Hey, everybody. Long time no see. I know I disappeared at an inconvenient time just as your Christmas baking was beginning, but I do have an excuse! My sister was visiting all the way from the USA. Since she's my favorite cooking and baking buddy, I actually had thought we might make a few posts together while she was here, but we ending up being way too busy running around Berlin, eating döners and currywurst, checking out the Christmas markets, seeing the sights, and even spending a day in London (in case you didn't see on Instagram).
Actually, one of the best parts about her being here is that she loves cleaning.
"Please, don't do those dishes yet," I would plead, nightly, "It's best to let the soak for a few days. Really, trust me. I'll do them in a little while."
"I insist," she would say, tying on my apron which I didn't even know I owned, "I want to. Really."
At this point I really have no choice but to grab a towel and dry.
She's a good organizer too. Sometimes too good.
You see, Samuel is obsessed with shoehorns. In case you don't know what a shoehorn is, it's basically just this curved little stick that you stick in the heel of your shoe while you're putting it on so that your foot slides right in. Samuel refuses to put his shoes on without one anymore.
One day a lady from church invited us over for dinner. When we were about to leave, waddling out the door because we were so stuffed with roasted goose and sauerkraut, Samuel began looking frantically around for a shoe horn. He hadn't brought it with him. What was he thinking? How was he supposed to get his shoes on without smashing the heel or having to actually bend down and untie and retie the shoe??
Suddenly our hostess cried, "Wait!" She disappeared from the room for a moment. When she returned, she was holding the longest shoehorn we had ever seen.
I don't know how she knew. Apparently she somehow recognized the frantic-for-a-shoehorn look that Samuel had in his eyes.
Which brings me back to my ridiculously helpful sister.
For about three days while she was here, Samuel could not find the shoehorn. There's only a certain number of places where he can misplace it. It wasn't in any of the usual spots. Just as he was going through a list of all the people who had been at our apartment in the last week that seemed just like the sort that would steal a shoehorn, my sister cleared her throat.
"Oh, heh heh, you mean... that shoehorn?" she asked, pointing to one of the coat hooks upon which the shoehorn was hanging.
I never saw Samuel look so relieved in his life. Not only because the lost shoehorn had been found, but also because my dear sister had found a perfect place to keep it so it would never get lost again.
To celebrate, we had some hot chocolate. You should have some too. And if you want it to be really awesome, make some homemade marshmallows to go with it. And some freshly whipped cream. Some grated chocolate or a peppermint stick wouldn't hurt either. Enjoy.
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- Hot Chocolate Mix
- 8 oz. chocolate bar (I used dark chocolate)
- 2 cups powdered milk
- 1 1/2 cup cocoa (Dutch processed is best, but any is fine)
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Whipped cream and marshmallows for topping (Recipe for homemade marshmallows HERE)
- Option 1: Finely grate the chocolate on a cheese grater. Add other ingredients and whisk well.
- Option 2: Roughly chop the chocolate. Add all ingredients to the food processor and pulse until the chocolate is finely ground.
- To make hot chocolate, fill mug about 1/3 full of the mix. Add boiling water and stir well. Adjust mix to liquid ratio to taste. For richer hot cocoa use simmering milk instead of water. Top with marshmallows and/or whipped cream.
- Store the mix in an airtight container.