Chocolate And Friendship Day

We've never been huge Valentine's Day fans in this house.  Well, that's not 100% true.  I adored Valentine's Day when I was single and wistfully dreaming of a lover to buy me flowers and spoil me with treats. But when I met my husband and the reality of a relationship and my man's opinion of V-Day hit me I realized that I would be lucky if he even remembered the day. I also realized that I am damn lucky to have him, every day of the year.

After a hellish month, however, I'm looking for any small amount of comfort and love. Today that came in the form of a quiet afternoon writing and visiting with a friend while we sipped garam masala hot cocoa and she gave me a reflexology treatment. It was simply so nice to be spoiled. And to enjoy some company with my friend.

I'd been waiting to try this hot cocoa until she came to visit. Although she is originally a farm girl with a Metis background, she has surrounded herself with East Indian friends and boyfriends. I knew she would appreciate the spice of this cocoa better than Hubby.  I was right. It was rich and warming, with hints of spice and the Indian coast. It doesn't seem like the flavours should go well together, but if you think of Mexican hot chocolate with its chili heat, this isn't far off. But there is something exotic about it and so comforting.

Sitting with her this afternoon I felt my spirits lift, old friends have the power to do that. So does chocolate and a foot rub, but not as well as friends can do it. If only I could ask her to move in, or at least to this city.

I made this with the Garam Masala mix from Silk Road Spice Merchants, ground in my brand new grinder. Keep in mind that you will want a fine grind with this.

Garam Masala Hot Cocoa
Adapted from Arvinda's recipe

1 cup milk
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground Garam Masala

1. Heat milk.
2. Combine cocoa, brown sugar, and garam masala in a small bowl. Stir in a few tablespoons of milk until you have a runny paste. Whisk cocoa paste into milk. Serve hot.

Thanks to Mary Luz Mejia for sending this recipe my way.