cannot live on chocolate alone; but woman sure can. -- Author Unknown
Why do women love chocolate? It seems that chocolate contains a number of chemicals or enzymes or whatever that can recreate the feeling of falling in love. That makes me ponder this question: How many women thought they were falling in love with a guy when it was actually the box of chocolates he brought her on the first or second date? You know me, these things cross my mind. To continue, chocolate can mimic dopamine, the substance that makes you feel happy or high. Thank goodness the high you get from chocolate is not dangerous like cocaine or heroin, but some experts do think there is an addictive quality to it. If ever there was a chocolate addict it would be me. Yes, I confess, I am a chocoholic, if you haven't guessed by now. I would be a charter member of Chocoholics Anonymous, if it ever came to exist. "Hi, my name is Pam and I have been chocolate free for 30 minutes."
"It's not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let's face it, far more reliable than a man." -- Miranda Ingram
To which I add "Unless, he's Willy Wonka"....just sayin'.
You know what the sad thing was when I read the news that there may be no more available cocoa by 2014? The first thing I thought about was not being able to buy and eat chocolate. Only after the first initial panic did I remember that Ed, my husband, will be out of work at the same time, considering he works for a major chocolate company. Where ARE my priorities? That is when the second wave of terror hit! Chocolate withdrawal AND being homeless, scrounging in garbage cans for leftover chocolate or candy bars is not a pretty picture.......
With that being said, I have to close at this point and run to the grocery store. I have to start buying as many cans of cocoa powder as I can get my hands on. And remember these last words of wisdom:
"Make a list of important things to do today. At the top of your list, put "eat chocolate." Now, you'll get at least one thing done today."-- Gina Hayes