It's now been a month since our property was devastated by what is now known as the "Good Friday Tornado." Since that time, nothing has changed. The shutters are still in bits scattered about the yard, joined by the shingles. Trees are still downed and/or uprooted, debris is everywhere, the roof is still damaged, the brick patio is still raised with an angled tree sticking out of it, the pool still supports a hundred-year-old tree. Everything waits in wonder while the insurance company calculates and deliberates; various and sundry people come to measure, take pictures, and make estimates. We are acting as our own general contractor and that is a lot of work. We coordinate tree services, pool services, roofers, carpenters, brick layers, and one guy, a builder of custom wine cellars, who is stalking our downed walnut trees. To add to our joy, this afternoon our hot water heater went out (Did I mention the dishwasher is on its last leg?). As you can imagine there is little time for anything else and, as a consequence, during this very bleak and desperate time...I ran out of chocolate!! When life itself is getting on your last nerve, the last thing you need is a cocoa-free pantry.
So today, in desperation, I raided the pantry and came up with what I now refer to as "Getting on my Last Nerve Chocolate Peanut Clusters." The recipe is simple: Raid the pantry for whatever chocolate chips you may find left in the bags. Look into the corner of the cabinet in case some slipped out and lurk there. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Add some vanilla chips to offset the dark chocolate if that is all you can find, or shave chunks off of that big white piece of Callebaut you've been saving for reasons you can't now remember. Look around for caramel in an attempt to create your own Snicker bar, grunt with disgust when you can't find it. Rummage through the pantry for any jar you can find featuring a face that remotely resembles Mr. Peanut. Dump into bowl with chocolate. Microwave on high for one minute. Stir. Add more chocolate, if the nuts aren't completely covered, and microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir. Drop in mounds onto foil. Let dry for as long as you can manage it. Remove from foil and serve on a paper napkin.
There is definitely something to the study that came to the conclusion that chocolate promotes feelings of well being. This is science, people! I personally know this to be true because I feel quite "un"-well when it is not coursing through my system, and I know I'm not alone. I remember my late Aunt Marilyn telling me once that one night she was so desperate for chocolate that she popped the top off of a can of chocolate frosting and spread it on saltine crackers. "You have no idea," she told me, "just how delicious a saltine can be." Ummm, I think I do!
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