Saturday, August 1, 2009

Like a Box of Chocolates

I headed down to the cafeteria to buy something chocolatey tonite. Because everyone knows chocolate makes the best dinner. And I walked past two bowls of chocolate pudding sitting on the dinner tray by the door. Not quite what I pictured for my late night snack. I needed something ... more chocolatey. Laughing at the irony of chocolate not being chocolatey enough, I opened the door and proceded down the familiar hallway.

Funny how food - even chocolate - evokes specific memories. I remember when Pookie was in the hospital frequently, the cafeteria served the absolute best cake. Rich, moist, dark chocolate cake with a creamy chocolate frosting, the end of each piece blanketed in a thick coating of mini chocolate chip pieces that added just enough texture after refrigeration that thinking about it even today - 7 years later, my mouth waters.

Searching for such a delicacy, I headed downstairs tonite. No, pudding wouldn't cut it. I needed that cake.


The cafeteria also used to serve the absolute best mandarin orange crispy fried chicken on salad greens with a honey mustard glaze and tiny almonds. Always on Thursdays. Every Thursday, folks from all over the Barnes-Jewish Children's complex converged on the lower level of Children's Hospital, standing in an endless line, waiting for that necessary drizzle of dressing before paying and sneaking off into the corner to share laughs and tasty lunchtimes with my co-workers. It wasn't chocolate. But it was almost as good.

Thursday I think I ate a cold spinach bacon souffle for my only meal - about 4 hours after purchasing it down the street at the Bread Co. They didn't have that just off campus all those years ago.

If they had, I may have started my coffee addiction years before I actually did. Back then, St. Louis Bread Co. sold German Chocolate danishes. Yes. Those were the product that single-handedly forced me into icee mocha submission. Flaky pastry on the outside. Pile of coconut-laced german chocolate frosting dolloped in the center with a light smattering of mini chocolate chips adorning the top. That yummy goodness paired with a large cup of frozen chocolatey caffeine goodness would send any common mortal into a sugar-induced hyperstate.

Not this connoisseur.

Know what I ate tonite? A hot fudge sundae. Just not quite enough chocolate. Yet, the only choice (save those two bowls of pudding sitting bedside up on the 10th floor...)

I wonder who ate the final piece of that cake. Who took it off the menu, thereby denying mere mortals the chance to experience such chocolatey heaven on earth?

I should write a letter.

In the meantime, I should also write one about the salad, the danish, and any other absolutely amazing food that I can no longer get my hands on!

... oh no! I just imagined what would happen if suddenly icee mochas went the way of the danish.

I think I need another sundae.
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