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The Notebooks
by Josée Fiset

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— Have your bread and eat it too

It has been scientifically proven that love is a drug.
Addictions use the same neurological pathways as feelings of love. I take total responsibility for my seasonal addiction to chocolate-cranberry bread. I’ve been waiting for the past 10 months for the return of its delightful, harmless high.

Some ideas, objects and pleasures are made to last, designed for eternal and unconditional love. My morning espresso, for instance, which I don’t ever pass up. A perfect baguette, right out of the oven, with a pat of butter… Am I right?

But others are destined to come and go like fireworks, and to return after months of longing. Or to never return. Here’s what I mean.

My mother’s french fries are thick, crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, and never greasy. She sprinkles them with vinegar before salting them so the salt sticks. They are – no word of a lie – swoon-worthy. But would they be as good if I ate them every day? Same for those old-fashioned potato doughnuts dipped in maple syrup. I deprive myself in order to keep falling in love at first bite. Absence makes the taste buds grow fonder.

Première Moisson’s chocolate-cranberry bread is the pinnacle of this concept. I remember devouring this chocolate-cranberry bread with my eyes the first time I saw it on a countertop one December afternoon, its colours bright that grey Thursday,promising sweetness and crumbly abundance.

The temperature of food has a great deal to do with my addictions. Coffee, baguette, fries: if they’re not hot, you can keep them. But chocolate-cranberry bread somehow escapes that edict. I’m not sure why, but I blame the riot of fruit and chocolate chips. Each mouthful bursts differently depending on the constellation of sweet and tart in that bready heart. Cold, it’s great. And hot – you have no idea. And best of all, it heralds the arrival of Santa Claus.

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The coming together It’s not the holidays without a yule log The sharing — December 23, 2:45 p.m. The discovery — Have your bread and eat it too