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Forget Starbucks. I want chocolate in winter...

by Steven Haninger / October 17, 2006 10:34 AM PDT

or maybe some tea. My chocolate drink supply is at a critical low and snow will soon be falling. As a kid, my reward for shoveling the driveway was a big mug of cocoa. I worked quickly and with great enthusiasm for the prize....and was never disappointed. To this day, I always have a big, steaming mason jar full of hot chocolate after clearing the drive and walkways. Coffee just has no appeal at these times. I have read that, when cocoa beans were brought back by the Spaniards centuries ago to Europe, chocolate houses sprang up....perhaps like coffee houses today. I suspect a few are still to be found. In the mean time, it's time to restock the cupboards with a winter's supply of chocolate powders, mixes and a few basic flavorings...like mint and almond. Honey instead of sugar is good too. Yum. Happy

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Better stock up soon ...
by Bill Osler / October 17, 2006 10:53 AM PDT

I heard a report that there are some labor problems in one of the major cocoa producing countries. Prices are expected to go up ... but who knows how much difference it will make in the final retail price.

I hope supplies hold up. I get cranky if people try to cut off my chocolate. My friends claim I eat all the chocolate I want and then ride my bike enough to burn off the calories. They may be right.

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Hope it does'nt effect M & M's...
by Rolway / October 17, 2006 11:14 AM PDT

I go thru a big bag every week. And, now they have Mega M & M's in the baggies. Colors are not as good, but the chocolate is.

George

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Try the dark chocolate M & Ms
by Steven Haninger / October 17, 2006 11:24 AM PDT

I make my own trail mix with nuts, dried fruit and various chocolates. White seedless raisins (big plump ones) or dried cranberries are good in the mix. Keep the salt content low when you buy the nuts. I'm not a bird seed eater so no sunflowers in my mix. Extra walnuts or pecans are excellent. As for the Megas, they've been on our store shelves for quite a while but have not tried them. I'm suspecting they could do some damage if used as projectiles in a crude slingshot. Happy

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Hmmmm, never thought of that...
by Rolway / October 17, 2006 11:33 AM PDT

Think I'll dig out those Wrist Rocket slingshots I have around here somewhere and give those squirrels a little taste. I love to agrivate those little .......

George

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Good choice Steven...
by Rolway / October 17, 2006 11:04 AM PDT

I love Hot Chocolate. Believe it or not McDonalds has the best Hot Chocolate around here. Never liked Starbucks or coffee period. I mostly drink Hot Decaf Tea year round. Eight to ten cups a day. Black Orange Pekoe. When we go out to eat, I bring my own tea bags with me. I ask for the hot water and tea bag separately, then heave theirs and dunk my own. No cream or sugar. Sometimes a shot of honey is good.

George

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''mason jar full of
by drpruner / October 18, 2006 12:12 AM PDT
hot chocolate''
So ... you don't live in Appalachia. Happy

I tried that reward with my son some years ago, when we had been doing some outdoor work in our small town. At 9 PM no store or gas station was open! Had to go all the way home. (And it's hard to get around once they roll up the sidewalks.)
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Shaken....not stirred
by Steven Haninger / October 18, 2006 10:03 AM PDT
In reply to: ''mason jar full of

Put all ingredients in jar and put on the lid. Shake vigorously. Unscrew lid and place jar in microwave. Using lower power setting and, preferrably a carousel type applicance, heat the chocolate stopping it occasionally to test for proper temperature. Do not let it boil...especially if you use real milk. When ready, recap and invert a couple times. No more shaking when liquid is hot. Using a spoon just means something else to wash. Uncap, add mini marshmallows if you wish and enjoy. My wife did find me a mason type drinking jar with a handle. It's significantly more comfortable to hold. BTW, Appalachia is considered to be quite chic these days by some folks.
Sounds like you still owe your son a treat. It's never to late to pay up. Whatcha wanna bet he still remembers. Happy

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general inquiry: what is the best cocoa mix
by WOODS-HICK / October 18, 2006 5:51 AM PDT

for home. anyone have recommendations for one or more that is not loaded with additives?

I just had a piece of lindt 70% cocoa bar. real sugar is used to sweeten it. all dark chocolates are my favorite.

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Well, I'm not a chocolate snob yet
by Steven Haninger / October 18, 2006 10:06 AM PDT

so about anything is worth a try. I make it a point to let others know my tastes so often get such treats at Christmas and birthdays. Some are better than others but free is always good. Happy

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free is good
by WOODS-HICK / October 18, 2006 1:42 PM PDT

my nose is down in the cocoa dust, my store does not have a snob section. aztecs called it food of the gods though, I believe.

I was raised on hersheys, nestle and ovaltine. I just can not pronounce their ingredients. I am looking for something that does not come in a can made from unobtanium.

in this global economy we all live in I thought their might be something richer and truer to pre-chem hot cocoa

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Ovaltine
by Steven Haninger / October 18, 2006 7:58 PM PDT
In reply to: free is good

sponsored "Captain Midnight" when I was a kid. I loved Ovaltine and had a Captain Midnight decoder ring. I bought some last year, read the ingredients and determined there was little or no real chocolate in the product. It advertizes a "rich chocolaty" taste. I stopped buying it. There are a couple brands with Italian sounding names. One starts with a "G" and the other a "B" and end with the traditional Italian "I". Their names escape me and I could not pronounce them any better than I could the ingredients in Ovaltine. Anyway, these chocolates aren't bad but are a bump up in price from Herseys. If you have a World Market near where you live, they generally have some less common brands.

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had one too, wonder what they are worth
by WOODS-HICK / October 18, 2006 9:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Ovaltine

today. so you inspired me to do some hot cocoa google. one of the first hits was this one:

Natural Cocoa Powder

I might buy it for the tin tube and put hersheys in there.

here is their recipe:
HOT COCOA/COCOA POWDER

* 4 tsp Scharffen Berger Natural Cocoa Powder, sifted
* 3 tsp sugar (to taste)
* 1 cup (8oz) milk
* Whipped cream or marshmallow for topping (optional)

In a small, heavy saucepan, mix cocoa and sugar and 1 tbsp of milk over low heat until ingredients are well dissolved in a thick paste.

Add the remaining milk and stir well.

Heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally. Do not allow to boil.

that recipe and other chocolate facts came from here:

http://www.scharffenberger.com/aboutus9.asp

more: use their search for cocoa mix @
http://www.chocosphere.com/cgi-bin/webstore/web_store.cgi

and of course home made whip cream, let it snow

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(NT) (NT) Add peppermint schnapps. ;-)
by Dan McC / October 18, 2006 6:42 AM PDT
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