Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Science of Giving

Matthew's Pennies
Originally uploaded by xxtickleticklexx
In an archival NY Times article, dating December 26, 1919, it was reported that if all the ants in the world gathered together in one place they would far outweigh all the elephants of the world. (This, according to a Statistical Naturalist. Who knew?)

It certainly gives illumination to "every little bit counts," doesn't it? 

From my newest book, Am I Beautiful? (09)-- a talking parrot and a little girl named Polly find themselves exploring the other side of a mirror. 

...Right then the sky turned to copper and it began to rain pennies!!  "Do you save your pennies for a rainy day? AWK?" the parrot asked.... 
"I have a piggy bank and an umbrella with lady bugs on it!" she replied proudly.  "Oh dear!"said Polly, as she placed a hundred pennies on top of a rabbit family's leaking roof.... 
Beautiful is sharing. 

And of course Giving has many faces. Sometimes Giving dresses up as a smile; or gives up parking spaces-- even though you were there first; or pays it forward;  or picks up a stranger's litter;  or walks the dog;  or makes dinner ('giving' begins at home;)  or shovels a neighbor's sidewalks;  or fills the bird feeder;  or forgives those who need it most.   Again.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mark your calendars! Dec. 16 is National Chocolate Covered ANYTHING Day

It had to happen, didn't it? A day devoted to smothering, drizzling, slapping, sluicing, encrusting, encasing, ANYTHING with chocolate. We humans do love our cacao.

Every couple of months I leave a metaphorical skid mark outside Chuao Chocolatier's in Southern CA. Trust me, they smolder in chocolate, of the Venezuelan variety. But what's a Coloradan, 1,600 miles away, to do? 

Why... mail order, of course! at www.chuaochocolatier.com. Chuao coddles their fresh truffles and bonbons inside candy boxes and ships them overnight in an innovative cold pack. And their pairings and flavorings are sumptuous. Too many personal favorites to list, but here's a sampling: 
  1. Chevere: goat cheese, pear Williams and crushed black pepper buttercream. 
  2. Mondena: strawberry caramel with balsamic vinegar,   
  3. Picante: California raisin fondue and Napa Valley cabernet, spiced with pasilla chili and cayenne pepper.  
 Purrrrrrr.  Every couple of months I place my internet order for a box of dark bonbons from Chuao. ( I love the word BONBON, don't you? I love it so much that I think it will be the title of my next children's book. Doesn't it conjure up a lazy day spent on the couch? In pink spongey curlers?)

Okay... the rumor is true, there's another reason why National Chocolate Covered Anything Day snagged my attention. I have a history with chocolate covered cherries a.k.a. cherry cordials.  I use to hand make them for my family back when maraschinos were synonymous with the words "covered" and "chocolate." Now, like everyone else, I cover candied ginger and fresh strawberries, and brussel sprouts... not really.

I recall a shhhocking scene in the movie Chocolat when Vivian blends dark chocolate shavings into the gravy (oh my!) and serves to her partisans over pork (or was that beef.)  Those French!!  I wonder how many folks will celebrate National Chocolate Covered Anything Day that way?

Not me!  I don't eat red meat.  But I do eat chicken.... hmmmmm.

(Thanks to  Kristie for introducing my sister to Chuao, who later introduced ME... the fanatic.)