According to my highly scientific research of the last 8 years, most writers claim chocolate inspires their best work. Is it all those mood altering chemicals creating an instant high (the same feeling we get when we fall in love)? Or maybe that pure, eyes-roll-back-in-the-head pleasure when a piece of velvety smooth chocolate brazenly yields to our body heat and melts in our mouths, ever-so-slowly releasing its deep, rich flavor? Yes, and Yes.
Whatever your pleasure — brownies, fudge, ganache, chip, bonbon, bark or bar — chocolate is the language of love. When it speaks, I listen. Chocolate gets my creative juices flowing, makes me fall in love with books, words, reading and writing all over again. I like having a little cacao in my corner, whispering, “You can do it!”
Today we’re serving up three delectable chocolate poems for your Valentine’s Day pleasure. Gary Hanna offers a bit of sweet seduction, Ed Zahniser rhapsodizes about his intense love for chocolate, while Rita Dove speaks the plain truth: when it comes to chocolate, it’s hopeless to resist.
Mr. Cornelius, a diehard Downton Abbey fan, was beside himself the other day when four members of the Crawley Clawley family accepted his invitation to tea.
He’d been going on and on about how much he’s enjoying Season 5 because it’s mainly about love, romance and secrets. He likes the warm and comfortable relationship between Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, is happy Isobel is hooking up with Lord Merton (nice digs!), is relieved Tom Branson said goodbye to annoying Miss Bunting, loves that handsome Atticus is eyeing up Rose, and is tickled pink about Dowager Countess Violet’s secret past with RussianPrince Thing-a-ma-jig.
While Lady Mary’s hotel assignation with Lord Gillingham had Cornelius tsk-tsking for a few days (scandalous! loose woman! how risqué!), he gradually came around and revealed his own secret: he’s had a crush on Lady Mary since Season 1 (boy can she rock a pair of opera gloves).
He’s not intimidated in the least by either Tony Gillingham or Charles Blake. They can jostle all they want for Mary’s affections. Cornelius will charm her with his secret weapon.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, hearts are popping up everywhere. I don’t mind one bit, because I’ve always loved hearts. I usually draw one with my signature, like to collect heart tokens, pins and jewelry, and have a definite weakness for heart-shaped cookies and scones.
Thought you might like these lovely handmade, heartmade things, just in case you’re looking for a special little something for a friend — or yourself. Just click on any image to purchase. Enjoy! ♥ ♥ ♥
“You must always be awaggle with love.” ~ D.H. Lawrence
~ With advance apologies to Tea S. Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Brewing and William Shakespour.
1. To tart or not to tart, that is the question.
Reasons for not making fruit tarts:
Pesky little tart pans
Stirring vanilla cream in nippy kitchen
Finicky pastry dough
Locate pretty fruit in the dead of winter? Oh, come on.
Reasons for making fruit tarts:
Len loves them. Cornelius loves them. I love them. What person in their right mind doesn’t love them?
It’s Valentine’s Day.
Beloved blog readers might be impressed that an adorable a self-sacrificing writer stood in an icy kitchen for hours some minutes stirring, stirring the vanilla cream and whipping finicky pastry dough into shape after walking flying to Chile to pick fresh berries.
Good excuse to buy a new tartlet baking set.
In the room the women come and go, Talking of rolling pie dough.
Recently, while browsing through The Poets Laureate Anthology (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), I came across this wonderful poem by William Jay Smith that’s just perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I’m a sucker for the short lyrical line and fell for it immediately, all the while wondering why I hadn’t seen it before. Most of you probably know this poem, perhaps as the lyrics of a children’s song or as a wedding ceremony recitation. I like how it celebrates that pure, unconditional love between parent and child, as well as the romantic love that has the power to sweep us off our feet at any age. With its charm, whimsy and unbounded declaration, the poem expresses the love we all live and long for — beginning to end, above, below, around, and between.