Monday, August 13, 2007

Chocolate - For Laura

You know how you get two things stuck together in your mind and forever more they are associated with each other? I have a lot of these pairs. Like the smell of coconut and sunny days on the beach when my mother slathered me up with Coppertone. Tom Petty and long family drives with a station wagon loaded with kids and camping gear. Polka-dots and my quilting friend Jay. Margaritas and the movie Practical Magic. Roses and Lisa. Peaches and Joshua. Cherries and Joe. Interesting how most of these pairs involve food on one side, isn't it.

One of my newest associations is chocolate and Laura. And for those of you who read Laura's blog, I mean, come on - DUH. This is a no-brainer connection. So that's why this post is titled "Chocolate - For Laura". Because I simply can't think of one without the other any more.

While we were wandering around Pikes Market area in Seattle, we walked past a place called the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. We quickly backed up for some serious window viewing.

Apparently it's a chain of chocolate stores but from what I could see inside, it was mostly made on site.

It wasn't a matter of if we would buy anything, it was only a matter of what we would buy. Clearly decisions are already being made here.

And that wasn't even much of a decision either, the obvious answer was one of the incredible caramel apples.

Although I don't know if they were, technically speaking, caramel apples. They were apples with caramel and chocolate and nuts and candy shells and icing and frosting and who knows what else. Apple ambrosias!

The only real decision was, which one, which one!?! I went up to the counter with a list of everything everyone wanted on ONE apple, which we were going to order sliced to share. These things were HUGE. I said "I'd like an apple with chocolate, caramel, and nuts, please." To which the guy behind the counter asked "What kind of chocolate?" - Dark. And "What kind of nuts?" - which seemed overwhelming and so I blurted out "Pecans." And believe it or not, there was an apple already made up with just those ingredients.

To say that we enjoyed our apple slices would be like saying that the Louvre is "a nice little museum." I'm now dreaming of these apples.

They had other chocolate attired fruits as well. Here are some strawberries all ready for a night out at the opera.

Or these, dressed in zebra costumes.

I bought some orange peel dipped chocolates that were wonderful, as well as one of these triple dipped cherries which, alas, was lost in a hot car incident. Sniff.

Later, in Ashland, while Jeff took a nap at the motel, I zipped down to a little place I'd noticed on the main drive into town. I probably wouldn't have noticed it except that they had set up umbrella'd tables in the front of the shop and they had a bubble machine running. I ask you, how can you not want to stop at a place that had a bubble machine running!? If the wind was blowing just the right direction, it even blew right across one's windshield as you drove by - that certainly got your attention.

If bubbles weren't enough to love, the name of the place is Silly Rabbit Chocolate Company. Apparently the shop has only been open for four months. When I took an interest in the specialty chocolates in the display case, the chocolatier himself came out to describe each piece in individual detail for me.

The decorative details were so whimsical and fun. And there were so many unusual flavors. The ones on the right were a lavender flavored white chocolate with an orange salt sprinkled on top. It was one of my favorites, the unexpected contrast of sweet and salty.

I ended up buying a box with assorted flavors. I wish I could remember all the different kinds for you. One flavor was a campout s'mores sort of truffle with a smoky flavor. I got the one on the right here. One of the flavors in it was basil. Sounds odd but it was delicious.

Hubby loves fortune cookies so I bought him one of these multi-chocolate dipped ones. And not the ones on the right here, but another gold leaf topped dark chocolate one for me simply because I'd never eaten gold and chocolate together. How can one resist.

And if that wasn't enough, all wrapped up in a chocolate brown gift box with a pretty grosgrain brown and blue ribbon, the owner gifted me with a fresh loaf of freshly baked focaccia which we enjoyed eating on the drive home and for several dinners thereafter. If you'd like to try some unusual chocolate flavor combinations for yourself, check out the webpage. It looks like, come cooler weather, he will be taking shipping orders. As for me, I'll be looking forward to stopping back in on our next trip up to Ashland.

In the meantime, I now have a bit of a closet chocolate addiction. And not just any chocolate. Nooooo. The GOOD stuff. And it's not a closet, really. It's hidden in my night stand drawer. To keep out chocolate eating fairies and bugs and cats and teenagers. I'm not hiding the fact that I eat chocolate. I'm just hiding the fact that I have chocolate. So that I will continue to have chocolate. You see? Although, now that I've just exposed my hiding spot.... damn. If you're reading this, and you live in my house - DON'T EAT MY CHOCOLATE! There. That should do it. Hmmmm. Unless you're a fairy. I should probably share my chocolate with the fairies. They don't eat much and, they tend to play tricks on me if I hold out on them.


Blogger amy said...

Laume, what fabulous pictures! Thank you for sharing. The pictures, I mean. OBVIOUSLY not the chocolate!!

4:57 AM  
Blogger Blame It on Paris said...

Ha, ha! I love it that I'm inseparably associated with chocolate. That is so TRUE. I am inseparably associated with chocolate. Whenever we get separated, in fact, we both are prey to extreme anxiety. Yes, the chocolate is, too. If you're chocolate, you know you're going to get eaten (if you're not melted or wasted, far worse fates), and you don't want to get eaten by someone who doesn't appreciate you properly!

I love the Silly Rabbit store! Wow. Those look good.

And yes, the Rocky Mountain apples are a lot of fun. We have one of those stores (it's a franchise and each franchise owner goes through a special training program in making chocolates; I like to research my chocolate stores). They have little cards, too. If you eat enough apples, you can get one free. :)

6:54 AM  
Blogger Miss Elena said...

I read this and it made me so hungry.
I really want some chocolate now.
Were you in Washington?

oh by the way
i was wondering if you ever...
wow nevermind
i just totally lost what I was going to ask you.

But really I love the little strawberries wearing tuxedos.
If I was to buy one, I probably wouldn't eat it, I'd put it in a little dish and let it sit on my desk. Those are so cute :]

11:22 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

oh my gawd!! What a post! The most delicious sight ever!!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Ann (MobayDP) said...

So right now it's 10:00pm here in Montego Bay Jamaica and I am truly, TRULY grateful that I do not live anywhere near these stores.
After reading this post, had I lived in Seattle or anywhere within a 50 mile radius, I would have headed out first thing tomorrow and bought at the very least a year's supply of this stuff!

Naturally the year supply would probably last me only a month!


8:04 PM  

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