It’s that classic time of year: shorter days, brisk and windy, beautiful fall colors, the pleasure of a warm drink at any time of the day. Fall into winter isn’t everyone’s favorite season it’s true, but around here we love it! Gingerbread, hot chocolate, and of course, our homemade marshmallows make their recurring appearances.
Another constant at this time of year is the arrival of the hunter parties. That’s right, hunters like to stay at nice places, too! We’ve been hosting duck and Canada geese hunters ever since the doors opened in 1987; the Eastern Shore is the goose hunting capital of the world, after all!
For 27 years, every winter Danielle has been getting up extra, super early to offer a full Brampton Inn breakfast to these intrepid folks; sometimes as early as 4:30 am!!! That is not something you can get just anywhere. What’s more, she also offers to fill their thermoses with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. It really doesn’t get more full service than that. Coupled with the special rate available for our mid-week waterfowl hunters, it might be the deal of the decade.
Now, even if you’re not a hunter, or even an early riser, chances are you still like hot chocolate. Here is a quick and very easy recipe for a homemade hot chocolate mix that is great to have on hand when you have a crowd. This is another installment in our list of easy recipes that have very few ingredients that everyone should know.
Hot Cocoa Mix
2 1/4 cups cocoa powder
3 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon salt
milk for serving (dairy, soy, almond, etc)
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Try to get out any lumps. You can sift the cocoa if it’s easier. Store in a large glass jar. Easy, huh?
For each serving, the ratio is one cup of milk to 2 tablespoons of cocoa mix.
Heat the milk until just before it boils. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa mix. Blend until smooth. The whisking will release the heat from the milk, so after it’s smooth, put it back over a low flame to bring back up to temperature, being careful not to scorch it.
For fun, add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or chili powder. You can add vanilla or mint extract to the milk. Serve it with a candy cane, or marshmallows. Whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Whatever your taste buds dictate! And then, enjoy!!!