Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day

Our second major snowstorm of the year is in full force upon us... we are buried under 20 inches of snow and counting! I am relishing the day with hot chocolate, sewing, and planning our Valentine's Day festivities.

 {Elizabeth and her Nana}

Elizabeth and Marjorie think it's a great day to curl up and read a book...Private World of Tasha Tudor and a cup of tea or hot chocolate today, anyone?

 {Tasha's Hot Chocolate, sugar cookies, and a gold-rimmed teacup}

Today I made a pot of Tasha Tudor's Hot Chocolate from the Tasha Tudor Cookbook, and I must say, it was quite the revelation. I've made hot chocolate from "scratch" before (cocoa, sugar, salt, hot water or milk), but this is the old-fashioned way. Real chocolate and a double boiler transform this into something so luxurious it's hard to describe. The unsweetened chocolate lends a bittersweet taste that is well suited to a few sugar cookies.

Tasha's Hot Chocolate from The Tasha Tudor Cookbook 
with Natalie's notes in parentheses

3 cups milk
2 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
a few grains salt
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

In a saucepan, scald the milk. Over hot water, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Stir in the sugar and salt, add the cup of boiling water very gradually (very gradually!), and stir until smooth. Then boil for 5 minutes (stir often so the chocolate does not burn). Add this mixture to the scalded milk and beat it with a whisk until foamy (by the time I got around to taking pictures, my hot chocolate had lost it's foam). Stir in the vanilla and serve in a pretty chocolate pot that you have warmed with boiling water. Whip the cream and spoon a bit on top of the chocolate as you serve each cup (I didn't have any whipping cream, sadly).  Makes six 6-ounce servings. (You can also halve this recipe easily.)

{oh, there's always room for a few extra cookies while reading}

Tasha loved many of the classics, and of course, illustrated them as well (browse our rare books). I pulled an old favorite off the shelf today...ahh, the luxury to read and sip hot chocolate (in between dozing off!).
Oh right, and those Valentine's Day plans are calling to me...

Stay safe, stay warm, stay healthy,
Natalie