The Real Thing: Hot Cocoa Jars

February 10, 2014 § 2 Comments

A friend of mine came over for dinner last week—let’s call her “Friend”—and brought these craftily assembled jars of hot chocolate mix. What a fantastic idea! I will make these next year for stocking stuffers. (I always have an easy time resolving to make crafts months in advance.)

      Cocoa powder; sugar; dark chocolate chips & marshmallows

      Cocoa powder; sugar; dark chocolate chips & marshmallows

After Friend left, I pilfered a marshmallow, but realized that these mixes were obviously party favors from a fete that took place quite a while back. I know this because the marshmallows are hard as bits of ivory. As you can see, the tag says, “Thank you for celebrating Patti’s 60th!” I’m sure Patti is at least 63 by now.

However, this is my fault. First, because I put off Friend’s visit for a long time, as it is hard to make social plans with Max. That said, I don’t think the marshmallows would have been much softer back in December. No, no: my culpability really lies in the fact that I served Friend a packet of diet cocoa one day last fall. The cocoa was a relic from the days when both of us were trying too hard to be too thin. I thought maybe she was still in that mindset, and wouldn’t want the real stuff, which is what I made for myself (guiltily, I didn’t tell her about the distinction). I tried a sip of hers when she left the mug unfinished and winced at that tinny flavor of aspartame. When she left, I threw away the remaining packets, realizing that they were not fit for anyone other than a hard-suffering anorexic… except, perhaps, someone without taste buds.

I’m not sure if Friend gave me these hot cocoa jars because she doesn’t want them in her house—she is still quite lithe—or because she genuinely felt I needed a hot chocolate intervention, which would be true if I were still hoarding Diet Swiss Miss. But even if I never actually constitute these Ball jars into a pot of cocoa, they’re lovely to look at. At this late date, they may be best suited just for looking. Then again, pebbly marshmallows are imminently re constitute-able. After all, isn’t that how we moved away from fresh cocoa into the packet industry to begin with? Well, I say we move out again, real sugar and all. And Happy Belated Birthday, to you, Patti, whoever you are!

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