Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Storecupboard Hero: Cocoa

Today has been a rather blissful day. I got up early in the dark to make dear Carl's breakfast and lunch to take to work, had a cup of tea, then put my electric blanket on and got back into bed in the dark, and listened to radio 4. I drifted off to sleep half listening to the radio, and eventually woke up at the unheard of hour of 10:00!

I will be working on Saturday, so I had today off, and for the first time I can actually remember, I have had a whole day to myself. Nobody to meet for lunch, nowhere to have to be, no appointments to keep. And so I resolved not to venture outside at all! Because it was bright and beautiful I flung open all the windows, and put the washign on, with the idea that I would hang it on the line to dry. Alas by lunch time it was cloudy and overcast, so it is now hanging up around me in our little sitting room, but it was lovely to air the flat and get the washing up done.

I had the most decadent treat this afternoon...I took a bath scattered with soap rose petals which dissolved into blissful bubbles. I had a candle alight, and the January edition of Country Living Magazine. I can't recommend a mid afternoon bath enough for lightening the spirit in January! Come to think of it, at any time really!

I was out of the bath and dressed again just in time for our groceries to be delivered. I really got out of the habit of having our shopping delivered last year (and a lot of other habits too, as my poorly neglected blog shows!) but I am glad I have resumed it. It is a happy mix of vintage housekeeping and modern housekeeping...sitting down to write out a menu plan for the week, and ordering the wherewithall to produce a week of seasonal, tasty meals. The method of ordering the goods has changed, but getting everything delivered takes us right back in time.

I have my lamp alight now, and a few candles, so the room looks warm and cozy. I have a sausage, tomato and bean casserole bubbling in the oven which smells divine. I like to think that it is a nice home to come home to, and when Carl is back in a few minutes, I hope he likes walking in to cooking dinner smells!

The other scent that you can just catch on the air is a rich chocolatey scent, for I have been baking. I have made chocolate squares...a very quick and easy recipe which has made me once again realise that Cocoa is a vertiable storecupboard hero. I love the connotations cocoa makes me think of dressing gowns and hot water bottles, bluestocking girls studying english literature...and I also love how useful it is. From one little drum of powder, you can make a delicious drink, scrumptious truffles, chocolate cakes, and my new favourite chocolate mousse.

Imagine, if someone offered you half an ounce of chocolate. Even if it was the most lovely quality delicious chocolate, it wouldn't really go very far, and it wouldn't feel like much of a treat. However, should you melt 3 ounces of dark chocolate, then stir in 4 tsp of cocoa dissolved in 4 tbsp water, the yolks of 2 eggs and cool....then whip the egg whites until stiff, then whisk in 1 tbsp caster sugar, and fold these into the chocolate mixture....divide between 6 glasses and chill.....well, wouldn't you rather have that? These are rich and light and utterly divine...tie on your apron and work that magic for yourself!


Dinahsoar said...

Hello--welcome back and happy new've been missed. The mousse sounds delicious. I love cocoa too. I'm never without it. Fudge, brownies, chocolate cobbler, chocolate crinkle cookies, hot chocolate, chocolate pie--the possibilities are endless.

And once again your writing has lifted me to your part of the world and daily delightful rituals.

Hope to hear more soon.

fairycakegirl said...

Lovely to see you back mrs!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, so wonderful to read about your days again.You were sorely missed,and I am so glad to see you writing again.Never doubt how many lives you touch in a positive way.
blessings to you,