I am about to reveal one of the Great Secrets of Motherhood and possibly get myself in trouble. But there are so few Great Secrets of Motherhood that I can claim to have fathomed, so the opportunity to share one is simply too vast a temptation to be resisted.
Plus you might find it useful. And it’s really, really easy.
We raised our children, for the most part, in the suburbs of a Midwestern city. That means we sometimes had snow and sometimes A LOT more than others. Our suburban driveway was long enough to need to be shoveled but not long enough to justify a snow blower, so my husband was the chief snow shoveler until my son got old enough to help, and then finally big enough to take on the job. Eventually his little sister got big enough to help him. Sort of.
As one may expect, shoveling show was not the most popular job around our house. Chocolate chip cookie tasting, for example, was far more popular, as were licking beaters and finishing the last serving of dessert so Mom could wash the pan. Good help is hard to find!
So in order to make shoveling snow more rewarding, as if helping the family and avoiding parental scolding wasn’t reward enough, I would make hot chocolate for the kids when they were done. I’d heat up some water, mix in a packet of powder, and be generous with the marshmallows on top. It was okay, but then I discovered one of the Great Secrets of Motherhood. It was revealed in the January, 2009 issue of “Good Housekeeping” magazine.
Here I must attempt to stay out of trouble for revealing this secret. I did major internet searches for the article and recipe. I checked the Food & Recipes section of the “Good Housekeeping” web site. Apparently the recipe is such a Great Secret of Motherhood that it’s no longer available there. If the nice people at “Good Housekeeping” will let me know that the recipe is available, and where it can be found, then I’ll gladly replace my copy of the recipe with a link to their site. Anyone…?
The Great Secret of Motherhood is Hot Cocoa Mix. My university student son maintains to this day that it tastes like Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall. (Not that any of us have ever had a Golden Ticket or visited the Wonka factory, but we’re open to invitations!) Once I replaced the usual packet of post-shoveling hot chocolate with the Chocolate Waterfall version, everything changed.
My son and daughter started volunteering to shovel snow. I didn’t have to say a word. My son would see snow, don his winter gear, and grab a shovel. His sister would realize she was about to miss out and go help him. One year when we’d had very little snow, I discovered both kids in the driveway after a late, mild ice storm, chipping ice off of the drive so they could get “the good hot cocoa” instead of the packets. A liberal sprinkling of ice melt would have done the trick for the driveway, but they were determined to earn the good hot cocoa.
So here is one of the Great Secrets of Motherhood.
“Chocolate Waterfall” Hot Cocoa Mix
originally published in the January, 2009 issue of Good Housekeeping
What You’ll Need:
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
What To Do:
Dump all of the ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until the chips are ground up and everything is the same texture and evenly mixed. Store the hot cocoa mix in a jar in the cabinet until you’re ready to make cocoa.
You can make the prepared mix into cocoa by dumping 2-3 Tablespoons in a mug of milk, zapping it in the microwave, and giving it a good stir. I prefer to measure out the required number of mugs of milk and spoonfuls of cocoa mix into a saucepan and warming it on the stove, mixing it briskly with a wire whisk to build up a bit of froth. Add marshmallows or a swirl of whipped cream. It’s dessert in a cup!
Now that you know one of Great Secrets of Motherhood, please hop over to the “Good Housekeeping” site and have a look at their other recipes. I am not being compensated for this post, just trying to share a fantastic recipe and give credit where it’s due.
How do you reward your family for doing chores?
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Update: This post was shared at What’s For Dinner? Sunday Link up #69, Home Matters Linky Party #110 and The Pretty Pintastic Party #129. And I should probably add that your snow removal mileage and family chore cooperation results may vary!