In an ill-fated attempt to make my family a healthy dinner last night we stumbled upon chocolate bliss. I make the same things for dinner ALL THE TIME– I only have 6 or 7 recipes and we rotate them through. At least once a week we have pizza. But with school starting and me having huge 20 minute blocks of time to go to the grocery store I’ve set goals to have healthier, original meals full of vegetables and antioxidant everything.
So with my Martha Stewart FOOD and Miss Mary in tow we scanned the grocery aisles for all this healthy goodness. The cost of the meal added up quickly as I added all kinds of exotic ingredients to my cart but I consoled myself with the thought that I was feeding my family something wonderful and it would surely cost less than take out Thai food. As we approached the checkstand we spied Toblerones on sale 10/$10. How could we resist? Even in Germany, Toblerone prices don’t get that low and heaven knows the cost of a plane ticket to Germany. We could buy our own little vacation for just $8.
The Asian stir-fry was a complete disaster. Stinky and yet sickly sweet, we could barely choke down a few bites. I don’t blame Martha. I ‘m sure she didn’t try to get creative with the ingredients or overcook the veggies like I did. And besides, I just read that Martha tries to avoid eating anything out of a can. I have completely the opposite philosophy– I love cans. I adore cans. Tonight’s dinner is taco soup which consists of cooking some chicken and adding seven cans of beans and vegetables. Vive la canning!
After scraping the stir-fry into the garbage we enjoyed a gourmet meal of cold cereal and yogurt. And then I pulled out the piece-de-resistance, Toblerones! “Now ration them out.” I told them. “Don’t eat them all at once!” Yeah, right. I may as well have been speaking Chinese.
With whoops of joy they began devouring their chocolate and went upstairs to Ben’s room. He turned on “When did your heart go missing?” and they danced around like wild lunatics. Gabe and Mary passed out pieces freely– poor little guys, they haven’t learned to be selfish yet– and everyone sang loudly. I am afraid our children will all make fools of themselves when they go dancing with actual people because Erik and I delight in showing them our goofiest disco, 80s and breakdancing moves.
It’s impossible to explain our love for European chocolate. We adore it. Six years ago we were in Europe visiting Erik’s family. We spent our last week in Vienna because I love it so. I was pregnant with Gabriel and we found out he was a boy the day we arrived home. The trip was actually less expensive than we anticipated(we never ate out and kids are free on trains and at almost every tourist attraction) and we determined to spend our extra cash on chocolate.
The day before retruning home we descended upon a store in the center of Vienna. After paying for a grocery cart we began to fill it– bars and bars of chocolate, cookies, Mozartkugeln. Recklessly, we threw things in the cart until it could hold no more. As we went through the checkout the cashier sat clucking and shaking her head. There was no way we could carry our loot back to the hotel so we determined to simply take the shopping cart with us.
A family of four children is extremely unusual in Europe and our tow-headed boys attracted a lot of attention everywhere we went often stopping to pose for photos– but with our grocery cart full of chocolate and four little boys cheering it’s progress we attracted the attention of the entire city. Proudly we pushed our cart down Kartnerstrasse, into our hotel and right up the elevator into our room. We filled an entire suitcase with our treasure and– thanks to our freezer– enjoyed it for months after arriving home. Ah, chocolate bliss– what I wouldn’t do for a box of Mozartkugeln right now!