Sweetness

I’m trying NaBloPoMo again this month. I tried it a few months back and lost steam because I went out of town a few times. For the month of May I will post on my blog once a day. Yes, every single day in May. That’s 31 posts. Of course I picked a month with 31 days! But it is spring, so I suppose I’m feeling inspired. The theme for the month is “Sweet” if I choose to use it. Today I will…

If we’re talking sweets, we’re talking dessert. If we’re talking dessert, then for me, above all else, we’re talking CHOCOLATE. And I mean the real kind, not the icky, weird concoction they call “milk chocolate.” Here’s a few factoids and trivial things about our friend chocolate:

  • The Mayans and Aztecs were the original chocoholics. Some of them loved it so much they even grew cacao in their backyard gardens. Now, that’s my kinda urban gardening!
  • One of my favorite chocolate books is Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival. Each chapter of the book begins with a recipe. The novel employs a heavy dose of magic realism which works well with the foodie, soap operatic plot.
  • Xocolātl is a popular cacao drink that the Mayans and Aztecs made. Dagoba makes a bar they call Xocalatl.
  • Seeds from the evergreen tree Theobroma cacao are used in making chocolate.
  • Another fictional chocolate I enjoyed is the film Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. The themes aren’t entirely different from Like Water for Chocolate with passionate chocolate making and high drama about a small conservative French town who receives a big shake up with a new chocolatier in town.
  • Theobromine is the bitter alkaloid in chocolate that gives you that nice chocolate buzz.
  • “Chocolate gives you zits.” Remember that old rumor? Well, bust that myth, cuz it ain’t true.
  • Portland is home to some pretty nifty chocolatiers. Alma Chocolate, Cacao Drink Chocolate, and Moonstruck Chocolatier are some of the standouts.

Here’s a young girl after my own heart. Photo courtesy of RIPizzo on flickr.


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Snow Trivia!

I thought it apropos to celebrate the snowy week in Portland before I dash off to Mexico for a couple of weeks. Yeah, I know, lucky me! No offense to winter, but I’m definitely looking forward to a beachy keen Christmas.

However, my midwest roots can certainly appreciate the wonder of the white stuff. Here is some fun snow TRIVIA! I put this together for the wonderful hambox advent calendar for the December 19 edition. Scroll down for the answers below…

1) Which of these words describes a “fear of snow?” a) snophobia, b) crystallophobia, c) cryophobia, d) chionophobia

2) The typical snowflake has how many identical “arms?”

3) Snow that does NOT melt during the summertime forms what geological mass?

4) The word igloo is derived from what language, meaning “house?”

5) What illustrious “Roughrider” state holds the Guinness World Record for most snow angels made simultaneously in one place? Coincidentally, the record was broken on my birthday March 28, 2007. A momentous day indeed.

6) “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) had the distinction of being Disney’s first what?

7) Rockers Snow Patrol hail from what country?

8) In the Nutcracker, what is the name of the heroine who saves the nutcracker/prince and is whisked off through the snow forest to the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy?

Scroll down for the answers…

The Answers:

1) Which of these words describes a “fear of snow?” a) snophobia, b) crystallophobia, c) cryophobia, d) chionophobia

2) The typical snowflake has how many identical “arms?” six
3) Snow that does NOT melt during the summertime forms what geological mass? glacier
4) The word igloo is derived from what language, meaning “house?” Inuit

5) What illustrious “Roughrider” state holds the Guinness World Record for most snow angels made simultaneously in one place? Coincidentally, the record was broken on my birthday March 28, 2007. A momentous day indeed. North Dakota. City? Bismarck. Number of snow angels? 8, 692.

6) “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) had the distinction of being Disney’s first what? animated feature

7) Rockers Snow Patrol hail from what country? Scotland
8) In the Nutcracker, what is the name of the heroine who saves the nutcracker/prince and is whisked off through the snow forest to the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy? Clara