My mom has been making homemade hot chocolate mix for years and years now–about as far back as I can remember. And it is a GOOD mix. So good that I would never buy a hot chocolate mix to keep on hand (although I will deign to drink one now and then if it’s what’s available). My mom’s mix is the best thing in the world to get a person through cold days and as the weather up here has gotten steadily colder (except for that freakish spike into the 70s a couple of weeks ago) and the days have gotten shorter (thanks to daylight savings time, it got dark before 5:00 tonight), I’ve been
craving needing hot chocolate. Needing.
So when I finally went to the real grocery store (rather than the CVS across the street, which enables me to put off real grocery store trips for long periods of time) on Friday, I got the necessary ingredients to make the Hot Chocolate Mix of Endless Delight. And then I made the mix, using my stand mixer to stir it because I’m lazy enough to do that. And because the stand mixer doesn’t make unfathomable messes like I do when I stir things. Really, it’s like when you’re a kid and you mix things and somehow the mixture ends up on the counter tops, the floor, the ceiling, and inside of closed appliances, only I’m an adult so it’s not as cute.
Anyway, so I made the hot chocolate mix and had an delicious, satisfying cup, and I instantly felt better about life. And yesterday, after Spur’s bad day (did I mention that I also stepped on her paws twice yesterday? I did), I consoled myself with another cup of hot chocolate and felt less bad about life–at least until I discovered that my dvd player is broken. And I had a cup today after lunch, just because I’m addicted by now. I even love the smell of the mix when I open up the cabinet door.
But the truth is that as much as I love the hot chocolate just for what it is, I’m not addicted to the stuff itself. It’s what it does for me.
You see, every time I open my little pantry cabinet door, I breathe in deeply one of the most comforting smells of home. My mom’s pantry smells this way during the winter months. My friend Kristi’s kitchen does too. When I drink it, I savor the warmth not only of the beverage but also of the relationships, of the memories, of the moments. It’s a cup filled with laughter and movie nights and board games, Thanksgiving, Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, tree decorating, small group Christmas parties, cozy socks, rare West Texas snow days, cold afternoon horseback rides, homemade quilts, family, and friends. All the things I’m missing.
With each sip, I long for the days I’ll spend at home over the holidays, and at the same time, I feel like home isn’t quite so far away.