I just finished mixing up a batch of Chocolate Almond Biscottis. I discovered the joy of biscottis on a trip to St. Louis several years ago. We ate at Zia’s, an Italian restaurant located on “The Hill”, the old Italian section of St. Louis, and catty corner from the restaurant, is the Missouri Baking company. It was there, I found the love of my life…as far as my sweet tooth is concerned.
So back to today. While mixing up a batch of biscottis, I ran out of Hershey’s Cocoa and opened a new container. After I popped the batch into the oven, I began to wash up. I’m big on recycling, so I flipped over the Hershey container while washing it out, not expecting to see a “2”.
A “2”, as any of you fellow recyclers out there know, indicates that the container can be recycled (at least according to the Evansville Recycling center). A lot of companies have switched to using a cheaper plastic but not Hershey…good for you!
As I stood with the container turned upside down, a wave of nostalgia swept over me. When I was little, my mom taught me how to iron by having me iron my dad’s handkerchiefs. For every handkerchief I ironed, she gave me a penny. I didn’t have a bank, so my mom made one for me. She took an empty Hershey’s Cocoa can (metal then, not plastic), flipped it upside down and cut a slit in it. Into that can went all of my pennies.
One day I was eating Frosted Flakes cereal and on the back of the box was a special offer. If you saved some box tops and sent in some money (I don’t remember how many tops or how much money), you would receive a cloth, stuffed Tony the Tiger.
My mom opened the Hershey can bank, using a butter knife to pry off the round, metal lid and I counted out my money. I had enough…I was so excited!!
Off went the money and the box tops. I waited anxiously…until at last my Tony the Tiger arrived. You know…I still have him!
I remember saving money in that Hershey can for other things…but none topped my Tony the Tiger. As I stood holding the can this morning, I thought of all the good things I had made and had made for me through the years using Hershey’s cocoa.
The chocolate gravy, poured over hot biscuits, that my grandmother and mother made…that I now make each Christmas morning (or whenever Derek & Brittany are in town.) My brother, Jim, used to call me and make me walk him through the recipe every time he made it.
The home-made hot chocolate that my mom made and I learned to make at a very early age. I remember being in Home Ec in school and having to make hot cocoa. I got a B on it because the teacher said I didn’t follow the recipe she had given us, as was the assignment. She could tell I didn’t follow it, because she said mine tasted better. I would make it for friends after we hiked through the woods on a snowy day or had a snowball fight with my brothers. My boys enjoyed inviting their friends in on a cold day, like today, for a cup of hot cocoa as well.
My dad is a big fan of chocolate merenge pie, as is Derek. I’ve tried using Jello Pudding, the cooked kind, but it doesn’t compare to one made from scratch.
I love baking cookies and chocolate crinkles are always a favorite. You mix up the chocolate dough, roll it in powdered sugar and then bake…when it’s done, it looks like snow on a mountain.
So many good treats…so many good memories. All from a little can of cocoa.