Mystery of my missing stash

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OMG! Someone has raided my secret, emergency chocolate stash, a hand-crafted block of top-quality, organic chocolate hidden away in our bedroom.

When it comes to chocolate, there’s no substitute for quality. The chocolate that comes from the local health food shop is so much more precious than those Freddo Frogs you might succumb to late in the afternoon or the good old family block that, when you do buy it, you’re lucky if it makes it home in the car before being consumed by those in the back.

So mummy’s “times-of-emergency” chocolate is the really good stuff that not only melts in the mouth, but is also medicinal – totally good for you, almost sinless, in fact. Well that’s my theory, anyway.

Chocolate does have some health positives – most of us now know that there are antioxidant benefits to be gained by regularly partaking of the coco bean – but there have also been reputable medical studies into the relationship between chocolate consumption and heart disease.

And, joy of joys, it appears people who consume chocolate, as opposed to those who deny themselves, are less likely to suffer cardiac problems.

But before reaching for the mega slab, be warned – the jury is still out on just why chocolate is a good thing. Sadly, a lot of mass-produced chocolate is full of sugar and coco butter and high in calorie content. However, it appears that chocolate eaten in moderation is a good “de-stresser” and may have a healthy effect purely because it’s a really pleasurable thing to do.

However, what is very stressful is suddenly finding that your secret stash has been plundered.

After extensive grilling, our children claimed no knowledge of theft from the hat box. Likewise, my husband protested innocence. There was no clear evidence, just a frenzied mess and the crime may have gone unsolved were it not for the return of the thief to the scene of the crime.

Two days later, while watching television in bed with a bowl of chocolate chip ice-cream to take the edge off, I observed the cocker spaniel wander into the room, lift the lid of the box with its nose and snuffle around inside expectantly.

This did explain why whoever had scoffed my chocolate had made such a dog’s breakfast of it and had me up surfing the web on chocolate poisoning in dogs – and reading about it, I think we were lucky it didn’t have a heart attack. For dogs, if they are to remain man or woman’s best friend, they really need to keep their snouts out of our stash.

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