-:13th April 2011:- Chocolate by Pierre Marcolini. My husband brought us back a box of these Belgian chocolates when we were still living in Chevy Chase DC (2005). It could be that memory waxes lyrical, or that I was feeling out of my depth having inadvertently unleashed a furious debate on the Chevy Chase notice board about dogs being allowed to roam free. For several weeks I went around with head bowed hoping no one knew to associate that email address with my phyiscal person or I was dead meat.
This chocolate was the most delicious I ever recall tasting. One was scented with tea, perhaps it was lapsang souchong. Amsterdam’s chocolate shops had already been playing with tea flavours before we left but this was different, transcendental. A quick google shows he now has a shop in NY and also suggests my memory does not wax so lyrical. He apparently won the “Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie (the grand slam of pastries)”. His Belgian shop ships to France, England and the Netherlands. Click here to create a box.
-:10th April 2011:- GreenLite Bamboo chopping boards. Wonderfully thin specimens and therefore light weight, come in a variety of dimension. Having ejected a series of those those toxic plastic conundrums we were left with a range of massive chopping boards. Chopping a clove of garlic involved a disproportionate amount of energy just to unearth and position the sacrificial slab. Just as living without garlic was hanging in the equasion, a GreenLite board of waferish elegance was spotted at our local hardware store “Strosnider”, which presumably must come from Straw Cutter in German. Strosnider is manned with two assistants for every customer. They are experts on everything from ant colonies to pyrography and and have tried and tested every product. At the back of the store they even have the occasional home decor advisor equipped with little sandwiches and some plastic chairs for customer seances. All in all hardly a person in the neighbourhood manages to get through a weekend without paying Strosnider a visit. I bought my first board there and it was shortly joined by a bigger brother that I found online. Click here for a variety of boards, including the trusty paddleboard.