So I was sitting in bed on Sunday reading David Sedaris and eating a chocolate bar, which automatically made it about the best Sunday one can possibly have. As I giggled over Sedaris trying to figure out how to retrieve a lozenge he had accidently sneezed onto a sleeping woman’s lap, I would break off a piece of the bar, savor and swallow.
The bar was the artisanal type that comes in a cardboard box.
I just started a new paragraph here so I could give you a chance to absorb that last sentence and get your envy in check. Because, yeah, I said cardboard box, which we all know is what separates the men from the boys in the chocolate bar world.
Lindt knows this. Vosges knows this. And so did this artisanal maker in Tennessee, who had also decided to liberally sprinkle sea salt all over the bar.
As an aside, I have to take this opportunity to say I am a firm supporter of combining salt and chocolate. I cannot believe how much it enhances the taste, not to mention the texture dimension it adds.
What I do find somewhat amusing is that all of these chocolate manufacturers feel obligated to inform you that it’s salt from the sea they’re using. Except that where else are they going to get it other than from a salted body of water?
“We don’t want our eaters to think they’re eating no mangy lake salt or air salt or fire salt. Those idiots are always thinking the worst unless we spell it out for them.”
Anyway, back to the cardboard box. So, as you know, chocolate has this sometimes good and sometimes bad tendency to melt. As such, this particular bar came in a plastic sleeve that slid inside the cardboard box. This meant that each time I broke off a piece, I had to open the box, slide out the plastic sleeve, slide out the bar from the sleeve, break and then return everything to its proper place.
I did this for the same reason why my parents used to keep all of the alcohol in the basement of the house, even though they liked to enjoy a cocktail after work in the main floor living room or porch.
“It makes it harder to get to,” my mom explained to me after I asked and after I had retrieved a bottle of wine for them.
The obstacle was built in, you see, and even though it didn’t work, you still felt better about having one.
Of course, as we all know, I was eating that entire chocolate bar right then and there, no matter how much packaging I had to dig into to get it. Because I am a glutton. Because I have no discipline. But more than that? Because, deep down, I had already given myself permission to eat the whole thing before I even took it out of the cupboard.
Anyway, all of this self-deluding rigmarole was causing quite a few crumbs to fall on our very white bedspread, which I, unfortunately, noticed very belatedly in the process. And when I did, I also happened to hear my husband wandering around in the kitchen.
You’ve likely never met my husband, but one glance at him and you’d immediately know he is not the type of man to eat, a), a whole chocolate bar at once, or, b), food of any kind in bed. I spend a considerable part of my life trying to be more like him than I am like me, and, as such, I was not overly keen for him to come into the bedroom and witness his wife lounging in bed essentially eating bonbons so untidily she had chocolate all over her face and sheets.
Hence? I quickly tried to wipe away the evidence. Except, as you know, chocolate has this sometimes good and sometimes bad tendency to melt. And, in this case, the chocolate shavings immediately heated and created tiny teardrop stains all over the bed, appropriate as I felt like crying myself when I saw them. What’s more, I had somehow acquired some chocolate on the edge of my palm, which resulted in a fierce, thick arc drawn near my pillow.
So there I was. Forty years old. In bed with an artisanal chocolate bar. About to get caught. And still, and still, I was thinking: There is still one more piece left. And I’m going to eat it. And David Sedaris would approve.