The Hot Cocoa Ceremony

Start with a your favorite large coffee mug and fill it with milk.

Pour the milk into a blender and add a heaping tablespoon of cocoa. I recommend Penzey’s Dutch Process. Hershey’s also works. Unsweetened is ideal because then you can sweeten to taste.

Next, add any or all of the following to the blender:
Pinch salt
Pinch Cayenne
Tiny splash of vanilla (careful on this because too much wrecks it)
Sugar. The cocoa is much tastier if it’s not too sweet so don’t be afraid to be stingy with the sugar.

Next, put the top on the blender, hold it down just to be safe, and hit any button. The speed isn’t important. Once you’re sure the lid is secure, you can step away from the blender and let it do its thing while you find a pan to heat your chocolatey treat.

When your cocoa is sufficiently frothy (use your judgment) turn off the blender and pour the mix into your pan. Heat at a low temperature and don’t go into the other room to check your email and forget about it. Most people would prefer if it didn’t boil. I like to stir with a whisk.

It’s ready when you stick your finger in the mix and go, “ack, that’s hot.” Pour into your mug.

At this point you can add mini-marshmallows, a quick shaving of chocolate, a splash of adult beverage or anything else you think might be good. I know some people who like to add a tablespoon of flax seeds to the mix. I can see why this might be hard to sell to the public-at-large but you never know, try it.

Since you’ve spend this much time and gotten this many dishes dirty, you need to take the time to enjoy this cocoa. Sit down by the window and watch the wind and rain. Pull your sweater a little more tightly around your shoulders. Enjoy.

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