As we were driving to get groceries in the magically beautiful, ice-encrusted world a couple of days ago, Helen asked me, "What's your favorite thing about this weather?"
I thought a second. "My favorite thing about this kind of weather is that it reminds me how much I love summer."
Steve suggested once that we should move to Southern California. Or Florida. Or anywhere that we can reasonably expect that the temperature when we wake up in the morning will NOT be eight degrees. Or lower.
"Oh, no!" I protested. "We need the winter to make spring and summer so wonderful."
I do like winter. I do not like being cold.
With my kids growing up and out of the house more, I am learning new skills. I started a very nice fire in the fireplace this morning, all by myself. With no oversight from Fireman Ben. With ice-coated (translation: "wet") wood. That I busted loose from the wood pile with a sledge hammer. And successfully hauled up the treacherous back steps. BAM!
To celebrate this noteworthy accomplishment, I am sharing my favorite hot cocoa recipe. (Chocolate is always an appropriate way to celebrate, right?) If, like me, you are looking out the window at the sparkling winter wonderland and thinking, "Only six weeks until spring!" - and if, like me, you are hovering close to the fire today - then a mug full of delicious hot chocolate will give you one more reason to say, "Winter is wonderful!"
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1/3 c. hot water
4 c. milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla
Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan; stir in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk and heat. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat; add vanilla.
(We serve this topped with whipped cream. If you're feeling fancy, you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon.)
2 hours ago