Photograph by Molly Yeh
A love of winter runs in my family. We love soup and sweaters, and we look forward to the shorter days when that means we have fewer people convincing us to go and do outside things and more reasons to stay inside with cookbooks, a fire in the fireplace and a batch of cookie dough or two. We’re cozy folk and we know it.
So consider my move to one of the coldest cities in America a big old love note to winter. People thought it was a bit odd, but last year, for my first winter, I got to buy new sweaters and had every reason in the world to stay inside and bake — sometimes the people on the news even told us to stay inside! It’s like they knew me.
These days, no drink goes down that’s not warmed up and served in a mug. Hot cocoa is obviously a perfect cold weather companion, but I have to admit that in recent years around the holidays it’s taken a back seat to sweets of higher priority, like sufganiyot and more sufganiyot.
It’s been the coldest week in California that I can remember in years - I know, nothing like the MidWest or the East Coast, but for us, it’s been freezing (yes, even going below 32 degrees). The lemon trees in people’s yards look very surprised and unhappy, and a photograph of an orange grove covered with icicles took my breath away. I can only expect that oranges will be more expensive in the next few months from crop damage.
Returning from a bundled up walk in the cold air and brisk wind, the image of holding a warm cup of hot cocoa in my chilly hands brought a bright smile to my face. I’m not sure what it is about hot cocoa that I love so much. It’s the perfect beverage: warm, creamy, milky, and filled with lots of chocolate. What’s not to love?