December 12th, 2004



"Momma, see those poinky things on top of that thing?!"


"Yeah. Poinky! It's sharp and makes owies. Daaangerous. Poinky!"

"Aaahhh... okay... poinky." *giggles*

I have to admit that every time I say "poinky" it makes me giggle, so I've been kind of encouraging it...

Fellowship of the Ring and Recovery Weekend

TNT is playing "The Fellowship of the Ring" every single evening this weekend, sometimes twice in a row, and it's Jet's biggest demand when the TV is on. It's pretty graphic stuff, though, and John's been mildly hesitant and when Jet does watch it, he's full of questions about it. I've been answering as I'm able. He doesn't seem to have a problem with it, and is sleeping as well as he ever does at night. On my part, it's such an important part of how I am... it's almost harder to try and have Jet NOT watch it as it is to have him watch it and be there and help explain.

Both John and I are sick. We're both really low on sleep. John slept in yesterday morning until nearly 10. Jet and I did cartoons (I am totally hooked on Shao Lin Showdown), breakfast of cereal and milk, and we played with stuff.

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Dark Heart of Cocoa

I made up my own hot chocolate mix after experiencing several mixes in a row that all fell far short of what I really wanted. The Ghirardelli double chocolate was very close but far, far too sweet. Alton Brown's mix has powdered milk and doesn't have the right body without that, but with it, it has that strange, powdered milk taste. Straight van Houten, maybe with a touch of anise or almond or mint, double the sugar was great for water-based cocoa, but doesn't have quite the body, either, for milk-based hot chocolate. Mexican hot chocolates have the opposite problem, too much body and... well, honestly, crunch than I really wanted in a cup of cocoa. And after The Polar Express's description of a hot chocolate like a melted chocolate bar... I had expectations.

The Ghirardelli's double chocolate was like a melted chocolate bar, if all you liked and wanted was milk chocolate.

I love dark. So this is my recipe for a hot dark chocolate:

1 part finely grated 70% cocoa solids "bittersweet" chocolate
(I used Scharffen Berger)
1 part Dutched cocoa
(I used VanHouten, bought in France)
1 part superfine sugar
1/8 part vanilla powder
a sprinkle of ground chipotle chile (the sweet smokiness goes better with chocolate, I think, than the simple, sharp heat of cayenne)

I mixed it up by the heaped tablespoon into a sealable container, and then shook it until well mixed. Then I just used a heaping tablespoon of the stuff in a cup of hot milk. Depending on how finely you grate the bittersweet, you may or may not get speckles in your cup. I find that another fifteen seconds in the microwave, of active heat, will make those go away, or an active whisk works pretty well, too. You could even blend it if you like, but that's too much trouble for me.

It's not kid cocoa. Mmmm...
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