When we first bought this home back in August, the county water test report came back positive for coliform, which isn’t apparently all that unusual but does require that the well be chlorinated before the home can be sold. Cribley’s chlorinated the well, which involves injecting a heavy chlorine solution and then running the water in each tap until chlorinated water comes out. You then let the chlorine solution sit in the well and pipes for 48 hours, after which you flush the system out. Sure enough, a clean water sample was obtained but because the water is so very hard here, there had been some mineral build up in the pipes that was loosened up by the chlorine solution. When we took possession of the home, I turned on the tap and…BROWN water came out. I nearly passed out and started hollering for my husband, who called Cribley’s, who explained that it wasn’t really mud coming out of the tap but rather mineral sediment (i.e. LOTS of iron) coming out of the pipes. They assured us it would clear after a few days, and it did, but in the mean time we needed drinking water, so we bought a water dispenser:
It’s one of those kinds that has a hot and a cold water spigot. Since we had hot water on demand, I set up a little tea-making station on a table next to it, along with locally-produced honey comb from the farm around the corner. Once the weather started turning colder (which happened very early this year), the girls started requesting hot cocoa before getting on the school bus at (gulp) 6:50 in the morning. Now, they have the nicest bus driver in the history of bus-driving, and she actually lets them bring their cocoa on the bus in the morning provided it’s in a foam cup with a lid (we never had bus drivers like this when I was a kid), so I added that to the station. But have you ever read the ingredient list on the back of those instant cocoa packets? Let’s take a look, shall we? Here’s what’s in Swiss Miss packets, for example:
sugar, corn syrup, modified whey, cocoa (processed with alkali), hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, calcium carbonate, less than 2% of: salt, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglyderides, artificial flavor.
Ugh, hydrogenated oils? Artificial flavors? I don’t want my kids drinking chemical crap every morning, so I decided to make my own hot cocoa mix. Here is my recipe:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 3 1/4 cups nonfat powdered milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- Fine mesh sieve
- large mixing bowl
- large mixing spoon
- measuring cups, measuring spoons
- container to store the mix in
1. Pour 1 cup cocoa powder into fine mesh sieve over mixing bowl. Add the salt and cornstarch.
2. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and work it through the sieve by using the back of the spoon to rub it through the mesh and eliminate lumps.
3. Add the nonfat dry milk to the sieve and work it through.
4. When all the ingredients have been worked through the sieve, mix to combine, then spoon into a jar or container to store.
5. To prepare hot cocoa, fill your cup about 1/3 full of hot cocoa mix and 2/3 full of hot water. Mix and add marshmallows if desired.
Feel free to play with this recipe and make it your own. You might like it sweeter or more cocoa-y, so adjust the ingredients accordingly. Also, you might try a dash of cayenne pepper or cinnamon in the mix to give it a zing.