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?