The middle east is a tinderbox of insanity, unemployment continues to rise and Todd Akin simply will not shut up---so chocolate is looking pretty good about now.
There are many ways to approach this situation.
There are the "desperation measures"---and don't pretend you haven't tried them in the past. These occur when there is no legit chocolate in the house--for example, a few truffles left over from a holiday gift, a sleeve of oreos, a Hershey Bar with almonds that fell off a shelf in the pantry, got wedged in somewhere and is joyously discovered during a routine macaroni run.
Chocolate is chocolate, people. It is a drug---delicious, yet a narcotic. It is legal, easily available and addictive. Milton Hershey was a drug lord.
|Milton Hershey looks innocent enough.|
Think about that next time you're having your picture taken with the giant kiss in Chocolate World in Pennsylvania.
I have neither chocolate chips nor syrup in the fridge today and I believe Seth has paid informants to keep an eye on me in our local supermarket so I am forced to go down memory lane for my chocolate fix.
First to clarify, there exists no one on earth -- past or present -- who could outbake that woman. Flour, eggs and sugar were her bricks and mortar while a whisk and a wooden spoon were the tools that kept dozens of family members enslaved to her talents.
If word got out that " Pssst...Ida is baking, pass it on..." people would show up out of nowhere to visit...and they were never disappointed. "Babka Day" was a national holiday for my family of ravenous Hungarians. And Hungarians know from good baked goods. We have sour cream in our veins.
Grandma would set up for a long day in her tiny Brooklyn kitchen. Working on the formica table (there were no -- as in zero -- counters), she would tie on her ever present apron, fill giant bowls with dry and wet ingredients and crank up the oven in the ancient, enameled stove by the window.
In the years prior to school (school really screwed up my life, come to think of it), I would sit and bear witness, occasionally asked to mix or, even better, taste.
Grandma would bake babkas, some filled with an aromatic combo of cinnamon and walnuts and others with dark, buttery chocolate swirls until there were enough to distribute to every Hungarian east of the Mississippi.
|Why a duck???|
But Babka Day held a special treat for me.
Grandma would make me a small, personal chocolate babka filled with extra chocolate and in the shape of a duck. It was all mine and I am, literally, drooling at the memory of the tender cake and the deep chocolate that lay within the tender crust. I ate the duck's head first.