Tuesday 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day, Chocolate and Love Poems ...

Valentine’s Day has become a chocolate, flower and love day ... not quite what the early peoples named Valentine might have expected.  Saint Valentines (and there were a few) were all Christian martyrs – no romantic elements to appease until the 14th century.

(Kakaw (‘cacao’) written in Mayan script.  The word was also 
written in several other ways in old Mayan texts. - see right)

Chaucer wrote of romantic love in his “Parlement of Foules” (1382) and I gave an appreciation in my post two years ago, love never got a look in last year!

Cacao seed in the fruit or Pocha
Love poems have scattered themselves through our literature since those times ... while poetry forms a major part of our lives, some of us totally appreciate its beauty, fewer of us understand its form ...   

JD Meier, at Sources of Insight, recently had a post “How to Read Poetry to Expand your Heart” – which is excellent ... so often I start reading a poem and that is it ... it fades – here Carolyn  Elliot (JD’s guest) gives a simple suggestion – now I know I will look at a poem in a different light .... and consider its ‘Aether’: please pop over and read.

Cacao fruits on the tree
Then last weekend’s Saturday Times had a Supplement including the 30 most romantic Love Poems ... these can be downloaded to the iPhone and iPad – Helena Bonham-Carter reads Carol Ann Duffy’s Valentine, Tom Hiddleston recites Bright Star by John Keats, while Harry Enfield reads A Subaltern’s Love Long by John Betjeman.

Poetry, whether or not you have a beloved in your sights, has the power to shift the soul and these 30 poems can do just that –

Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare;
    My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; ...

The Passionate Shepherd by Christopher Marlowe
    Come live with me and be my love, ...

One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker
     A single flow’r he sent me, since we met, ...

Kouame Alphonse Fasseri -
c/o Nestle + the Eden Project
The Eden Project has had some posts on chocolate and this post from the Ivory Coast should inspire and inform:

Where does chocolate come from?  As part of our festival of chocolate, cocoa grower Kouame Alphonse Fasseri from Africa’s Ivory Coast, tells the Eden Project his story ... and how chocolate has made a difference to his and his family’s daily life – read here. 

We know that the Mexicans and Mayans revered and added chocolate to their recipes – here is an interesting one ... still applicable for our end of winter, and ready for the southern hemisphere’s autumn and winter ...

the Eden Project's: Savoury Chocolate recipe: Borlotti Bean Mole with Roasted Winter Vegetables ... 

A Mayan chief forbids a person
to touch a jar of chocolate
The Spanish King Philip IV’s official Chronicler of the Indies, described Montezuma (c1466 – June 1520) customarily taking a chocolate beverage after meals, as part of a sumptuous daily ritual:

He had Cups of Gold, and Salvers of the same; and sometimes he drank out of Cocoas (coconut shells), and natural Shells, very richly set with Jewels ... when he had done eating, he usually took a kind of Chocolate, made up after the Manner of the Country, that is, the Substance of the Nut beat up with the Mill till the Cup was filled more with Froth than with Liquor, after which he used to smoak Tobacco perfume’d with liquid Amber.

Cacao beans were used as money for exchange and as a tax ... the Victorians pronounced Cacao as Cocoa – and that is how it has remained ... fact or fiction – who knows. 

Chocolate 'melanger' - 
mixing raw ingredients
The Europeans took out the chilli pepper the Mesoamericans were fond of, retained the vanilla, added cinnamon and cane sugar to counteract its natural bitterness.

Chocolate in Europe was a drink and remained so for three hundred years, but with the advent of the Industrial Revolution (1750s and on) many changes occurred that brought about the food we would recognise today.

Chocolatiers – artisan chocolate houses – have sprung up in recent times ... to bring back the nutritious, but extremely rich dark chocolate into our consumer focus.

Phil Neal, Chocolatier, in Turnham Green, Chiswick has a shop named after the botanical name for Cocoa:  TheobromaCacao – meaning ‘Food of the Gods’ – here is one of his Valentine’s Day hearts ...

The Chocolate Drinker -
by Raimundo Madrazo
This painting  The Chocolate Drinker – by Raimundo Madrazo – to me sums up Valentine’s Day ... a delicious drink, a voluptuous dress (fashion forsaken), her lover’s tryst lying in abandonment on the floor, while she conjures up her beating heart’s desire awaiting his arrival ... le chocolat fortifying her until her amour returns with a newly composed love poem ....

