The Legend of the Christmas Stocking

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there„. There was a kindly nobleman whose wife had died of an illness leaving the nobleman and his three daughters in despair. After losing all his money in useless and bad inventions the family had to move into a peasant’s cottage, where the daughters did their own cooking, sewing and cleaning. When it came time for the daughters to marry, the father became even more depressed as his daughters could not marry without dowries, money and property given to the new husband’s family. One night after the daughters had washed out their clothing they hung their stockings over the fireplace to dry. That night Saint Nicholas, knowing the despair of the father, stopped by the nobleman’s house. Looking in the window Saint Nicholas saw that the family had gone to bed. He also noticed the daughters’ stockings. He secretly tossed three bags filled with gold coins down the chimney. The bags fell into the stockings that were hanging by the fire. His kindhearted gift made it possible for all three daughters to marry and have a happy life. From this was born the legend of Santa coming down the chimney and placing gifts in children’s Christmas Stockings.

May you find your Christmas stockings filled with delight, fun, health and happiness! 🙂

 

Reclame

Life’s little pleasures: Dark, White or Milk?

It’s Chocolate National Week in UK!

The eating of chocolate has long been associated with love.  Apparently, the Aztec emperor, Monteczuma (c1502) drank fifty cups of chocolate a day to enhance his ardour.Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine and Serotonin both of which also occur naturally in the human brain. These mood lifting substances are released into the nervous system when we are happy and when we are experiencing feelings of passion, creating a a rise in blood pressure and heart rate and inducing a feeling of well being. So, when you need a lift – eat chocolate!

The first chocolate house was opened in London by a Frenchman. The shop was called the The Coffee Mill and Tobacco Roll. Costing 10 to 15 shillings per pound, chocolate was considered a beverage for the elite class.

History of Chocolate

1502 – Christopher Columbus introduces chocolate to Spain from his fourth voyage to the New World in 1502 but not as the product we know today. It was only consumed as a drink. The word „chocolate” was derived from the Aztec word xocolatl which means bitter water.

1615Anne of Austria (wife of Louis XIII) declares chocolate as the drink of the French Court , although this was only after much skepticism, as initially it was considered a „barbarous product and noxious drug”.

1640 – chocolate finds its way to England, among other European countries.

1657–  the drink becomes a best seller in England and excessive duties are imposed on chocolate. It takes almost 200 years before the duty is dropped.

1828Dutch chocolate maker Conrad J. Van Houten created the hydraulic cocoa press. The press enabled chocolate makers to crush the „nibs,” or centers, of roasted cacao beans into a paste (Chocolate Liquor). After crushing, some of the cocoa butter was extracted.

1848 – English chocolate maker Joseph Storrs Fry created the first eating chocolate by further refining the cocoa, adding sugar, and mixing the cocoa butter back in.

1875 –  Swiss Daniel Peter added condensed milk  to  chocolate and marketed the first solid milk chocolate bar.

Have a bar of chocolate! It makes your day sweeter! 🙂

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