Upicnic | An Ode to Hot Cocoa

An Ode to Hot Cocoa

BY MARTA
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1/21/2016

Wind blowing unsuspecting pedestrians’ hoods astray. A lonely broken umbrella rummaging the streets, unsung victim of last night’s storm. Overprotected pups wrapped up in adorable booties and uncomfortable coats. White, white everywhere.

For some people, snow opens the gates of winter wonderland, a magical place where afternoons are full of friendly snowmen, weekends pass by in a haze of skiing trips, and the landscape turns into a veritable cornucopia of mesmerizing winter activities.

Then again, for some others, including yours truly, snow is the very fabric upon which nightmares flourish. Yes, snow is pretty – for like five minutes. After which it becomes grey slushy filth that no water repellant can possibly keep from infiltrating your soul.

For those of us hailing from some other country – or most other places in the US – crossing Manhattan streets after a slushy snowstorm becomes a rite of passage, not unlike killing a cockroach with your bare hands.

What can possibly nudge its way through weeks and weeks of unrelentless, bitter frost? Hot cocoa - a warm, comforting ray of hope that makes winter just a bit easier to cope with.

I am not talking about watered-down microweavable pseudo-cocoa. That stuff couldn’t help you warm up even if you showered with it. No. I am talking about the real thing: bubbly hot cocoa made with real, creamy milk blended with luscious, melted chocolate. Preferably bittersweet; with maybe a spoonful of whipped cream on top.  Dare I say even a dash of cinnamon.

Believe me, whoever said chicken soup was food for the soul never had a proper cup of piping hot chocolate after a cold day.

Wrapping your hands around that mug makes your fingers toasty and warm. Inhaling its sweet aroma makes you believe there is an end to this frozen inferno after all. And then, the first, cautious sip – liquid, sweet love spreading through every fiber of your being.

Now, THAT will soothe your soul even if it’s been drenched in slush all morning.     

Grab a blanket, snuggle, make sure you still have full use of all your fingers and toes, and sink into your hot cocoa’s tender embrace. Life is beautiful again… and it will be Spring soon, at least you can count on that.    

 

Side note: the author does not condone the use marshmallows – mini or otherwise. You might as well add an extra spoonful of sugar to your concoction, same difference.

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