just because // dolce twenty box

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this month I received a little something in the post. a cardboard box, bound together by brown and white twine and a little square tag: “dolce twenty.” there was something so special, so nostalgic, about untying the string, reading the little handwritten note and digging through the little fibres of cardboard to see what was inside. it was like opening a homemade gift, something made just for me. like a care package sent from your mum or your favourite chocolate bar sent through the post from your best friend. a gift that has no other purpose other than to make you smile and to make you feel loved. you know those all-important “little things” I always talk about? yeah, one of those. a little package of sunshine, if you like.

one by one, my friend and I pulled out one treat after another: two boxes of fudge sticks, plus a little brick of fudge on the side for good measure, one chocolate bar, a small bag of popcorn and a sachet of hot chocolate.

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I could just tell you about how delicious they all were – because what’s not going to be delicious about fudgey, chocolatey sweet things – but I want to tell you about how I ate them, and how maybe you should too! these treats can be enjoyed in a circle of friends and family or as a moment of indulgence when you’re feeling peckish and in need of a little something. whenever, wherever, whoever this box comes with a guarantee of resounding comfort and happiness.

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in a moment of indulgence, I don’t crave something different or exotic. I want something that’s familiar, something that will remind me of my last moment of indulgence – always a moment of bliss and reassurance: everything will be ok so long as chocolate bar comes in rows of little squares, that I can snap away at, and sweeties come wrapped in twisted paper that I can pull either end of to pop said sweetie into my mouth. we can take comfort in these certain things, I do anyway. so that’s exactly what this box does. as you unwrap the chocolate bar from the foil, as you shimmy out popcorn into the jittery-with-excitement hands of your nearest and dearest, as you stir hot chocolate into hot milk and take the warm mug off the countertop and give it a little cuddle with your hands you’ll feel safe in the hands of habit/routine.

 

 

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most of my treats were done in just this way – pure and simple. squares of chocolate melting on my tongue, fudge sticks held between two fingers like cigarettes and nibbled on throughout conversation, popcorn tossed into my mouth as the sugary coating cracked between my teeth. other treats were done in a more extravagant way: the heavy little brick of peanut butter fudge was chopped into small, but not too small, chunks then folded into a betty crocker brownie batter and baked… just. and a segment of chocolate orange was melted into my drinking fudge hot chocolate to get me through a long night of essay writing and to make the rich and luscious hot chocolate even richer. why? just because.

and that’s just it. we should do things just because. and I guess the … after the because is, because we deserve that. we deserve a little extra sometimes, if not all the time. we find ourselves always searching for a rhyme or reason to allow ourselves something but actually why shouldn’t we? it’s not a reward in my eyes, it’s a blessing that I am living and we’re all here on this beautiful planet so why the heck not celebrate it? not just living in the literal sense of the word but living. laughing with friends until your belly aches, climbing a tree, – doing things that are outside ‘the necessary.’ because as soon as you venture outside ‘the necessary’ and into the realm of ‘excess’ that’s when you’re giving yourself what you deserve. a little bit too much chocolate and a little bit too much love because, in my books, too much is never too much. why deprive yourself of all these magical things in life that are so easy to come by? stay up too late! sing too loud! eat good stuff! just because.

 

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a happy birthday // 19

my birthday presents this year have inspired me to write.

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I now have three massive books with as much food writing, recipes and love as can be crammed into three books. they are fat and heavy and almost too big to hold comfortably: just how I like ’em. recipe books so big you have to balance them on your knee or cradle them in one arm. these ‘three massive books’ are nigel slater’s kitchen diaries. each day for three years, he details what he eats – a diary in food. it’s honest and it’s from the heart and it’s just so wonderful. and now I own my very own copies, which means I no longer have to read them on the floor of waterstones, but wherever I please.

so today, I want to write about my birthday in food: the best parts. and if this style of writing is enjoyed, then I shall continue. Read more