After a particularly harried Noel my husband (or is that business partner?) and I decided to take a vacation alone without even so much as one thought of chocolate. (Running a chocolate company can take a toll on love – discussing cash flow, employee schedules, and finicky equipment can govern your life if you allow it.)
One step on the Oahu island of Hawaii and my senses are stirred by the lush afternoon scent of orchids, papaya, sea water, and some other unknown flower. Perhaps I should have studied perfume making in Grasse; my nose has always been at work. I resist the urge to create chocolate recipes while I’m supposed to be vacationing.
We are not staying in a fancy 5-star hotel – no, no, no. Our temporary dwelling is a simple cottage overlooking the gentle waves of north eastern shore. Footsteps from a tiny beach lined with palm trees, we are blissful. Each night, we grill local fish like Mahi Mahi or sauté shrimp. We blend tropical drinks with coconut. A lovely Polynesian lady who owns a convenient store across the street, kindly gave me a piece of her “butter mochi” which she sells in her store for $1.00 a piece. It inspired us to bake something, so we made quatre quarts or pound cake and added fresh pineapple.
Each day our tans darken and we carry fewer things to the beach. We only need our swimsuits. We’ve taken this cue from the surfers who need only their surfboard – no shoes, no gadgets. Hawaii has redolently replenished a couple of weary chocolate makers who now need to think about le jour de la Saint Valentin.