Monday, April 28, 2014

Poison And Chocolate Clouds

In "The Story of Babar" by A.A. Milne (which was based on "Histoire de Babar" by Jean de Brunhoff), the king of the elephants dies after eating a poison mushroom. That was the first time The Kid Brother heard about poison mushrooms. Or I could be making that up. Maybe that was the first time I heard about poison mushrooms. More likely The Kid Brother saw it on an American television Western in the 1960s. You know, some outlaw escaping through the desert scrub and desperate for food and water. Hmmm... What's this? Ah, mushrooms!

NON-POISONOUS MUSHROOM HERE IN SPAIN.  BUT THE PRICE COULD CAUSE INDIGESTION.
(THE EURO IS ONLY THERE FOR SIZE COMPARISON.)

What matters is that, when The Kid Brother was still just 'a kid,' he heard about poison mushrooms. From that time on, he has not eaten one single mushroom. I thought he just didn't like them. It wasn't until the mid-1990s when The Kid Brother was visiting us in San Diego that I discovered the truth. He and I were out for lunch at Seaport Village on the waterfront. I was about to bite into my giant Portobello mushroom burger and he looked at me from across the table with panic written all over his face.

"That's not poison, is it?!?" he blurted.

And then I understood. When The Kid Brother is told something, it sticks with him for the rest of his life. And, if a mushroom can be "poison," how is he supposed to know when one isn't?  When he was 12, The Dowager Duchess told him that chocolate was bad for his skin. He hasn't had chocolate for 42 years. That's will-power — well, OK, that's really obsessive-compulsive behavior... but still. Anyway, to be more precise, The Kid Brother hasn't had chocolate-colored chocolate in 42 years. White chocolate apparently doesn't count.


The Kid Brother works in a large store, part of a national chain. Way back when, on holidays, our sister Dale used to always buy us special goodies. The best were the solid chocolate Easter eggs, and jumbo Easter bunnies. And gigantic Santas and reindeer, also of solid chocolate (no hollow chocolate from our sister). The Kid Brother thought they were the best, too, until he hit 12 and The Dowager Duchess shared that unfortunate information. A couple of weeks ago, I told the kid brother to pick up a big, solid chocolate Easter bunny for me this year. He had told me his store was completely stocked with Easter sweets.

"No way," he snarled, "I don't eat chocolate!"

He was unmoved when I said, "Well, I do!"

"You need to stop!" he snarled.

So, no solid chocolate Easter bunny for me this year. As the Kid Brother would say, "Sheesh!"

IN THE 1970S, WAITING TABLES AT A SUMMER CAMP IN RAMAPO, NEW YORK.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S ON THE TRAY THE KID BROTHER'S HOLDING, BUT
IF HE COULD SERVE THAT SLOP, YOU'D THINK HE'D SERVE ME SOME CHOCOLATE!

San Geraldo had pity. While in the supermarket last week after Easter, he found a box of "Nubes de chocolate con leche," which translates to "Clouds of milk chocolate." Marshmallow chicks dipped in milk chocolate. They were surprisingly good. But a dozen milk chocolate clouds disappeared into thin air — as clouds will do. So, there's still room for those after-Easter, half-price solid chocolate bunnies. Just a thought.

16 comments:

  1. You and your chocolate, Mitchell! lol I bet you were 'buzzing' for hours!!
    I really like your stories about your kid brother. I can feel the affection you have for him. I am sure he is only looking out for you in his own way and doesn't want you to get sick.
    How were those solid Easter bunnies?

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    1. Jim:
      So little chocolate and so light that it didn't give me a bit of a buzz. I'm going to the store tomorrow and buying myself a big hunk of solid chocolate!

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  2. I love chocolate covered marshmallow anything. :-)

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  3. The Emperor Claudius died from eating mushrooms. It's believed he knew the mushrooms served by his wife were poisoned and he ate them anyway just to be free of her and her nasty son, Nero.

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    1. Stephen:
      I've read that it's not known for certain about how Claudius died. Now if it were poisoned chocolate, I could understand being unable to resist.

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  4. In Canada we have this incredible icecream called Chapmans, a large family owned company, and they make this frozen yogurt called black jack cherry which is chocolate and cherry icecream with large cherry bits and maraschino chocolate bits that when you bite into them have maraschino syrup. I am pretty sure it won't ship to Spain well but next time I eat it I will think of you :) Something to try if you ever make it to Canada.

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    1. Cheapchick:
      Ooh, that ice cream sounds so good. So unbelievably kind of you to think of me next time. We have ice cream shops all over the place, but I've yet to find one I like as much as I did "Villar" in Sevilla. (http://mitchellismoving.blogspot.com.es/2012/06/i-scream-you-scream.html) Maybe I need to start doing taste tests.

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  5. Just an amazing story about mushrooms but probably chocolate is safer.

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    1. Gosia:
      Yes, I'll stick with chocolate. (I wonder what mushrooms dipped in chocolate taste like.)

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  6. Well, your family is more logical than mine.....In about 1920 my grandmother's oldest sister Victoria died, tragically, of mushroom poisoning. She collected her own mushrooms and cooked them and was sure she could tell the difference between good ones and bad ones. It was a tragedy and it changed our eating habits. Our family continued to happily eat mushrooms (though only from a store) but we are obsessive about mayonnaise and never touch a drop that has been unrefrigerated for longer than say 15 minutes. And my mother and grandmother would always bring up Aunt Vic as the reason why this was so.

    Perhaps you should have asked for a white chocolate bunny?

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    1. Kristi:
      Did you ever ask your mother and grandmother why they still ate mushrooms?

      I'm not a big fan of white chocolate... on its own at least. White, milk, and dark, on the other hand.... Mmm Mmm.

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  7. That's a very odd mushroom. I would not eat it, but then I don't like them anyway. I have a few euro coins, which no doubt will be spent soon. It is an attractive coin.

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    1. Andrew:
      I love mushrooms and that large one was very good, but for me not enough of a difference to justify the expense. (And Jerry bought 5.)

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  8. Great post! You need to get your brother some chocolate-covered mushrooms.

    The chicks look pretty tasty!

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    1. Knatolee:
      When I see him in June, I'm going to tell him what you suggested. And I'll share his response. It should be good. (The chicks were pretty tasty. Today, San Geraldo came back from the market with a milk chocolate and Oreo bar just for me!

      Delete

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