Tag Archives: Chocolate

Small Comforts

If you read my post yesterday, you know that we lost Diego on Saturday. When I took him to the vet thinking he had a bad tooth, I discovered his lungs were actually riddled with cancer and we had to make the decision to save him from a more agonizing slow death over the next two weeks. Obviously, I was devastated and as I completed the shrine for my friend Gloria, who died a few weeks ago and my husband Bob and parents as well as my sister Betty and her husband Denis, Leah and Ryan completed side shrines for their own departed family and shrines.

On Sunday, we went to a talk about death and the importance of making our life all we wish it to be and approaching Dia de Muertos as a celebration of our lost loved ones rather than a mourning. We then went to lunch and as we left the restaurant, we decided to visit a small crafts fair we saw set up in a tent a short way away. As Leah and Ryan browsed the aisles, I was drawn to a booth of small rescue dogs available for adoption. I watched little boys playing with five small pit bull puppies and then saw a beautiful woman approach with a small chocolate brown dog almost the twin sister to Zoe. She explained that it, too, was a rescue dog she’d found abandoned on the streets of Guadalajara. Her name was Chocolate and she was presumed to be about a year old. When she was spade, they had discovered she was pregnant with three puppies, all too small for survival.

Wanting to show her to Ryan and Leah, I asked if I could take her for a walk, and the lady said yes. I thought I would say I’d found a new dog, jokingly, but of course the joke was on me as we all fell in love with her. It was all Ryan could do to keep Leah from adopting one of the tiny pit bull puppies. At any rate, with no idea at all of replacing Diego, the synchronicity of finding a dog named Chocolaté—the same name as the dog stolen from my yard nineteen years before—who needed a home just as Diego had eleven years before, created the decision to honor Diego’s leaving with the arrival of another in need of a home, and so we welcomed Chocolaté into our lives as a living memorial to Diego. R.I.P.. dear friend and companion.

This morning, Chocolate claims Zoe’s favorite spot, nuzzled into Mom’s neck and hair.

Small Comforts

On this particular Dia de los Muertos, death feels more personal, less a remembrance of past losses and more a dwelling with a recent one. The new little dog buries herself closer, her snout beneath my neck, nose snuggled into my hair. Her long pointed ear brushes my glasses frame.

Finally stilled from the excitement of a new sister who is nearly a reflected shadow of herself, Zoe sleeps in the long cavern between my knees and ankles so I am swaddled in small dogs. Not a recompense for the loss of my old friend Diego, but rather a slight adjustment of attention, a comfort of sorts, consolation like the hug of that stranger in the vet’s office yesterday morning, after we had sent Diego to his final sleep.

Not the same thing as Diego’s past gentle nuzzles for attention as I lay in the hammock, fitting in those moments of mutual attention before Zoe’s insertion of herself between us, demanding attention from us both. Here is no filling of an empty space, but rather the creation of a new one in my life. One not unaccompanied by problems, for although she shares Diego’s calm exterior, she also shares Zoe’s propensity for mischief. Minutes after we arrived home from the craft fair where I found her attached to the leash of the Guadalajara vet who had rescued her from the street and harbored her as she looked for a new home for her, I found her on top of the the altar, eating the dead bread in front of my friend Gloria’s picture, ignoring the dog bones in front of Diego’s. The papel picado on the front of the altar had been shredded by her ascent, the pot of marigolds turned on its side. 

Just that morning, Zoe had stood to snatch the bread from in front of the side altar Ryan had constructed for his grandmother and friend. Peas in a pod, these two chiweenies, one blonde, one the color of chocolate, like her name, pronounced Chahcōlah’tay, in the Spanish manner. 

Now as I lie in bed, this new intruder whistles into my ear with each breath, huffing as though it is an effort, or like blowing out birthday candles, puff by puff. It is a trial joining. If it doesn’t work out, I have the kind doctor’s phone number who promises to drive back from Guadalajara to reclaim her. She breathes wheezingly into my ear, as though one time for each second of her short life. 

I recall Diego’s gentled breathing there on the floor of the vet’s office. All of us coming down to her comfortable level as we administered that last relief, her lungs filled with a foreshadowing of an otherwise more painful death. So it is myself I cry for as the tears slide out again––an indulgence I can’t seem to stop. The new small dog adjusts her ear away as my sideways tears drip onto it. She nuzzles closer, and Zoe digs herself deeper. Small comforts in an inevitable world.

