The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The promise of chocolate

new pet chickenI love Easter. The squeaky clean green of the grass. The first primroses. Drifts of daffodils in gardens rather than the supermarket displays. And chocolate. Good thick 70% armbreaking stuff. Savoured in the greenhouse, behind the wheel of Jalopy and in bed.

One terrible year Danny ate my Easter Eggs. I’d offered him a bit and he took this as a green light to gradually, secretly, wolf the lot. I’m a one chocolate a day sort of girl. Danny is an egg an hour sort of guy.

I was happy just admiring the boxes for a couple of weeks until I felt that ‘must have chocolate now’ pang. I lifted a box. It seemed strangely light. Inside I found an empty nest. When I shook the second box it had the same tale tell rattle of flimsy card.

Under pressure, Danny can move with the swiftness of a gazelle. He was driving out of the gate before I could say “thief”. Even though he filled both boxes with his favourite chocolate bars from the all night service station, I vowed never to trust him with my chocolate again.

Since then he has developed a taste for milk chocolate. This has been encouraged as I prefer plain, with the exception of the sugar coated chocolate eggs that the little plastic hen lays when her back is pressed.

I am amazed that she has seen at least five Easters as her mechanism is stretched to the limit, laying at least a hundred eggs in the space of the long weekend. Last year I hid the bag of her egg refills so well that I lost them completely. For the first time in her chocolate egg laying life she only gave us 12 eggs last Easter.

I unearthed the bag just before Christmas. Well past their sell by date. Danny ate every single one.


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9 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate(uk)

    Glad to hear that Andrew is blooming. A large vet’s bill is a great way of testing just how stable you are…

  2. Kate(uk)

    Andrew back to full bounce and vocal as usual today after a very pathetic evening yesterday- his back legs kept giving way and he was really spaced out! Much as I will be when we go back tomorrow for the bill.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sarah

    I loved the thought of your Grandmother finding forgotten Easter treats when she was weeding in the summer months.

    It™s great that you are helping the Easter Bunny to prepare delicious baskets for special people.

    You deserve a basket of your own to savour.

    Hi Pat

    Oh lucky you. Hotel Chocolat makes some heavenly eggs.

    Hi Pamela

    The ultra fresh chicken eggs would have scored 100% for me too! Unexpected presents are always a joy.

    Hi Jo

    The empty packs keep me happy for a while until I pick them up! Then I get a bit unhinged…

    Love the tale about the sad history of the chocolate egg that wanted to be a boiled egg!

    Hi Pamela

    I agree. I have a yearning for Lindt chocolate now. I™ve just discovered a bar of Green and Black™s dark chocolate on the mantelpiece. Yum.

    Hi Kate

    I empathise. Poor you.

    I do hope that Andrew is OK and the vet™s bill is small or even waived (it is Easter after all).

  4. Kate(uk)

    Primroses seem to be particularly good this year- I’ve just taken the cat to the vet ( he’s been to fight club) and the drive leading to the surgery has high banks either side that are just smothered in primrose bloom- fabulous.
    You notice I am avoiding the subject of chocolate.I’m not supposed to eat it for very good medical reasons and most of the year I’m fine about it, but Easter is very,very hard to take! Somehow, nothing else can take the place of chocolate…

  5. Jo – bunnies or reindeer? Who cares? It’s still Lindt chocolate!

  6. Jo @ LittleFfarm Dairy

    Thank goodness,

    it’s so nice to know I’m not alone when it comes to greedy-guts men! Tony infuriates me, I’m continually having to hide sweet foodstuffs from him. And he always abandons the packets as if they’re full in the vain hope I won’t notice they’re empty. Recently we’ve had a succession of builders on site, constructing the new Dairy Complex; for which I’ve kept a goodly stock of biscuits. Every weekend, if I’ve gone to bed earlier than him, Tony’s wolfed the lot: come Monday morning tea break, there’s only been a few sorry crumbs left lurking guiltily in the bottom of the tin. And he never replaces them, nor apologises – just sulks at being told off, as if it’s MY fault he can’t control his craving! Grrrrr…..

    On the subject of Lindt Easter Bunnies, at Christmas the company Tony flies for, purchased a ‘job lot’ – then put them in the passengers’ lunch boxes, claiming they weren’t bunnies at all but were in fact reindeer – pull the other one!

    The other year I used to sell the occasional box of spare hens’ eggs to my colleagues at work – there was always a huge demand. At Easter I replaced one egg in each box, with a chocolate one – & they looked quite realistic. Unfortunately one person didn’t realise & attempted to boil it…..& couldn’t understand what on earth was wrong with it until the penny dropped.

  7. When we were little my parents used to put a few Lindt chocolate eggs in a nest in a plastic egg. Once the eggs had been eaten – and mine didn’t last more than a day or two – the plastic eggs were put away for the next year. My eyes used to pop out on stalks when I saw friends with mountains of huge easter eggs in fancy boxes. Years later as a family (of adults) we bought a huge tub of Lindt eggs at the wholesalers which was meticulously counted out and shared. Mmm, my chocolate heaven. So last night at Tai chi was my perfect night as I unexpectedly received Easter gifts from 2 friends – Lindt choc bunnies from one and 6 perfect real eggs laid by her own hens from another as a thank you for the regular supply of egg boxes. Amazingly it was the real eggs which won out when I got home and at 10.30 pm I had poached egg on toast for supper.

  8. Fiona, that sounds like our house. I savour my chocolates and Brian will wolf them down like there is going to be no tomorrow. My friends got me a giant Dark chocolate Easter Egg from Hotel chocolate for my birthday and at the moment we are in Chocolate heaven!!!!

  9. I love Easter too! I have fond memories of hunting eggs and treats in my Grandmother’s garden, and of my Grandmother finding missed treats while weeding in the summer!

    I am deciding what to put into my Husband’s Easter basket, at the least like a pretty foil covered chocolate rabbit from the candy shop. The dogs Veterinarian has been especially sweet to us the past couple of months, so Berry and Basil will be giving her a basket of home made jams and chocolates.

    I miss getting a basket of my own, but I really enjoy making them up for others, especially for someone who doesn™t expect the Easter Bunny to visit.

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