- THE CHOCOLATE EDIT -
There are dinosaurs in my kitchen! Like many men (so we’re told) I pass in and out of my kitchen without really noticing what’s going on. I like to think I’m on a mission (seek, locate, retrieve) and don’t want to get distracted. Think shopping. However, every now and then, I do stop and stare if something succeeds in attracting my attention.
This week two items caught my fleeting kitchen gaze. Dinosaurs! Magdalena and I saw Jurassic Park; Fallen Kingdom recently. For me, it was the first time back to the world of the terrible lizards since I watched the first Jurassic Park movie in 1993. It seems like an age away, so much has happened since, but the dinosaurs still seem timeless.
So, why were dinosaurs roaming around my kitchen? An order of Chocolate Dinosaur Lollipops is the answer.
As well as the ubiquitous Tyrannosaurus Rex, the herbivores were well represented with Stegasaurus and Brontosaurus making an appearance. I’m sure the children who will get this present are far better at recognising the names and characteristics of the various dinosaurs than I am.
The other thing that caught my eye was certainly big in size – at least in comparison to the rest of the kitchen. And it would also come in very handy in the sweltering heat of the jungle. Yes, the de-humidifier has now been joined by an air conditioning unit as the big beasts in the kitchen.
Blooming flowers may be a sight to behold in summer but blooming chocolates are every chocolatier’s nightmare! This summer’s heatwave has been a boon to many but when you’re making handmade chocolates in small batches, battling against the heat is one thing you want to avoid.
The air conditioning unit has a hose about the size of a Woolly Mammoth’s trunk. Magdalena joked that it was the biggest order she’s had in weeks when it arrived. It also came via dispatch on her birthday. So it certainly dwarfed what I gave her as a present!
Funnily enough, we were in London’s West End that evening to see a show as part of Magdalena’s birthday celebrations. And it’s not just chocolatiers that are feeling the heat. Because, I saw the same Mammoth like hose from air conditioning units poking out of the doors of several shops!
I like to keep fit by running with my local running club. l. It may be something to do with being surrounded by all this lovely chocolate. Perhaps I'm just running away from it all and I'm in denial. If I had a pound from every well-meaning customer (usually women) who remark how thin I look and whether I eat any chocolate at all, then I wouldn't need to write articles like this one!
Of course in this heat, I’ve been making sure that I drink a lot once I finish running to recover and replace my body fluids.
So, my interest was aroused by Reuters News Agency who ran (forgive the pun) a story about how drinking chocolate milk after exercising can be as healthy and aid recovery as any other form of energy sports drinks. Research has indicated that the carbohydrates, electrolytes and protein and vitamins in chocolate milk is an effective way of promoting post exercise activity.
Compared to water, chocolate milk can help with fuel replenishing, muscle repair and fluid rehydration since it contains carbohydrates, electrolytes and protein which are either not present at all or only in very low qualities in water. And sports drinks? Well, they have carbohydrates, and electrolytes but no proteins.
Before you all go out and rush to buy chocolate milk drinks; food scientists say that eating other products such as cereals with milk or smoothies would work equally well but it's comforting to know that a bottle of chocolate milk after a work out is going to be a good reward for exercising as well as being moderately good for you at the same time. Fancy rewarding yourself with a chocolate treat? By all means, but do a few push-ups, first, to make sure you deserve it! You'll feel better afterwards!
From an international study to a local feature.
Chocolate is often thought of as a guilty pleasure. But not if you've exercised first and have it as a drink!
Well, some chocolate memories - particularly in this case - guilty ones, last longer than others., A man who stole two chocolate bars as a child from a shop has 'fessed up and 43 years later, donated £5 in compensation, anonymously, for his childhood misdemeanors.
My first reaction on seeing this article was that giving only £5 a whole 43 years later was probably not enough given inflation and the increase on the price of chocolate. And then I read where the story came from. Yorkshire! I don’t think it was a Yorkie bar the anonymous man stole but it would be a good story if it was! I need to check when it first came on the market.
Does a particular bar of chocolate bring back a special childhood memory? Even a guilty one? I know I used to love Texan bars (sure is a mighty chew was the TV slogan) and nothing got in the way of ‘swopping’ a Texan bar for something I didn’t like as much which ended up going to my brother or sister – whether they liked it or not!
Until next week...keep eating chocolate!