Goddess of Cocoa and Chocolate

Aunt Mary has decided that I should be called the Goddess of Cocoa. Probably because every other sentence out of my mouth was “You know, chocolate / cocoa / sugar _______ would go really great with this. I made candy, pudding, hot cocoa, and cake. We had a bit of chocolate with almost every meal. This won’t surprise anyone who knows me and my sweet tooth, but I kind of like the new moniker, Goddess of Cocoa – it suits me. In honor of this title here’s my Mom-Mom’s candy recipe, which is what started this whole thing. We used to have this always at Christmas – but I’m sure it’s delicious anytime of year. This recipe takes patience, and doesn’t always turn out right (it didn’t set completely in New Mexico) but even the mistakes are delicious.

Mom-Mom’s Candy
3 cups sugar
3 heaping teaspoons cocoa
1/8 teaspooons salt
1 1/2 cups milk

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium pot
Stir in milk – heat on low and stir continuously
Let mixture boil (about 20 minutes)
When the mixture begins to thicken (approximately another 15 minutes) Add 1/2 stick a butter

Test every minute with the cold water test:
Use a spoon to drop a drop of the candy mixture into a cup of cold water
When the mixture forms a ball in the water take the mixture off of heat

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter

Pour onto a buttered platter (13 – 18 inch oval or round) one with a vertical lip works best. Let platter sit until candy is hard. (several hours)

If the candy sets correctly it can be cut into squares of a hard sugar like consistency. If it does not set correctly it will be more like taffy and should be eaten with a spoon.


New Mexico, part 2

On Tuesday we had a breakfast of english muffins and hot cocoa. (The first night we made a quick trip to the grocery for cocoa and sugar, two things every household should never be without.) Then Mary and I took Valerie shopping for some boots, so we could hike some. She got some UGG like boots with “LOVE” on the backs from Marshalls. She is so stylin’ now.

After breakfast and shopping I made come candy (gotta love the cocoa) then we went for a short walk / hike in the snow covered foot hills of the mountain. Somehow we found the perfect mix of exercise and relaxation.

After lunch we went to Old Town Albuquerque for some shopping and sightseeing. We went to the old church there and saw the nativities and walked through some of the galleries and stores. There is so much artwork to be found. And everything is decorated for Christmas.Then when it got dark we went to the botanic garden for the Christmas light show. All the trees have lights. And there are hundreds of mechanical lawn lights. I liked the elephants that sprayed water on each other – of course that one we didn’t get a picture of…

For dinner we had some authentic Mexican food. The first restaurant had a super-long wait so we went to the back-up. The food was pretty good, but the memorable part were the sopaipas. These fried dough pieces that you fill with honey are one of the most delicious foods I’ve ever eaten. Yum! (There is much talk of food in these posts from our trip, but we ate oh so well.)