Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate!

Hot Chocolate!

Today’s edition of CHERYL’S CUTTING COMMENTS is dedicated to Tyler who is up in ICE COLD, MICHIGAN.
You didn’t know there was a town called ICE COLD in MICHIGAN?
There is now.

So the story goes,

Mommy Kim had the whole family out in the woods. How I know it was the woods, is because there were a lot of trees. I’m a city girl, so that a lot of trees has to be the woods. It was cold and it was a lot of fun. The whole family took care of what they had to and then returned to the central building. Lo and behold, Mommy Kim thought everyone would be able to get Hot Chocolate at the central building; but the machine was not in working order. Disappointment.

Worry not.
Your Tanta Cheryl has a good Hot Chocolate recipe for all. And that includes Whipped Cream. Not spray whipped cream; real whipped cream. Little kids love getting it all over their faces; it tastes better that way. Remember to lick it off your fingers.

It's that cold in Michigan.

It’s that cold in Michigan.

First of all, Tanta Cheryl does not like this packaged, processed, instant food stuff. Hot Chocolate is easy to make and when you involve young children in the proceedings, you all have fun. It’s a family project. The older children can do the measuring and some of the stirring. And the little children get to do the tasting and judging. Everyone feels they accomplished something and everyone is happier. During these days of extreme cold, you have no place to go because you can’t get there; and you always need an answer to what is there to do.

Here’s what you need for Hot Chocolate –

1 Tablespoon of cocoa (I like Droste Cocoa, it used to be easy to find; but Hershey or Ghiradelli is delicious and readily available). Hershey or Ghiradelli will have the recipe on their package. I happen to like the Dutch processed Droste; personal taste.
1 Tablespoon sugar (You can decrease the amount of sugar if the cocoa is already sweetened. Keep in mind you can always add more, but once you’ve put in too much there is no way you can get it out.)
Start off with the amount of sugar and cocoa being even, then you make adjustments according to personal taste.
1 cup milk, warmed up to scalding. (You can use whole milk, % milk, skim milk; all according to your taste. You can even add water to thin down the mixture.)

That’s what you need for one person. Multiply for how many you are preparing.

Now let’s put it together.

Everyone loves Hot Chocolate!

Everyone loves Hot Chocolate!

The older children can mix together in their cups the sugar and the cocoa. They can add a little cream or water, very little to make a paste. The older children can check to see that the milk, on a low heat, is coming up to scalding (little bubbles around the edge of the pot) and maybe with the adult’s help they can stir the pot using a long handled spoon. Always use a long handled spoon by the stove. A short spoon is no good; the heat is too close to the hand.

Once the adult can see that the milk is scalding hot, the adult is the one to pour the milk into the cups.

The children stir the mixture.

And then everyone enjoys.

Now for the whipped cream:

1 pint of cream (heavy cream or light cream – my preference is light cream)
2 Tablespoons sugar (you can adjust the sugar to taste)

Have the littlest one make the whipped cream.

Have the littlest one make the whipped cream.

Have the littlest one make the whipped cream. You take a big bowl and either a long handled spoon or a whisk and put them in the freezer briefly to get cold, or the refrigerator to get cold. Once they are cold, pour in the pint of cream. It won’t look like very much, but with a small bowl the little child will splash the cream outside of the bowl. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar, watch the child “beat” it up, keep sprinkling sugar gradually, and watch how the child becomes amazed at how thick the cream becomes and finally turns into whipped cream.

Everybody gets some whipped cream on top of their Hot Chocolate.

It tastes great.

Everybody is happy.

Look what they accomplished, working together.

Not that much to clean up.

With their fingers they’ll make sure the whipped cream bowl is thoroughly empty before it gets washed.

Better than an instant mix; better than a prepackaged product; better than hearing what’ll we do.

So I say to you parents, find out what the schools are serving the children. They keep telling us that the school nutritional programs are best. They know what to feed our children. Do they have Hot Chocolate at the schools? Is it a mix, is it instant, is it just add water, what is it? Do they still teach Home Economics? Do they teach how to make Hot Chocolate in the schools? And what are these programs costing us taxpayers? Find out.

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