OF CHOCOLATE, THE PANDEMIC, AND LIFE

“We all know that you can’t go wrong with the original Nestlé Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe, right? I’m always tempted to switch out the semi sweet morsels for milk chocolate morsels but it never tastes the same. The reason semi sweet chocolate morsels are a better versatile chocolate to use are because they have a good balance of chocolate and sweetness while milk chocolate can be too sweet and dark chocolate can be overwhelming. Hence, the name semi sweet.”

-Whitney Saller-Prieto, Former Director of Operations, Burger 21, Orlando and Viera, FL

While eating oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that my husband and daughter made last evening, I couldn’t help but remember the quote above by the late, beautiful Whitney Saller-Prieto and how it applies to our life right now. We may have milk chocolate kind of days, sweet days with being home together with all those blessings, or we may have semi-sweet chocolate kind of days where we feel fortunate that we don’t have the virus but long to get society back rolling the way it was before the pandemic. We are tempted to metaphorically switch the semi-sweet chocolate of our lives for the milk chocolate time and time again in our day-to-day lives. However, enjoying the moments we have together, playing games as a family, spending time on a project or two, experimenting with a new home-made ice cream recipe (or THREE) are all moments I will treasure long after this pandemic lifts. THAT is the semi-sweet chocolate which is the balance of good, the times together with the memories we’ve created and bad, or the effects that the pandemic has created in our world right now. The beauty, then, is truly in the semi-sweet chocolate morsel after all. I have come to that realization time and time again. It’s not what happens in any given situation, it is truly our perspective. This last month has truly been a gift in very many ways, despite the bad situation we’re all in right now. Yet, the day before yesterday, I used the wrong type of chocolate in my chocolate chip ice cream, as it was the only chocolate chips I had in the house at the time. Such is life.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

-Forrest Gump

I would suggest that maybe life is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’re going to get, but you do get to choose which chocolate you want to try. You get to spit it out, half-eaten, and try another. You get to close the box when you don’t want to try a piece, or you get to eat the whole box of chocolates. You get to share the chocolates or eat them all by yourself. You get to take the pieces of chocolate out of the box to display them on a pretty dish before eating them, or you get to eat them straight out of the box. You can eat them all at once over a few days or you get to freeze them for later. You get to experience all the different fillings, from creams to caramels, from crunchy fillings to nutty fillings, if you want as well. Or, you can eat only the cream chocolates, the caramels, or the nut-filled chocolates, too.

Life is about choices and finding the right application for the the milk chocolate or the semi-sweet. Life is about knowing when to use the right chocolate. Some days will bring about the bitter chocolate, or unsweetened chocolate, but other days it all comes together with that perfect chocolate chip cookie, made with the perfect chocolate chosen for the recipe, baked with a little bit of love, and shared with laughter with those you love. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Life is good; carpe diem, friends……………..

photos:Dreamstime

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