Monthly Archives: June 2011

Healing Cocoa

Sometimes life can get a little hectic. Sometimes life can get a lot hectic. I wanted to share with all you poor frazzled things out there, my recipe for what my husband calls Magic Hot Chocolate. A drink you can pour into your favourite mug and snuggle up with. OK so it’s not really “mine”, it’s adapted from a recipe in James Wong’s “Grow Your Own Drugs”, but that’s not important. What’s kind of important is that James Wong claims it will ‘calm anxiety and promote sleep’ (and I can tell you, it really does). But what’s most important is that it tastes so utterly divine you may never be able to order hot chocolate in a cafe again. Which you shouldn’t anyway, because cafe hot chocolate is always nasty and much too sweet. But I digress. Cut to the chase woman!

OK, you will need:
Mug of your choice, filled with milk (also of your choice)
Cocoa powder (FairTrade, of course. You can’t expect good sleep on a bad conscience.)
Small square of plain chocolate, grated or cut small (ditto)
Shaving of orange peel
Sprig of fresh lemon balm leaves*
1tsp valerian root (search for online supplier – mine’s gone bust)
pinch cinnamon
pinch allspice

Whisk up the cocoa into the milk, then put everything except the chocolate into a pan and heat gently to almost boiling point. Now add the chocolate, and stir around until the it’s melted. Turn off the heat, leave to infuse for a minute or two, and strain back into your mug. Get your jim-jams on and snuggle up cosy somewhere. Enjoy. And guess what, there’s NO SUGAR in it (apart from what’s in the tiny square of chocolate), so if you fall asleep without brushing your teeth, it won’t kill you 🙂

*Lemon Balm. You do have lemon balm in your garden don’t you? You don’t?! Yeesh, get some now.

Melissa officinalis

Bees love it, and it grows like a weed. Seriously, before you go and pay good cash for a plant, ask your neighbours – it’s one of those plants that grows and spreads and lots of people hate it. Just pull up a clump and stick it in a pot. Or, take a handful of leaves and stick them in your freezer (ditto orange peel: you may as well shave the whole orange. Citrus zest is great for freezing). It’s not a herb people use much, so chances are they’ll be grateful for the pruning. Oh and did you know? If a plant has “officinalis” in its Latin name, it means it was a recognised medicinal herb way back when. Of course, it still is, but I mean, when the plant was named, it was. How about that.

Night night, sweet dreams 🙂