Saturday, December 31, 2011

drinking chocolate and the new year

So many creative pursuits demand a period of solitude for the germination of projects-writing, music-making, painting.  It is in these moments of quiet, where creativity seems to take flight.  For me it can be in the middle of the night, during a run or even snuggled under a blanket on the sofa with a cup of cocoa in hand.  

These times are few and far between for me and I would imagine for most of us.  But when they arrive they are like an old friend whose face brings satisfying warmth from deep within.  Sometimes these moments of inspiration might not lead necessarily to a great work per se, maybe a new approach in business, a recipe or even dare I say…resolutions.
At this stage of my life, I’ve decided to approach resolutions as lists of To-Do’s and Not To-Do’s; this seems much more palatable and less constraining than resolutions.  Truth be told, I’m afraid of resolutions.  Afraid to fail I suppose.  But lists on the other hand suggest an in-progress approach. I feel that if I am moving in the right direction, there is hope and I can be encouraged.  Of course this implies that goals, plans and dreams were the starting point, and the list is a springboard from there.

If you need a little encouragement to get started, may I suggest a delicious cup of a deep, slightly spicy hot chocolate to get those creative juices flowing.  This thick rich chocolate is warm and bittersweet and has a lingering heat from the pepper.  This is the type of thing I crave this time of year-not just the indulgence itself but the experience of consuming it, the slowing down, and the savoring.

So as we are closing the chapter of 2011 and looking forward to a new year, I hope you are inspired to take on some new challenges and maybe even head into uncharted territory with courage and determination.

Happy New Year!


Spicy Drinking Chocolate
Serves 1

8 oz. whole milk
5 Tbsp. shaved best quality chocolate (I prefer Valrhona 70%)
A pinch of cayenne
A pinch of cinnamon

Bring milk to the simmer over medium low heat.  Add shaved chocolate and stir until dissolved.  Add cayenne and cinnamon.  Serve in a warm mug. 

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