• djbowmansmith

A Story of Chocolate for Easter


When you have been married as long as I have – and this will age me – but here goes- 31 years – the trick to getting on is paying attention when you annoy your better half. I'm no marriage guidance counsellor, that's for sure, and I'm pretty sure that the reason Paul and I are still together is most definitely because he is very easy going and good natured. All the more reason then, to take note when he complains.

Roughly about ten years ago I had my gall bladder removed and afterward, because I still felt a bit rubbish, more tests were run. They found lactose intolerance to be the culprit for my ongoing queasiness. Lactose is a sugar found in milk – and products made thereof. Thankfully, the world has moved on and this annoying although not life-threatening thing has become steadily more bearable due to the ever-increasing amount of products that are lactose free. These days, nice cheese, butter, milk and cream are readily available.

Sweets, if you like candy, are generally milk free anyway which just leaves chocolate. Annoyingly, chocolate is my favourite sugary thing. Most chocolate that is labelled 'free from' is pretty awful. It is either very dark and bitter or contains very little cocoa and consequently just tastes of sugar.

Believe me, I have searched for a palatable lactose free chocolate and it has not been an easy quest. Then, joy of joy, I discovered Tesco's giant chocolate buttons. Absolute bliss. These have the right balance of sugar and cocoa and have that lovely silky melty mouth feel that 'real' milk chocolate has. They only have one fault. They come in a very noisy packet. Honestly, that plastic is loud. No matter how carefully I try, I cannot free the circles of delight without driving my poor husband to distraction.

Yes, I could eat them in another room away from my husband, but I really enjoy something sweet in the evening watching telly with him by the fire with my feet up and a hot drink. Hence, the very annoying rattling packet is right next to him. I'm sure he would not mind so much if he, in fact, ate chocolate, which he rarely does. Easter is about the only time. Probably because it is the law and there is so much of it about. Anyway, I started tipping a few into a small bowl. This was fine, except I always seemed to have the wrong amount - too many or too few. Then, one day when having a bit of sort out in the kitchen, I discovered an old sugar bowl with a lid. What a delight! I got it washed, found my noisy packets of buttons and tipped them in. This has restored peace. Sweets are at the ready for that evening sweet tooth moment – one of the pleasures of life. Husband is no longer growling at me and the whippet is not standing on the sofa with an expectant look because she thinks I'm opening her treats (another noisy packet).

And there is another benefit. At Easter, he no longer needs to buy me an expensive chocolate egg. All I need is a couple of bags of Chocolate Buttons and I'm happy.

Happy Easter to you, dear reader. I hope you get all your favourite chocolates.