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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Abuelita

Ahh, autumn is here, and soon the wintry chill will be felt upon the bones...except, of course, by those of us in South Florida.

Yes, nature has deemed it unnecessary for us to parade around with 3 layers of clothing, with mittened hands, and Michelin Man anoraks.

And scarves? They're for suckers and other such Nordic unfortunates.

We have 2 weeks of mildly discomfitting cold, and then old man winter lets us slip gratefully back into our bikinis, whilst we point-and-laugh at the Weather Channel.

Canadians, blizzards, hah!

But no matter. One can always pretend such a thing as winter exists.

And here I must admit, my pretense takes many forms.

Perhaps buying an electric log which I then plug in, imagining I am being warmed by its AC/DC embers.

Even lowering the air conditioner to arctic levels is not beyond me, when I hit my winter funk.

(I never went to so far as to duplicate a Swedish prince's winter-mania, though. Since he lived in Spain, but missed his country's climate so, he tried to recreate the dark Swedish nights, complete with blackened out windows, and a roaring fire, even when it was in the 90s F outside in Mallorca...)

Because it's true that I miss winter at times -- it was always a very special time of the year for me in Britain.

Snow didn't last long where I lived, turning to slush almost as soon as it fell. But the atmosphere of winter was unforgettable.

And nothing says winter like a good glass of egg nog; moreso than that, though, my favourite, mulled wine.

Some cloves, some cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sugar to taste, and loads of plonk later, and you have yourself a merry little drink. A cup that cheers and inebriates. Bliss.

So off I went, to troll the aisles of a particular supermarket with mulled wine on my mind.

Before I got to the wine aisle, I made a beeline towards the general coffee section, on the off-chance they had finally gotten their shipment of Horlicks: still my bevvy of choice at night.

They hadn't, drat.

It's those annoying ex-pats again, 250,00 strong in the general area, who descend on this supermarket like a plague of council house locusts, just because it's the only Publix which carries British foodstuffs for miles.

(Never mind that they are probably thinking the same of me just because I always buy every last chipolata I can find)

But then my eyes wandered to the cocoa section, spying this intriguing little package, so cute and hexagonal that it pops out of the shelf at you:



Abuelita? Grannie?

Never heard of it. So I look at the package. In Spanish, it says:

"Los conocedores recomiendan chocolate Nestlé Abuelita / Autentico Chocolate Mexicano Para Mesa"

Unfortunately, I didn't read the fine print, in my haste to buy this very last package, as I carried it hurriedly to the checkout register.

The chavvies may take my Horlicks, but this Abuelita is mine!

When I got home, I opened the yellow hexagon thingie, and saw that it wasn't a powdery cocoa as I had expected.

Rather the chocolate came in tablets, just like true, expensive cocoa such as the famous Dutch brand, Droste, used to make.

6 stacks of delicately wrapped chocolate-tablets, sitting on top of each other like fine milled soap.

Even more intrigued was I, when I smelled the hard tablet.

Wonderous amounts of cinnamon, and pungent "licor de cacao" greeted my nostrils. It reminded me of mulled wine actually! What a treat.

So with eager tastebuds, I sat down to read the instructions. My first cup of Abuelita was a matter of moments away. Yum.

I didn't see any instructions on the package (perhaps it's so second nature to Mexicans, that none are needed -- after all, have you ever seen instructions on how to cook a hot dog on a package of Oscar Meyer weiners?) -- so I used plain common sense.

Milk, break up the tablet inside that, bring to the boil and drink.

It was absolutely delicious, and I say that without reservation, despite (I confess) not really being a chocolate person.

Yes, I am that rarest of females:

I don't like chocolate.

But don't worry, I can talk for two and shop for three! My femininity is unassailable.

Certainly, though, I can enjoy this aromatic Mexican cocoa known as Abuelita, like the best chocoholics out there.

Here is a handy recipe I found online, which you can use to enjoy your very own cup too.

INGREDIENTS:

Mexican hot chocolate, in bar or tablet form
One quart milk, any kind

DIRECTIONS:

Put enough chocolate in pan to make four cups of hot chocolate. The amount will vary depending on the brand of Mexican chocolate you use, so read the directions on the package. For example, one package of Nestle's Abuelita contains six large tablets; each makes four cups of hot chocolate, so the Yak used one tablet when making this recipe.

Add four cups of milk to the pan. Over medium heat, use a whisk or spoon to stir the milk occasionally as the chocolate softens and finally melts. Do not let the milk boil.

When the chocolate has completely dissolved, ask an adult to pour the mixture into a blender. Put on the lid and blend until the drink is frothy. Pour into four cups and serve.


Just promise me one thing. Think of me when you drink it this winter, yes?

9 Comments:

  • You make it sound so delicious, I think I will not wait until winter. Tomorrow I will buy the chocolate and lower my thermostat!

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Wed Oct 12, 01:58:00 am GMT-4  

  • You make it sound so delicious, I think I will not wait until winter. Tomorrow I will buy the chocolate and lower my thermostat!

