Utah captured my heart this Spring. Spring in Utah is a funny thing-- not really spring, March in the desert is more like half winter and half summer.
When the morning wakes you, you’ll find your sleeping bag pulled as high around your head as it can go, covering your cheeks and leaving just enough space so to breath. Eventually, motivated by the thought of coffee, or tea, or anything warm, you'll peek out, and see the snow, still coming down in oversized flakes that fall impossibly slow. Lighting that two-burner camping stove will never sound so good.
Outside, there is a different view in every direction, but all of them will make you feel small-- just a tiny human, standing on a slice of something far too large to imagine. Cliffs, a deep crimson color, tower above. They sit gallantly on piles of sand, like the earth's version of sandcastles, displaying layer on layer of dirt. Each layer seems to expose something about the world, every band of sand marking an era of the past. At their feet grow short and twisted juniper trees, struggling to grow.
When the water boils, and you pull it from the stove, the pot will spout a tower of steam into the air above, melting the snow as it falls. When you turn around, you’ll see a mountain range all Coloradans know well, crisp and white, capped with ice. They look bigger from Utah, surrounded by flat plains, deep rifts, and the occasional rock spire or tower. You’ll know what I mean when you see it for yourself: it’s as if those mountains scrape the clouds off of the sky, catching them on their peaks and hanging on.
The snow will eventually stop (it’s spring, after all), and the unshielded sun will melt every white patch away. The desert sand will suck up any moisture that remains, and by 10 the ground will be dry again, as if nothing happened. That's when you’ll sit back in a folding chair, a rich mug of homemade hot chocolate in hand.
There is nothing to feel other than awe. Belittled by the jagged, barren canyons and cliffs on one side, humbled by the majestic peaks to the other. Small-- small and awestruck.
Yields: 8 cups mixed cocoa | Total Active Time:
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 2 tablespoons cream powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
- Set up your blender or food processor, and it is very dry on the inside by wiping it down with a towel. Then, place the coconut sugar, salt, and chocolate chips in the food processor/blender and pulse until the sugar is ground fine (powdery) and the chocolate chips are ground.
- Add the cocoa and cream powder to the blender, and pulse one or two more times, until the cocoa and cream powder are evenly distributed.
- Pour mix into a jar with an air-tight lid for storage. Stores well on in the pantry for 3 weeks, but should be kept in fridge for long-time storage, as cream powder will eventually oxidize.
- To make cocoa: Boil 8 ounces of water. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of mix into an 8 ounce mug. Pour water over mix, stirring well to combine. Optional: top with whipped coconut cream, whipped cream, marshmallows, etc.
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