It should be plain to any that have read my previous posts that I'm from the South, and you would be most correct. Born, raised and spoiled to the temperate winters that we're so fond of flaunting to our Northern friends when they're in the grips of deep winter.
Of course, it's not unusual for us to get the occasional flakes and the freezes that we bemoan when it comes for days, not considering those that must endure it for perhaps months out of the year. But, that's just us... we like our warmth.
So when snow falls... and then falls... and then falls again, we begin to grumble and groan, complain and moan, totally forgetting that when those summer temperatures exceed 100 we'll be repeating those same actions in reverse.
Last week I witnessed more snow on the ground than I have ever seen other than on an Alaskan documentary or a Christmas card. To people accustomed to it, our two feet of the white stuff was most likely laughable; but to us it was at first a marvel, then an inconvenience and in the end, was a downright pain.
Now I'll admit as long as I'm inside looking out, it is beautiful. However, when horses, cows, cats and dogs are gazing back with that "and you think you've got it bad" look in their eyes, you just have to sigh with guilt, put on warm clothes and go offer them what comfort you can. The ducks tried to cross the yard, moving only a couple feet at a time because they were in essence swimming in snow. Poor furred and feathered children.
After tromping around... and when the snow was up to my knees, it was most definitely a "tromp"... in the cold, with frozen fingers and toes (and everything else nipped as well), it is time for REAL hot chocolate. No no! Not that stuff out of a box that tastes like powdered stuff and water. Honestly, I'd rather just drink the hot water. No, I mean a sweet rich hot chocolate made with thick condensed milk and cocoa that makes you just say "ahhhh" as you stretch out with your flannel pajamas and a mug of this warming beverage.
Creamy Hot Chocolate
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
6 1/2 cups hot water
Mini marshmallows is desired
In a large saucepan, combine condensed milk, cocoa, vanilla, and salt, mixing well. Over medium heat, slowly stir in water, heat through, stirring occasionally. Before serving, put marshmallows on top. A good sugar peppermint stick is nice to add as a stirrer.
And that is how you kick up the heat without throwing another log on the fire.
Speaking of logs on the fire... my barbecue pit is waiting sadly for the Spring thaw.