Just listening to the Love Poems would do us all good – and if you have an iphone or an ipad ... the App can be downloaded ... you can record your own and send it to your loved one, or read them out loud ...

Poetry might get into our souls on this St Valentine’s Day ...  have fun!

Love Poems App ... iF poems App - Record a Poem ... 

Poetry with the iphone and ipad App ... Young Poets ... previously mentioned in October last year ... If, Thanksgiving and Nano post ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


jabblog said...

Everything you ever wanted to know about chocolate - and more:-)

I've always liked Dorothy Parker's 'One Perfect Rose'.

Unknown said...

I love The Passionate Shepherd. I have it on audio, read by the wonderful Richard Burton, which helps. :)

Ah, the Food of the Gods. Yum!

Betsy Wuebker said...

Hi Hilary - Wishing you a very Happy Valentine's Day. Great selection of wonderful poetry and fun facts that justify our sublime indulgence - of each other and the heavenly substance! Enjoy!

Old Kitty said...

I do like these chocolate infused with chilli and salt and whatnot bars sold in waitrose but I am yet to brave a savoury dish with chocolate so thank you for the Barlotti bean recipe! The only other savoury recipe I came across was one that required a rabbit so being vegetarian, I appreciate this one here!

I personally think poetry should be read aloud and listened to verbally! The words resonate for me more than if I read a poem on paper.

Happy Valentine's! Take care

Mike Goad said...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Chocolate -- I usually have a bit of it every day.

So far a recipes, Karen started adding a square of dark chocolate to her chili, something I never would have thought of (but, then, again, I don't cook).

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Janice - not quite .. but a few snippets re chocolate. I was reading some of the poems to the residents this a.m. - so glad the Dorothy Parker's one featured ...

@ Shirley - ooooh read by Richard Burton - that must be wonderful to hear - I'm sure it helps!!

Enjoy your food of the Gods later on.

@ Betsy - thank you ... I love these Times Supplements .. great to be able to read a selection and remember ones I had forgotten. You and Pete have a great day ..

@ Old Kitty - I've never tried those chilli and salt bars - perhaps I should? I've had dishes cooked with chocolate - giving that added richness ..

Perhaps you'll give the Berlotti bean dish and try and let us know?

I must get these two poetry apps - I tend not to listen to things - I need to retrain myself!

@ Mike and Karen .. sounds like you've hit the right note - a little every day cannot do you any harm.

It's great Karen's tried adding some chocolate - it just gives it added richness and makes it darker in colour .. I hope you enjoyed your chilli with the added chocolate.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all .. cheers Hilary

Unknown said...

Loved the original Saint Valentine.

Anonymous said...

Its family fun to watch how chocolate is made on TV, especially during the holidays. We are trying to eat more dark chocolate and stay away from milk chocolate as its healthier.

J.D. Meier said...

Beautiful insights and roundup on the "behind the scenes" of Valentine's and cocoa.

> the power to shift the soul
Those are some might powerful words and so true.

One of my favorite traditions on Valentine's is to watch A Charlie Brown Valentine.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Unknown said...

I love Mole. It's a popular dish down here made with chocolate (I haven't made it yet myself but when I'm dining out, I like to order it, though my husband and son don't like it.). There's a chocolate drink made out the cocao and it's really good also.

Anonymous said...

Chocolate and love poems. That's Valentine's Day! I loved it all when I was younger. Now I don't like chocolate. Oops. I probably shouldn't say that. I might get struck by a chocolate slab! My daughter, though, has never liked chocolate. But she loves valentines. She just made an awesome one for her aide!

I printed out your letter to your Aunty Joan and read it last night. I'll be sending you an email about it! It's wonderful!!

And YOU and you mum have a wonderful day!!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Anonymous said...

p.s. I forgot to say that I DO like dark chocolate. As Stephen Tremp says, it's healthier than milk chocolate. And I have found it's addictive!

writing and living by Richard P Hughes said...

I love chocolate, but it's not a diabetic's best friend.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

I knew I could count on you for some wonderful words about Valentine's Day, love and chocolate!

Sara said...

