Small Talk

Scary holiday sweet treats

Summer’s not such a tough time for those of us with an unrepentant sweet tooth, but that candy-corn holiday is on its way, followed swiftly by iced sugar cookies.

You can almost replace chocolate with watermelon, peaches and cherries, but not forever. Sometimes — say it with me — nothing but chocolate will do.

Speaking of fruit, I still think there must be a way to earn skinny points for the decadent things we resist eating. I have not been to the bakery or the candy store or even the cookie aisle at the market for months. OK, maybe weeks. But my sugar intake has plummeted since I was a young’n. I remember sucking up sweets, until I saw stars, on Easter, Christmas and birthdays. I remember being a regular at the See’s store my 18th summer. I remember amazing desserts at the sorority house table all five years of college.

I once smuggled a pound of chocolates into a weekend spiritual retreat. My spirit craved chocolate. Besides, nobody said you couldn’t bring snacks.

One local bakery was my siren’s song for too long. I’m not sure how I shook that habit, or that it won’t sneak back after I’ve had too many salads. For now, I am happy to be able to drive by without stopping, which surprises me every time.

I don’t have to wonder where I got this taste for all things sweet. My paternal grandmother, in her 100th year, requested a particular brand of chocolates on a regular basis. My parent’s house was never without a box of bridge mix or some chocolate-covered nuts. My mom made devil’s food cake with fudge icing. She made pies, cookies and icing from scratch. I got my ticket for the sugar train from both nature and nurture.

So I am patting myself on the back, right above the back fat, on my current lower sweets intake. It has been some time since I had tackled pound boxes of chocolates, no ice cream, no candy bars, and cookies and cakes only for special occasions. Fat-free frozen yogurt helps, although not sugar free. But even after I cranked up my fruit intake this summer, at some point, no matter how hard you try, you realize a cantaloupe simply is never going to be a chocolate-chip cookie.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer whose sweet tooth may soon be the only one left in her head. Contact her at jgillette@coastnewsgroup.

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