Cocoa and Toast

There was a cup of hot steaming cocoa sitting on Grandma’s dining table waiting for me. Just like every morning when I was dropped off before the school bus came, or maybe I stayed over at her house the night before. There was also a stack of buttered toast sitting on a plate on the table between my chair and Grandpa’s, enough for both of us to share – and if there wasn’t enough, Grandma would be happy to make more. The windows in the small dining room were steamy and outside the snow coated everything. It was a school morning. I snuck into the room and tried to slide into my chair unnoticed, but I was caught first … Before cocoa, there must be a glass of orange juice. It was a house rule. I hated orange juice, but Grandma was firm. Grandpa sat in his chair and stared out the window at the snow, smoking a cigarette. Paul Harvey was on the radio. While I sipped my cocoa, and ate my toast by first giving it a dunk in the hot chocolate, Grandma was in the kitchen making our lunches.

Cocoa and toast … my favorite breakfast.

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Grandma K’s Hot Cocoa

Grandma K had a fairly simple and straight forward recipe for making hot cocoa. The following recipe is for one person:

1/2 cup of condensed milk, 1/2 cup of water, measured with the drinking cup
1 teaspoon of Hershey’s cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of vanilla

Put the milk into a pan over a low heat.
In the drinking cup, add the cocoa, sugar and stir.
Add the vanilla to the cocoa-sugar mixture and mix.
Add a couple of spoonfuls of milk from the pan to the cocoa mixture and stir well, dissolving everything.
Add the coca mixture to the milk in the pan.
Stir until hot.
Pour into cup!

Note: Grandma K. didn’t measure using measuring cups or spoons when she made cocoa. The cup was the drinking cup and the teaspoon was the silverware teaspoon.

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kimba’s Hot Cocoa

I make cocoa the same way, except that I use a cup of non-fat milk and no water. I’m used to it. You can use whatever kind of milk you like, just don’t add the water to the recipe. I also use dark cocoa powder and am not loyal to any brand. Sometimes I will add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the cocoa mixture before adding it to the milk in the pan to give it a little flair.

People in this story besides me: Florence Keck Kradel and Harry Theodore Kradel

One thought on “Cocoa and Toast

  1. Brought back the memories of sledding down Grandma and Grandpa’s “big” hill. If there was snow, we would sled. And if there was sledding, there was most certainly hot cocoa and toast awaiting you once you arrived inside. It seemed then like Grandma always timed it perfectly, as if she had a magic wand to make it appear as you walked in the door. Tired and freezing from all that sledding, and there on that tiny round table in the dining room/kitchen, hot cocoa and toast. Now as I sit and think about it, what I thought possibly to be magic as a little girl, was my loving Grandma K., watching us out the window and timing everything just perfectly so as to have the “appearance” of being magical. Gosh how I miss those days.

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