#1 teenage son – I’m now officially a classy guy, Mum.
Me – Oh really. Why’s that?
#1 teenage son – As of last week, I am now the proud owner of not one, but TWO belts – one casual and one smart. That, in my world, is the definition of a classy guy …
Wow – who knew it was that straight forward.
So, the occasion that called for a smart belt was the Year 11 School Prom – the social event of the year when you’re 16. At least I imagine it feels that way for the girls … An opportunity to wear THE dress, to do nails, to fancy up your hair and to rock the highest of high heels. And my gut tells me that the dressing up thing for most of the boys is an inconvenience, an annoyance, a right hassle but at least our 16 year old boys have reached an age where they accept that they’re going to have to do it anyway – even if it’s just to keep the girls happy. And the Mums.
So ‘we’ made a plan –
- Tuxedo ✓ – M&S online. Slim fit. Good value. LIFE LESSON : you get very few opportunities to wear a tuxedo so, when they come along – go for it. Can’t think of a guy who doesn’t scrub up well in a tux.
- Shirt ✓ – M&S online. Extra long arms. You need it when you are a gorilla.
- Shoes ✓ – Borrowed from my lovely husband and accompanied by the message, ‘These shoes cost more than your entire outfit, so LOOK AFTER THEM’.
- Belt ✓ – Smart and classy. See above.
- Haircut ✓ – Bit of a trim. Booked.
Done and done.
And then, 2 days before the prom, the air of calm anticipation was over with one short conversation –
#1 teenage son – I’ve got a date for the prom now.
Me – Oh that’s great (…. attempting to stay outwardly cool and calm, but actually thinking OMG – this is my little boy, how can this thing they call a ‘date’ be possible)
#1 teenage son – And I need to buy her a corsage. Can you get me one, Mum? I’m trusting you on this Mum. I’ve no idea – I only just found out what a corsage is.
OMGGGODDYGOD. Suddenly it felt like all the pressures of motherhood had been building towards this point. AAAAaaagghh.
So it began –
- Get a picture of date doing a demo in her dress – I’m sure I didn’t look that good when I was 16.
- Ask multiple frantic questions on every social media platform – help!
- Research on Pinterest – some nice ideas …. some abominations.
- Drink a few large glasses of wine…..
And then the next day I hit the florists. I clearly wasn’t the first corsage virgin to visit – they knew all the answers to my, frankly ridiculous, questions and it was ordered. ‘Keep it simple’ was my mantra. Although SIMPLE doesn’t always equal cheap. There’s definitely money to be made in taking hardly any flowers and attaching them to somebody’s wrist. I just hoped it would last beyond the first photo.
And it did. And very lovely the gorgeous couple looked too. I know it’s my job to be dreadfully biased about my children, but I’m sure that #1 teenage son was by far the most handsome guy there. In a James Bond kind of way.
And so I left him at the ‘Pre-Prom’, from which he would go via limo to the ‘Actual Prom’ and then on to the ‘After Prom’ – where the party really starts…. and I went home to contemplate my son – the classy guy with the smart belt and the borrowed shoes who was a toddler only a second ago and who is now properly grown up.
A glass or three of chilled Rosé and a tray of these equally classy Salted Fruit & Nut Chocolate Coins was just what my lovely husband and I needed to while away the early evening wondering what a bunch of 16 year olds do on a big night out and worrying how the shoes would fair. The chocolate is super thin and delicate, the sea salt cuts through the sweetness and the crunch of the dried fruit and nuts is a perfect contrast.
You can feel classy AND virtuous eating these. Just pretend you didn’t see the wine …Click to tweet
So here’s why I’m loving these Salted Fruit & Nut Chocolate Coins –
- With just a few ingredients and very little fuss, you can create a treat that’s just as classy as owning a selection of belts. Yes, really.
- They are seriously delicious. Seriously. We sat and ate the whole tray between us. Straight off the baking parchment too.
- Great to give as a gift – wrap in cellophane or find a classy box.
- Healthy too.
- They were perfect with a glass of wine, but I wouldn’t say no with a coffee or served alongside fruit as a casual dessert.
You’ll love them too – I’m certain of it. No classy occasion required … honest.
- 100g (4oz) dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)
- a large handful of mixed salted nuts (cut in half if the nuts are large)
- a large handful of raisins or cranberries
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling
- Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and using a pencil, draw 10 circles (each about 5cm/2 inches) spaced out over the tray. I used an egg cup for this.
- Now break up three quarters of the chocolate into pieces and place it in a small microwaveable bowl.
- Chop the remaining chocolate as finely as possible and set aside.
- Set the microwave to a low power and slowly melt the chocolate in the bowl in 15 second bursts, stirring gently after each burst.
- When the chocolate is only just melted, tip in the finely chopped chocolate and stir until everything is melted.
- Now carefully spoon the chocolate onto the baking parchment, using your circles as a guide. There should be enough melted chocolate to make 10 discs. Working quickly, sprinkle the nuts and dried fruit onto the molten chocolate and finish with a little flaky sea salt.
- Allow the chocolate coins to harden and then store in a sealed container in the fridge - or eat them in one go, straight off the tray ...