Archive for January, 2011



This column first appeared in the January issue of Forsyth Family magazine:

Although Garnet likes everyday chocolate just fine, deluxe chocolate makes her light up. So, from time to time, Sparkle Girl, Doobins and I like to pick up something a bit more high-tone for her.

Most often, that means a trip down the hill to Walgreen’s and a modest jump up to Lindor Truffles. On occasion, we make the bold leap to the gourmet Belgian chocolates sold downtown at Contempo.
The kids have Garnet’s ability to appreciate the nuances of fine chocolate, and, as we head home, they know that the double satisfactions of their mother thanking them profusely and offering them their own pieces of chocolate await them.

Although Garnet always offers me a piece, too, I often pass when they’re Belgian chocolates because I get far more satisfaction out of watching — and listening to — her savoring a praline than I would out of eating one myself.

After Sparkle Girl and Doobins have devoured their first piece, they begin the delicate dance of extracting another treasure from their mother’s stash. Doobins has taken to calling the spherical truffles “chocolate orbs,” and, after a seemly amount of time has passed, he might wander through whatever room Garnet is in wondering in a voice filled with innocence whether the time is right for another chocolate orb.

Garnet and the kids have an amazing memory for chocolates they have known and loved. Just as a baseball fan can reconstruct a game from years ago play by play, they can recreate a chocolate experience tasty morsel by creamy texture.

We might be driving down Miller Street on the way to the grocery store when, out of the blue, Garnet or Sparkle Girl will begin waxing eloquent on the lavender truffles from the store in Black Mountain that makes chocolates on the premises. The other one will immediately jump in and off they go in their imaginations, salivating all the way, as they relive in detail the sublime experience of eating one.

After the Belgian chocolates inside were gone, Doobins converted one chocolate box into a storage container for some of his smaller Lego parts. On the back are illustrations and descriptions of the delicacies once found within, and the other day, the back caught Doobins’s attention while he was playing with his Legos.

Box in hand, he went and found Garnet and Sparkle Girl. It has to have been at least a year since we bought Garnet that particular box of chocolates but, pointing out the illustrations, they proceeded to work their way through the highlights of each piece as if they had eaten them yesterday.

At a recent party, Sparkle Girl encountered her first chocolate fountain. Her reveries in the days since have been so heartfelt that I’m guessing, years from now, her grandchildren will be hearing about the experience.