Old Fashioned Hot Cocoa

When I was a kid growing up on our small family dairy farm in Wisconsin, before there were such things as instant cocoa drink mixes, this is how my mother and my big sister made hot chocolate.

- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- dash of salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 4 cups milk
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, and boil for a couple of minutes. Gradually stir in the milk. Heat to almost boiling but do not boil. Stir in the vanilla.

Beat with a hand beater before serving.

If a sweet drink is desired, stir in another teaspoon of sugar after it has been poured into a cup.


Instant Cocoa Mix

Christmas gift (or birthday gift) idea: Put the cocoa mix into pint jars or half-pint jars. Set the lids on the jars. Place a square of fabric with a holiday pattern (or another pattern) on it over the lid. Screw on the ring. Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar. One recipe makes about four pints.

6 cups of nonfat dry milk

1 cup of cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. Store in a covered container.

Use 2 to 4 tablespoons of the mix (to taste) to a cup or a mug of very hot water.


Russian Tea

1 cup of powdered orange drink
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup instant tea

Mix the dry ingredients. Store in a jar or another covered container. Use 2 teaspoons of the mix per cup of hot water (or to taste).


Gift idea: You can also put the Russian Refresher or Russian Tea into quart, pint or half-pint jars and give as gifts. Decorate the jars as described for the hot cocoa mix.

©2008: LeAnn R. Ralph

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About The Author, Leann Ralph
From "The Rural Route 2 Cookbook" (copyright 2008:LeAnn R. Ralph) http://ruralroute2cookbook.com

LeAnn R. Ralph is the author of books of true stories about growing up on a small family dairy farm in Wisconsin 40 years ago. "Highly recommended reading!" (The Midwest Book Review) http://ruralroute2.com