I realize I may be giving myself slightly more credit than I deserve here, but if ever the Russian government wanted to target me for assassination, all they would have to do is send me food in the mail. Allow me to explain:
About two weeks ago, right before Christmas, I received a mysterious package from an address I was not familiar with. I love it when this happens. Or at least I now know I do, because this was the first time I had ever gotten a mystery gift via the Postal Service. The only times I’ve ever come close, have been parcels from Camel with coupons for discounted cigarettes or a holiday glass from some booze company I’d filled out a survey for, in order to get a free keychain at a local bar. However, to get a package from what was obviously a person and not promotional materials from a corporation, was very exciting and I immediately assumed I had a secret admirer.
Upon ripping the box to shreds, I found this inside:
My secret admirer was from Switzerland! How international!
What happened next is still kind of a blur. After removing the lid, I was met with what appeared to be numerous globs of peanut butter, sitting inside chocolate casings, that were so carefully crafted they could only be homemade. Check them out:
You see that big empty space in the middle there? That’s because before I could take a photo, in fact, before I even knew what was happening, one of them was being furiously chewed and dropped down my gullet* so fast, I’m not even sure I remember eating it. It was just gone. These things could have been laced with ricin for all I know, however the thought that maybe I shouldn’t be ingesting unknown substances, that came from God knows where, never crossed my mind. Any four year-old knows not to take candy from strangers, yet here I am in my mid-thirties, still at risk of death from something I was taught to avoid all throughout elementary school. But hey, there’s a lot of things I’ve done in my adult life that any self-respecting third grader would know to stay away from, so what else is new?
I quickly determined I should attempt to discover the source of such a lovely souvenir. There was no note, just the treats, so I began to rack my brain as to who may have sent them. I do have my fair share of ex boyfriends, surely all of whom are still pining for me on some level. Maybe one of them had done a Google search, found my website and decided to begin courting me again. However if I was being real with myself, I had to count this out. I’m no picnic to date. Most of my relationships have ended with a fair amount of certainty on both ends, so in the interest of finding the chocolate’s true origin, I would have to perhaps, get my head out of my ass.
However, all of a sudden it occurred to me what exactly the confections in the dish were. A long time ago, my friend Beth (who’s from Ohio) would come around every Christmas with these things she made called Buckeyes. They were peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate and then chilled to perfection but not so much they wouldn’t melt in your mouth when you ate sixteen of them in a row. I always loved them but it had been a while since I had seen one, so naturally I hadn’t thought of them right when I opened the box. Briefly I considered that maybe Beth had sent them, but Beth lives in Colorado now and that didn’t match the return address on the package. I had to think a little harder.
THEN I remembered a comment left by a reader of mine on a post I did about the Minnesota State Fair back in September. After a brief exchange regarding the difference in food at the Ohio State Fair, the reader and I got on the subject of the Ohio State Buckeyes (a college football team), which led to talk of the chocolate buckeyes and then this happened:
Buckeyes are a big favorite around here all right. We always make a huge batch for friends and family at Christmas time. Send me your mailing address and I’ll hook you up! – Lloyd
That’s when it dawned on me. This was even better than a secret admirer. An avid reader of The Rheel Daze was so taken with my literary stylings, that he had gone to the trouble of preparing some of his home town’s traditional treasures and then sent them off to me as part of a season’s greeting. This was huge. I had reached a new milestone in my blogging career. I had received fan mail!
I suppose, in the interest of full disclosure, I should probably mention that although we’ve never met, Lloyd has been a friend of my mother’s since college. On the one hand, this should speak in my favor in the sense that I’m not willing to send my mailing address to just any psychopath off the internet who asks for it, even when there’s sugar involved. Yet, on the other hand, I’m not quite sure I can call him a “fan” per say, being that my mother gets the German all up in her when it comes to promoting this website. She’s pretty militant about it, with most of her friends contractually obliged to check in at least once every few days. Naturally, none of this is going to stop me from now setting up a P.O. Box for all further fan fare that anyone who reads my blog, may wish to send me in the future. And if for any reason, any of you want to murder me, you now know all you need to do is send something that’s obviously delicious.
On a more serious note though, I just want to thank Lloyd for making my Christmas! And my mother’s. I’m not even joking, you should have heard the seriousness in her voice when she asked if I would be bringing the Buckeyes home with me for the holidays. Guess the apple, or the food fanaticism, doesn’t fall far from the tree where we’re concerned.
*I’m six hundred years old.