My father flies up a few days before the arbitration. It’s my birthday, but I don’t really feel like doing anything; all I really want is a divorce and something resembling a reasonable agreement, and they don’t sell those online.
We decide to tackle some home improvement projects, like fixing the garage door, which hasn’t opened since six months ago when the spring broke. It was an expensive repair that I didn’t want to make if I had to sell the house – I’d rather The Departed have to bear his share of the cost since he was clearly determined to have his share of the profits. My father haggles the price down but it’s still quite a bit of money – basically, it’s now my birthday present. I can put my car in the garage.
Not only that, I can take it out again.
It makes me incredibly nervous, having spent this money on the house – I feel like we’ve now jinxed Monday’s proceedings, counting on a victory that is not yet mine. My father apologizes for the superstitiousness he’s sure is genetic, and informs me we’re moving on to other projects: We’re going to paint a room. Which one?
I decide on The Child’s bedroom, for the simple reason that it’s in the worst shape – it must be painted regardless of whether we move.
By Sunday, though, I’m able to persuade him we need to do something fun, and as it happens, the Northwest Chocolate Expo is going on that day. We’re going.
I’m the only one of the three of us who is excited about this.
We’re getting my birthday treats there, I tell them. I never got any cake. I want chocolate.
Plus, I can take it with me when I move … if only on my hips.
My first stop was at the Intrigue Chocolate Company booth, where I sampled their extraordinary Basil Chocolate: – rich chocolate with a refreshing basil undertone that sneaks up on you and hits you just as the chocolate stops melting. There’s a reason the dish in the picture is empty – it disappeared fast.
San Francisco-based Dandelion Chocolate came to Seattle for the event, and offered samples of their extraordinary Madagascar 70% bars. I don’t even know where to begin with this chocolate: the citrus undertones packed quite a wallop, yet the overall flavor was smooth and not too strong the way dark chocolate can sometimes be. It was a bar to be savored slowly, and probably would pair well with wine.
Forte Chocolate, from Mount Vernon, WA, had a wonderful selection of unusual chocolates, including one with the addition of some nice, biting chili pepper, that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. I also adored their white chocolate bars.
I wish I could remember more about the booth that had this *cough* healthful assortment of chocolate offerings. I did try the beet chocolate and it was nice, in an offbeat, I’m trying too hard to be cool kind of way.
I didn’t go there with the Maple Bacon Fudge or Bacon Caramel, though.
The exhibitors at the Festival were all super-friendly, and why shouldn’t they be? They get to hang around chocolate all day … for a living. The Festival got a bit crowded, but it was still fun – even for the child, who brought home a box of Carter’s Chocolates Obama Salted Caramels to show all her friends.
No, there were no Romney chocolates available that we could find. And yes, they were delicious.
This is my contribution to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Why not swing by and see what other culinary surprises await?
Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook says
Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday. Chocolate would be at the top of my list!
Good luck at arbitration!
Thank you for the kind words of support!
A chocolate festival would be one of my favorite ways to spend a day! Thanks for sharing.
Beth F says
Good luck on Monday…
What an awesome way to spend some “you time.” The herbed and spiced chocolates interest me more than the veggie types. I love those vegetables, but maybe not in my chocolate. 🙂
The veggie chocolates were interesting to try but that’s about it. The herbed ones, though – I do recommend. I had a white chocolate with rosemary sample that was to die for. Sadly, the bars were sold out so I couldn’t bring any home!
Diane (bookchickdi) says
What unique flavors, nothing cheers you up like chocolate.
Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) says
Mmm. I’ll take the Madagascar with citrus undertones — with or without the wine.
Sending virtual hugs and all kinds of positive energies for you.
Chocolate festival sounds like the perfect way to sample some birthday goodies. Best of luck with everything!
Alex Baugh says
A chocolate festival is about the best kind of festival you can have for your birthday, or any other day, I think.
caite@a lovely shore breeze says
what could possibly pick up the spirits better than chocolate?
Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict) says
I wish to do nothing but eat chocolate now. I’m so jealous. Can you please send your chocolate festival to Connecticut?
The Departed? Divorce is not funny, but your name for your ex is. Have an extra bite of chocolate for me, and Happy Birthday!
Bruce Buccio says
OMG! All those different kind of chocolates! It makes me drool 😉
Pup Fan says
Yum… now I’m craving chocolate!