Poems and chocolate...a perfect combination:~) I love both!!

I laughed when you showed the recipe with the mole. I visited Mexico one time and everyone talked about the chocolate in the Mexican food.

I was so delighted to think that chocolate was in so many dishes. Then, we were invited to dinner and we had Chicken Mole.

Where I expected "sweet," I got spicy and not sweet. I still laugh at my lack of culinary knowledge...not all chocolate is sweet. I did learn to like Chicken Mole, but it took some time.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, Hilary:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Carole .. poor martyrd St Valentines is really all I can say - but time has given them love.

@ Stephen .. glad you'll be enjoying chocolate with the kids this Valentine's Day .. Dark chocolate is best I personally think .. but I will eat milk chocolate .... without too much bidding!

@ JD - thank you for your guest post - Carolyn's post on "Reading Poetry to Expand your Heart" - was very good .. as is Rob's guest post on "Love" today ...

Enjoy the Charlie Brown Valentine movie ... they have some power to shift our focus ..

@ Clarissa - I had to look up Mole - and then some posted about Gyros .. Doner Kebabs ... I see Mole is popular via Wiki ..

Chocolate drinks are always delicious .. I try and steer clear!

@ Ann - I think we all go through love hate relationships with chocolate .. but I do like it occasionally ... Ah I see you changed your tune - dark chocolate is ok!

How lovely Jen is making a Valentine for her Aide - that's a lovely gesture .. has it got green frogs on it - that turn into handsome Princes??

Looking forward to hearing from you re my letter .. no rush though!

@ Richard - yes one of the residents was telling us today in our Discussion Group .. about her diabetes .. we cover some quite interesting subjects!! Sorry about this aphrodisiac not being so friendly to you ....!!

@ Melissa and Richard .. thanks so much .. Have a great Valentine's Day yourselves .. sounds like he himself has been busy ... ?!

Cheers and have Happy Valentines evenings everyone - Hilary

Anonymous said...

Your post, dear Hilary,
A melting confection
That soothes and stimulates
With such perfection.

Deliciously told, as always!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara ... you snuck in under the radar while I was replying ..

Poems and chocolate - they are a good mix aren't they! I knew the Mexicans cooked with chocolate - but had never heard it described as Mole and served all ways - via Wiki ...

That must have been a surprise .. did JC know? I'd have laughed too - thankfully I love food and probably would have just happily wolfed it down .. At least I know about a different type of Mole now .. not the little creatures that pop up ..

Hope you're both having lovely days .. and enjoying some time together - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. then you too wanted to be a delicious melting confection filler - lovely poem - thank you!

Great take on poetry for the chocolate soul .. love it - cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Hilary, you are a wealth of info! Chocolate is something near and dear to my heart. :) As a child, we used to tour the Hershey Chocolate factory in Hershey, PA - my grandparents lived not far from it. We used to actually go into the factory and see the Hershey Kisses made right there. Now you cannot enter the factory but must go on an interactive ride at Chocolate World. How things have changed! :) Fond memories of chocolate this day...thank you Hilary!

Rosaria Williams said...

Hilary, thanks so much for this lovely post.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Hilary, once again you've taught me something fascinating. I love learning new things, especially at my age. My favourite Valentine's song would have to be The Wedding Song by Peter Stookey, of Peter, Paul and Mary. So beautiful.

He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts
Rest assured this troubadour is acting on His part.
The union of your spirits, here, has caused Him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name
There is Love,
there is Love.

Well a man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home
They shall travel on to where the two shall be as one.
As it was in the beginning is now and til the end
Woman draws her life from man and gives it back again.
And there is Love,
there is Love.

Well then what's to be the reason for becoming man and wife?
Is it love that brings you here or love that brings you life?
For if loving is the answer, then who's the giving for?
Do you believe in something that you've never seen before?
Oh there is Love,
there is Love.

Oh the marriage of your spirits here has caused Him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name
There is Love,
there is Love.

Rubye Jack said...

I've started following Sources of Insight since I enjoyed the post on reading poetry so much.
Romantic love poetry is not exactly my cup of tea right now I'm afraid. :) But I do find spiritual poetry more lovely than ever. Thanks Hilary.

Mason Canyon said...

