The truth is in the buds.

Don’t tell N, but I brought 6 Oreo’s into bed with me.

I was eating the first of the six Oreo’s when I closed  my eyes and suddenly realized that what I expected to taste: chocolate and cream wasn’t tasting like chocolate or cream at all.

In fact wasn’t taking good at all. So I placed a second whole  Oreo in my mouth and wondered: does chocolate really taste as good as we have been conditioned to think it does?

It’s supposed to be better than sex…supposedly most women prefer it to sex. Poor things…anyway, it’s usually less messy, it’s oral, it satisfies a craving, it releases endorphins, and you can enjoy it in public without any dirty looks, unauthorized picture taking/videoing or risked forced community service.

My slavery to chocolate has been documented over the years and more recently widely conveyed to the world at large given that by month 5 of this pregnancy, rumour had it the baby would look more like a Toblerone triangle than a baby and be known as Ferrera, Tella (as in Nutella), Kit, Kat, Toble, or Hazel (again as in the ever yummy nutella spread).

So it comes as no surprise that when we spent part of the holiday season visiting family in Northern California and enjoyed a few days in San Fransisco, a visit to the Ghirardelli chocolate shop was mandatory and that this and the trolley ride cemented our girls as fully fledged members of our SF love club.

A brief – and relevant – side bar about our trip: on our first day exploring the city we went to obligatory fisherman’s wharf, saw the sea lions, rode the carousel, watched a mediocre magic show and ate clam chowder out of a bread bowl. It was on our second day that we went to Ghirardelli Square, ate more than our share each of  milk chocolate caramel square samples, bought chocolate for the car ride, the plane ride, some just because I need more chocolate now, and some to give away (which became the I didn’t eat them, the baby did. I was used…merely a tool stash of chocolate).

Loaded up with melt in your mouth chocolaty goodness, we hopped onto the trolley for a ride through the city and wound up at {name of mall} …. where we descended to the most phenomenal food court ever in a desperate attempt to counteract the sugary crashes that were making the girls unbearable and both us crazy.

F—ing chocolate.

Here’s the point: after a healthful vegan meal all four of us were spoon-swording in self-serving efforts to get the most gelato into our mouths (hubby brought us a huge bowl of chocolate, praline, and strawberry gelato) when some of N’s strawberry gelato blended with my chocolate.  Suddenly every sensory receptor in my mouth and brain realized that I liked the taste of strawberry more than the chocolate (which was stupendous, actually, but I wonder if it really tasted like I have been trained over the years to think chocolate tastes).

More to the point: sitting here now, admittedly saddened by my total lack of enjoyment of the aforementioned 6 Oreo’s (don’t tell me you assumed I didn’t keep eating them?) I wonder how many foods there are that we think we know the taste of but actually don’t, and how many we think we like yet if we stopped buying into the conventional wisdom that some flavours are universally good we’d discover that there is probably just a very well honed, well funded chocolate lobbying organization.

When you drink hot chocolate, does it actually taste hot chocolatey or are you telling yourself it does? What other foods taste nothing like what you think they taste if you eat them with your eyes closed? I’ve always thought that ketcup chips taste more like licking a nickle than ketchup. I find that raw zucchini doesn’t taste like anything at all,and while when cooked taste delicious and mild,  if you offered me a zucchini cookie I’d look at you funny.

My 4 yr old, N, often hesitates to try something new and then just about every time she tries it says, “actually, I like it”. Evidence that how we perceive something will taste influences what we actually taste more than the flavour itself.

And on a side – but again, related note – “white linen” room spray….it doesn’t actually smell like white linen anything. It smells like detergent. You can put any colour linen in the wash and wind up with the same scent, but we all accept that yup, that smell is “white linen”. A whole other post just might be crowning here….

A.

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#1 Resource for Moms

I just wrote a lunatic sounding email of praise to Tanya T of MontrealMom.com for all the work that she does.

Seriously? Go make your life easier at www.montrealmom.com. The link will open up the site in a new window, finish this post and then click over and see for yourself that I know what I’m talking about.

Whether the motivation came from the sheer relief that her site afforded me, or the fact that I have been belaboring heading out the door to do this weeks groceries I have no idea, and really who cares?  I am so in love with her for making my task today so much easier that sharing it with you was a must.

Want to know what’s in the circulars to save you money? She’s got them posted. Want to know what’s on super sale at Costco? She’s got an ever current “Costco Watch” that I used to buy an office chair for $67.00 and a fabulous walking stroller for $34.00.

This week, her menu – week 1 – brought on such a rush of relief that I just about gave birth.  Right there, at my fingertips I found the solution to (a) what I need to buy at the market, and (b) what to serve for dinner each night for the rest of the week! The fact that I’m saving money by not standing in front of my open fridge wondering what to invent is a bonus.

MontrealMom covers everything: developmental stages, managing time, a directory of services and businesses, a calendar of activities, menus, party planning, recreation, it goes on and on. And each section has a subsection that is a treasure trove of useful information and links.

This time it was all about solving my what to get and what to make at the supermarket problem, so I want to go on about that.

Each week’s plan has not only the suggested meal item but also a link to the ingredients needed and the recipe. Healthful, delicious meals (not the stuff you just throw in the oven and hope for the best), variety, vegetarian options, whole foods, and flavours that will inspire your family’s tastebuds.

What I love and what I hate come straight from experience and I think that’s  in part why I am ever more awed and appreciative of what montrealmom.com does. It’s all you’ve ever wanted to know about motherhood…especially on those occasion when you think you don’t know what you’re doing, she’ll make it look like you do.

Straight from an empty stomach,

A.