Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jasper's Hot Chocolate

Jasper had raided the pantry ten minutes ago and they were drinking hot chocolate thick with marshmallows, the steam rising in the night air, and eating the last of the pumpkin cakes. Across the yard the horses snorted occasionally. It was one of those peculiarly acute moments. They were sitting on the boards of the porch together, not on the chairs: Dale was leaning with his back against the kitchen wall by Riley and Jasper leaned against the porch rail, the scent of the chocolate was strong and the bright orange glow of the carven faces was sharp in the darkness. One of Jasper’s designs, a beautiful and delicate pattern of leaves like a lattice across the pumpkin surface, drifting around the central carving of a tree, cast light particularly brightly next to Riley’s vomiting pumpkin which was spitting seeds down the steps into the yard; Riley was laughing at something Jasper was saying with both hands cupped around his mug, Jasper was relaxed with one knee propped up and the other booted leg outstretched near Dale, fencing him in – and Dale knew it was a moment that would stay with him all his life as something belonging to here. Home.

The Pumpkin Patch

Serves Two Brats or One Cold and Upset Brat, possibly a Randy Top and Brat


Hot Chocolate
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups milk - low fat works fine
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract - extra is optional

Hot Chocolate Toppers
Cinnamon or peppermint stick (optional)
Whipped Cream - recipe below

Whipped Cream
1 cup  whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons powdered/confectioners

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Whipped Cream
  1. Put the cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a bowl. 
  2. Beat strongly but not too fast with an electric beater until stiff peaks are formed.
Hot Chocolate
  1. Place chocolate chips, sugar, milk and vanilla in saucepan and place stove.
  2. Cook at medium heat. 
  3. Stir slowly with a wooden spoon (also useful for unruly brat or randy top) 
    • It is essential to keep stirring the melting chocolate chips into the milk.  
    • It will take about 5 minutes for the cocoa to reach the proper temperature.  
  4. It will be brown all the way through and the chips will be melted when it is ready. 
  5. Remove from stove and poor into two mugs. 
  6. Add marshmallows, whipped cream and cinnamon or peppermint (but not both) if desired. 
  7. Provide Brat with love and comfort 

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