Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Following is an excerpt from an essay which originally accompanied my "FOODIEslc" art exhibit.

My grandmother hand-dipped chocolates her entire working life. As children our lives were filled with weekly supplies of unbelievably delicious candies and we gloried in each and every holiday in anticipation of the chocolates that she would give us. Each Easter we were spared the horror of those cheap, hollow, waxy chocolate rabbits and were instead treated to extra large solid Easter rabbits in luscious milk chocolate. Other holidays were celebrated with delicacies like hand-crafted caramels, white chocolate mint bark, long slender boxes of thin mints - my personal favorite - the box divided perfectly in half with both dark and milk chocolate each with that characteristic bright green center and a smell beyond description. Throughout the years we received countless boxes of my grandmother’s hand-dipped chocolates each treasure emblazoned with her signature markings on the top, a secret code that each of us had fully mastered to decipher which dark treat held our favorite filling.

I remember the few times that I visited her in the store where she worked, pouring the molten chocolate, moving it with her hands on the huge marble surface, rolling a brightly colored ball of sweet filling in the dark chocolate, then deftly moving the shinny piece to a tray and skillfully letting the liquid chocolate drip from the end of her finger creating the mark that designated that jewel as a cherry, rum, raspberry, mint or orange cream.

As a child and as a young adult, I had no idea of the rich opportunity that was before me while she was alive. Even during the year I spent as a professional pastry chef, I still was not fully aware of the rich knowledge that I had failed to tap. It is not a matter of not getting to know my grandmother, because I did know her well. Rather, mine is a deep lament that I never stopped, took in the experience, asked questions, asked to try my hand that this creative and delicious life that she lived. I long to have the opportunity to tell my grandmother how her seemingly simple act of hand-dipping chocolates has inspired and moved me. And, I long for that missed moment to speak to her on a deeper level and allow both of us to reap the benefits of celebrating the gift of food and creativity that she gave me.
Please join me and add to the foodie project by leaving me your personal "foodie tribute" in the comment section.

1 comment:

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