The Sugar Blog

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  • Elizabeth Upshur

Why did God make chocolate?


One of my five-year-old boys asks me during lunch, oozing

nutella on the table from his graham cracker sandwich. I explain to Judah

who is my favorite—also the worst boy in the summer camp—well, chocolate comes from beans on trees called ‘cacao’ and they all say eww! and gross! Judah glares at his Lunchable

like it has personally betrayed him, while our only three-year-old Andrew shrieks, I’m

ALLERGIC to legumes!


Judah has asked me why

Ram’s eyes are small, how can his mother be white?

and why are you brown like a crayon?

I said because some people are chocolate and some people are vanilla

but both are good, and thank God no one decided to shout how much

they hated vanilla or chocolate.


Because of course they don’t say, they shout.

Now he has me curious on why chocolate was invented.

The bitter cacao beans are boiled, stirred smooth with rich, creamy butter

and sugar like a sword, beaten, cooled, beaten down until every imperfection has

evaporated and all that remains on the wax paper is smooth chocolate.

I remember licking the bowl of my birthday cakes, the chocolate

coating my nose and sticking to my baby hairs

as I dived into the eight-cup glass.


I figure now, as a grownup who celebrates Wine Down Wednesdays

God made chocolate because he thought it would pair well

with strawberries and champagne.




  • Neiha Lasharie

i have been carrying all of my babies on my hips since i was born screaming

more as the flesh on my newborn hip dissolved more with each polio drop

when i crash my body into a doorframe the sorries pour from my mouth

a salve for my child the guilt of a mother forgetting her motherhood for a moment

the guilt of a mother asking babe is it ethical for us to have kids

rocking my unbornfirstborn against my fidgeting is it ethical to have kids after peshawar

my forehead pressed against the Kaaba i feel my babies climb up my back press

noses against me hands on my head ya allah let me deliver safely deliver safety

maybe my babies are a fever dream one where i miscarry my never-was sister

maybe my babies are a promise a fixture a reminder that if not my babies

someone’s babies maybe my babies are our babies all dark curls lashes and hooded eyes

maybe my babies don’t matter not yet but they will

maybe my babies won’t be born for their sake for our sake

maybe the pain in my back on my hips crashing eager for vaccines

is a promise a fixture a reminder that if not my babies babies still

held-nurtured-phantom-mothered a reminder that if not my babies

they were/are/will be someone’s somewhere



  • Leela Soma


From birth, baptism, barmitzvah, upanayanam

Ceremonies using water, fire, elements of earth

Rituals followed, the circle of friends, family and

Relatives shower their blessings on the child.

Most cultures have amulets, talismans to ward off evil

Invoking blessings from a higher power to help one

face life’s long journey of trial and tribulations.

Worn around the neck or wrist, prayers are chanted.

Navratna,the nine gems, reflecting the nine planets

with the ruby at the centre, the gem for the sun

the pearl shimmering softly the moon, diamond for

Venus, red coral for Mars, blue sapphire for Saturn

The ancients looked up at the sky cosmology or astrology

colours were chosen, yellow sapphire for Jupiter. An emerald for

Mercury, Rahu and Ketu with hessonite and cat’s eye amber

Strung in a manimala, worn as a beautiful piece of jewellery.

Navratna is buried in the foundations of a new home

Given as a gift to a bride, precious stones in a necklace

Worn with love, imploring the planets to shed a gentle

And benign light on mankind’s transient life on earth.

Note: Navratna- nine gems

Manimala- a necklace of gems


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