    Success! I think Nestlé should hire me, actually. :)

    You know, when I was doing that water world post of mine, a few days ago, I saw in that "Ethical Consumer" site I noted in the post, that there is a boycott going on of Nestlé products.

    Why?

    "Nestlé -- for its irresponsible marketing of breastmilk substitutes."

    This was nestled (heh!) just between this:

    "Morocco -- a tourism boycott for Morocco's continued illegal occupation of Western Sahara (since 1978) and human rights abuses of the Saharawi people, including in 1999-2000 those aimed at preventing the successful progress of a UN referendum."

    And this:

    "Nike -- for its abuses of workers' rights in its factories in East Asia."

    ...ay, por favor.

    Take my Abuelita away from me, and die, hippioso imundo.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Oct 12, 02:10:00 am GMT-4  

  • From today forward I will boycott that site! They want us to boycott Canada, China , Botswana, Coca Cola and Bacardi but they seem to have no problem with Cuba's 47 years of castro dictatorship!

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Wed Oct 12, 09:33:00 am GMT-4  

  • Wow, we are from different planets, how interesting you write and live.
    Anyway, I know Winter and I know it lasts too long, even here in South central Pa. and even with your various concoctions to ease the wait till Spring.
    Autumn though, the best, it puts frost all over the place until leaves lose their hold and windshield scraping becomes an art.
    Enjoy your heat while Natural Gas prices make more of us move to your state, see you soon.

    By Blogger Paul, at Wed Oct 12, 11:57:00 am GMT-4  

  • From today forward I will boycott that site! They want us to boycott Canada, China , Botswana, Coca Cola and Bacardi but they seem to have no problem with Cuba's 47 years of castro dictatorship!

    Whoa. I had to check that out, so I did! :)

    And yes, you're right Jose...

    No Cuba. No North Korea. No Zimbabwe.

    No, no, these places are FINE. They're greaaaaaaaaaaaaat.

    Yes! Let's boycott the UCI Cinema chain instead for daring to destroy the munificence of the Crystal Palace neighbourhood with their abominable cinemahouse.

    My God, these people are a sick joke, and yet there are people who pay attention to them and their lack of true, all-encompassing moral outrage -- not just selective moral outrage.

    Yuck. I hope they get a Walmart right in the middle of their living room.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Oct 12, 02:13:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Wow, we are from different planets, how interesting you write and live.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't make me blush out of self-consciousness, Paul!!

    Anyway, it's not that interesting a life. Just now I'm about to separate my whites from my coloureds.

    Can you guess what I'm about to do?

    Hint: I'm not wearing a white hood whilst doing so. ;)

    Anyway, I know Winter and I know it lasts too long, even here in South central Pa. and even with your various concoctions to ease the wait till Spring.

    Oh yes, it can get blustery up there. I've been to Pittsburgh in the winter, which was amazing...

    Bundle up, baby. :)

    Autumn though, the best, it puts frost all over the place until leaves lose their hold and windshield scraping becomes an art.
    Enjoy your heat while Natural Gas prices make more of us move to your state, see you soon.


    Come on down! We have tonnes of space still left in Florida, especially with the real estate bubble we've been having since shortly after 1992 -- Hurricane Andrew.

    Which if you're a clever man, Paul, you can read as a not-so-subtle hint to invest in real estate in Louisiana, Mississippi, and perhaps even Alabama.

    In America, wealth follows disaster. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Oct 12, 02:18:00 pm GMT-4  

  • mmmmm...I can almost taste that frothy creamy milk choclate on my tongue. Wait, thats because I had hot chocolate last night too.:)

    Winter is beautiful when enjoyed from the comfort of a heated home.

    Hearing the crunch of fresh white snow under your shoes on sunny, windless days almost make up for the wet feet, snowstorms, and frozen appendages.

    Erm, I have bakers chocolate and milk, will that do in a pinch?

    By Blogger Renato, at Wed Oct 12, 03:10:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Can you guess what I'm about to do?

    Hint: I'm not wearing a white hood whilst doing so. ;)


    With all respect it sounds like you are going to participate in an anti-KKK demonstration without clothes on because they are in the wash. Close?

    Oh yes, it can get blustery up there. I've been to Pittsburgh in the winter, which was amazing...

    Bundle up, baby. :)


    My hometown till 17, not a place to drive when the ice comes but a great place if you have a piece of cardboard. Now, I'm blushing.

    Which if you're a clever man, Paul

    I knew there had to be a catch.

    By Blogger Paul, at Wed Oct 12, 03:34:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Are you kidding me, this stuff is amazing when done right!!! They didn't have it (Abuelita) where I lived, but managed to find a good deal on it at www.salsanachos.com Let's just say, I ordered A LOT of it. :)

    By Anonymous Adam Ibarra, at Fri Jan 23, 12:38:00 am GMT-5  

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