Midnight Spoonfuls of Something Sweet

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

In the weeks near the end of the summer, while waiting to fall asleep, my stomach started rumbling for one more snack. One more bite to eat. Just something. It was like the Doctor Who episode in which the TV alien cries huuungry. That night I wasn’t convinced to step out from the under the covers tucking me in. But it hasn’t stopped. I’m sure one of these nights I’ll give in. After all, though I have a strict no dogs on the bed rule, Benny sneaks back up every night he isn’t forced off at the beginning.

Part of my unwillingness to give into stomach’s whining is that midnight (in my case it’s more 11 pm) snacking confuses me. Do you brush your teeth again? The dentist will lecture me if I don’t. What a nuisance though. To be honest that second brushing isn’t going to meet the dentist’s standard anyway. Is something better than nothing?

What about the dishes? Without a properly working dishwasher every dish gets hand washed before bed. So what happens with the snack dishes? Do they sit around until the next night? Am I expected to wash them too? If those have to be washed in addition to my teeth this snack has turned into an awful lot of work to satisfy a greedy stomach.

What do you eat? The brushing, washing questions certainly affect this question. If skillets and flossing is going to be involved then stomach will just have to suffer forever. I’ve never been great at snacking. As a kid I made lemon halves covered in sugar for after school snacks. As an adult I’m more likely to make a meal. I’ll eat dinner at 4 on a weekend rather than decide on a snack.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that not a bite, but a spoonful of something sweet might be perfect. It quickly led to the mental image of me standing in the kitchen, secretly eating my entire way through a jar or pint or bag of whatever. It’d be secret even though there’d be no one to see me. Except the cat. She’s in favor of late night eating and fairly easy to bribe.

Do you feel guilty over the gluttony? I’d need to feel good about the snack, but not in a carrot stick kind of way. Doing things myself helps offset misplaced guilt, but I still buy foods like refried beans and pet food. Limits have to be set.

I remembered about a broken up bar of milk chocolate in the pantry. I’d intended to make Guinness Chocolate Ice Cream with it, but got sick. Then I drank all the beer. Dark chocolate slowly covered up the milk chocolate until I forgot about it.

Keeping in mind that all these questions are being asked of myself while I’m lying in bed waiting to fall asleep might indicate my stomach has woken up only to keep my brain company. And it doesn’t really want or need a snack. Stomach and Brain should have thought of those things before I made this chocolate hazelnut spread. There’s a jar waiting in the pantry.

By chance (because I was searching for it) I found two recipes for this Chocolate Hazelnut Spread at about the same time — one called for dark chocolate and the other for milk chocolate. I used both. The chocolate bar already in the pantry was only 4 ounces. I added (what I guessed was) 2 ounces of dark chocolate chips. Since were on the topic I’ll mention a couple other things. Straining the spread seemed like too much effort for even 8 pm. I prefer Chunky Peanut Butter anyway. Cutting the recipe in half fills exactly one jam jar.

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