Many years ago I read The Five Year Sentence by Booker Prize winner Bernice Rubens. In it a woman who works in a sweets (candy) factory is preparing for her last day of work. She’s cleaned her house, and she’s checked the oven. Everything is ready, we’re sure, for her return from the day when with nothing left to do in her life, she will return home and turn on the gas. However, fate intervenes, and she is given a 5 year diary as a retirement gift. It’s as if she’s been given ‘a five year sentence’. She feels she has an obligation to fill in each day. The novel takes some imaginative turns, and Bernice Rubens, who was also a mystery author, should be sought out and read.
Sometimes I feel like the woman in the story…not the suicide bit… but being given a ‘purpose’ to do what I do. When I started this blog DyingforChocolate.com, I followed a similar thought process, and although I do posts with chocolate reviews, chocolate news and recipes as they strike me, a lot of the time I post recipes that coincide with the Food Holiday of the Day. They’re at the top of my ‘diary’.
Surprisingly every day is some sort of Food Holiday (See The Nibble). Even if some Food Holidays aren’t specifically chocolate food holidays, just about everything goes well with chocolate, so I post a chocolate recipe! The big holidays are easy: Christmas, Easter, Passover, Halloween…lots of chocolate, but there are some very esoteric food holidays, such as:
Chocolate Covered Insect Day (October 14): Chocolate Scorpions (not for the faint of heart)
National Cocoa Day (December 12): Recipe Round up from Mexican to Peppermint
National Espresso Day (November 24): Espresso Truffles
California Strawberry Day (March 21): Strawberry Chocolate German Pancake
National Rice Pudding Day (August 9): Chocolate Rice Pudding
National Pecan Day (April 14): Chocolate Pecan Pie
Be sure and search DyingforChocolate.com for more Food Holidays and easy chocolate recipes.
As well as writing chocolate posts to fit a particular holiday, I do something similar on my mystery blog, Mystery Fanfare. On Mystery Fanfare, along with posts about the mystery world in general, I am drawn to dates and holidays and make extensive lists of titles that fit the holidays. Have a look at my Christmas Crime Novels list that is so big this year that I divided it into 5 posts. I’ve also posted Halloween Mysteries, Fourth of July Mysteries, Father’s Day Mysteries , New Year's Mysteries and lots of other holidays.
I suppose I’m still in school with the teacher giving me a topic to use as a springboard, or as in Rubens’ novel, a day in a diary to fill in. I’m so lucky to write about my passions chocolate and crime fiction! This isn’t to say I don’t stray a bit with reviews and recipes ‘off list’, but for the most part I find it fun to fulfill the day and holiday… in mystery and in chocolate.
So, you might say my whole life is about mystery and chocolate. How sweet it is!
I am still looking for that Rubens book. I do want to read it. The frustration of plans being tossed asunder by a gift strikes me as rather funny.
I need to find a copy, too, to read again. I lent it to someone years ago, and it was never returned. :-(
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