Something To Snuggle Up With On a Cold Weekend in February
By Alex Walker
Chocolat, By Joanne Harris
A tempting confection of a French fable; luscious and smooth it melts on your tongue with hints of dark spice. “Try me, taste me…,” whisper the chocolates in Harris’s book and when she writes of making chocolate the reader’s resistance dissolves completely. “Mendiants- biscuit sized disks of dark, milk and white chocolate upon which have been scattered lemon-rind, almonds and plump Malaga raisins…The dark… bitter smooth, with the taste of the secret topics.” I dare you to read it aloud and not run off to your favorite chocolate shop. Better have some on hand for nibbling.
To Be Paired With:
Kruether Handcrafted Chocolates, New York
Master pastry chef Marc Aumont, who like
Joanne Harris grew up in France over a chocolatier; creates decadent
handcrafted chocolates, smoothly combining sophisticated French techniques with
beguiling, unanticipated ingredients, and a nod to New York’s flavor profile;
somehow all blending exquisitely on the tongue to arouse a thrill of luscious
The Peach Melba bon bon is mellow, honeyed,
complex and far more refined than Peach Melba has a right to be. The Forbidden
Rice, however, is intense and smooth with hints of bitterness, delectably
creamy milk chocolate and crunchy black rice. The 10 Flavor Yogurt is
indescribable but simply outstanding. None of this sounds like it should work
but does wonderfully!
Across the street from New York’s Bryant Park,
with seasonal chocolate sculpture displays to rival anything in Chocalat’s fictional windows Kruether brings the fairy tale to life.
Thankfully, they ship all over the United States so every day can be filled
with a little of their brand of edible magic.
A whimsical and captivating movie full of
magical realism, warmth and good humor. Set in a modern day but mythical Paris
of its own creation, it is a film filled with truly stunning cinematography,
and a feather light touch that creates such a unique delightful film universe
it makes the audience believe that it could really exist if they just trust in
it enough. This is a Paris made for dreamers, romantics, and those continuously
searching for tiny moments of pure joy in everyday life.
Audrey Tautou is perfection as the shy but
eccentric Amelie who endeavors to be a modern day fairy-godmother to the
people around her by fulfilling seemingly insignificant but intensely
satisfying dreams, that the people themselves didn’t know were missing. Amelie
casts her spells and charms so flawlessly and effectively that those whom she helps don’t even realize
it until their lives are completely changed.
Original Plum Torte, Marian Burros
A classic, five star recipe, a crowd pleaser
and a New York Times favorite. The perfect combination of sweet and tart,
flavor and texture. In winter, plums can be substituted for any fresh fruits,
or even the canned variety. Make it for or with someone you love, or treat
yourself, and bring a tiny bite of pure joy and warmth to a cold and bleak