My best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel gave me some treats for Christmas. Homemade chocolate-covered cherries! They are my favorite treat, out of all the treats she has ever given me in the past. Since I was (perhaps the past tense is a bit of foreshadowing for tomorrow...) making wise choices, I was pleased to have a single treat upon which my sweet tooth could concentrate.
The Mansion is not a house overflowing with Christmas cookies and candies. It specializes in holiday Chex Mix, and the Hillbilly family rarely gets to partake of this export. Oh, for the days when my mom made divinity and chocolate fudge with walnuts and peanut butter fudge (my dad's favorite)...along with those peanut butter cookies with a fork print on top, and sugared peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's Kiss on top, and chocolate chip cookies. AND even before those days, when my grandma made shredded-coconut-cherry balls dipped in chocolate, and peanut brittle, and the crescent cookies coated with powdered sugar, and oatmeal raisin cookies, and a million (well, CLOSE to a million) other sweets that I did not like as much and didn't eat. Plus the dish of ribbon candy on her coffee table beside the tall sitting ceramic cat that we six grandkids broke the head off of every year.
Yes, Mrs. HM was happy to only need minimum constraint with the sweets around the Mansion. She rationed herself ONE of Mabel's chocolate-covered cherries each evening, as dessert with her supper.
In the beginning.
Of course, once you're in the habit of having ONE chocolate-covered cherry with supper, you think, "What would be the harm if I just had an extra one tonight?"
Then the horse is out of the barn.
"I don't think it would hurt if I had one of these cherries for dessert with lunch. They're fruit, right?"
And the water is over the bridge.
"Since I have two chocolate cherries with supper, I don't know why I couldn't have two chocolate cherries with lunch!"
Before you know it, it's last Friday, December 30th, and you eat your very last two of your best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel's homemade chocolate-covered cherries! Oh, you may not think that's so terrible, except for the mitigating circumstances. Mabel gave me a plethora of homemade chocolate-covered cherries! Remember my Sink Jenga picture?
I had TWO OF THOSE GREEN CONTAINERS FULL OF CHOCOLATE CHERRIES!
Let the record show that these containers were not stuffed full. They each had a single layer of those long-stemmed beauties, each in its own mini fluted paper muffin-like cup. Still, some were sitting on the shoulders of others. I did not count how many were in each container, but I'm sure Mabel knows. I trust her to keep that OUR little secret.
Because, you see, Farmer H cannot eat them, being one who should abstain from sugar. I didn't notice any disappearing at an alarming rate, so I don't think he was sneaking them. The Pony is picky about what goes in his feedbag. He may have tried one or two, not that I noticed. It's the #1 Son I depend on to help me with such treats. In years past, he has devoured Mabel's peppermint bark kind of candy. And he's always got his hand in a cookie jar, even if it's a virtual jar, to help himself to anything he thinks belongs to somebody else. But #1 was only here for an overnight plus a few hours, and then we went to the casino, and then he went back to his college house, and then he went to California. So all of those homemade chocolate-covered cherries (save perhaps one or two if we're honest, which we are, because we fear prosecution if we violate the Truth in Blogging Law) ended up in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's belly.
I HAD to eat them, you know. The sweat of my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel's brow was stirred right into the recipe. Starving children in many underdeveloped countries would like nothing better than to lapse into a coma after consuming one of these sweet treats. So I was saving the children, really. And honoring Mabel's brow sweat.
AND I though that perhaps the treats were going bad. Not BAD, as in putting on a motorcycle jacket and flashing a switchblade and terrorizing innocents who accidentally find themselves along the back alleys of Hillmomba. Not BAD, as in sprouting green furry mold and lacy white fungi due to neglect and non-eating. Uh uh. BAD. As in perhaps fermenting right there in my own kitchen on my watch! The syrupy goodness started seeping from some of them! Don't worry. They were sitting on paper inside their green prison.
I HAD TO EAT THEM! Don't you see? They could have fermented into ALCOHOL! And Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a teetotaller.
Of course, I could have just bottled them for the #1 Son.