I needed some little chocolate treats for stocking stuffers and thought I might go into the Shoppers Drug Mart near my home to pick them up. I had been there about ten days before to mail a package at their Canada Post kiosk and knew many shelves in the store were now covered with yellow warning tape because those items weren’t considered essential by the government and therefore could no longer be sold.
I wondered if the non-essential items included chocolate. I wasn’t going to walk to the store on icy sidewalks or take the risk of going inside unless I was sure I could actually buy chocolate there. So I phoned the store information line to find out.
“Do you still sell Christmas candy and chocolate?” I inquired. “Absolutely!” the customer service representative assured me. “Chocolate is ESSENTIAL food!” she said. Then she laughed. “Especially at Christmas!” And I thought I could add “And especially during a pandemic.”
Chocolate has seen me through many trying times in my life. When I was still teaching chocolate was essential to completing all my report cards. Chocolate has been essential in pulling me out of many a funky mood. It’s sustained me during prolonged periods of writer’s block. It’s been an essential and perfect end to many a meal.
And chocolate is once again helping me get through our current trying times. I baked a chocolate mahogany chiffon cake last Sunday. I got the recipe from friends who dropped off two pieces one night for us to enjoy during our zoom call with them. Although my cake didn’t look as good as theirs it tasted great! We shared it with our son and his wife when we left supper on their porch for them on Sunday and they gave it a very positive review.
The COVID-19 pandemic is helping us to think about what is essential and what is not. In my books, chocolate is definitely ESSENTIAL!