 

 

While looking for my favorite photo of Diego, which I still haven’t found, I came upon this laudatory poem written in his honor a few years ago, so it seemed fitting to publish it again. Here is a link: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2020/05/08/hail-diego/

Wiling away the Time: Microwave Cup Cakes

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Reading Nigella’s recipe for lockdown cookies (cookies made with the ingredients you happen to have on hand since the lockdown) I was prompted to give you this recipe for last-minute Microwave Chocolate Cup (literally) Cakes.

I spent a week cooking every day and storing it all away in the freezer at the beginning of my sequestering and now I’m too lazy to do much except write, organize drawers and cupboards and swing in the hammock with Morrie, but when I have a yen for chocolate, I do have this easy recipe for chocolate cake cooked in the microwave in a cup!

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/8 teaspoon soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well in a coffee cup and microwave on high for 1 minute, 45 seconds. (I always cook it longer–2 minutes or more depending on your microwave. I also always wish I had chocolate chips and walnuts to add but never do.) Better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Whatcha Got Cooking?

Themes on blogs seem to be falling into categories lately. Travels home, shopping lists, isolation activities, pets and what’s cooking! Here is what was being cleaned, chopped, combined, cooked and/or eaten today at my house. No, I didn’t eat all of this. Some of it I just cooked.

(Click on photos to enlarge and read the details on what’s cookin’.)

Strangely enough, when I copied the above photos onto the media file, this song just added itself. I promise. I had nothing to do with it, but since it has to do with food, I’m letting it stay. I was just thinking I wish I had some chocolate as I used the last of mine on the popcorn above. Words to this song are by me. Music and performance by Christine Anfossie. Click on URL below to hear “Chocolate.”

https://grieflessons.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/judydb_choccake-new-2-copy-2.wav

 

Premature Delivery

Premature Delivery

I can’t defend or explicate the reason for my ardor
for that triple-decker cake residing in my larder.
Tomorrow was its due date, the delivery premature.
Now I have a compulsion for which there’s just one cure.
My love is unrequited. That torte has neither lips
nor anything but calories to slip around my hips.
At this extravaganza they’ve planned to celebrate
my forty-second birthday on my birthing date,
there must be a cake to eat. I must be resolute
to not pre-sample one small bite. I am of fine repute
and do not want it known that I’m unable to resist
cake with chocolate icing, and so I must insist
that you call a locksmith to secure the door
with deadlock and with padlock and perhaps with one lock more.
If my cake survives past midnight and a few hours tomorrow,
I will defray embarrassment and a good deal of sorrow.
For minute after minute and hour after hour,
I fear resisting chocolate cake is far beyond my power.
I was born to greatness—to talent and to fame,
but when chocolate comes up missing, it’s likely I’m to blame.

Prompt words for today are extravaganza, resolute, unrequited and explicate.

Chocolate!

My talented singer/songwriter friend Christine Anfossie has just sent me the musical version of a poem I published earlier on my blog.  Here, again, is that poem and below is her musical rendition!  Love it.

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Chocolate

You’re being good and I am not.
I broke my diet and got caught.
I’d have resisted if I could,
but chocolate cake just looked so good.

I bought a piece, not a whole cake.
I thought a meal of it I’d make.
But now you feel you must rebut
my obvious need for chocolate.

Will you soon go? It’s getting late,
and there’s this chocolate on my plate.
And though I know it’s impolite,
the chances that I’ll share are slight.

Of your smug lecture I’ve had enough
and now it’s my turn to be tough.
If you must fall from your high throne
and dine on cake, go buy your own!

Click on the URL below to hear the musical version of my poem.  Thanks, Christine!

Chocolate Cake


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Chocolate

You’re being good and I am not.
I broke my diet and got caught.
I’d have resisted if I could,
but chocolate cake just looked so good.

I bought a piece, not a whole cake.
I thought a meal of it I’d make.
But now you feel you must rebut
my obvious need for chocolate.

Will you soon go? It’s getting late,
and there’s this chocolate on my plate.
And though I know it’s impolite,
the chances that I’ll share are slight.

