Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter Warm Up- The Heart Edition

If you have read this blog for any time, I've mentioned from time to time the two women who had a huge influence on me while I was growing up.  I had Granny, who wasn't really my Grandma, she was a great aunt on my Dad's side.  She lived in Ohio in a very small village that was divided by railroad tracks.  She taught me to love baseball, Black Label Beer, knitting, the joys of fishing from a pond at dawn on a summer's morning, and a whole host of other things.

On the West Coat, I had Grandma.  She was my mom's mom.  A chief, before women were allowed to call themselves that.  She taught me to a bit about gardening, how to smoke a cigarette with some flare, what dog to pick at the track and how to cook.  Or better stated, how to watch someone cook in order to copy their food and then make it your own.  She was one funny woman.

I really loved those two women.  Both were good story tellers, strong at a time when women were to shut up and keep their heads down, loved to laugh, talk and I think they really liked life for the most part.  I learned a lot from them.  They have been gone since the 1970's and I there are days when doing something, I think of them, I channel them.  I have days when I often think "What would Granny or Grandma do?"
I know both of their lives were filled with trials and challenges.  Yet, they bucked it up and got on with it.  It being living life. Granny used to say, "What the hell else do you expect me to do?  Sit and wallow in my own crap?  That doesn't sound like too much fun.  There's a baseball game today."

The two women did meet once.  It wasn't pretty.  I remember it being uncomfortable.  I was reminded of that meeting last week watching Maggie Smith and Shirley McClain (yikes spelling) spar on an episode of Downton Abbey. It was sort like that only in a small track home dining room and over pot roast and potatoes and glasses of beer.

Yet both of them loved me They didn't care much for my brothers or my stuck up sister. They took to me.  The one who was "out of control with her mouth and big ideas." And never combs her hair.  They both said that it was just that I was full of "piss and vinegar."  Granny called me a "world stirrer."  Grandma called me "old tough nut."

I thought a lot about these two as I created Christmas this year.  So, I'm saluting them now with this post and with the project of the week.
Both of these women made awesome hot cocoa.  And now so do I.  Only it is instant and unlike my Grandma and Granny, I'm sharing with you how to make it.  So, you can enjoy a cup or two and warm yourself on a winter's day and think about the people who make or made a difference to you in your life.

So, now for the Hot Cocoa makes a ton.  So, feel free to half it.
In a large bowl and using a mesh sifter

1 1/2 cups Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups dry nonfat milk or dry soy milk- really Vegans win here as the Better Then Soy Brand dry soy milk  makes this really creamy and extra wonderful.
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of clove (optional- trust me you want the clove)

Stir these together and store in an air tight jar.

To use the mix
1/3 cup  cocoa mix in a large mug or more to your taste.
1 1/2 boiling hot water or milk  - note here this needs to boiling boiling hot.
vanilla to taste.

Stir very well.  Might have to stir as you drink.  Don't forget marshmallows!

So who in your past has warmed your heart?  Who warms you heart now?
Until next week...create to feel great!
2 projects complete 50 to go!


  1. Finally had the time (rather, made the time) to catch up on your blog. Good thing I didn't read this one over Christmas, I was already all leaky eyed from remembering those who influenced my life and my Chirstmases. Love, love, love hearing about you and the positive thing in your life. Very gentle and loving reminders to focus on the positive in ours.

  2. Thank you! Your comment means a lot to me. Thank you for reading and enjoying the ride.

  3. I loved hearing your story and memories here, it's wonderful of you to share your experiences. And the hot chocolate recipe you included seems wonderful too.

    Smokeandmirrors from the Quick share your blog #2 swap.

  4. Thank you for sharing your memories and your stories, i know it can be difficult to be so up front and honest. (The hot choc recipe looks good too!)

    Smokeandmirrors from the Quick share your blog #2 swap.