Both light and shadow are the dance of love. —Rumi
Here in the North, we have just passed Imbolc, the midway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Here in this modern city, during these modern times, these markers and meanings so valued by and significant to our ancestors are mostly lost. All my life, Imbolc came and went; myself, blissfully unaware. But now as someone who spends an awful lot of time looking through a camera’s view finder, Imbolc has new meaning. The minute changes that accompany the slow but steady shift of seasons no longer pass unnoticed. With each passing day, the days are filled with more light and the sun’s path through the sky arcs higher. These changes affect the very nature of light itself before it makes its way through my kitchen window, casting shadows on my unsuspecting food scene. More importantly, although all appears lifeless looking out through the same window, I know that deep below the snow, life is stirring and nature is preparing for rebirth. There is hope of spring.
In Christianity, Imbolc is Candlemas and in Mexico, hot chocolate is traditionally served on this day. Coincidentally, I also like my hot chocolate the Mexican way, with a pinch of spice.
Spiced Hot Chocolate
- 720 g (4 cups) milk of your choice
- 240 g (1 cup) additional milk of your choice or water (when using dairy milk, I prefer to dilute with water)
- 3 tbsp Camino fairly traded dark cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- whipping cream (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan.
- Bring to a slow simmer.
- Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring to ensure no cocoa clumps remain.
- You may top with whipping cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.