Two raspberry creams, please

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, February 10, 2022

Two raspberry creams sing “Let me call you sweetheart” for Valentine’s Day. Photo by Warren Harbeck over clipart

The other day, I visited Horse Creek Heritage Candy & Gifts, adjacent to Cochrane’s MacKay’s Ice Cream, and the co-owner of the delightful shop inspired me with the theme for this year’s Valentine’s Day column.

As I entered, Cherie Hill greeted me with “How can I help you?”

“Two raspberry creams, please,” I answered.

“Oh, I’m all out,” Cherie replied. “Will something else do?”

Well, that was all the opening I needed to share with her – and with you – why that particular kind of chocolate is so important to me at this time.

It all started in the late 1980s while Mary Anna and I were sojourning in the Edmonton area. We had taken leave of the beautiful Bow River valley for what we thought would be just a few months – but what turned into nine wonderful years.

During that time, I got my feet wet as a columnist.

Writing a weekly column – known back then as Coffee Cup Meanderings – disciplined me into a distinctly pleasant routine. Throughout the week I visited as many coffee shops as my other activities allowed.

Total strangers welcomed me to their tables and honoured me with their wit and wisdom. Some shared their struggles to find meaning in life. Others spoke of their delight in the night sky or at refraction of light through a glass of water. Many of my new coffee companions even permitted me to share their stories through the column.

The coffee shop I frequented on Fridays was near a candy store that featured very tasty raspberry cream chocolates. On my first visit, short on cash for candy, I bought just two to take home and share with Mary Anna. That went over so well, I went back the following Friday and bought another pair of raspberry creams -- and the following Friday, as well, and pretty much every Friday thereafter for many years.

Two raspberry creams after Friday dinner became our little way of saying, “I love you.”

And the tradition continued when we returned to the Bow Valley. After my Friday afternoon coffee in Cochrane, I’d head over to the candy shop across the street and order two raspberry creams. My arrival became so predictable, that no sooner would I walk through the door than the proprietor would place two raspberry creams on the scale.

Sadly, when that candy store closed quite a few years ago, my sweet Friday tradition took a break.

A break, that is, until just the other day when I entered Horse Creek Candy & Gifts and saw my chance to revive that wonderful tradition in a new form: a Valentine’s Day tradition! And I sure came to the right place to revive it.

Cherie makes her own in-store gourmet Belgian chocolates. When she heard my story, she immediately told me to come back in a couple of days and she’d have some raspberry creams waiting for me.

So, be forewarned, Mary Anna. Our Valentine’s Day dinner will culminate in two raspberry creams, an ever-tasty way of joining Bing Crosby in singing, “Let me call you sweetheart, I’m in love with you.”


© 2022 Warren Harbeck

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