When I was young, I honestly could care less about chocolate. I never understood the attraction. I preferred fruit pies or vanilla ice cream for dessert. A decadent dessert in my book was something RICH, like cheesecake or pound cake (put in a whole pound of butter, yum). Sticky cinnamon rolls. A cheese blintz with blueberries. Lemon cookies. But chocolate? Didn’t do it for me. Then I went through menopause and everything changed. I used to think that what people said about the connection between chocolate cravings and female hormones was a load of you-know-what. News flash: it’s true. With my middle-aged lady hormones, I can’t get enough chocolate. Especially that really dark stuff with the caffeine kick. I have my stash in the pantry and I eat that heavenly 72% cacao every day after lunch to get me through the afternoon. I have to be careful not to eat it after about 1 PM or it keeps me up at night. And I have to be careful not to eat too much of it or I get anxious about my financial situation. No way I can eat it for dinner dessert. But I can eat the more benign stuff whenever. Chocolate chip cookies. Brownies. Cake. I could eat chocolate chip pancakes or muffins for breakfast. Chocolate chip scrambled eggs. For lunch chocolate potato salad. Chocolate macaroons. Chocolate carrot soup. Bring it on. Chocolate lasagna? Why not. I’ve got it bad. All those years of pitying other women who had those chocolate cravings, not quite understanding what it was about. I get it now. If I could sit on the couch all afternoon and watch football and eat trays of dark chocolate brownies without gaining a pound or having a panic attack then I would be in heaven.