It's been a rough day. You've driven around town an hour in the wrong direction, the air is chilly and filled with the looming sense of rain, you dropped your keys in a puddle, and when you looked out your window hoping to be warmed by the sound of the church bells, you saw they were a call to a funeral instead.
On days such as these we need an emotional boost - some input to balance the output.
I find a steaming, frothy cup of traditional hot cocoa to be a fine remedy. A fine remedy for a great many things in fact- not just a depressed mood. I prepare it more like the ancient way- bitter and spicy. It is then able to soothe and awaken the senses rather than dull them the way hot chocolate with marshmallows does.
Mayan Hot Cocoa:
Put two heaping tablespoons of baker's cocoa into your mug with just a tiny pinch of sea salt. You may add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, suited to your taste, though the ancients skipped the sweetener. Also stir in a good pinch of cayenne pepper- about 1/8 teaspoon- less if you want less kick. Plus a dash or two of cinnamon. Mix these together with just a drizzle, maybe 1/2 teaspoon, of olive oil. Slowly add steaming hot water (more refreshing) or milk (more soothing) to the dry mix. Start with one spoonful and work it into a paste to prevent lumps. Whip the final drink until frothy.
Finish with just a few drops of quality vanilla extract, and stir it up with a cinnamon stick.
Add to that a plate of Beef Wellington with italian green beans and some of my favorite chocolate chip cookies, and you've got a good little piece of food heaven. How can you be sad now? You can't! So indulge a little - rainy days are made for comfort food.
I'm sick in bed with vertigo today - so while I managed to make the cocoa, I was unable to make anything more substantial. The cookies and beef wellington were from last week when I made them with the help of my friend V for a nice surprise for my man. We devoured the beef. And the cookies. Recipes for those two to come!