Holiday Hot Chocolate

Winter is upon those of us in the northern hemisphere! The holidays associated with December are often connected with the global north’s weather and climate perspective. I have been reading up on the many histories of how and why the December’s holidays are celebrated. Overwhelmingly they focus on light and connection. This is not surprising, as the cyclical elements of the year in the northern hemisphere are at their darkest and coldest in the winter, offering the most inherent, natural barriers to experiences of light and connection. Finding traditions to counter these distancing elements is critical to moving through them every year, hence the holidays.

Gathering, sharing love and food, lighting candles, and giving and receiving gifts are natural parts of December for many. And so I want to share a much-beloved recipe from my home with yours.

Dr. Rayne’s Hot Chocolate

1/4 cup sugar
½ cup mounding baking cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup hot water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
4 cups milk
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 large marshmallows

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, and salt. Stir in hot water and butter; bring to a boil. Add the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and marshmallows. Heat through, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows are melted. Ladle into mugs and top each with either a small pile of small marshmallows OR whipped cream. And just a dusting of cinnamon will not go unnoticed.

NOTE: The quality of your cocoa powder makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Do not skimp on quality here. The best that I can buy locally is called Droste, it’s from Netherlands, and it is 100% worth the price tag.

To drink this hot chocolate in the ways most reminiscent of how we do it in our home requires the following:

1. At least one person (but can be many more!)
2. Connection with something (with another person, an animal, the divine, a piece of art, or anything that feels moving, including the hot chocolate itself!)
3. Gratitude for both 1 and 2.

I’ll be making hot chocolate this week myself, and will be pondering my gratitude for connection with all of the UN|HUSHED blog readers, including you. Thank you for being here.