Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Four More Weeks Left?

I have now gone two weeks without chocolate and it hasn't been pretty. Right now I'm writing about this because I'm having a craving for a fudge bar that is so strong that I may harm myself, so I figured perhaps writing would calm down my appetite for cocoa.

I've been playing with alternative desserts, but remember the whole point of this chocolate fast was because I don't really like many other non-chocolate desserts. I had a wholly unsatisfying few bites of vanilla ice cream last night. Last weekend while on vacation, I got a slice of key lime pie after dinner. The only thing I've had that really seemed to satiate my desire was carrot cake, which I thought I didn't like. Apparently in desperate times I will eat close to anything.

This past weekend kind of proves that. Saturday was the Jewish holiday of Purim and my Jewish grandmother made the traditional Purim cookie called Hamantaschen. Hamantaschen are triangular cookies, shortbreadish in nature, which are filled. They are very much like a jam thumbprint cookie except a different shape. Hamantaschen are kind of blehh, mainly because they don't traditionally involve chocolate. Authentic, old school Hamantaschen are filled with poppyseeds or prunes, two things which need to be banned from desserts forever as far as I'm concerned. Like fruitcake and black jellybeans, only old people like desserts with prunes and poppyseeds as the star ingredients. I was so desperate this weekend that I ate prune and poppyseed cookies although I don't even like them.

I tried to think of sweets from my childhood that I enjoyed and I remembered my Aunt Sheila used to make this cherry cobbler, crisp thing that I was crazy over. I thought I'd try to make it for Sunday dinner this week and see if it still tasted as good as I'd remembered. Well, no. I was in for Nasty-Assed Recipes Surprise Edition. The thing, which Aunt Sheila calls "Cherry Pineapple Delight" is known to the rest of the world as a dump cake and it's sickeningly sweet and generally disgusting. You dump a can of cherry pie filling and a can of crushed pineapple into a baking dish and cover it with a bag of dry yellow cake mix. Then you sprinkle pecans over that and drizzle a stick of melted butter on top of it. Throw the mess in the oven at 350 for a half an hour and that's it. Gross. Clearly my tastes have changed significantly since childhood because I hated it. I guess as a kid I just didn't know any better and sweets were so rare that I probably would have liked anything containing sugar.

I liked a lot of gross stuff as a kid - things I haven't taken a mouthful of since my age has been measured in double digits. I took a brief inventory of these things in my memory and realized that many of them didn't contain any chocolate, so then I thought maybe I should go back and try them all over again just for fun. Problem is, they are all processed garbage. Twinkies, hand pies, white iced honey buns, pecan twirls, snowballs. I don't think I could choke any of it down.

The other day I was in the grocery store and ice cream was on sale. You know, I couldn't find a flavor that I'd actually eat that didn't have chocolate. I think I have a problem.

I've got a month left. It's feeling like a sacrifice. Today I'm going to try to make an applesauce cake and see if that helps. It has cream cheese frosting. I thought I hated that too, but apparently without chocolate in my life, cream cheese seems slightly more appealing than it once did.

Any non-chocolate dessert ideas? If my cravings don't get better I'm going to have to start going to meetings. The Easter candy displays in the stores are not helping things either.


Carol in SC said...

I am a fellow chocoholic so I was very surprised when I realized Strawberry Shortcake is my favorite dessert. The real homemade shortcake is divine, although strawberries and whipped cream on pound cake will do in a pinch. I love when the natural strawberry juices are absorbed by the cake. Have mercy!

Kristen said...

Apple pie? Cheesecake? Ooohhh now I want Strawberry Shortcake!

Kirby said...

Total chocoholic here, but creme brulee is wonderful!!!!

Anonymous said...

You should play around with mousse--there's recipes for making it with any fruit under the sun, and it'll have some of the indulgence of chocolate because of the texture. Also, a warm berry crumble is just about the most spectacular thing that can be eaten.

There's also the myriad of lovely pastries, French or otherwise, that do not require chocolate...fruit tarts, creme puffs, napoleons, baklava, lobster tails...Perhaps given enough puff pastry and pastry cream, your cravings will die down?

