I don’t remember the day I tasted chocolate for the first time, although I should, as it has been such a big part of my life. I remember being given a large tube of Smarties at around aged 6, and shaking them up after taking one or two out, as I was convinced that this increased the number of brightly coloured edible gems in the tube. I wanted them to last forever.
I grew up in a chocolate loving home, and most evenings while watching the TV together as a family, a box or bar of something would be brought out and enjoyed. From those pecan caramel turtles, Cadbury’s milk, Black Magic, Charles Chocolate, Devon Milk, and countless other temptations.
When I went away to UK boarding school I was fortunate enough to have one of the old-fashioned corner sweet shops in close proximity, and with my weekly allowance in hand I would request my quota of a quarter pound of vanilla fudge and savour every nibble on those magical Saturdays.
As an adult I became free to buy and eat chocolate to my heart’s content. My tastes have changed as my mood does, but it has tended to be milk, as opposed to the dark that is better for you. Mars Bars and Quality Street used to be some of the big names, moving to Terry’s milk chocolate orange segments, fudge sticks, Minstrels, mint smoothies and Cadbury’s mini eggs, when in season. My current passions are milk chocolate buttons with orange wedges coming a close second.
The problem is that while I was fortunate in my youth to not put on weight easily that has changed as I near the mid fifty mark. That, coupled with the rumour that sweets are not good for you, has caused a gear shift, that guilt element and occasional purging.
I returned from holiday towards the end of June, having had an amazing two weeks visiting family in the UK, and squeezed in between was a week’s cruise, which meant, along with all the great sightseeing, I did a lot of eating when not hungry because that’s what you do on cruises.
I am still trying to get off those many pounds. The British chocolate I had stocked up on and brought home to enjoy, I had managed to gather up and take to my sister’s freezer, where it was kept safely for more than a month. Then, in a moment of weakness the chocolate thief collected and devoured it in a few days.
So I am trying again to not eat chocolate. To not succumb to tempting bars right at the supermarket check out, not choose desserts at restaurants, not eat the goods I bake.. Regrettably I am not like my husband, who, deciding to go on a diet, sticks to everything he should eat, never deviating for a moment. If I know there is a chocolate button somewhere in the house I will find it. I will find that needle in a haystack and it will end up in my salivating mouth.
So the fridge is empty of sweets again. It is boring, but necessary, and so begins the cheerless journey without my comfortable companions.