Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts - If It's Tuesday, this must be Random


Be sure and pop on over to the Un Mom.  Hopefully you can catch her before she runs barefoot down the street chasing the UPS truck.

While you are out running around in the blogosphere, stop by and check out Momspective's RTT--it's a gas!

As I write this post, I'm drinking the last of my Shui Sin tea from Ten Ren.  It's a loose leaf tea, and it is pretty good.  I purchased it in a variety pack.  My blog is not monetized--I do not receive compensation for mentioning things I like.  That is only a clarification not a criticism.  I think it is great that bloggers have the opportunity to earn a few dollars via their blogs.

I'm also eating applesauce.  Applesauce is so easy and cheap to make (not to mention-no preservatives), both cooked and raw.  Raw applesauce is just pulverized apples that have been peeled and cored, with or without sugar or sweeteners, spices and/or other fruits.  A food processor, food mill or blender is all you need.  I prefer cooked applesauce and it stores wonderfully in the freezer.  It's much easier to cook your own applesauce and freeze it than to can it.  If you are not a well-seasoned canner, it is also less scary to freeze it. 

Today is cool and blustery and will hopefully bring some rain.  I love the heat but like Twenty Four At Heart, multiple consecutive weeks in the 90s and 100s in September brings about a certain fatigue.  So it is a welcome change to sit here in my pullover hoodie and jeans snuggled up with my cup of tea and writing this post.

For parents of young children, hang in there; blessings await you as they grow and become independent.  My 17 year old daughter awoke late this morning--too late to catch the bus.  It was so fantastic to just hand her the car keys, rollover and go back to sleep.  No more jumping out of bed, putting my clothes on backwards and inside out, running in circles trying to find my purse and my shoes while my hair goes uncombed (and sticking out like Medusa's) and my teeth unbrushed as I cuss and hurry my kids into the car in a race to shuttle them to school before the bell rings.  Of course, I rolled over and went back to sleep with one eye open because MY-TEENAGER-HAS-THE-CAR!  It's a trade-off.

A special shout out to Super Jenn, as she begins her first day at home alone with three little ones instead of two.  You can do it Jenn, I had four in the span of ten years.  The youngest is now 13(almost 14--she constantly reminds me) and they are all still pains in the ass healthy and happy.  You can do it!

My overcast, cozied up day has me pondering other food pleasures besides my tea.  When I was a teen, I learned to make hot cocoa from scratch.  As a mother, I found that making my own cocoa allowed me to create savory memories for my children.  When we lived on the east coast and it snowed, my children would almost always come in from playing in the snow to find hot cocoa steaming on the stove.  Even now, if we drive up north to "visit" the snow, I will often pack a thermos of my cocoa.  Occasionally, they will arrive home from school on a cold day to find it waiting.  Here is my cocoa recipe:

In a two quart sauce pan, add one cup unsweetened cocoa powder and one cup sugar.  Add to that one tablespoon of water, one-eighth teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is completely blended.  It should look like chocolate syrup.  If it is pasty, add a little more water.  Once the chocolate is blended, add milk.  Reduce the heat to medium low and stir constantly until the cocoa begins to steam.  Do not boil.  I do not measure the milk, I just pour until I have the blend that I want.  Some days, I only add a cup or two of milk which makes it rich and strong (and slightly bitter for you dark chocolate lovers).  Other days, I dilute it with lots of milk so that the chocolate tastes more like an essence.  Your kids will probably like it somewhere in between.  I have not tried sugar substitutes, so use those at your own risk for this particular recipe. 

By the way, this is a dump recipe for me, I measured it so I could share it with others, but it really looks more like this:  equal parts cocoa and sugar-eyeball about a cup of each.  A pinch of salt, a splash of vanilla, a little water.  Cook according to above instructions, dump in as little or as much milk as you want.

One more thing.  Years ago, I picked up a very pretty, discontinued set of Mikasa china at a thrift shop.  It had almost all the pieces for service for ten, plus serving dishes.  Because I invested so little, I do not lose my mind worrying about breakage when I use it.  Thus, letting my kids drink their special homemade cocoa out of a china cup on a saucer made them feel like they were doing something extra special.  Even now, it is easy and inexpensive to pick up a single teacup with a matching saucer at a resale shop.  Collect several cup and saucer sets so that you have enough for your kids and let them have tea or cocoa parties.  I promise, it will create fun memories for them.

Did I seriously just write this warm and fuzzy post?  Okay, fess up, who spiked my tea with happy pills?  Oh wait; it is probably just that I got "some" last night.  But then I get "some" most nights or days as the opportunities "arise".  Okay, do not feign shock and surprise.  If you read my profile, it says that I am satisfied with my life.  How could you possibly not even suspect the source of my satisfaction?  Hello---McFly!

And so on that note, this concludes my Tuesday Randomness.  Now, off with you.  Go see what opportunities of your own "arise".


  1. There is no comparison to homemade applesauce. Although, I didn't know I could freeze it so thanks for letting me know that!

    I'm also going to try your hot cocoa recipe! Yummy! I might even try that today. It's downright cold here!

  2. I love the reference to me. A GAS! BAHAHAHA! So nice you gave our Jenn some lovin'. I should probably call her. I feel like a crap friend. It's nice and chilly out today (as far as SC goes) so I'm going to make that hot cocoa!