25 December 2014

Merry Christmas! Cardamom Hot Chocolate

A few weeks ago my priest asked me if I would start singing the Psalms during Mass.  Usually only about a dozen people come to my Mass so I figured, why not? Embarrassing myself in from of 12 people isn't the end of the world. Unfortunately my debut was none other than Christmas Eve Mass. Santa Maria is a fairly small church but once you pack people into pews, set out a couple dozen extra chairs, and crowd people standing in the back there must have been at least 200 people there.

I got the Psalm and the music on the 23rd so I had a full day to practice. Which I did much to Sherlock's displeasure. I was nervous as anything but figured if I could just get the first note right then I'd be ok. Naturally I'd stressed myself into a migraine (which put a kabosh on my plans for liquid courage). To make it worse, being a high holy day the priests bust out the incense. Incense makes me sick under the best of circumstances and they got really enthusiastic with it. It was like someone had fogged the alter with it. Unfortunately the clouds of nauseous incense that were intensifying my migraine did nothing to obscure the several hundred people staring at me; nor did they hide me from them. Needless to say I did not get the first note right. I think I got it together by the first verse though.

If that weren't enough I also went to Christmas morning Mass so I had only a handful of hours to learn a new Psalm. It went much worse this morning. Much, much worse. I should have had Gluehwein with breakfast instead of coffee. I didn't manage to pull things together until round about the third verse. At least there were less people this morning.

While I couldn't go home to my family again this year, at least modern technology makes it less depressing (no more crying during Home Alone). My sister and I talked via Skype when I got home and she and my brother-in-law taunted me by showing me the ham he prepared for dinner. Then at about 1.15AM my brother set up a Google Hangout so I could talk to him, my parents, and the cousins who go to my parents' for Christmas Eve.

It being actual Christmas day and all of course we're going to talk about a hot chocolate! I enjoy cardamom in coffee so why not in chocolate? Like cayenne, cardamom is not to be used with a liberal hand. Taste and add as you go! To accompany the hot chocolate, today I'm watching my other favorite version of The Christmas Carol-Micky Mouse's.

We used to watch this every year of TV when we were kids. Then it disappeared and you couldn't find it for love or money. But Disney, not a company to miss the chance to make money any way it can, finally released it on DVD some years ago. In addition to the Christmas Carol is a short with Chip and Dale creating a ruckus with Mickey's tree and some cartoon about a donkey that we never fail to skip.

I can never decide which version I like better; the Muppets' or Mickey. The Muppet version has the fantastic ghosts and Gonzo...but it also has singing and puppets. Shudder. Mickey's version has Goofy and is what introduced Uncle Scrooge to us. I don't really like Donald (or Huey, Duey, and Louie) but I love Scrooge McDuck. I'm also less tempted to smack the Mickey Tiny Tim. I'll just have to keep watching them both year after year until I decide!

A Merry and Blessed Christmas from ParMieux Adventures!

  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1/4-ish Cup heavy cream
  • 50 grams milk chocolate (chopped)
  • 1 big Tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4-1/2 Teaspoon cardamom
  1. Heat milk and cream until hot or just bubbling around the edges.
  2. Whisk in chocolate, cocoa powder, and cardamom.
  3. Add more cardamom (or not) to taste.
  4. Enjoy!

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