Monday, November 11, 2013

To Warm The Bones

I am Southern to the center of my bones. My ancestors settled in 1769 just two counties away from where we live now. So it's no wonder that I do not tolerate cold weather very well. We are looking for an unusual blast of cold Canadian air to wash over us this week. Just thinking about it has made me cold this afternoon.

Best remedy for "chilled to the bone"?—well, a very good remedy, at least. Hot cocoa. Not the kind that is found in packets in a box. But the real stuff. The kind my mother made when we were little--long before those packets of mix had been dreamed up.

My mother made it with evaporated milk (mixed half & half with water) and I still love that taste. But you can use your regular milk and it will be fine. It is easy. And it's all real ingredients. No chemical concoction here. 

It's simply the recipe on the side of the Hershey's cocoa can. This is what I made for my girls when they were small, usually making a panful. Today I only needed one cup for me. Both recipes work. And both are good. It takes about 5 minutes to get out the ingredients and stir it all together. Treat your folks (or yourself) to something special. You're all worth it.

HOT COCOA (single serving)

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
dash salt
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

MIx sugar, cocoa and salt in a large mug. Heat milk in microwave on HIGH for 90 seconds, or until hot. Gradually add the hot milk to the cocoa mixture in the mug, stirring well. Stir in vanilla.

This next version makes enough for six. It basically makes a chocolate syrup at the beginning. This is what I made most often for our girls, so there would be enough for all of us! Mommy makes it now for her family.


1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 
dash salt
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a saucepan. Stir in hot water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in milk and heat but DO NOT BOIL.Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.

Now, if the weather forecasters are right, there might be a snowflake or two falling here in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday. I've never seen snow on my birthday, so I might stake out a window, hot cocoa in hand, and watch for it. Wouldn't that be a grand present?

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