Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Big Can of Hot Cocoa Mix

Still cold today, but not quite as cold. A strong thunderstorm moved through last night -- a few degrees less and it was have been a lot of snow -- and this morning I saw at least two dozen robins out on the field next to Ann's school, which I can see from my back yard. Having an earthworm feast, they were.

Ann asked for hot chocolate when she came home from school today. She used to do that regularly in the dead of winter, but not so much recently. So I got out the Super Family Size can of a certain "MILK CHOCOLATE flavor" ("flavor" in very small letters) brand of cocoa mix that everyone would know, if I mentioned it by name. Which I am not, because the food processing behemoth that makes it is not paying me to do so. Super Family Size, by the way, is 39 oz. (1.1 kilograms) in this case.

Cocoa isn't the first ingredient. Can't say that I'm too surprised at that. Sugar is, and I can't say that I'm surprised at that either. The can, in fact, brags that it contains "no artificial sweeteners," as if the hand of man (or more likely, factory robots) had no role in processing that sugar. It also says that the mix "is made with care in a real dairy where fresh milk from local farms is delivered daily, dried, and blended with premium, imported cocoa."

I'm really fond of packaging blarney like that. Even better: "For more indulgent cocoa, make with milk instead of water." Doesn't that sound great? Indulgent cocoa. To indulge, to yield to the desires or whims of, especially to an excessive degree; to allow oneself a special pleasure. I looked up the etymology of that word, since I don't think I ever have before, only to find that it goes back no further than Latin (indulgere, to be forbearing, to grant as a favor). Dang. I was looking forward to finding some bizarre Indo-European root with weird cognates, but otherwise the American Heritage College Dictionary says "origin obscure."

But I ramble. And worse, I'm beginning to sound like a food snob. I made Ann her hot chocolate (with water) and then made some for myself. Can't remember the last time I had any, since tea is usually my hot beverage. But sugar, cocoa and hot water do go together, and make a minor indulgence on a cold day.



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