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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Writing, and the Emergency Chocolate Clause.

This is important.  Apart from the blog posts where I want to tell you about my books, or show you pictures of kittens, this is probably one of the most important posts EVER. Oh, that's not including posts where I tell you things about writing either, or talk about the lovely place where I live, or inspiration or things like that.  No, but APART from all those things, this is the most important thing EVER.

Today, I want to talk to you about.....chocolate.  In particular, favourite chocolate. No, wait, this is important, because all writers need Writing Fuel.  It's the thing that keeps us going when... well, yes, when we're writing, but sometimes, during those Writing Moments, writers can have horrible Blank Times. Hours, sometimes days, when there's nothing playing on the screen behind your eyes except a small list of things one must purchase from the garden centre when one is allowed out next and the question 'why is the dog barking in the garden when we a) we haven't got a dog and b) we haven't got a garden. And it's hours like these when chocolate really comes into its own.
This picture is from The Telegraph. Yes, a mainstream newspaper thought chocolates were important too!

But there is chocolate and, as I am sure you will agree, there is chocolate.  Now I don't want to offend anyone of an American persuasion, but someone once attempted to feed me Hershey's chocolate. Oh, it wasn't deliberate, it was a well-meaning attempt to introduce some alien culture into my life and anyway they'd been to the States and thought that bringing back some American orientated sweets might be a good idea.  And it was horrible.  Everyone who has tried some has corroborated this, so it's not like it's just my opinion either, although I do concede that different people have different tastes so, you know, your mileage may vary. But seriously? They tasted like sick.

But I have just had a conversation with someone (The Mysterious Mr Q, actually) who takes chocolate almost as seriously as I do, and I was surprised to find that he enjoys the odd Flake, while I find Flakes oddly sicky too, as are Twirls.  And don't get me started on Galaxy versus Cadbury's debate.  And then we have chocolate with bits in question - should chocolate be 'pure' or have added...things.  Sea salt or chili or.. I don't know, artichokes or something.

I am going to give a purely personal opinion here, consisting of three words. No, you're all right, those three words aren't anything horribly judgemental like Eat More Lettuce, or Just Say No.  They are: Giant. Chocolate. Buttons.
A perfect combination of mouthsized pieces and yummy chocolate.  Honestly, I'm going for corporate sponsorship next.  Because these bad boys are my current Muse. I am, quite literally, unable to write unless I have at least one packet of these in my possession.  I don't have to actually eat them, because of the Emergency Chocolate clause, but I do have to have them.

What?  You don't understand about Emergency Chocolate?  It goes like this.... You know how you often sit there, brain freewheeling harder than Lord Bradley Wiggins descending Mont Blanc, and your mouth draws your attention to its desire to nom something.  You smack your lips for a moment and finally your brain alights on what it is that your mouth is trying to say - it wants........ You may fill in the blank for yourself, but it is always, and I cannot stress this too much, ALWAYS something that, not only do you not have in the house, but is something that you will probably have to drive a round trip of around 30 miles in order to obtain. Always.  Go on, try it yourself....

You've found yourself wanting sugared almonds, haven't you? Covered in gold leaf? Or those hand-finished crisps that you can only buy from that little farm shop that's only open on Thursdays? Anyway. My point is...  I only really want chocolate when I haven't got any. So keeping an large bag of Giant Chocolate Buttons on the shelf in the bedroom is my way of preventing myself from ever wanting chocolate.  If I could only work out how to do this with all the other food groups, I'd be really thin...


angela britnell said...

I'm a true believer in emergency chocolate too! Hershey chocolate falls in that category - not ever by choice but sometimes necessity if there's nothing else available!

Carol Hedges said...

Hahaha. Brilliant. And So So TRue! You have clearly researched this post thoroughly before writing and the depths of your research shines through. Or should that be dribbles through? I'm a white choc girl - Aldi's for preference. And I have a slightly different problem: I can leave choc, but if I buy a bar, I can't. It goes in 2 days. On the basis that :I shouldn't be eating this so the sooner I eat this the sooner I won't be eating it. Yes. Chocolate. Mmmm. Good blog. Shame there weren't any free samples....

Laura E. James said...

Minstrels. Maltesers. Melons. They all have a place in my heart and in my fridge.
I have a six-month-old Ripple as my emergency chocolate. Just because it's gone white doesn't mean I won't want it. Nor does it mean it's up for grabs.
It's good that it's languishing in the depths of my fridge - it means a meltdown of epic proportions hasn't happened.
It is my emergency chocolate.
Ask me if it's still there next week.
Edits are imminent.

Margaret Morton Kirk said...

Hershey's Cookies n' Cream chocolate was one of the biggest confectionery disappointments of my life. Chocolate that smells like unwashed feet is just...unnatural.

My brother lives in San Diego, and every times he comes to visit, he flies back with his suitcase bulging with giant Toblerones.

Buttons are nice, but I think Toblerone would be my emergency choc of choice - though if it's a real emergency, pretty much anything will do.

Apart from Hershey's.

Juliet Greenwood said...

Oh yes, I quite agree! I get desperate for chocolate when I haven't got any. Especially halfway through edits... Aldi does a mean line in German chocolate, I find - in miniature bars so if you do succumb only one need be opened :-)

Oh, and a bucket of Ben and Jerry's in the freezer. Does wonders for ice cream cravings. :-)

Now got cravings for chocolate buttons. Sigh.


Jane Lovering said...

I am soooo sorry everyone, I seem to have set off a giant chocolate emergency! Although I'm glad that almost all of you agree with me (apart from Angela...hmmm) that Hersheys are the food of the devil (presuming the devil was a bit sicky). Marshmallows are good too though, don't you find? And I'm not a big fan of white chocolate, Carol, although I do agree with Laura that chocolate that has gone white is still edible. Toblerone, as suggested by Margaret, can be a bit chewy, which goes against the whole 'emergency rations' thing, although is worth considering. And I shall be looking into Juliet's advice about Aldi chocolate in small bars...

Nas said...

Oh, I have a secret stash of Cadbury box! I get quite cranky if I don't get chocolate when I want it!

Paulette said...

so much more willpower than me...i want chocolate when i don't have it but then when I do...well that bag of GCB's that I bought to get change for my son's busfares 2.5 hrs ago, lasted 1.5 hrs before i opened it because it was shouting at it's nearly empty!

Rhoda Baxter said...

I wrote a lovely long post and blogger ate it.
I can't be bothered to type a new one now. I'm off to eat my emergency chocolate instead.