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Today is Monday, and it has been 27 days since I last tasted chocolate. And I have not maimed anyone.

Today is the first day that I haven’t actually wished for chocolate in about 27 days. Seriously. Granted, it’s only 3:30 p.m., there is still time.

But during the last two weeks in particular the craving has been all day, every day. In my last post I considered turning to music as a chocolate replacement, rather than an edible. The very next day I was in the kitchen preparing some baked goods for the Church bake sale, and I turned on a playlist filled with songs that I like to sing along with (a.k.a. belt out at the top my lungs when no one is around to cringe). And I danced. I’m an awful dancer, but I enjoy it so I do it anyway. I danced around the kitchen – I put the knife down first, don’t worry – and I sang along with Christina Aguilera and Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry and Serena Ryder and I felt good about everything. The cloud that has been following me around for the last several days gave way to sunshine.

I lived in the moment, and I loved the moment.

So, I kept doing it.

Those snickerdoodles and honey nut squares were tasty, not only because they are, but because I baked a lot of happy into those sugary delights! Total epiphany moment, let me tell you, and not a moment too soon. I was cantankerous enough to really think about eating chocolate just to see what the effect would be.

A few days later came a great challenge. I went with some of my friends to the One of a Kind Show in Toronto. If you’ve never been, it’s a week-long indoor market made up almost entirely of Canadian artisans selling their homemade anything and everything. One of the anythings is food. The Food District area of the show has, of course, lots of chocolate to sample. They were everywhere! These smiley, contraband-peddling evildoers holding out free samples of homemade chocolately treats appeared every few steps.

Not only did I have to dodge the treats, I finally had to break down and tell one of my friends that I had given up chocolate for Lent because she could not understand why I kept turning the samples down! She was a bit surprised but she said, “Good for you!” I mentioned that I hadn’t told anyone, and since she’s a BFF she wordlessly understood that I didn’t want to talk about. She did tell me to pick up the samples anyway for her, which I did. BFF!

But the greatest test of my strength came yesterday while I volunteered at the aforementioned bake sale. I was tasked with dividing a batch of brownies into half dozens. They were the gooiest, most chocolatey-aromatic brownies covered in icing. It was all I could do not to take a taste. But I stayed strong!

Now let me backtrack a little. I mentioned that I was baking for the Church bake sale. I need to take a moment and remark upon the fact that chocolate dominates baking! I have the Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies (I looooove it!) and I struggled to find simple recipes that did not contain chocolate. Hence the very simple snickerdoodles and honey nut bars. I even poked around online to find something tasty that made me think of spring and totally struck out. I figured everyone would make decorated sugar cookies and crispy rice treats, I was trying to avoid those, (of course then no one made any). I’m considering developing non-chocolate cookie recipes for bake sales post-Lent. That could be fun.

I really do think that since I have survived a cranky mood, turned down free samples and managed not to even buy a brownie, let alone lick my fingers after plating them, I will not only survive this Lenten challenge, but may even come out feeling empowered over my addiction. *wobbly ballerina twirl of joy*

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