Friday, February 22, 2008

Nothin' Says Lovin'

My valentine and I were apart on the big day. I ate a chocolate in his honor. Not just any chocolate -- a Tenor's Temptation from Just Truffles in St. Paul. Chocolates here are an art form -- started almost as a joke. Kathleen O'Hehir-Johnson always enjoyed making candy. Working for Northwest Airlines two decades ago, she brought a platter of her truffles as her contribution to a company party. Stunned co-workers wanted more -- deluging her with orders. And Just Truffles was born. Her treats became so legendary that she was asked to create a truffle for dessert at a dinner for Luciano Pavarotti on one of his visits to the area. Working with his secretary, she determined that the perfect combination would include milk chocolate, coconut and Malibu rum enrobed in milk chocolate. She topped the creation with a decorative "P" for the maestro. She and husband Roger attended the concert and Kathleen was puzzled by the fact that the tenor seemed to be trying to show her something. The next day, Pavarotti and his entourage entered her store and his manager explained. Pavarotti had worn the band from the truffle box as a good luck charm at the concert! Luciano was not the only one enchanted by Kathleen's magical treats. Oprah included them in her Favorite Things. Not that she needs my endorsement -- but they're definitely one of my favorite things, too. I hope my husband appreciates that it's the thought that counts because there's no way that chocolate was going to make it back to Oklahoma City!

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