For those of you who didn’t visit the grocery store today or turn on the news, just a reminder that today is Fat Tuesday. For many people in my area this means eating fausnaughts until the heart is content – or possibly in cardiac arrest. For me Fat Tuesday does not mean 4am trips to the bakery. More than likely you’ll find me trying to figure out how to finish up the last bit of Valentine’s Day chocolate. Almost every year I give up chocolate for Lent…not because I have any religious conviction about it. No, there is nothing “holy” about the next 40 chocolate-less days. I do this mostly because I hear my mother’s voice ringing in my head – “With all the chocolate you eat, you’re going to lose your gall bladder by the time you’re current year of life+1 year.” Thanks for caring mom.
Yes, I admit it – I am a chocaholic. For those of you who aren’t and for the few of you who don’t even like chocolate, let me enlighten you – chocolate absolutely has the power to addict. If chocolate had the same effect on the body as alcohol does, I’d be under the table by noon each day. By the time we’re through the holidays (during which time I consume more than my daily pre-holiday allotment of chocolate) and past Valentine’s day (another great excuse to indulge), I begin to feel like the liquid flowing through my veins probably resembles chocolate syrup more than it does blood. My body longs for detox, even though my brain really does not embrace this idea at all. Lent offers the perfect reason/accountability system to put myself through detox – otherwise, I’m sure I never would. It’s a lot easier to pass up the chocolate dessert at someone’s house or at a restaurant by simply saying, “I gave up chocolate for Lent.” This is acceptable – even in non-religious circles. To say, “I’m in chocolate detox” at any other given time of the year isn’t quite as acceptable – nor am I sure I could actually do that if I didn’t have Daniel holding me captive to my “Lent” commitment.
Speaking of Daniel, I have spent the day dreading hearing the cry of agony from the office where he will read this post. (Sorry babe, once again – the chocolate has to go.) My man was under the impression I have something else in mind for Lent, which I do (more on that later) – but will also be adding my yearly detox into the mix. I do feel sorry for him and the kids during detox. Of course they feel the effects of a chocolate-less house (and the effects of a mom/wife in withdrawal). Although I do stock a few chocolate candy bars and plain M&Ms which do not appeal to me, I do not bake anything with chocolate in it – including using chocolate chips, which is an automatic addition to almost everything I usually make– pumpkin bread, apple cake, cherry cobbler, etc. Essentially the four of us go through detox to varying degrees.
Obviously, it’s no surprise that I have been scheming for the past several days as to how to finish out the chocolate in the house by midnight, so that there won’t be any to tempt me tomorrow morning. My plans have worked out pretty well. For lunch today, the kids and I finished the pb brownies, which were amazing if I do say so myself. I finished the last of the dove truffles my mom gave me for Valentine’s day – one single truffle savored after Ian was in bed for nap. But I was still stuck with a large bag of Hershey kisses that I had gotten last week when I took snack to share with the women’s group at my church. The women didn’t do the best job of cleaning them up for me, leaving me with well over half the bag, which usually wouldn’t be a problem. But it was this week. And then lo and behold, I noticed a recipe on the back of the kisses bag for mousse. Exactly what I need to use up 36 kisses – ok, so I threw in a little more. (You can never have too much chocolate.) I cannot wait to taste this tonight. This was a little more work than I usually like to put into a dessert for such little end product. If I were to do it over again, I would double the batch. However, if you think about the nutritional “value” of this dessert, it’s probably best we’ll only be having it one night. For everyone else out there getting ready for detox (or doing something more legitimate for Lent), good luck! For those of you not giving up chocolate for the next 40 days and hoping to use up some of those hershey kisses that were intended for peanut blossoms you never had time to make in December, here’s the link for the recipe. Chocolate Kisses Mousse