Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hines Family Provides Holiday Chocolate and Hope

I think one of the reasons I like writing about food so much is that it, like art, tends to bring people together. The other night, I went to my friends Scott and Jon's holiday family chocolate party slash fundraiser for the Equality Council and the rooms were ravished with chocolate displays of every kind imaginable: miniature glass tumbers of mousses with tiny marshmallow tops, mini martini glasses full of chocolate cream, a multitude of truffles, peanut butter fudge bars, chocolate covered apple rings, apricots and rich dates, and miniature red velvet cupcakes with thick cream cheese frosting.

After bloating us with sweetness, Scott delivered a speech that prooduced a few wet eyes in the house. Scott is an amazing father. Not only has he been in the service, had a Top 40 pop hit, created a successful eduation company, and become a change-producing lobbyist and businessman in the desert, he is, along with his partner Jon, a gay father to five children, two of which were adopted.
Scott was a Baby Doe himself, given up for adoption, raised by a loving family, and has returned the favor to society by adopting his own children Sage and Louis. He told us this while giving a speech about equality and telling us about the three children he and Jon were supposed to adopt who were sudddenly yanked away from the relationship that had been formed due to the dads' sexual orientation. He told us about the two children he was finally able to adopt; Louis who was coined autistic until under the Hines' wing, who has grown into an intellectually brilliant and charming teenager; and the vivacious four-year-old Sage who was born a crack baby but tonight was running around the house flashing her smile in a red satin and velvet dress.

It's nice to know that there are people out there doing their part for equal rights; basic human rights actually. It bothers me to think of the three kids who are probably sucked into the social system who will never have their chance at the Hines Holiday Christmas party full of sweets for the mouth and warm, fuzzy feelings in the heart. I looked around the room at the party and was thankful to see people of every political party and sexual orientation and economic class enjoying a common bond of holiday warmth. We are lucky to live in a place where diversity is flush and the human spirit is alive, but we are rare and the world has a long way to go towards making everyone understand that family is not about 2.5 kids and a white picket fence and all the exterior facade fluff that makes them look perfect, but that it is about people who love people and want to join together to lead prosperous and healthy lives together.

I just hope I can touch a few people like my friend touched me, wrapped in some sweet recipes of chocolate bliss. I think everyone you should make a batch and give them to a neighbor this year.

To make these exquisite chocolate dipped fruit rings, buy your choice of dried fruits and dip in your favorite kinds of chocolate and drizzle thinly with frosting. Let cool before serving, then serve at room temperature.

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