Forgive me for my temporary silence — holidays got a little out of control. Luckily, this did not involve my normal year-end excessive consumption of Fromage d’Affinois, but I did run into a little food problem: Williams and Sonoma Peppermint Hot Chocolate.
It started like this: I came home from visiting my family on the East Coast and noticed a huge red and white box of hot cocoa in the kitchen (accompanied by an equally large box of marshmallows). Upon interrogation, my husband revealed that it was a secret santa gift from someone in his office. Fair enough — I couldn’t blame him for its presence in the kitchen. And besides, it was just a box –not hard to resist. But then he decided to make some.
I’m not sure how to describe how good this hot cocoa was. How about this: imagine having a bar of really good, rich, dark chocolate. Then shave it into a cup of warm milk, froth it up, and add a few drops of fresh, clean peppermint oil. Garnish with a gourmet marshmallow. Build a fire. Serve said cocoa in a large mug, the sort that its best gripped by both hands and lifted tenderly to your lips while gazing into the fireplace’s dancing flames, feeling the sort of childhood joy at christmas that only a time machine — or, in this case, a straight shot of liquid chocolate sugar — can bring.
I can’t say I regret the hot chocolate. No, something that delicious does not deserve any ill will. But it did fill me with a different sort of nostalgia — nostalgia for the days when my main hot cocoa hesitation was the concept of drinking a chocolate bar (that can’t be good for the waistline), but when my pancreas, god bless it, would rise heroically to the occasion.
Those days, alas, are gone. But the hot chocolate? It’s still in my kitchen.