Chocolate chips remind me of unselfish friendship.
I have a supply – a seemingly never-ending supply – of chocolate chips in my pantry. I keep those shiny bags of chocolate in a couple of old 5 kg rice sacks, away from the curious eyes of my children. I think the chips are breeding in there. At least, I have never run out of chocolate chips, ever. And, no I have not replenished my supply in over 4 years – Scout’s honour.
I blame this situation on my chocolate pusher, who, while wretchedly enabling my stockpiling-of-food habit, has also taught me much about the nature of friendship.
When I first discovered Ghirardelli chocolate chips, I was pretty excited – and pretty desperate. At the time, Ghirardelli chips were only available in the States! The combination of excitement over a new gourmet ingredient and desperation over its unavailability was enough to kick my inner squirrel into high gear: Must Have Inexhaustible Supply of Ghirardelli Chips, Never Know When Borders Will Close.
I actually contemplated a chip-specific trip to Seattle with an empty suitcase.
My GC chip pusher (she gave me my first bag free) was a good friend who loved to be of service. She helped for years with my cooking classes, listened to me kvetch about my life’s stresses, and would occasionally be my “ghost cook” for potlucks and school events when I was just too busy to do it myself, using my own recipes to faultless effect. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone!). As a good friend does, she rushed in to fill the Ghirardelli void. During her frequent trips to the States, she would always make time to buy me a bag or 10 of chocolate chips, for which I would reimburse her when I saw her next.
She was so happy to help me that, for years, a Stateside trip for her did not go by without another large hit of GC for me. Hence, the inexhaustible supply I now have hidden in rice sacks in my pantry. Diagnosis: true friendship or addictions enablement? Whatever the case, I know she had my back. Friendship like hers is worth its weight in boutique chocolate, even when that 100-plus pounds ends up in your own pantry.
Although the glory of Ghirardelli has palled for me (I am on to Green & Black’s now), the glory of helpful friends never has. I love that I can bake chocolaty things on a whim, counting on as I can my magical rice sack of chips, and my friend to replenish it, should I ask her to.
I suppose that eventually I will get to the end of my Ghirardelli chip supply. But in the meantime, the bottomless chip bag reminds me not only of my specific friend who smuggled the chocolate back to Canada for me, but also of the very nature of friendship itself: something you can count on, a comfortable and familiar place: something that is always there in inexhaustible supply, so long as you don’t use too much.