The Trouble with Tuesday

Spanish Hot Chocolate
It was tough enough waking up on Monday morning, especially after the time change, but, somehow, I managed to pull myself together and get through the day.

Then Tuesday morning came and it was still dark outside and chilly, too. It was impossible to get out of bed. Even Mr. B, who always gets up before me, had the blankets pulled up to his chin.

I've always thought Tuesdays were trouble. It's the second day into the week and momentum flags. And losing that hour? Not good. It dawns on me that eye creams and concealers were probably invented on a Tuesday.

Eventually, enough daylight creeps through the blinds and I make my way to the coffee pot. I haven't even poured the first cup when I'm already thinking about making a second pot, and just as I'm thinking it's going to be the longest day of the year, in a split second, I decide it's the sort of morning that needs a jump start. I need to make some Spanish hot chocolate.

In sum, Spanish hot chocolate is flat out amazing. Years ago, when we traveled to Spain, in spite of the fact that it was 100ยบ outside, our hosts drug us into a cafe and insisted we order the hot chocolate. I remember sitting at the table. The couple next to us was in a heated disagreement; the shop was noisy and hot and a colicky baby was crying so loudly that I was positive the mother was about to join in. I was sweating in places I didn't even know could sweat, my feet hurt from wearing the wrong shoes and I was on the verge of a serious migraine.

Then the waitress arrived and set down steaming cups of hot chocolate. I picked up my spoon to give it a stir, but it was thick--and warm; it was similar to homemade pudding just taken from the stove and when I put the cup to my lips and the first wave of warm chocolate cascaded over my palate, well, nothing else mattered. Not the heat, or the crying baby or my sore feet. Everyone in the cafe receded and I was alone in my own cottony soft world where I quietly sipped my hot chocolate and listened as the angels sang.

It was just what I needed to get myself going on this particular Tuesday, so I made myself a generous serving and settled down at the kitchen table where I could look out of the window and watch the sun come up through the Wisteria vines. The first sip made me feel better. By the third sip, I was fairly sure that I wouldn't need any eye cream. Maybe, I thought, I could even forgo the concealer.

Spanish Hot Chocolate

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of organic whole milk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons of cornstarch

1. Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch; set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk until just below simmering.
3. Add the chopped chocolate to the milk and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted.
4. Continue stirring until there is no graininess to the mixture.
5. Stir in cornstarch mixture and stir until thick.
6. Pour into a mug and kick back.


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