It's the grip of heat in North Carolina and a time when I can only be outdoors for brief periods of time. Although in the 90s, the actual feel due to the humidity which can reach 100% is today around 105 degrees F. So my time outdoors begins evening until dawn and that is perfect for this time of year as it is the Perseid Meteor Showers!
Yes, I know, this is a food blog you say. I'm getting to that part. *smile* If you are a stargazer like me you will enjoy these cool facts....
and this link.
The dates for the Perseids this year is July 17 through August 24 with peak around August 12 where you might see 60 meteors per hour. While the days are like an oven, our evening temperatures drop drastically into the 60s and even the 50s and it is almost chilly. Chilly enough and damp enough to throw a shawl over your shoulders and wrap your hands around a delicious cup of hot chocolate. (Aren't you glad you were patient?)
Chocolate!! Even the word melts on your tongue!! I'm convinced, like Harry Potter, that chocolate has magical and healing powers. Here is a little history of chocolate from the Smithsonian:
So fast forward many thousands of years to our 1916 book Twenty Lessons in Domestic Science by Marian Cole Fisher.
Our recipe in Lesson 19 Beverages:
Although there are wonderful chocolates on the market from all over the globe, for baking I am still a fan of Baker's. Produced since 1780 this is the perfect percentage of cacao for my hot chocolate, melts at body temperature, and is readily available, tasty, and inexpensive.
The water is heated to boiling and everything is measured and staged as the entire preparation is just minutes.
The grated chocolate is placed in the saucepan, boiling water added stirring all the while.
Over a medium heat, the water and chocolate are brought to boiling and allowed to boil for just a moment.
The Half and Half and sugar are added and heated through.
Hmmmm, clouds and more clouds and the only bright lights are the fireflies.
But all is not lost as we sit on the porch wrapped up in the beautiful night with our hands around the warmth and wonderful aroma of a perfect cup of hot chocolate.
Wishing you many starry nights!