Home-made Hot Chocolate for In-dwellers

Winter has finally arrived in Southwest Missouri. It began last week, has been frigid and is diving into single-digit lows for several days, with the lows in the forecast going back up to 11 F next Friday. The forecast has been changing on a daily basis, with a few nights of single digits originally due last week that should have been gone by now.

Along with the cold, there has been occasional strong and light wind, light intermittent freezing rain and snow. Even though the initial layer was thin, all of the outside grounds are very slippery. Dogs must go outside to take care of business, and even a cat slipped with first one back leg going out of control then the other. Humans and Newfs are slipping too. Sand works well for steps, frozen into the ice, but the next thin layer develops, and another, and we need more sand.

The cats are out and playing occasionally, even last night when we were outside bringing up a heifer who had her first calf. But most of the time, they are staying in their warm spot. When Banner goes out, she gets company for a while, then when she goes into cold-weather party mode, the cats retreat to the shelter built for them under the bedroom patio. She doesn’t understand why the rest of us aren’t quite as joy-filled about the temperature drop.

Inside is where the human who indulges a Newf in enjoying her ancestral habitat can retreat for a cup of real hot cocoa. The first ingredient, to be measured into a large or extra-large mug, is two teaspoons of organic cocoa powder. Add salt, then two level teaspoons of sugar and mix well. Then add about 1.5 tablespoons of half and half. Mix well and put the mug in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Heating this mixture wll help the cocoa flavors extract into the dairy fat, so the outcome is more flavorful. Mix well and put in the microwave again for about 10-15 seconds. Each microwave will be a little different, so adjust as necessary; the goal is to get the mixture hot, not to turn it into tar or destroy the microwave. It should not boil up.

Once the mixture is hot and the cocoa has been well dispersed, add about a cup of 2% milk and mix again. Then heat the mixture for about 1.5 minutes at full power, stopping after about 1 minute every 10-15 seconds to mix again, to reduce spot heating in the microwave. Stop if the milk starts to boil.

When you pull the mug out of the microwave, if a Newf is at your elbow, he/she has learned what comes next: The red can that contains whipping cream (not the fake stuff) is used to top off the mug, and then some. The larger the mug, the more room for whipped cream. The Newf is waiting for the topping to overflow to assist with clean-up. And then waiting for you to pile some onto the spoon because good girls get treats.

This is a gift to yourself for those times when some anti-cold self-comfort feels especially good.

Happy Arctic Friday from The Bigfoot Club!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021
This entry was posted in In the Kitchen and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply