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Operation Chocolat

It’s been a rough and grumpy week. We’ve all been walking around in something of a daze since the election, but this week in particular just felt unusually grinchy – no one single thing wrong, more like a whole pile of little pecked-t0-death-by-ducks annoyances. Fortunately done now for the most part.

But part of it may also just be because it’s winter – finally proper winter too, with cold that makes you shiver and makes you not want to be outside all that much. We even finally got a dusting of snow a few days ago – nothing that stuck, sadly. But it made me realize that winter is only just beginning – technically, it hasn’t even begun yet, and there are going to be colder days to come. And cabin fever is going to keep me cranky as well.  I needed something happymaking stat.

For some reason, as I got ready for work this morning, I grabbed one of my cookbooks as subway reading.  I honest to God don’t know why. But it turned out to be a genius idea – the book I grabbed was one entirely devoted to hot chocolate.  There are some admittedly weird recipes in this book (there’s one which calls for using cubes of cheese in place of marshmallows), but…even there, there was something so…calming about it.  Each recipe had an introduction, and every one was either about the cafe it came from – where invariably you could “linger for hours” over your cup – or was about the childhood memories of the chef, which usually involved snow pants and sledding or something just as nostalgic.

And since I’ve been trying to think of ways to both unwind after work and permit myself to indulge a bit more often, I decided right before leaving work: I am going to try each and every one of the recipes in the book, once per day, starting tomorrow.  Not in order – there’s six or seven recipes in a row that are all spiked, and those are probably best saved for the weekend (the thought of going to work with a chocolate-and-tequila infused hangover sounds terrifying).  There’s about 60 recipes, which will take me to the end of February to get through if I start now…and honestly, doesn’t the thought of settling down with a cup of hot chocolate in the evening sound so comforting?




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