Thursday, January 12, 2012


Stark apple branches and the pale blue winter sky.

Brrr, it's cold. 19 degrees to be exact. But so far this winter we have been very dry. Not much rain, no snow...I don't think our ski resorts are even open right now. Very weird. If we don't get some wet stuff soon, we're going to have one heck of a dry fire season. You know, the kind that burn the whole state up. Woohoo. Loads of fun.

I dislike this dry winter. Everything is barren and stark, but not the pretty way when it's wet and snowy. We're working on having some serious problems....our fruit trees are budding.

Budding apple trees.

Our strawberries have come out of dormancy and are growing.

Strawberries growing and growing.

Our berry bushes are STILL producing fruit. Kevin picked raspberries off this plant about a week ago.

Raspberry bushes still producing.

In short, really cold weather now could be disastrous for my summer fruit crop. Not only that, the absence of any precipitation is making our snow pack really low. Low snow pack=low water tables=dry, dry , dry.

A cup of my favorite hot cocoa sitting on the frozen water in a cast iron pan. Brrr!

But, not all is lost. It's still cold outside and cold outside means hot cocoa! Here is my most favorite hot cocoa mix to keep mixed up.

Hot Cocoa Mix

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Use the Hershey's Dark, sooo good!)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
warm milk

Fill a mug 1/2 full with cocoa mix (more or less to taste), and heat up enough milk or water to top it off (how much will depend on the size of your mug). Add to hot cocoa mix, stir really well and add marshmallows. When I make this for the adults, I'll add a teeny-tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. It adds a nice little warm kick, but isn't spicy or weird tasting at all. Also, a 1/2 teaspoon of homemade vanilla is a great addition :)

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