Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Celebrating with Nathan Miller, the Chocolate Love of My Life

This past weekend was a weekend of celebration.

I celebrated another year on this beautiful planet of ours with THE love of my life and the people who allowed me to enter into it (I say "allowed" because I've been a difficult one from the start; abortion was an option for my parents multiple times, and they said "No, thank you," for which I am forever grateful).

I also celebrated being given the opportunity to do the very first book reading and signing of my first book, Marley Eats His Vegetables (or you can purchase a physical copy on Blurb.com). The event was planned by my old hometown library, Coyle Free Library, as part of their grand re-opening after a gorgeous remodel.

What an incredible day! The townspeople came out in droves (more proof that the idea of libraries going by way of the dodo is a bunch of hooey), and I got to read my book to a bunch of the cutest little kids I've seen in a long time. I met amazing local authors—Ron KeenerJennie Brown, Sherri Maret and Esther Jones—and even more amazing townsfolk: Selma Thomson who had just turned 100 and was such a pleasure to talk to. Old friends I haven't seen in decades. A mom who encouraged me in a way I don't think she realized how much it meant: thanking me for writing a book that her daughter who struggled with learning to read loved and could read, and I got to talk to the little girl about the truth that it didn't matter how long it took her to learn; what mattered was that she was being persistent.

It truly was such a special day, and so to celebrate and keep it local, my family and I decided to go to Roy Pitz Brewing Company, an establishment I would highly recommend to both locals and those of you who pass through Chambersburg, PA, for whatever reason. It's always got great food and outstanding brew, and the waitstaff are always super friendly, too.

 Celebrating at Roy Pitz Brewing Company in Chambersburg, PA

As we were finishing our giant mugs of beer, my mother reminded me to save room for dessert, not for leftover birthday cake but for Nathan Miller's to-die-for chocolate, sold in the same warehouse down the hallway from Roy's.

Nathan makes—and I am not exaggerating in any way—the best chocolate I have ever had. Crafted in tiny batches with beans that he sources from all over the planet, Nathan can literally take you around the world through chocolate, right from his tiny shop in good, ol' Chambersburg, PA.

This weekend we tried chocolate from Guatemala, a deep, dark, grassy chocolate. It was absolutely delicious (pairing nicely with his rich, nutty-and-caramel-y coffee), but it was the bite of his Buttermilk chocolate bar that sent me over the edge. So smooth, so rich and ever-so-slightly salty. It was what I always imagined Willy Wonka's bar to taste like—only a hundred times better.

Averaging about $8.00 a bar, NM chocolate bars make an excellent little gift, the kind where you don't want to spend a lot but still want to show a sincere token of your appreciation. Believe me, anyone who receives a gift of an NM chocolate bar will take one bite and know that your "little" token—and your "thank you"—are HUGE.

I know that my appreciation was huge. To end my incredible day with Nathan, the chocolate love of my life, and bites of his incredible chocolate?

Oh, sigh. There just could not have been anything better. 

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