Thursday, 2 December 2010


A friend of mine, a 47 year-old man, emailed earlier this week to say how very, very, VERY excited he was about opening the first window of his advent calendar in the morning. Naturally I assumed he would be greeted by a neat little chocolate, the first little thrill of December.

You will have heard, if you are not currently experiencing it yourself, that we are having record amounts of snow here right now. Perhaps it’s a Yin and Yang thing, but I do think that copious quantities of snow encourage the eating of copious quantities of chocolate...snow is so very cold and white, it seems to point us towards something warm and dark. Maybe it’s just me, but with the arrival of this extraordinarily wintery weather, I have noticed an odd phenomenon....the more snow I wade through, the more chocolate I wade through. The two must be directly related.

In Norway, there is a cross-country skiing tradition whereby you take chocolate and oranges with you for well-deserved sustenance en route. Somehow, this winning combination is now imprinted into my soul, the perfect comfort for the lonely skier as they pause for a moment's rest in the middle of a frozen plateau. Some real sticklers for tradition would only ever take Norwegian chocolate produced by the famous Norwegian company Freia, and more specifically, Freia’s ‘Kvikk Lunsj’. It seems no accident that Roald Dahl, born in Britain of Norwegian stock, was a world expert on chocolate. I’m convinced it must have been in his genes.

Perhaps it’s the snowy backdrop. Like tomatoes by the Med, or oysters in Paris, somehow chocolate in snow is especially necessary. And particularly delicious. And extremely comforting. And oh, so richly deserved.

Take today. I looked out of the window and ate a ‘pain au chocolat’ for brekka.

I put on twelve layers of clothing, went out to shovel snow off the car, came in, de-layered, and ate several huge triangles of chocolate for elevensies.

I put on eight layers, went out and shovelled two feet of snow off a sagging trampoline. I came in, boiled-alive and breathless, and polished off a pile of smarties I happened to find lying around.

I put on four layers, and went out to move a heap of 206 logs. I came in, de-layered and wolfed down an old bit of chocolate cake.

I put on two thinnish layers, and went for a three mile ski. I came in, glistening like an Olympian, stripped down to my murino thermals, and drank a pint of hot chocolate as an accompaniment to four chocolate gingers.

I’m wondering how this will all work out in the end....will nature somehow maintain a sense of balance between the endless choco-scoffing and the energy I spend every time I go outside? My weight is in even more of a state of flux than it normally is...what on earth I will look like by the end of this snow is anyone’s guess.

Then I felt even more embarrassed when my email went PING. I had done my good friend an unforgivable disservice. Turns out, his advent calendar is chocolate free. I was so shocked at my shallowness, I thought I’d better do something useful and constructive. So I finished off that bag of chocolate raisins that had been littering the bottom of my handbag.

Dinner is going to be such a surprise.


  1. Hmm... for some reason I have a sudden urge to finish off the chocolate cheesecake left over from our Thanksgiving celebration!

  2. I was just the other day telling my daughter, as we waded through snow drifts coming home from her school bus, that mountaineers' favy food for energy was chocolate. So it's scientific!

  3. Pam, are you surrounded by snow too? Or perhaps you are in warmer climes...chocolate is always good, wherever.
    Christine, if it's scientific, perhaps I can have some more. Very impressed your daughter is getting to school...we are now on Day 7 of no (or partical) school. I'm wondering what science would tell me about cabin fever.

  4. That was meant to read 'partial'...I have no idea what a 'Partical' school could be.

  5. Jane If you ever get peckish in my company I have some chocolate raisins in the bottom of my hand bag too! I will share! (I will even pick off the dust for you aswell!)Love from vicki

  6. Or perhaps your children are going to a Particle School these days? Yes, my daughter is dismayed that despite the snow at her school being over the tops of her wellies it remains open. "It'll NEVER shut!" she said.

  7. I'm currently experiencing living in snow for the first time and have NEVER eaten so much in my life.

  8. I love chocolate oranges, will that do?!

    We're still having snow here in north Northumberland.

    CJ xx

  9. Mid 30s...hope you enjoy it. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but embracing it has got to be the way forward.
    Crystal Jigsaw...I looked at your sheep in the snow...great picture, lovely sheep! Good advert for the properties of wool.

  10. Chocolate-covered coffee beans. A potent combination. (Washed down with a dram? I do have Glaswegians in the family....)

    E x

  11. Just stumbled upon your blog after coming in from the gym.. you've just reminded me that I have some pocky sticks in the kitchen which I might dig into now. Thanks for the good read! g

  12. Aaaah, Kvikk Lunsj - my favourite chocolate!