Hilary, hope you've had a wonderful and Happy Valentine's Day. Love learning more about chocolate and the photo of The Chocolate Drinker is perfect.

Thoughts in Progress

dolorah said...

Awesome. I love coming here for the 411 on events. Thanks Hillary.

And Happy Valentines Day to you to.


Susan Scheid said...

Another juicy post from you, Hilary! I've actually been to the Eden Project and thought it fascinating every step of the way--though I sure would have liked to be there for the festival of chocolate!

But here's the one that stopped me in my tracks and scurrying off to search the internet: One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker. There has to be a mordant punchline to that, I thought. (And so there was.) For after all, she is the scribe who set down this:


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Oh, terrible to put this down on Valentine's Day, but it does make me laugh. That woman had not an ounce of sentimentality, but a pound of cleverness, didn't she?

Marja said...

I love poetry as long as if I am able to understand it. I have tried for a while to write it It is hard work but very satisfying.
I love chocolate as well but have to stay away from it at the moment as I am on a diet at the moment.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks for making this Valentine's Day complete with a chocolate and poetry theme! Dark chocolate is my favorite, but I'll seldom turn down milk or white. Dorothy Parker's poem is a classic! Julie

MorningAJ said...

Hello Hilary
I'm not sure why your posts never appear in my blog lists until the day after you publish them - hence my consistent tardiness in commenting.

However, great post as ever. Lots to know about chocolate. And I love the love poems.

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - chocolate seems to be so near to many bloggers hearts - some of us try and keep a keen distance - but fail sometimes!

As a kid that must have been such fun touring the chocolate factory - ours were in the Midlands too far for us to travel. Everything is so modernised isn't it .. fond memories as you say ..

@ Rosaria - thanks for visiting.

@ Joylene - that's a lovely song - or poem for Valentine's Day .. so appropriate - thank you so much for copying it out here ..

@ Rubye Jack .. glad you're following JD's site - he has much to offer and wonderful resources.

Yes - I'm sorry the post isn't quite in the right mode for you .. but am glad you can find your spirits uplifted elsewhere ..

@ Mason - glad you like the Chocolate Drinker - it's constantly in my thoughts at the moment ..

@ Donna - I'd never heard that expression '411' before - so had to search for it!! Now I know .. information arena! or such like ...

@ Susan - oh great that you've been to the Eden Project - it is amazing and I always used to stop on my way down to Cornwall - I love it.

I don't know enough about Dorothy Parker - but I see what you've written .. and on looking in Wikipedia .. her first volume of poetry is titled "Enough Rope" - from what you said that sounds appropriate ... and then states that "The Nation" described her work as "caked with a salty humour, rough with splinters of disillusion, and tarred with a bright black authenticity".

They knew how to write then ... I must get hold of one of her volumes to read - they sound very acerbic and interesting ..

It makes me laugh too - I think I'll give it an airing tomorrow with the residents .. and she certainly appears to be very clever with her words .. great thoughts here ...

@ Marja - I think Carolyn's idea in JD's post is a really useful tip .. so I will look at poetry in a different way now - if I can't take it in - which is usually the case.

Sorry about the chocolate - though perhaps later in the year you'll enjoy some!

@ Julie - delighted you enjoyed the reference to Dorothy Parker and yes .. dark chocolate - though I'm quite partial to white on occasions - but like you .. I'll eat it all!

@ Anne - don't ask about Blogger or gmail - I despair of it all sometimes .. no worries - I haven't been across to you for 'ages' ..

I use my Reader - but I'm constantly going against the curve .. and the hill gets forever bigger - I'll try and crack a few today ..

Glad you enjoyed the post too .. with the poems .. and hope you had a good day.

Thanks everyone for some wonderful comments and added poetry - love it ... hope you all had good days etc .. and see you around your blogs soon ...

Cheers .. enjoy any left over chocolate! - happy days - Hilary

Helen Ginger said...

Chocolate really is delicious and a vital step in the food triangle (or whatever shape they're using now).

Shoot, now you got me wanting chocolate.

Rosalind Adam said...

After my weekend misadventure with the chocolate overdose I think I ought to steer clear of the stuff for a while but some fascinating chocolate info for when I have recovered.

Short poems said...

Beautiful post Hilary, great selection of wonderful poetry!

Linda said...

