Friday, September 13, 2013

Cadbury Flake

"In Scotland
there were vignettes of simple, stunning beauty
all the time
I climbed Dumyat and
took communion with a lab,
found the heather
and tasted every chocolate Flake . . ."

from the poem "Strip the Willow"
by tammy l. knox sandel, 8/17/13

~ excerpt from my current fortnightly blog post ~
Tammy's reference to "every chocolate Flake" spoke to my heart. I was not in 1979 a fan of the Flake, though I have since become one, as it is a favorite of my English relatives, including my husband and sons. Back then, however, what Kathy and I loved to buy at the British Rail newsstands were Twix Bars and Mini Babybel cheeses, two novelty snacks not widely available in the United States at the time. Somehow I knew exactly what Tammy meant about the memory of a chocolate treat that comes to symbolize everything new and unique and untried about "a specific place we must find." Or perhaps a place that we have actually found; or an old, exciting time when there was just so much to learn!

Tammy's poem led to a day spent thinking about Flakes and Twix; old friends, new friends, children of friends, and young womanhood. At the close of that day, I was looking in the pantry for some chocolate chips to add to a batch of zucchini bread ('tis the season), and -- to perfectly round out a series of connections and coincidences -- what did I discover and use instead? A package of very crumbly (even more so than usual) Flake Bars, no doubt left over from Gerry's parents' last visit.

Believe it or not, Tammy is not the first author I know to have incorporated a reference to Flakes in her writing! In Gladys Reunited: A Personal American Journey, Sandi Toksvig -- herself a master of the literary coincidence -- describes bringing a friend in the United States a package of Flakes from England:

I had brought her a gift of Cadbury's Flake -- a chocolate bar
that crumbles the minute you unwrap it. She was thrilled.
'We don't have it here. Your mom actually turned me on to them.
The first time, I said, "It comes like this?" It's a mess.
You have to work at them. Great when you're cooking.'

(109; see also
"Birds of Pray" and "Opal: In Love with the World")

Turns out I'm not the only one who uses Flakes when baking! I like it that Sandi's friend had the same idea; and she's right -- they do make a mess and you have to "work at them." Yet, Tammy's advice is undoubtedly the best of all: forget the mess, go for the experience, learn all you can, jump in to "strip the willow" and taste "every chocolate Flake." Just say Yes!

For the rest of Tammy's poem . . . and more
see my current post
"Every Chocolate Flake"
The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
A fortnightly [every 14th & 28th]
literary blog of connection & coincidence; custom & ceremony

New Fortnightly Post Coming Tomorrow:
"Do Not Worry, Do Not Hurry, Just Eat Curry!"

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