About Homemade Chocolates

Homemade chocolatesLast week Kathleen spent a large part of two days working at our kitchen table. She had gathered a collection of recipe books of various shapes and sizes and was trying to consolidate favorite recipes into two notebooks as a project in downsizing.

In the midst of this, she brought to my study a little piece of paper she had come across among the recipes. It was weathered from time and slightly tattered. Even its handwriting was faded. On it was the recipe for homemade chocolates she made 63 years earlier, during the first three months of our marriage.

We had to stop and reminisce.

In 1948, we were living in a one-room apartment above a garage across the Queen Elizabeth Highway from Lorne Park College. This was 11 miles west of Toronto, and I was a student and part-time staff there. Having married on a shoestring, as brave souls often did in the post-war years of the last century, this was our first home.

To survive, we had to be resourceful in order to gather together enough money each month to pay our $45 rent and to meet our self-imposed $7-a-week grocery budget.

Once Kathleen produced some home-made chocolates that proved to be a hit with student friends. So we figured that home-made chocolates might be a means of income. She produced batches and we sold them to our contacts for 50 cents a pound. I remember still their coconut, maple, vanilla, and even chocolate nut centers, and all encased in a coat of dark chocolate. It was no run-away commercial venture, but times were hard and every penny counted.

Times are hard for many today but in a different way. For many people, the struggle is not so much for basic survival like it was for us 63 years ago. To us and many others, it now appears to be a nagging anxiety that the affluent lifestyle to which we have become accustomed to may slip away.

When such anxious thoughts press in we find it helpful to remember those homemade chocolates. And to recall that a deep faith in God and the enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures are the keys to contentment and security in this life.

(More next week on homemade chocolates.)

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5 thoughts on “About Homemade Chocolates

  1. Dear Pastor Bastian : What a lovely and helpful reminiscence for us, as we read it out loud here in the Minister’s Study @ St. Andrew’s. We are discovering, again, after 39 years of marriage the very things about which you wrote. Thanks for the practical theology that you bring to our attentions out here.

    I was speaking with Nick Chajkowski (who lives next to my stepmother on Maple Drive Verona) who attended Polson Park yesterday. He spoke appreciatively of your message regarding the Trinity. I shall find out if it might be available either as podcast or recording.

    Give our greetings to Kathleen.

    C and M

  2. Pastor Don,

    Thank you for the memories about early days of marriage. Dot and I used the “envelope” system during our first pastorate. We parcelled out whatever dollars came in the offering to meet current and expected expenses. The people were good to us and God blessed our efforts to serve Him.
    Ken Burton

  3. I think we as a family should reminisce further and have a taste of those chocolates. I’d be up for that and I think we could force the rest of the family to be as well.

  4. Thanks, Don. This certainly brought back many memories of the early days of our marriage. We are looking forward to your next chapter.
    Ross and Barbara Shaw

    • Ross and Barbara: It’s great to know that we are in touch, though remotely, by this wonderful technology. And to know that our reminiscences caused the two of you to reminisce. Blessings. Don

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