Happy belated Valentine's Day, Hilary. I hope you enjoyed some of the fine chocolate you wrote about. A good chocolate makes a special moment even more special.

You mentioned chili peppers and Mexican cuisine. I use chipotle chili powder and cinnamon in brownies. It gives them a nice twist.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Helen ... it soothes our soul, brightens our lives - that's what chocolate does!

Oh oh .. I can have some chocolate now - it's after 8.00pm ..

@ Ros - yes that sounded a greedy experience!.. glad you enjoyed the info though ..

@ Marinela - great to see you and you would recognise the poetry ..

@ Linda - now worries .. I'm having a quiet/messy week .. chocolate would be good!!

I see more and more people are using chilli and pepper in 'desserts' or with fruit .. and in ice-creams .. giving them a 'nice twist' as you describe it ..

Cheers Helen, Ros, Marinela and Linda - enjoy your Valentine's week .. Hilary

walk2write said...

Our next phones will be iPhones. I think this app would be a perfect addition. Thanks for recommending it, Ms. Hilary. Eating chocolate while reading poetry with someone you love is as close to heaven as life on earth can be.

Scarlett Clay said...

Great Valentine's post! Wow, I clicked over to the Eden Pro., had no idea it took 2-3 yrs for a cocoa plant to mature...wen you're trying to grow a crop for a living, that must seem like an eternity. And I absolutely love that painting, I've never seen that one! Thanks so much,Hilary, have a great week!


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I once reviewed a book on the history of chocolate. It was one of my most popular posts!

What would we writers do without chocolate?

Juliet said...

What synchronicity; I just treated myself to some pieces of dark chocolate, and then sat down to see what your latest blog was about!
How beautiful the cacao seeds are inside, and also the way the fruit grows on the tree. Love your commentary on 'The Chocolate Drinker'.
With all the interesting links, your post is as rich as the best chocolate.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ W2W - the iphones and ipads seem to be the thing don't they - and the Apps must be great. That sounds idyllic having a guzzle of chocolate, while being read to ... perhaps while lying in a meadow .. heaven on earth as you suggest.

@ Scarlett - so pleased things are easier your end of the world .. and delighted you looked at the Eden Project article and Kouame's family's story of his farm life;

Yes 19 months is an eternity - but in agriculture ..for a tree crop - 2 -3 years is quite quick, but they survive 25+ years or so .. and with 3,000 trees they'd always have a crop once it's up and running - and he sure looks happy.

Good to know that the painting appeals to you .. I just love that pink colour ...

@ Susan - I can believe your book on chocolate would receive lots of reads ... reading history via the journey of our plants, fruits or nuts - always fascinates me ...

I think we'd probably keel over .. if we didn't have our chocolate to support us ...

@ Juliet - that was clever timing - as you say .. Like you I loved the opened cacao pod .. nature is incredible in its evolution ...

Thanks - so pleased 'The Chocolate Drinker' appealed - she's beautiful I think ...

Good - glad you appreciate the links .. it's useful to me too!!

Cheers W2W, Scarlett, Susan and Juliet .. happy chocolate treats during the week ... Hilary

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

I love chocolate. Unfortunately some of it is produced by exploiting workers. The high-end chocolate is a lot more expensive. This, of course, is something we often don't think about when buying sweets (or anything)

And the people for which this day was named were not romantic poets? Woah, that's something to think about, isn't it?

Thanks for a very interesting post and great resource ideas for the classroom.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chase .. yes there's quite a lot we forget about - while we bask in relative comfort here.

The Eden Project had another great post - actually this is the index - because the one today might interest you and the kids .. and the one on 3rd Feb .. may too ..


Cheers and delighted to see you'll use the post info - for your classes .. have a great week - Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Happy Valentine's day, late. My valentines are my family of which I tell them often how I feel about them.

Yay, chocolate.


Ann said...

I watched a program on the telly in my youth, Richard Burton reciting poetry. The timbre of his voice added to the wonder of that experience. The poems, I was studying for exams took on a whole new meaning. They came alive.

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss hilary! yikes! now you got me hungry for chocolate. any kinda chocolate. ha ha. my mom read lots of poetry to us and i still love listening to poetry stuff. on the net you could pull up poems that read by the writers even way old ones. cool for sure. i hopw you had a real happy valentines day.
...hugs from lenny

MTeacress said...

