Today is the third snow day in my academic career. Three days in 15 years. That’s not very many when you think about the amount of snow we get in Canada. While Toronto may get nothing when compared to Montreal, I always laugh when my family in Europe worries about England getting 1 or 2 centimetres of snow. I guess it’s all relative, right?
When I was a kid, a big storm was exciting – it meant fresh snow to make snowmen and it made for terrific toboggan runs down the hills. It’s funny to think that my first snow day was in first grade and my next was in my senior year of high school. Snow days have bookended the first portion of my academic career; the beginning and end. I feel like when you grow up, as with many things, a big storm becomes more of a nuisance instead of an exciting thing. All you’re thinking is about if you’ll have to drive in the snow and dreading shovelling the driveway or the subway delays. It turns into a bit of a nightmare. But here’s the thing, for me, a big storm still brings on that rush of excitement. I love going to bed knowing that when I wake up, there will be a blanket of fresh, white snow. I don’t like to think about the days that follow, when the snow turns into a gross shade of grey and slush takes over the sidewalks and street corners. There are those magical first few hours of a snowstorm that can’t be accurately described.
Have you ever stood outside during a snowstorm? Having lived in downtown Toronto for my entire life, I’m always shocked by how quiet and calm it is when it’s snowing. The quiet is one of my favourite things about the winter; for a few moments, it feels like the whole world stops. Even though I never have classes on a Friday, I decided to take the day off and have my own snow day. I was so inspired by the snow; I knew I had to make a rich and decadent Hot Cocoa.
I put on a snow day playlist I found on Songza and spent the day sipping hot Cocoa on the couch and was able to finish off the book I have been reading (Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld you can see my review on Goodreads). It was so nice to spend the day doing things I love. There’s something kind of magical about having no to-do list, and just enjoying the day and some beautiful music with a delicious recipe for homemade Hot Cocoa, a good book with the gorgeous snowfall as a backdrop. This is why I (sometimes) love winter.
(My beautiful sister, adorable pup and sweet mother enjoying Hot Cocoa)
This hot cocoa recipe is pretty standard and uses a combination of milk, water and cream for a decadent glass. This isn’t the kind of hot cocoa you’d want to drink everyday, but more of a drink for a celebration or a day when you are craving something cozy to lift your spirits during a freezing cold day (a good slow cooker stew is also another cure for that). A combination of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate instead of cocoa powder also gives this hot cocoa an element of decadence. I love the flavours of vanilla and cinnamon and find that they give this hot chocolate recipe a bit of a fun albeit subtle twist. And while I love using honey as a sweetener in here, you can also adjust that and use granulated sugar if that’s what you have on hand.
Enjoy the snow and warm up with this Hot Cocoa.