Dearest Rachel –
Well, for all the food I managed to ply the girls with last night (and some of the stuff that they brought in turn), we never got around to the cocoa. I had been hoping to use some of the stuff that I had gotten for Christmas from ‘Santa’ (ha ha) with them, but by the time we were all done eating, we were all just too full to consider anything like that. Besides, after that many hours inside together, it’s not like we needed warming up. At least they accepted the chocolate bars I’d gotten for them in Amsterdam, even Erin.
It’s something that we always had trouble with back in the day. Most cocoa powders (especially these fancy ones that you give and get around Christmas) have instructions indicating they’re supposed to be mixed with milk, and heating milk is a delicate operation. The idea of getting out a sauce pan to heat things up is just ‘too much like work,’ as Ellen likes to put it. So, more often than not, these concoctions would simply sit in one of our cabinets in the kitchen, set aside and ignored, and go stale over the years.
Oddly enough, Ellen actually told me last night that she generally uses water, regardless of the instructions, which would be rather easier to deal with. But somehow, that doesn’t seem appropriate.
Anyway, since the great purges of last year, I’ve resolved to use and enjoy things as I get them, rather than hanging onto them until they’re but a shadow of their former selves (and again, that’s a larger story – or even a collection of stories – for another time). So I had planned on going through this stuff, starting yesterday. But since we didn’t get the opportunity, this leaves me with nearly a full gallon of milk that Daniel and I will never be able to finish before the expiry date. I mean, we can do it, we just don’t. Daniel doesn’t do cereal for breakfast (if he does breakfast at all), and I don’t eat enough to go through it all myself in that limited amount of time. And neither of us drinks it as an actual beverage.
So today, upon returning from the men’s Bible study, and finding the ground floor completely unoccupied – I’m guessing Daniel is taking a bath, although he’s being incredibly quiet about it – I decided to fix myself a relaxing cup of cocoa, just to try it out.
The instructions talk about adding five tablespoons of the stuff to a cup of milk. After putting a measuring cup half full of milk in the microwave – only to have it foam up and juuust over the top by the time I intended to take it out – I used a soup spoon to measure out the chocolate, and may have overdone it by using heaping spoonfuls. It’s a rare occasion when I consider a dish as having too much of either cheese or chocolate (depending on the type of dish, whether savory or sweet), but this certainly did the job. At least, since the mug was more than enough to hold a cup of milk, I could add some more, both to dilute the chocolate, and to cool down the beverage so I could drink it.
I will acknowledge that it was in fact very tasty, and would be soothing on a colder morning than this. Perhaps I can convince the girls to try it when they come over next week; yes, they’ll be here again next week, as Ellen will be in Macomb over the subsequent weekends thereafter. Here’s hoping they can enjoy it, and regretting, as always, that you can’t.
But then, when would we have gotten around to this as the three of us, and what better delights are you enjoying up there in comparison?