Anonymous said...

yum i iike napoleans too...what about tres leches cake or panna cotta

beatgrl said...

Berry cobbler

jennifer said...

Carob chocolate chip cookies are great. Bought some for my dog and read the ingredients and then figured we could share the bag. Dont gross out. They make them for humans too.

alissa said...

total chocoholic here too and i gave up all sweets for lent :( but lemon meringue pie makes me just as happy (but i can't have that either) :(

Plume said...

I don't eat chocolate, given that I don't really like it in the first place and my doctor think it's some kind of poison...
To replace it I would try desserts made with roasted nuts such as praliné, a paste made with almonds and hazelnuts roasted with sugar, or even peanut butter!
But then again, I allways prefered vanilla or toffee dessert even as a child.

Kerry said...

Non-chocolate desserts: cheesecake, warm fruit cobbler, creme brulee, or fruit pie. I may have to make dessert tonight, too! Made myself hungry writing that. :)

And I thought Lent was only 4 weeks long?

craftevangelist said...

Dare I tell you that in the tradition of Lent, Sunday is a feast day? You can have the thing you've given up for Lent on Sundays, since it is a celebration of the resurrection, even through Lent.
Check it out:

craftevangelist said...

Ooops! My bad: you knew about the Sunday thing. I was catching up in my Google reader and missed an earlier post before I commented!
So, for what you really asked for:
Delicious non-chocolate dessert:
Creme Brulee.

Anonymous said...

Father Fabiano a beautiful man ana visiting catholic priest at my parish advised me that we are allowed to indulge in whatever we gave up for lent on Sundays. I don't know if that helps you nor not.

Rachel Rodemann said...

The pumpkin pie cookies I'm always raving about on twitter. They're not overly sweet, but Cory and his band love them, so if nothing else, maybe your husband will enjoy them!

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. soft butter
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices. Set aside.
Cream butter, pumpkin, egg, vanilla and shortening in mixing bowl.
Gradually add sugar; beat until fluffy.
Add dry ingredients and blend.
Chill for 15 minutes.
Drop onto slightly greased and floured cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes until brown.
Let cool, then dust with powdered sugar.

julie said...

I love anything chocolate, but Ben & Jerry's makes a Cinnamon Bun ice cream that is to die for and I am also a huge fan of these easy Sticky Buns: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Simple-Sticky-Buns/Detail.aspx

Anonymous said...

You may enjoy The Cake Mix Doctor (and your library may have a copy). The original version is better than the chocolate one.

There's cola cake or pineapple upside down cake. This is harder than I thought to think of.

Lori said...

Cinnamon Bun ice cream, I agree, Dulce du leche, butter pecan.

I'm kind of Bubba (Forrest Gump reference) of ice cream flavors.

Sumpin said...

Flan. I could live on flan.

misskate said...

Fairly Nuts ice cream by Ben and Jerry's. It is my current go to flavor (Phish Food isn't available where I live). No chocolate, just lots of loveliness.

Anonymous said...

Could you be craving the caffeine in chocolate? My mother used to make a coffee tortoni. Ingredients (as I recall) are whipping cream, instant coffee, chopped & toasted almonds, and sugar - whipped and frozen in little paper cups. Oh my: it was my birthday dessert of choice, and I also am a lifelong chocoholic. But wait! Giving up for Lent is SUPPOSED to be painful!! Therein lies the purpose.

Jala Pfaff said...

WHY are you not eating chocolate?? I would die without it. You must have a lot of willpower.

Teacup said...

I love reading your blog. Your stories are so interesting. I missed it very much when you were off having Baby Lawns. God Bless!

For me, I think a successful blog is one where the blogger writes every day. It gets to be such a habit to turn to that blog. I stop reading blogs where the writer writes so sporadically that I just feel frustration going there.

I wish I could catch up on those old blog entries where you talked about your work. Do you have them where I can read them? They sound fabulous!

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