• Carmen Marie Fabio

Home, sweet home


As we’re closing in on Valentine’s Day, in my house we’re still working our way through an almost overwhelming supply of chocolate left over from previous events – admittedly a First World problem if there ever was one.

The Christmas cold snap that held us housebound led to an increase in holiday baking both as a means of making gifts and of keeping myself occupied.

This resulted in copious amounts of chocolate rum balls, chocolate-dipped cookies, chocolate spirals, and something known as Christmas Crack, a dessert comprised of only five ingredients, one of which – of course – is chocolate.

Leading up to the holiday season, I bought the requisite container of Icy Squares (for me) and box of Whippet cookies for my brother – partly because he’s always loved them and partly because of the memories. I’m not a fan of marshmallow centres myself but can remember us having competitions by peeling off the outer chocolate layer then tossing the cookie marshmallow-side-up onto the ceiling. Whoever’s remained stuck the longest was the winner.

My husband always buys a supply of European chocolates for the kids’ Christmas stockings, chocolate ladybugs and Saint Nick figures imported from Germany, as well as chocolate-covered marzipan.

Come gift-opening time on Christmas morning, I unwrapped a two-pound box of 64 little liquor-filled, foil-wrapped chocolate bottles, everything from tequila to bourbon, a gift from hubby.

“I thought you liked them,” he said weeks later when they hadn’t been touched.

“That’s what you said the last time you bought them for me,” I reminded him.

He also got me a paper shredder.

“We have a woodstove,” I pointed out.

“It was on sale,” he responded.

It’s the thought that counts and it’s actually quite nice to be at a point in life where I just don’t really need anything so my husband buys me a bargain paper shredder.

I tossed a few of the chocolate booze bottles into a box of assorted cookies, rum balls, and Christmas Crack for my brother, together with the Whippets. I’m guessing they’re all still sitting in his freezer as he recently told me he finds he’s lost his famous sweet tooth as he’s gotten older.

My recent birthday unveiled a gift from my youngest of a large bag of chocolate/caramel M&Ms courtesy of the Bulk Barn gift card he got for Christmas, a very sweet (figuratively and literally) gesture from my baby.

I also got white wine, chocolate, and a sports car from hubby, the latter small enough to fit in my hand. Again, it’s the thought that counts.

So my kitchen freezer, like my brother’s, now houses varied bags and Tupperware containers all filled with chocolate in one form or another.

Except for the little booze bottles. I brought those to the office to share with my coworkers.

Let’s see if they make it to Valentine’s Day.

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