Another polar vortex is doing its nasty business here in Kansas. The temperature this morning was 8º F. and a skiff of snow covered the ground. I’ll confess it took me a long time to get up the courage to go outside to let the chickens out. By the time I went into their house to unhook their little door they had produced five eggs. With frigid fingers I picked them up and discovered to my delight that they were still quite warm. In my jacket pockets they served well as hand warmers as I made my way back to the people house.
That was fun, but the day stretched out before me. The trick, I think, to getting through winter with one’s sanity intact is to find something interesting to do every day. I decided to sew up napkins from a long-forgotten piece of linen that I unearthed the other day. Figuring out how many napkins of what size, measuring and cutting fabric, and making mitered corners was good exercise for my brain and I loved the patterns of the various napkins.
Next I decided to make some chocolate syrup. Boy, I am so glad I broke off my long relationship with Hershey’s chocolate syrup, because homemade syrup has Hershey’s beat all to pieces. What’s more it is very easy and quick to make. In case you, too, are facing another day stuck inside, here’s the recipe:
1 cup sugar
½ cup Ghirardelli’s unsweetened cocoa
¾ cup of water (or strong coffee if you like mocha)
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a 2-quart saucepan mix together the sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add ¼ cup of water (or coffee) and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Then stir in the remaining liquid.
Bring to a boil and boil for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time to keep the syrup from boiling over. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Let the syrup cool. Spoon a little over a bowl of ice cream. Sit down with a good book and enjoy the rewards of your labor.
Now what? Maybe I’ll make some placemats to go with the napkins.
Copyright 2014 by Shirley Domer