As Christmas approaches I often find myself feeling a little homesick. In my house, Christmas has always been a time of family and togetherness with deep meaning and remembrance. For me it is one of my favorite times of the year. This Christmas, I am with some of my family but I am far from family as well.
As we came toward the end of the month of November, I began wishing for cold winter nights, with warm fires, hot drinks, and snuggling up with cozy blankets and a book. But in reality, summer didn’t seem to want to leave and the days were as warm as 80ºF.
So instead, I imagined myself a world full of snow flurries and fireplaces. And there you have the inspiration for my recent painting, “The Unknown.”
And for those of you who are also in the mood for cozy hot drinks, here is a recipe for Moroccan style hot chocolate.
It is partially my own invention and a variation of what is actually made in Morocco.
Hot Chocolate – Moroccan Style
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
5 cardamom pods
5 cups milk
3/4 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, cardamom pods, saffron, cinnamon and boiling water.
Simmer while stirring for about 5 min.
Stir in milk and heat until very hot (about 15 min), but do not boil.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl beat together cream, sugar and vanilla.
Beat until soft peaks form.
Remove hot chocolate from heat.
Strain and pour into Moroccan tea glasses. Top with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!