Many mornings this winter have found me making like a Mexican grandmother and making Mexican hot chocolate.
This is for my first-grader son, who learned in his Spanish class about chocolate and how to properly make it.
Traditionally, that would be by melting Mexican chocolate in hot milk and then spinning and whipping it into a froth using a wooden whisk called a molinillo.
You can find molinillos and chocolate at Hispanic food stores.
You even can find at least one brand of Mexican chocolate at most supermarkets: Abuelita, which translates as Little Grandmother or Granny and is a well-known brand made by Nestle.
Ibarra is another.
Mexico gave the world chocolate. Indigenous people grew and roasted cacao beans, which they ground up to make a hot drink that wasnt sweet until Spaniards got their hands on it.
MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE
2 cups milk
4 wedges of Mexican chocolate, or 2 quarter tablets
Put 2 cups milk in a small saucepan on low heat. Warm the milk gradually. Dont let it boil.
Unwrap a Mexican chocolate tablet.
Cut/break off the wedges using the dull side of a knife.
Put the chocolate in the warm milk and let the wedges soften for about 30 seconds.
Use the wide end of the molinillo or your whisk to gently mash the chocolate.
Then use the molinillo or whisk to stir the chocolate milk.
When steam begins to rise from the milk, spin the molinillo (or whisk) briskly back and forth in the milk to create tiny bubbles that gang up together to become froth.
Carefully pour hot chocolate into cups and enjoy!