The Truffles have left the building

The Truffles have left the building

They are in the mail. I’m just warning you in case your mail carrier is the kind who can righteously ignore cards from Grandma clearly stuffed with cash but who cracks at the smell of chocolate.

They are sealed, since that is what I have learned to do with chocolate so no one not even myself can sneak the truffles out one by one, leaving me to send an empty box by accident. See previous posts for why this is not paranoia on my part.

I would be fascinated to know if the seals arrive intact even protected as they are by a padded envelope. I love seals and have occasionally at brocantes in France found absolutely gorgeous antique silver ones that my mother-in-law then bargains down to a reasonable price for me, using lots of mentions of ma petite belle-fille. BUT I have found their ability to survive any contact whatsoever to be nil, to the point that ANY reference in a historical book to someone detecting a seal that has been tampered with, or someone going to all kinds of lengths to delicately tamper with a seal, has me snorting in derision. You could merrily break the seal, remove it entirely, do anything you like EXCEPT, perhaps, try to stick it back on, and it would take a paranoid psychotic to believe anything but that a courrier had stuffed it in his pouch on the ride over and the seal had gotten rubbed off.

Anyone with more historical seal knowledge may feel free to correct me. I believe I’ve heard that sometimes one sealed envelope was placed in another; that might have been the solution for the interior seal.

In packing up the chocolates, I have discovered something, and since I feel guilty not confessing, I will just confess it here and see if anyone in my family actually reads my blog and says I want my truffles back:

I made extra truffles for my sick, truffle-sister Anna and her husband Ken as part of the bargain for the recipe. And somehow their box of truffles ended up back in the bag with the rest of them and in my house over four hundred miles away!! Now when I say “somehow”, I hope no one is thinking Laura-how because I had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

I now remember Ken hunting for his truffles at one point and strongly suspecting his sick wife of not having been too sick for chocolate after all. But I now realize what happened.

As soon as the truffles were completely done, I carried a Fossils bag full of them to my sister’s house with me for safekeeping. And since it was late at night by then, that safekeeping involved setting them down right in the middle of the kitchen table where any less tired person could realize they would be instant prey at breakfast. And then I took care of a baby half the night (how do you get them to sleep?), and then I stumbled out the door the next morning to go up to my brother David’s house.

We were in the midst of planning my parents’ surprise 50th wedding anniversary, and later that afternoon someone got a cell phone call that Anna wouldn’t be joining us at David’s because “Mary Kay” was coming over to her place to get some of the decorations.

Now, I had tried to leave “Mary Kay” plenty of truffles for her and her chocolate-devouring husband and kids, but in this weird fluke, she had said, “I have eaten so much chocolate I think I’ve made myself sick. That is way too many truffles. Just leave two a piece.”

I had felt bad for all the other people in her family who would later be paying for Mary Kay’s decision by having her steal their truffles when she ran out of her own. But never one to argue with someone willing to let me keep more truffles myself, I had gone ahead with the two.

Now I leaped for the cell phone. “Give me that! Anna, the truffles are sitting there right in the middle of the kitchen table!” And Mary Kay was going to be regretting that “two a piece” by now.

I’m pretty sure Anna and Ken then ran around the house with the bag of truffles, all panicky, yelling, “Mary Kay is coming! Mary Kay is coming!” kind of like in those old Westerns when the Injuns were spotted. And in that panic, Anna must have stuffed her own box of truffles into the bag, just before she stuffed the bag into the back of a closet in a room in her house that is still empty and unused except for a lonely sewing machine in one corner.

(I wish I had rooms like that in my house. All of my rooms are not only full and in use, but their use is often in use to other purposes. Like, for example, the bassinet we used in our bedroom the first few months is still there, only it’s become a clothes chest. I don’t know why I need a bassinet as a clothes chest. We have two of the biggest chests of drawers in the world, bigger even than Narnia if it came in a chest of drawers and not an armoire. They are hideous and dark and looming, because S├ębastien won that decorating round, and he has taste in furniture very similar to his taste in clothes. He doesn’t want his furniture actually to be black, because that would be kitsch, but he goes for the darkest brown stain you could possibly find on the face of this earth. The only saving grace is that since his dog and his cats claw everything to death, we end up with a lovely pale pattern of stripes on most things no matter how dark they started. There’s a coffee table–right by the dog’s favorite couch to sneak up on and jump hurriedly off, over the coffee table, when our footsteps are heard–that looks as if someone were buried alive in it and tried to claw his way out, Edgar Allan Poe style. It works great at Halloween.

