The door to the Dairy swung ominously open.
“You shouldn’t be allowed to work in here”, a voice growled. Tony & I looked up in surprise, huddled like a couple of witches around our ‘cauldron’ – the old batch pasteuriser. I was carefully stirring the vat whilst Tony added in kilo after kilo of pure poudre cacao, making not only the Dairy but the rest of the building heady with the rich scent of melting chocolate as we gently cookd it into our morning-fresh, creamy goats’ milk.
The complainant was one of our erstwhile food-producing colleagues. “It’s like being an alcoholic, working in a brewery!” He added emphatically.
“I’m a reformed chocaholic & won’t allow myself to touch the stuff any more – a moment on the lips. a lifetime on the hips & all that – & here you are, making the whole damn place smell gorgeous – I tell you, it shouldn’t be allowed!”
“Ah, but you can eat our chocolate gelato, without being overwhelmed by guilt – it’s less than 8% fat”, I smiled. And little Devil that I am, I put temptation his way….with four different varieties of chocolate ice cream: our velvety, rich original; refreshing mint chocolate, made with pure peppermint oil for a clean, refreshing taste; chocolate & orange, a smooth & exotic flavour infused with delicious extract of Valencia Orange; & chocolate with plump, port-infused cranberries, a delicious winter indulgence to put a smile on any jaded face.
I omitted the ‘winter warmers’ however – chocolate & ginger, in which zesty stem ginger mingles with a spicy ginger preserve for added heat; & our fascinating ‘Dragonfire’ – Mexican ancho & chipotle chillies merged with the cool silkiness of our chocolate gelato making it melt with fiery spice on the tongue…a fascinatingly unique & addictive taste sensation – & I didn’t want to make a self-confessed chocaholic’s life any harder, with that further temptation….!
Needless to say, our friend departed cradling the hallowed pots with a broad smile of happy anticipation – & to our delighted surprise we were rewarded with some of own his delicious produce, in return. Sometimes a little banter & a little barter, make for the most rewarding of days: no money changes hands, but hearts are the warmer & friendships more closely forged – the perfect antidote for a chilly autumn day.
So, should I have been thrown in the dungeons & denied chocolate gelato for all eternity, for proving such a wicked temptress….?