Wednesday, June 25, 2008

weekend of self indulgence, gluttony and chocolate

I have a new favorite place and a reason for living.
4 words.
Russell...Stover...Factory...Outlet.

In sevierville, Tennessee on I-40 exit 407. This address will remain permanently etched into my memory.

We had been making pretty good time down to Chattanooga and It was almost 130. We hadnt stopped for lunch yet so I asked "where do you want to go for lunch?". As circumstances would have it, I uttered those words right as we passed a roadway billboard for Russell Stover Factory Outlet. Charles looked up at the sign, turned and said "exit 407 at the Russell Stover Candy Outlet".
So I said OK, I was always willing to go look at Chocolate. I could be doing worse things with my time.
(But secretly in my head I was thinking "Oh this will be just like those places we stopped at in Florida with the "bags of fruit" for $1, and your bag of fruit consists of 3 nectarines. Or the Pound of pecans for 2.99 and you get a bag of pecan dust) But I held my tongue and we went to the Candy Outlet.

cue angelic chorus here...

we walked in and it was divided into two sections. The upper section and the lower section. The upper section had all the candies listed at 8.99 each or 2 for $10.
I was thinking "Ok I could get 2 boxes at Rite Aid or Walgreens for $12 or so. This isnt that great of a deal"
THEN Charles found the Mother Lode.

In section two they had all the whitmans samplers and a few of the other russell stover chews and clusters etc.
Charles stood there, his mouth agape, drool forming. "Sarah...I found it. I found it!"
I came over and took one look and immediately started piling up chocolate boxes.
8 samplers for 8.99. Then I found the pecan crowns! 4 for 8.99(those are my personal favorites) Then I found the chews and nougat boxes. 4 for $7.99

So we ended up with 16 boxes of chocolates for under $30. They make perfect housewarming gifts. Perfect things to take to a pot luck or get together. Perfect gifts for all holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Easter, Groundhog Day, Arbor Day, Columbus Day, Left Handed awareness day, polar bear day, wear red to work day... Really is there any holiday that does not deserve a box of chooclate??


So total head count: 8 boxes of assorted chocolate samplers, 4 boxes of Pecan crowns and 4 boxes of Caramels and chews. This picture only shows 9 of the 16 boxes. Imagine 8 more large yellow boxes and 3 more white boxes. The cardboard box holds 6 yellow boxes of assorteds.

We have decided to make this a permanent stop every year on our trips to Chattanooga.

That night we went to my Aunt Jeans house for a Pre-reunion reunion. We had BBQ, Slaw, salads, cakes, cookies, etc. These Southern Women know how to put out a spread.
DAY TWO

At the top of Lookout Mountain incline we stopped at the gift shop and looked around. They had homemade fudge up there. (as seen in the See Rock City cardboard barn birdhouse container.) It was 4 slices for $14. HUGE slices. So we got Chocolate Peanutbutter, Chocolate Pecan, Rocky Road and Peanut Butter. I am not ashamed to admit I ate most of the peanut butter fudge all by myself. It is my favorite) But we still have quite a bit left, so I am shocked that we havent completely snarfed it down.


THEN later at the reunion we had THIS spread:



Imagine everything fried, breaded, battered, southern style and it was on this table. Ham, fried chicken, fried corn, southern green beans that could kill you, wings, salads, slaws, sweet potatoes done 5 different ways, stuffings, biscuits, rolls etc. 2 long tables chock FULL of Southern Goodness.

THEN we had the dessert tables. Better than Sex Cake, Pineapple Cake, Pecan Pies, breads, cakes, strawberry Shortcake, Rum cake, brownies and more. It was just an orgy of good food.

I came home feeling like I needed a colon cleanser and to make myself throw up. It was truly a weekend of gluttony.

Yet here I am counting down to NEXT years weekend of self indulgence!!
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