Monday, November 19, 2007

Maybe some nice hot cider for now.

The reason we like instant hot chocolate is that it's an easy way to get a drink that's hot, rich, and deliciously bittersweet.

The reasons we don't like instant hot chocolate are that when you rip open a foil packet, some vaguely chemical powder poofs out all over the counter, the water doesn't ever really mix with the powder, so you just get a wan brown liquid with powdery little BBs floating in it, and it never gets to be the right temperature in the microwave; it's always tongue-peelingly hot or halfheartedly tepid.

But these are things we've learned to accept about instant hot chocolate. They are the expected trade-off for convenience. They are not worth trying to overcome. For example, in an effort to melt the powdery BBs and get a smooth mixture, do not mix a bit of water with the powder and then heat it up in the microwave. You will overestimate the time needed, and when you turn back to the microwave, there will be a volcano worthy of a seventh grade science fair gushing out of your mug. I'm sure a physicist would have an engaging explanation of how so little liquid could make so huge a mess, but for now it's enough to say: Very sticky. Do not try.

The only positive note in all this is that if that was your last packet of the vile stuff, you now have a good reason to go out and get the real powdered chocolate and some actual milk, and accustom yourself to using a saucepan and a whisk.


Nev said...

Some of us were driven to desperate measures while working in offices so cold they wore wool all year round. I've got this powder thing down to a science. Heat your water in a Pyrex pitcher (or use the hot water tap from the water cool). Pour the powder in the cup and add just enough water to make a paste that you stir well with a spoon. Then add more hot water, but not enough to make a full cup-more like a cup of coffee size, 6 oz, so it's not too watery. I write this as I look at no fewer than 5 separate hot chocolate mixes on my shelf.

Moyna said...

People should read this.