Hot Chocolate for Christmas.

maria Maria's Blog

mug With the end of the year just weeks away I decided to declutter my desk. Before you get excited, well, I go through the motion every December…without much results.

I’m not lazy nor a procrastinator, and yet it seems that every year it takes me longer and longer to accomplish simple tasks. While moving stuff around I found a page from a magazine, it said; “What would you do if you had no fear?”

Wow, that’s an interesting question, one that requires at least a glass of wine and one hour of reminiscing. Right?

I’m thinking of all the stupid things I did in my younger years. This being the holiday season, one thing stands out in my memory. When I was growing up we always had hot chocolate and cookies after Christmas mass. Hot chocolate made from scratch of course. I don’t remember why, but in my teens I once skipped the tradition. Christmas came and went and so did New Year. One evening, toward the end of January, we were sitting around (my cousins and myself) talking about things we missed and I mentioned the hot chocolate I didn’t get. Turns out I wasn’t the only one and we decided to change that. We would prepare our own hot chocolate right then and there. My cousin Teresa claimed she knew how to do it, except—we didn’t have the main ingredient: cocoa.  No problem, we would get some. Our little hamlet only had one grocery store, family owned, the store was downstairs, the family lived upstairs. Picture winter in the Dolomites…dark and cold. By nine o’clock the whole place would be in bed as we had no real heat, just a fireplace in the main room. The four of us bundled up and quietly as to not wake up the grandparents, we sneaked out and up the street to the grocer. All was black, no street lights. No fear, we knocked on the heavy, locked front door of the store. Over and over. Nothing. Then Vittorio, the one cousin who looked very nerdy, although that word wasn’t invented yet, decided to throw rocks to the second story wooden shutters.  And I confess he was good at it. He hit it at the third try. A light came on after the fifth rock. Old Gemma peeked out, a wool shawl over her shoulders, she anxiously asked, “Is someone sick? Kids, what’s happening? Need to take someone to the hospital? (They owned a horse and a buggy).

I think it was at that moment I realized what we did and I kept very quiet while Vittorio tried to explain about the cocoa. Old Gemma slammed the shutters and all went dark. Believe it or not, we still hung around for about ten minutes convinced she would come downstairs to give us cocoa…We were grounded for a week.

Well, I’ll declutter my desk some other evening, I’m going to call my cousins in Italy to ask if they plan on making hot chocolate this Christmas eve.

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  1. I remember the hot chocolate I got for my granddaughters at the Autogrill on the 4. It was thick and looked like chocolate pudding to me. Sure smelled good too. It was then that I wished I had ordered hot chocolate instead of my usual Macchiatone.

    1. Hi Marherita, glad you posted this, it’s so hard to explain the difference between Italian hot chocolate and what we get here, unless you’ve experienced it. Grazie e buone feste.

  2. I love hot chocolate! Unfortunately I can only remember having instant. I need to find a good recipe! Would you care to share yours?

    1. Sandy, I’ll have to get you a recipe that works in the US, have no idea what some of the stuff my grandmother used would be called here, but while I don’t know, I’m pretty sure I can find someone who does. Be patient.

  3. We always had homemade hot chocolate (we called it cocoa) on snow days when I was a kid. I started making my mom’s hot chocolate on Christmas years ago. My children are grown and they have children and we still have hot chocolate(cocoa) on Christmas. Memories……………..

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