Monday, November 21, 2011

Muzzling the Truffles of Winter

The Christmas merchandise is already out in the shops. Perhaps you've noticed. This time of year, I always feel the urge to stock up on Christmas candy.

Every year at my parent's house, we fill each others stockings. My speciality is usually chocolate truffles or other special candy. And of course, it's pricey candy, or becoming pricier. I remember when Lindt truffles ran about 25 cents each. I remember when they went up to 30, then 35 cents. Somewhere in there, they got up to nearly 50 cents, then over. So now they are reeeeally pricey, considering I buy several per person, often tracking down rare or seasonal flavors. Spending thirty or forty dollars on truffles alone is not uncommon. And that's not even including other specialty chocolates.

I've had to cut back a little. There are some delicious imported "Mozart" chocolates I had to stop buying because they were getting upwards of eighty cents each. If I'm going to spend about a dollar per piece, I want to actually wrap it up for under the tree, not stuff it into a stocking! Or such is my thought. These are special treats that everyone loves to find in their stocking, not gold. I don't have to break the bank.

However, I'm having to moderate my truffle spending for other reasons as well.

I noticed my usual urge to stock up on truffles. Yes, maybe I can get some of them on sale. Maybe I can buy them before the season really heats up, and so avoid going to that crazy retailer after Thanksgiving. Maybe I can stash them in the back of the cabinet or in the closet. You know, to save them. So I don't have to inconveniently buy more later. Uh-huh.

I found myself feeling reluctant to stock up. I was remembering what really happened to that stash of chocolate the last couple of years. I had a pile of chocolate in the house, and no matter how well it's "hidden" or wedged into inconvenient corners, I always know it's there. And of course, we have to sample some every so often. The longer the stash is in the house, the more we eat. And the more we eat, the more stressed our bodies and minds are from the extra sugar and fat. And of course, that does nothing good for our overall diet. Yuk.

There is such a thing as overload, and we have hit it.

It seems clear that the more we have in the house, and the earlier it comes into the house, the more we eat. And if it's in the house, it'll get eaten. You can see where this is going. We're going to have to stop bringing candy into the house.

Horrors!!! Is that even possible? I do enjoy seasonal candy - in moderation. I only eat good chocolate, but that does not matter when I am faced with a large quantity of good chocolate. How many calories, I mean, bars of peppermint bark do I really want to find myself eating this year? Not that many.

So I am resisting the truffles' siren call. When I see the aisles of seasonal candy, I avert my eyes. If I pick it up, I put it back. When I see the tubs of specialty chocolates at the bulk buying store, I tell myself, "You don't want to eat that all by yourself, do you? No!" I will wait to buy exactly what I need for stocking candy when I need it. Like the week before the holiday. Or a couple days previously. Or maybe less of it overall.

A part of me is whining about not eating as much peppermint bark as I want. I'm telling myself gently but firmly that it's more fun to anticipate eating than have had eaten it.

So this year, I'll make my own peppermint bark again, and eat that instead. And bake fewer cookies but more varieties. Fewer cookies, fewer temptations. People might get fewer truffles, but I will too. It's a win-win! I keep telling myself that and eating more greens. Yum!

Not only do I not have to do it all, but I don't have to eat it all, either. Ha.

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