The first 'book' I wrote as a child was poetry, with heart wall-paper as the cover. I was very proud of it, and wish I still had it. In more recent years, I haven't given poetry much of a chance. Maybe I will - with a little chocolate on the side. ;)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Teresa - yes I think my Valentines fall into that category too!!

@ Ann - listening to Richard Burton is just glorious and I must get some of his work to listen to .. obviously he impacted your literary life ..

@ Lenny - well you sent me some delicious chocolate .. which I'm very slowly enjoying. Hope you found some chocolate in your house and Rocky Raccoon hasn't eaten it all?

You're very lucky you can remember your mother reading poetry to you .. wonderful memories - as those poems will mean so much.

I think you've brought up a good point - the net does provide us the opportunity to listen to wonderful works of art/poetry read by the masters of their time ... as Ann mentions .... have you ever heard Richard Burton reading?

@ Michelle - what a pity you didn't keep your early work of art .. heart wall-paper too! It's funny how we 'downsize' .. then realise we quite like some of our own personal history back!

Look forward to reading some of your poetry ... and then I'll have some chocolate to celebrate ..

Thanks so much Teresa, Ann, Lenny and Michelle .. hope you all had fun Valentine's Days .. with some big hugs for you Lenny ..

Happy Weekend ..Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

A little late, but Happy Valentine's, Hilary!

You brought back memories for me. At school we had to do a project about cocoa and chocolate. I was about 11yrs old. I wrote to Cadbury's and they sent me a fantastic pack with a treasured bar of chocolate (1969). There was cut outs of cocoa beans and so much more. I got a lot of house points for that project.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I didn't know Carol Ann Duffy had a Valentine's poem. I'm a massive fan of hers - I must check it out.

Robyn Campbell said...

Poetry is near and dear to my heart, Hilary. We are reading a lot of it in homeschool. It does have the power to shift the soul. Dorothy Parker is AWESOME! I am trying to write a little poetry. Poetry is a fantastic writing exercise for all writers.

Chocolate! Can I just say I am on a diet/exercise program with the lovely Sharon Mayhew and chocolate has been one of my downfalls? Thanks for the lesson here. Lovely recipe too.

I lost the email comment you made on my blog this morning. I was preparing to answer it and the thing vanished. I just wanted you to know. (((hugs)))

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Glynis .. no worries - Valentine's Day can extend all year if it wants to .. love every day!

That was rather special - and what memories to have about Chocolate - a great story for grandchildren .. I'm sure you got plenty of accolades - and house points. Getting extra points for our house were about as important as achieving something ourselves - I seem to remember!

@ Talli - I don't know if you've found her poem .. I'll put it up on your blog ..

@ Robyn - I remember a lot of lyrical songs .. but could never really get into poetry - I think I need these Apps to get a feel of listening to the poems ... writing poetry is just about beyond me - I try occasionally ..

Chocolate - now that's another matter! You and Sharon are going great guns with writing and dieting - seems a good mix .. The Borlotti Bean recipe seemed very interesting ..

No worries re the email - good to hear from you here ..

Cheers Glynis, Talli and Robyn .. chocolate and poetry & handsome valentine = a good mix .. have great weekends - Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Fascinating article on two of my favourite subjects - love and chocolate! The photo of the cacao seed pod was fascinating. Looks like a flower.

Judy, South Africa

Julie Flanders said...

I love the Chocolate Drinker painting, how wonderful. The history of chocolate was so interesting to read, I didn't know about Montezuma and his love of chocolate!

Wonderful post, Hilary. I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day and also enjoy the weekend coming up. :)

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm such a sucker for old-fashioned pictures, and the Coffee Drinker yelled at me! I love it. Pink, chocolate, romantic. *le sigh*

Have a wonderful day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Judy .. thanks and those two subjects always bring happy smiles to people's faces. When I see a photo I like - it usually gets included - and I agree it's just so pretty ..

@ Julie - delighted The Chocolate Drinker shouted out to you - it's quite delightful isn't it ..

The Mayans must have had an extraordinary life style - not good for those at the bottom of the pile but ... so interesting to find out about & I loved this description ...

