New Year’s Eve

I wrote this on New Year’s Eve while we drove the 101 North up the Oregon Coast in our motorhome.  Unfortunately, due to challenges with technology and an almost complete absence of cell service, I couldn’t post it until now, but better late than never! Here’s hoping you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve!

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Short and sweet on New Year’s Eve: an homage to my love affair with kisses, er, Hershey’s kisses, that is.
In particular the white chocolate and peppermint ones. Thank you Hershey’s. I love you.

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Oh wait, maybe not just an homage to Hershey’s Kisses, because there’s Purdy’s English Toffee Crunch too. Mmmmm, nuts and toffee and milk chocolate.
Thank you, Purdy’s.
I love you.

Truthfully, I’m not discriminatory.  I’m nutty for chocolate, all kinds of chocolate, but especially chocolate with flavours, or chocolate with things in it – chocolates with creams: raspberry, orange, eggnog; or chocolate with almonds; chocolate with chili pepper; chocolate with caramel and Sea Salt on the top. (I really love the zing you get with the salt.) And yes, I’ve seen Chocolat – but only for Juliette Binoche.

So, ok, maybe it’s more like an homage to chocolate in general.

Chocolate is one of my guilty pleasures (along with John Hughes movies and Gordon Ramsay). Is there a twelve-step program for chocaholics? Well, I’m not going, even if there is. But while I am in the confessional booth with you all here, I will confess to something else that pertains to my affection (did I say affection?  I meant addiction) for chocolate (and this is the extent of my sordidness, so don’t get your knickers in a knot) – I keep a stash of Kisses in my sock drawer, hidden away from the black-feathered red-beaked vultures that live with me in my house; every once in awhile I’ll treat myself with a tiny Kiss-sized reward from the drawer, a sweet treat for doing things like washing the dinner dishes, or manhandling darling son’s stinky soccer cleats, or even for not criticizing my husband when he peels off his work socks and leaves them in the middle of the living room floor.  And here’s the scene, how it goes down in my house – I sneak away to the bedroom, open the sock drawer slowly, stealthily (like a little ninja in an apron), and very quietly pull out a Kiss (or break off a chunk of chocolate-covered toffee if I happen to have that stashed in there too). I have to watch over my back the whole time, listening for footsteps, and taking care not to rustle the bag too much because this will definitely alert the predators, all until the little bit of chocolatey-goodness has been popped safely into my mouth. I forgot to mention, I also have a half-dozen milk chocolate ice wine truffles hidden in my baking cupboard behind the raisins and whole-wheat flour. Is that bad?
At any rate, for the mastering of this particular skill of pilfering chocolate bits, I feel I could’ve/ should’ve maybe been someone grand, say an art thief, like Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment. Were it not for my mere sixty-inches of height (which makes bending and snaking over red laser beams nigh impossible), and my ability to single-handedly dent stainless steel appliances with not one, but two or three or four jam jars falling from the fridge on separate occasions, I could’ve done it.
Sometimes I hate having to hide my chocolate, and having to hide my chocolate addiction, but, I suppose, in a family of sweet-tooths, it’s every man for himself, so I have to take these extreme measures.  If the kids continue to sniff out my stash, the next step will be combat boots and a mushroom-scented decoy.

Hmmm, as I write, I think that actually, maybe, this post isn’t really an homage to chocolate, or to my love affair with Kisses. Or my dalliance with ET (English Toffee). Or not even a hat’s off to my chocolate-sneaking ninja skills.
Maybe I’m going to make this a butt-kicking salute to go forth and just really enjoy what you love. Without restriction. Without guilt. Whoever you are.

This is an admonishment to open the sock drawer and throw caution to the wind!

To unwrap the sweetness without worrying about the wrapper noise.

This is New Year’s Eve, after all.

This is officially the end of something. In all of our cases, it’s the end of a year. One which has probably had moments of tears and sadness, but also hopefully thankfulness, and a bit of joy.

I hope New Year’s Day we can all boldly unwrap a new year, hoping for sweetness.  And also appreciating that a bit of salt will always make the sweetness sweeter.

Sweet.

Anybody want a peanut-butter cup?

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