Blowouts & Hot Chocolate

As the tail end of my brand new tube of face wash exploded open with a disgusting squelching noise, I watched in helpless horror as my $12 purchase plastered itself all over the bathroom wall, looking like a purple Rorschach test, and smelling of grape bubblegum. “Wonderful!”, I think. Just what I need. I hate products that have a sneaky double seal under the cap for this very reason. Blowouts.

After spending an extra few minutes scraping what seems like purple ectoplasm from the wall and trying to force it back into the tube (because I paid $12 for it, dammit!), I finally accept defeat and wipe the remainder of the goo onto my hands so as not to be wasteful. This is a habit I’ve picked up from my mother – the not wasting, that is. Not the goo scraping. She’s always been the frugal sort, using body wash to the last drop, “saving” the unburnt bits of a failed cake, and reusing zip lock bags. She does not agree that they should be discarded after one use; this is probably why our kitchen looks like it belongs in an episode of Tupperware Hoarders.

I am always wary of the rest of my day if the beginning starts in this sort of unfortunate fashion. I cannot help but become somewhat suspicious afterwards, you see.
True enough to my expectations, the day proves itself to be just as much of a bust. You know those days where nothing goes right no matter what you do? You wake up early but are still late for your appointments; the bus won’t stop because it’s full from door to door; the taxis seem to have all gotten the same memo about avoiding your neighborhood. Then a cruel trick of nature strikes, and it begins to pour. Not drizzle, not just rain, but literally pour. The kind of rain that hits you so hard it hurts, and no amount of creative umbrella wielding will protect you from the inevitable drench that will engulf you down to the silicone insoles in your now squishy suede shoes.

These are the days that I want to turn around and just crawl back into bed. These are “my-life-sucks-so-screw-it-I’m-staying-home” days. Unfortunately, this is not always an option in the real world. Life goes on and so must you.
But much like life sometimes, some days just suck.

There may not always be a solution to these days, sometimes we just have to weather them out (pun intended).
But there’s one thing that makes life just that much better in my book, and that’s a healthy dose of recovery Hot Chocolate. A good (and very large) mug of thick HC has the special ability to make the world seem just that much better, even if only temporarily, like my favorite bowl of hot congee or homemade chicken soup can do. This is kitchen magic – food that warms the soul.

Whether you like your poison plain, minted, dark, caffeinated, spiked, marshmallowed or spiced, it is rare that a good hot choc would or could ever put you in a worse mood. Perhaps it’s the cacao’s ability to send your neurotransmitters into a happy frenzy, or perhaps it’s simply the fact that you’re drinking molten chocolate and it’s ok. No one is judging you like the time you stuck your face into the emptied bowl of chocolate batter!

For fetishists of very thick, almost spoonable, French-style chocolat chaud, you can’t really go wrong with Lebovitz’s version. But if you’re ever in the Seattle area, nip down to Cafe Presse for a nice hot cup bowl , always served with a side of chilled whipped cream to dollop on as you like. The sensation of cool cream atop molten chocolate on your tongue is almost too much to bear on a blustery day.


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