chocolate

Go f*** yourself Cadbury.

If I’m going to practice heavy self censorship I’ll allow myself to swear (it’s a bit of a problem for me in real life and hey, the baby can’t speak English yet so I have some time to work on this).

They changed the recipe for creme eggs.  The chocolate is now salty?!

AND they destroyed the recipe for Red Tulip easter eggs.  That was THE cardinal taste of Easter chocolate.  Now it tastes like sweet gross rubbish.  And they post self-congratulatory stuff on social media when people complain about their focus groups saying how great it tasted.  YOU WERE GIVING THEM FREE CHOCOLATE FFS WHAT DID YOU THINK THEY WOULD SAY.

I wont jump on the bandwagon complaining about smaller family size blocks.  From a public health perspective that’s probably a good thing, and let’s face it, Whittakers Hazelnut is really where it’s at.

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It’s the little things

This rotation I’m working 11 hour shifts. On your feet, no holds barred workworkwork 11 hour shifts. The boss cracks the whip, tells us to go faster, get people through, I swear some days I wonder if the apocalypse is here – it might as well be a scene from Outbreak out there.

It doesn’t leave much room for anything. Not much reading time, I don’t want to even contemplate exercise – just enough time to eat some food and collapse on the couch or bed, whatever’s closest. No one gives a crap about how healthy or unhealthy their doctor is. They just want to get fixed and go the hell home. Me too!

So you find small, stupid ways to live a life around it. You buy a gift box of chocolates and eat the whole box and it’s GREAT and you do so with no guilt because you’ve worked your ass off all day. And not at a computer, literally not sat all day, constantly moved around for 12. hours. Your feet feel like crazy angry people who scream at you and your back is like a prison.

Hot baths. A chocolate bar at lunch time. A roll of eyes shared between residents. The nurses finding a chair without you even asking and commanding you sit down or you’ll stuff up your back like they did theirs. You feel like a cross between a mechanic and a waitress. More chocolate. The boss saying good job. The Internet, bless the Internet which provides hours of immovable entertainment. The people on the Internet. Your blogs.

You stop sweating the small stuff. Daily slap becomes a bit of powder and a brow pencil. If you’re more awake maybe some gloss. Eating shit because the smallest of scrubs hide ALL sins. You stop worrying about being fat/thin/pretty/ugly/smart/stupid/too much/too little. It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t really matter when a crazy guy has just shit in the waiting room or someone has a cardiac arrest in the way back from the toilet. It really really doesn’t matter. You just want to eat the chocolate, read the Internet and hope you’re not too tired for a run on the weekend, you cross your fingers that you’re moving enough to counter the bad food behaviour. You don’t care about getting fat, you fear glycemic toxicity, cardiovascular disease, impaired immunity.

But mostly you appreciate the little things. Most people blur into one. The nice ones stick out. You forget about the rest. You love chocolate and baths and chairs and the Internet and a kind word. Your family, scented anything, acts of kindness from yourself or otherwise.

The rest just does not matter.

Bake.

Donna Hay's Choc Peppermint Creams

Yes it was Valentines Day recently.  Yes I took the opportunity to stuff myself stupid, make something nice for my husband, and look at what I found in last years Donna Hay Christmas issue?  I should probably wax more lyrical about Donna Hay magazine.  I love it.  Say what you like about her, her magazine and cookbooks are simple and fantastic.  I don’t want to think about food.  I don’t want complicated.  I want to shove stuff in the oven or in a pot or on a pan and have it taste good.  Food snobs can go and live in another corner!  These turned out fantastic – although don’t bother using Lindt dark, they came out way too strong, and I’ll wager that it probably doesn’t even need dark chocolate in the cookie mix.  Don’t be lazy like me and chop the chocolate roughly, do it properly or melt it down.  Next time I’ll probably leave it out though, it overpowered the peppermint.  That didn’t stop me eating far too many and taking the rest to work to get the evil little bastards out of the house.  Here’s the recipe

Choc peppermint creams.

150g butter, softened
1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (175g) golden syrup
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1/4 cup (25g) Dutch cocoa, sifted
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda, sifted
200g dark chocolate, chopped
peppermint cream
2 1/2 cups (400g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoons milk

  1. Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup in an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until pale and creamy.
  2. Add the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda and beat until a smooth dough forms.
  3. Add chocolate pieces and mix until well combined. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
  5. Roll 1 tablespoonful of the dough into balls at a time. Place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and flatten slightly, leaving room to spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are cracked. Allow to cool on wire racks.
  6. To make the peppermint cream, place the icing sugar, peppermint extract and milk in a bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer for 3-4 minutes or until smooth.
  7. Spread half of the biscuits with the peppermint cream and sandwich with remaining biscuits. Makes 18.

Donna Hay Magazine Issue 60