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Recommended diversions

Afternoon Naps with the Windows Open

A recent dental surgery has left me at home the past few days in recovery. And in that amount of time it’s been amazing to see the green appear outside my window.

The birds have been chirping up quite a pleasant racket and driving the cats crazy. And the usual herds of Maggie Valley motorcycles thankfully have been absent, allowing me to heat and cool the old fashioned way. My second story bedroom gets some excellent breezes and given the excellent painkillers I’ve been on I’ve been perfectly content to just lie there and stare out the window until I fall asleep. I get up, eat something soft, and do it again. Make a point to catch at least one of these totally self-indulgent naps this spring. Your soul will thank you for it.


Seeds of Change Chocolate Bars

Organic cranberries, candied pecans and cinnamon and orange oils go into this company’s Narragansett dark chocolate bar, making it an exquisite blend of home-baked and gourmet taste. Actually, they say that’s what they were aiming for — “holiday dessert recipe from a distant aunt on Cape Cod.” I’ll take it. It and their Santa Catarina Dark Chocolate with Mango, Toasted Coconut and Cashews bar. “It's what Brazil would taste like if it were a chocolate bar,” they say. I’ve never been to Brazil, but I can say I’m definitely interested. They make three other kinds, one of which includes espresso beans. Been there, done that — with Vosges’ Creole Exotic Candy Bar. And personally I prefer my espresso beans as a chocolate covered stand alone, or in the liquid form. But in visiting Vosges’ Web site I see they’ve come out with some new flavors. There’s the Calinda with Indian green cardamom, organic California walnuts, dried plums and Venezuelan dark chocolate. And the Goji with Tibetan goji berries, pink Himalayan salt and deep milk chocolate. I’ll have to get back to you on these. Meanwhile you can find Seeds of Change at your local, friendly EarthFare.


Cline, Mourvedre, Ancient Vines

A friend of the family gave my husband and I a bottle of this as a wedding shower gift and it’s proven to be terrific find. For the wine geeks out there, winemaker’s notes read — “The Ancient Vines Mourvèdre, grown in the warm, sandy soils of Oakley, California, produces a wine that has a distinct chocolate character. The tannins are soft and the wine has good weight in the mouth. Flavors and aromas of cherry and mint help make this delicious wine an unusual delight.” For the non-wine geeks I say, get a bottle, it’s good. It’s one of those reds with a good amount of body, but doesn’t zap all the moisture out of your mouth. They say to serve it with something hearty like lamb. Try it next time you’re out at the grill.

— By Sarah Kucharski

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