As I was grumpily cleaning up the floor today, Ii had a sudden craving of chocolate. You know the kind. Sweet and smooth, melting in your mouth kind of stuff. Normally I don't crave chocolate. Or even eat much of it. Somehow I really wanted some.
well, I wondered if it were just the hormones that were bugging me. I mean, I know my kids don't mean to be messy with playdough, or they don't mean to forget to flush the toilet for the 1000 time. It must be something else that is making me hunger for the "good" stuff.
When I was little, my mom worked for a chocolate factory. She made the most divine things. And every Christmas and Easter were the same....Lots of chocolates were in the house. The memories are just there, fuzzy, creamy, and full of lots of dark chocolate goodies. The best part was, they were always cold. See, mom hid the chocolates (as well as the presents)from dad in the storage room in the garage. On Christmas morning, or afternoon, whenever the indulgences began, out to the garage she would disappear, only to reappear with delicious chocolates that were cold. Not frozen, but cold. The chocolate has a bit more crunch to it, a little firmer than normal, but the centers were just fine. Cordial cherries, billie mints, chocolate truffles, creams, and other assorted fine delights that I can't remember the names.
Mom came home from work, smelling of chocolate. Warm chocolate. When we would go visit her at work, we could see the big chocolate melting vats, full of either dark or milk chocolate. Ever seen "I love Lucy" when they are packaging the chocolates? That is exactly what the candy factory looked like inside. The women dipped the chocolates in a different room from the melting chocolate and it was always just a little cold. And then there were the boxes of the stuff that was "imperfect", just the right height for a 5 year old, eager girl who loved the chocolate covered toffee.
The front counter had ice cream, not the soft serve stuff, but the good stuff that you need a real strong arm and a hefty scoop for. And popcorn fresh from the popcorn popper. Just like you went to the movies. There was rock candy, and jaw breakers the size of small planets. Everything a kid, or adult could ever want. Sold by the pound, or by the box. There were tables to enjoy your purchases at, all with 3 legged chairs. And the woman behind the counter, whose beehive hair resembled the color of the ice cream, used an ancient cash register. She also used to pinch my chubby cheeks.
It is no wonder that the real Christmas season for me, begins when I open that first box of chocolates. Slightly cold. Those childhood memories crowd over my eyes and in one bite I feel safe and warm, and I smell those smells, taste the sweet air that hovered over this chocolate Mecca. Of course I can never have the same feeling again. I will never again be a five year old girl amazed at production of the goodies. I can't go back in time when the chocolates were hand made and nearer perfection than any other goody in existence. I can remember the smells, remember the love of those boxes mom had bought to share with her family.