Given these chests of drawers, plus a closet, there’s no real excuse not to be able to fit all the clothes-in-current-use in them. But I have been through so many sizes in the past two years–normal, various stages of maternity, nursing, post maternity–and at one point, instead of sorting through the clothes and packing some away to make room for the ones I could still fit, I found it easier to set a recently folded stack in the bassinet just for a second, until I could take care of the baby, and there you go. It turns out that bassinet can hold quite a few stacks of clothes, plus now it’s blocking my access to the chest of drawers so I can’t even get started re-organizing. All of my house is like that. All of it. I am so jealous of that unused room in my sister’s house I can’t tell you. I could hide so much mess in it. A whole bassinet full of clothes even.)

So…here is my ethical dilemma: I have a whole extra little Tupperware box of truffles, ten whole truffles (okay, 8; my ethical dilemma is shrinking hourly). SHOULD I keep those truffles for myself, to save on postage and all, or, since my sister gave me her recipe, is it my obligation to return those truffles to her? Minus two to cover postage and the fact that she has an unused room not full of mess.

I don’t know. I learned morals from my mother, and I might once have at least known what I SHOULD do, even if I didn’t do it, but recent events have made it all fuzzy.

  • amy

    That may be a record for longest parenthetical aside ever?
    MY mail carrier hates me because I complained because all our mail smells like smoke, and I am extremely sensitive to smells, plus I hate the smell of cigarette smoke to begin with, plus isn’t it a fire hazard to smoke in a small truck FULL OF PAPER? just saying. So now my mail smells like bad, cheap air freshener, which also disturbs me, and my magazines come all torn looking like she let her dog play with them for awhile, and hopefully she won’t smell chocolate, is all I’m saying. And since I, too, am paranoid and obsessive, now instead of just wondering if my snail mail submissions got lost on the way, or buried in piles of paper, I can also worry that the mail lady who hates me is just…not…delivering the replies to me.

    January 5, 2007 at 2:37 pm
  • I think my mail carrier smells chocolate. That’s why I thought to warn you. SOMETHING must be happening to the packages of chocolate that should be arriving daily from my hordes of adoring fans, because I have never gotten a SINGLE ONE. But, to be fair to my mail carrier, to even get into his hands and arrive at my home address, the packages would first have to pass through the hands of either my editor or my agent. And, you know, both these women have shown signs from time to time of liking chocolate a little too much for my own good. Not to make any accusations or anything.

    Also, what does that mean, “I, too, am paranoid and obsessive”? What are you trying to imply?

    January 5, 2007 at 4:34 pm
  • dee

    I think she might be saying that, like her, maybe a few of your un-chocolate-sending fans may be a bit on the compulsive side? Just a guess. ;>)

    As for your moral dilemma… I guess I’m failing to see it. Eat the darn things already! And when anyone asks, just point to your blog and say, Hey, I asked MONTHS ago what I should do. Is it MY fault I got no direction from you people? I think NOT!”

    Enjoy! I know I will!!

    January 6, 2007 at 4:11 pm
  • amy

    Thank you SO MUCH! They arrived today. As soon as I opened the envelope I could smell chocolate. The book smells like chocolate. I can’t wait to read & eat.

    And, um, as for your question…”Senator, I do not recall…”

    January 6, 2007 at 7:53 pm
  • I think ALL my books should smell like chocolate. Maybe I should talk to the publicity department. They could let them sit overnight in a chocolate warehouse before shipping them out or maybe use cocoa in the ink? Although that might end up like those chocolate-smelling hand lotions–if there’s no real chocolate in the offing, what’s the use tormenting people with the scent?

    Dee, if I get in trouble for eating up all those truffles, I’m blaming you!

    January 7, 2007 at 12:30 pm
  • dee

    Yeah, that’s just fitting! You write a book called “Blame It On Paris” and then decide to blame poor me if you get caught snarfing up all the chocolate. Geez, people need to take some personal responsibility these days!! ;>)

    And I am so beyond jealous that Amy already got hers!I fmine aren’t here soon, I’m going to know that I have one of those choco-sniffing mailpersons. Woe to the lady that comes between me and a chocolate smelling book!

    As for that lotion and stuff…I got my 11yo daughter some lotion for Christmas from Bath and Body Works. One smells like Cinammon Sticky Buns and the other smells like Gingerbread cookies. I gotta tell you, they don’t taste anything like they smell!

    January 8, 2007 at 10:52 am
  • See, that’s my point–if something SMELLS delicious it should TASTE delicious, otherwise it’s such a shock when you try it.

    January 9, 2007 at 6:47 am