That picture is my favourite Easter joke. For as we all know, Easter is one of those holidays that is really all about the chocolate. Sure, there are Christians all over the planet celebrating their most holy festival, blah blah blah. The Catholics will almost certainly be celebrating, most likely by indulging heavily in whatever they gave up for the six long weeks of Lent. Come Sunday, many of them will be face down in a bucket of chocolate, a bottle of wine by their side.
For most of us however, it’s about a last minute panic to buy eggs, devise complicated egg hunts and then worry about scraping the kids off the ceiling after they’ve consumed a month’s worth of sugar in one afternoon. Bless ‘em. At that age, what else should it be about except delicious chocolate in shiny coloured wrappers? Why would they care about a dead man rising and man’s inhumanity to man? When I was young, the thing I hated most about this time of year was the number of times you had to go to church: three times more than normal! The only thing making it all worthwhile was the promise of eating my own body weight in chocolate at the end of the week.
The interesting thing is how much as adults we all still love chocolate and why we seek to comfort ourselves with it, or punish ourselves by denying it. Lately, it has had a particularly bad press, being as full of sugar as it is. Sugar. The demon in our store cupboards. This has led to the rise of the chocolate snob, who knows the exact percentage of cocoa in their bar, and disdains all popular treats from M&Ms to Milky Bars. How far we have come! Remember the days when adverts for Mars bars showed us how it would help us with our exercise regime?
To be fair, the chocolate snobs have a point. All these Cadbury type treats are basically sugary crap, with a low percentage of the actual cocoa high that is so satisfying in chocolate. And I am a dark chocolate gal myself, 70% and above preferred. But now and again, the sugary shite hits the spot too. When enjoying a dunk of Twix in their tea, the last thing anyone wants is a smug hipster reminding them that their £5 bar of artisan crafted, organic chocolate using milk directly sourced from Himalayan goats, is far superior. Yes, we know it is and it will undoubtedly be more ethical too, but sometimes we need that fix and we just don’t care.
Does that picture resonate? It probably does, particularly if you are a woman. I’m not sure if it’s nature or nurture, but we do seem wired to crave it at particular times of the month, or when we are stressed or upset. While I’m not advocating the habit of eating your emotions, a wee bit of chocolate to calm the nerves and soothe the soul is no bad thing. And it’s certainly a lot healthier than other methods such as drugs or alcohol. The problem comes, like with those other little helpers, when it spirals into addiction, leaving us obese and weak of heart. Don’t go there. However, when you’re having a bad day, or your PMT is through the roof, sometimes you don’t want to talk about it. All you want to do is unwrap a little golden square of joy and feel that instant hit of joy. Possibly not too healthy, but not the end of the world either.
I do truly want to be healthy. On the other hand, I also want to indulge in some of the most delicious and frankly life affirming substances life has to offer. For the last few weekends, I have been trying out a new cake shop in my locale, testing some of the different wares they have on offer. Not stuffing my face, but enjoying a tasty treat with my afternoon coffee. Look at these beauties.
Yes my friends, once you start indulging your chocolate urges, it’s a slippery slope to the even more sugar laden happiness that is cake. For me the key is not to order every thing on the menu. Part of the pleasure is the look of the cakes. I take my time, thinking about which one I want, and when I do pick, I eat it slowly, savouring every chocolatey bite. Because I nearly always choose a chocolatey one. Not all cakes are born equal. Some may say fairy cakes have their place, but not in my world. If I’m going to eat food that is calorific and bad for me, I’m going to make it worth my while.
Here endeth my Easter homily. A toy clear out awaits me, what joy! The reward for this dull task will be a late lunch with some wine and some chocolate of some sort. It’s a holiday weekend, so I feel the need to be kind to myself, as well as get outside and get active. It looks like spring might finally be sprung this weekend, so we are off up a wee hill. Easter eggs and hill walking is a perfect combo. I may not believe in god, but I do believe in balance.
Happy Easter everyone,
Until next time,