Of your smug lecture I’ve had enough
and now it’s my turn to be tough.
If you must fall from your high throne
and dine on cake, go buy your own!

The prompt word today is slight.

The Taste of Love: NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 19

The Taste of Love

What we feasted on
in those first stages
of internet romance—
when nine hours was too short a conversation—
was words.

We passed on to the next stage of computer dating:
our first dinner date.
He watched on his desktop computer as I prepared a salad.
This was a long and lengthy process
I recorded as closely  as was possible
using the camera from my laptop.

A prisoner of his large unmovable console computer,
I watched his empty desk chair
as he repaired to the kitchen to prepare his meal,
hearing sound effects but little else.

When he returned to the living room and his computer,
he laid his meal in front of his computer.
I had yet to see it as I, in turn, placed my salad in front of me
and took my first bite,
watching closely my technique according to my Skype image.
I chewed politely and then smiled,
revealing the lack of lettuce shards on my front teeth.
I looked up. He was watching me as lovingly as usual.
Now, it was his turn.

What are you eating? I asked.
Ham, he said.
He lifted a huge hunk of ham on his fork, taking a dainty bite
and chewing happily.
What else? I asked?
Just ham, he answered.
And so he demolished the entire pound or two of thick ham steak,
now and then washing it down with a healthy swig of rum and Coke.

Rum and Coke.
It had been one of our bonding experiences
to find that the drink of choice of each was not only rum and Coke,
but Bacardi Rum with Caffeine-Free Diet Coke.
How could this not be a romance made in heaven?

Culinary compatibility,
from 2,000 miles away
seemed to be less of a problem than it would be three months later,
when we first made physical contact.

Well, there was a resolution.
He started munching on carrots
and I had no objection to ham.
We both found a like mania for potato chips,
but true romance bloomed
when I found the full bar of Hershey’s Chocolate
atop his refrigerator.
Who says we need to concentrate on our differences?
Hershey’s Chocolate?
Yes. Our first true taste of love.

 

NaPoWriMo Prompt for the day: write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even gives directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem.

“Gorge”ous


“Gorge”ous

Everyone is cognizant that
runway models gone to fat
will very promptly get the axe
for appetite control grown lax.

Alas, it is a tragic truth
that larger forms are viewed uncouth.
Plus-sized is not viewed as “in,”
within a world that’s based on thin.

Designers never seem to feel
that models who enjoy a meal
do their fashions adequate
justice in the hips and butt.

Their hungry models  stroll and strut
with tiny waist and taut-stretched gut,
looking very lank and lean
and also just a little mean.

No doubt from hunger––their daily fate.
While as we watch, those overweight
have found a way to compensate.
We gain revenge by chocolate!

For the WordPress Daily Prompt: Gorge.

First Step

 

First Step

When I’m feeling frail and iffy,
what revives me in a jiffy
is a tiny bit of sinning—
a little chocolate or ginning.

There’s nothing wrong with using them
unless one is abusing them.
And an abuser I am not.
(Except, perhaps, for chocolate!!!!)

 

The prompt today was jiffy.

Commitment Issues

(You don’t dare enlarge these, do you?  If you do have the courage of your convictions and wonderful resistance to temptation, enlarge all photos my clicking on any one.)

Commitment Issues

I breakfast on oatmeal and vile green tea.
Oats aids in digestion, the tea makes me pee
and helps me to swallow the Omega 3
that lowers blood pressure and lubes up my knee.
I do pool aerobics when the water’s not cold.
I open my mind so it doesn’t get old.
I don’t shoot up drugs or overdo liquor.
I try to eat food that is good for my ticker.

Broccoli, whole grains, jamaica, white beans

to lower my blood pressure by other means
than those dreaded pills that make me feel old
by sapping my energy, dulling my bold.
I can give up the salt and give up the nookie,
but please don’t deprive me of my evening cookie
or maybe a dozen or two, more or less.
 In my frenzy, I sometimes lose count, I confess.

If I’m going to have meat, a potato’s a must.
Protein without carbs is simply unjust.
Dark chocolate’s allowed, but I fear just a bit,
and when it comes to chocolate, I never can quit.
Who wants to commit to a life with no sin?
No pasta, no cookies, no chocolate, no gin?
I try to be good but I’m still not the best,
for I cannot commit to a diet with no zest.

 

The prompt today was commit.