@ Jill - the picture of her being patient just resonated with me so much - I had to include the photo .. delighted you felt the same way too .. and I love your *le sigh* ..

Cheers Judy, Julie and Jill - have lovely weekends - Hilary

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I loved the photos, Hilary! I took a photo of a cacoa tree in Costa Rica, but had no idea that the inside was so pretty.

I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day. My better half sent me a vase of purple tulips. :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Hilary, I liked this post a lot.

Thanks for giving me that link about getting rid of spam comments. Its few blogs that are leaving their ads regarding the products they sell in my comments.

Have a lovely weekend.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sharon - thank you .. it was very interesting to read that they plant plantains to give shade to the cocoa tree to help them grow better. I loved those seed pods ..

Your purple tulips must be glorious .. I've been buying rainbow mixed colour ones for my Mama recently ..

@ Rachna - many thanks .. and just thought the link might be a useful site to know about.

Cheers Sharon and Rachna - have good weekends .. Hilary

MunirGhiasuddin said...

What an insightful post. Such treasures of information and without having to lift a book. Wow.
I hope that you are doing good. I am busy at work. Hopefully this year I will not be working too much as in March I shall be sixty two and then I will cut down work a little. Take care of yourself.
Cheers !

Anonymous said...

Hi, Hilary. I'm quite late in reading your Valentine's Day post, but wanted you to know I enjoyed it. It was fun learning some new things about chocolate, which is one of my downfalls when it comes to dieting. You always include such unique pictures with your posts. I hope you have a wonderful day!

ed parton said...

C H O C O L A T E ...

I believe that there will be chocolate in Heaven... growing on a special tree with just choco-pods that are ready to eat.

Until then... (I will get there) chocolate will consume my nearly every thought every day. Well, almost.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Munir - thank you very much. 62 is a good age - I can attest! Cutting back will ease your life a little - you too look after yourself.

@ Susanne - no worries - and so pleased you enjoyed the photos - I try and put in different pictures.

@ Ed - good to meet you .. and yes chocolate can be heavenly .. sounds like a child's thoughts - chocolate trees.

Cheers Munir, Susanne and Ed - many thanks .. enjoy your days and any chocolate you might enjoy?! Hilary

Patsy said...

Chocolate, flowers and love might have little to do with the original st Valentine's but they're things worth celebrating - especially love!

Ellie Garratt said...

Chocolate. Sigh. Say no more.

Golden Eagle said...

I love Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare. :)

Thanks for all the interesting links!

JJ said...

Hello my friend. I am sorry I have not been around for a little while. I have once again embarked on a new venture. I will write about it in the future. What a crazy life. In any event, I just wanted to say hello. I am still alive and well, living in St. Augustine.

Ella said...

Hi Hilary!
What a wonderful post, I love the painting, the info on chocolate and of course the poetry~
I hope your day was filled with sweet memories :D

Unknown said...

I love chocolate...but those are some ugly looking pods they come from. Thank you for all of the links to explore it made for an interesting read.

Found you via A to Z and look forward to reading more, and getting to know you. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy - I love your thought about love .. with marriage coming up - definitely go for it!!

@ Ellie - oh oh chocolate ... enjoy!

@ Golden Eagle - the poems The Times selected are just wonderful and delighted you've enjoyed the links.

@ JJ - you haven't been far away - good luck with the new venture and glad you haven't moved from St Augustine!

@ Ella - lovely to see you .. and so pleased all the aspects enticed you in to the post ... it was a sweet day!

@ Valerie - lovely seeing you here - thank you for following and commenting.

It's strange to think where some of our food comes from and how we got round to manufacturing some of it!

I'll be over - once I've worked out which of your blogs I should be looking at .. the A -Z will be fun ..

Cheers Patsy, Ellie, Golden Eagle, JJ, Ella and Valerie .. have wonderful weeks ahead .. Hilary

Romance Reader said...

Love chocolate so love all these information on it!

Hotly Spiced said...

I love the story of the history of chocolate - it's so interesting. Great post.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynne - thanks very much .. and I'm sure your characters in your romance stories do too ... Thanks for following and commenting ...

@ Charlie - glad you enjoyed the visit .. thanks for commenting and following. Not sure chocolate goes with Hotly Spiced food - but sometime else definitely!

Cheers to you both - Hilary