And so it continues… my French moment has led me to a once quiet French town with a sordid past, and present for that matter. The people are for the most part endearing. What doesn’t appear at the surface, is the epic power struggle taking place within the town and also within each of the inhabitants. Vianne Rocher is a chocolatier who blows into town on Ash Wednesday. Her decadence is in stark contrast to the spirit of penance for Catholic Lent. This automatically places her at odds with the fanatical Catholic priest. While Vianne wrestles her urges to meddle and potentially establish a place that she can remain, the priest wrestles his desires and self-loathing. But it’s not all epic power struggle… it’s also love, and decadence, and redemption. We meet an entertaining cast of characters. Armande is old enough to had been around to witness events of the past. She doesn’t allow any one to forget who they are at their core, much to some of their dismay. It’s often unclear whether she will be the voice of reason or just stir the pot. Muscat and his wife, Josephine, encounter their marital difficulties. Their marriage, as well as all other town business, keeps the gossips tongues wagging!
Who knows the book? It’s certainly not a new one… but it was a perfect accompaniment to my French moment. Chocolat by Joanne Harris is the first in her Vianne Rocher series. This series also includes The Girl With No Shadow and Peaches For Father Francis, which just came out in 2012. You might also be familiar with the movie based upon the book. Like most movies, I didn’t find it much like the book. Though I did see the movie years ago, so I might have just forgotten all of the ways that it was the same. I loved the movie & the book. That probably has to do with the fact that I watched the movie first. But enough about this… here’s something that I know we can all enjoy!
I’m calling this Lazy Woman’s Candy because it’s so easy, even the laziest (or busiest) of us can find the time to make it.
1/2 c butter + extra for buttering the pan
1 package of Nestles peanut butter & chocolate chip morsels
1 c peanut butter
1 c mini marshmallows
1 c pretzels, crushed
1/2 c caramel sundae topping
Butter the 9 in square pan; set aside. Combine butter, morsels & peanut butter in a microwaveable safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted smooth. Cool 20 minutes. Stir in mini marshmallows just until combined. They should be coated but not melt. Pour into prepared pan. Top with crushed pretzels. Drizzle with caramel. Refrigerate overnight. Store in the refrigerator. Then hide… because it is addictive. Your jeans might not fit.