A cozy Sunday morning with hot chocolate

It is that time of the year when the days are much shorter and the working days are much longer than usual. The Swedish town I live in lays at 60° North, so it does not feature the phenomenon of the polar night (when around the winter solstice the sun doesn’t come up over the horizon at all), but still experiences quite an interesting shortage of daylight hours compared to more southern locations at this time of the year.

To be precise, we are in that couple of weeks when the sun rises after 9:00 and sets before 15:00.

sun-and-moon-falun-december
A screenshot from yr.no, my favourite weather forecast website since my Oslo days.

As every teacher out there knows, December is also that time of the year when work is overloaded with end of term assignments and grades, and this is what has been keeping me incredibly busy for the past two weeks. It’s been a rollercoaster of a term, but I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to meet so many new students and get them to the end of this full and amazing term. The last week of school will be non academic and more fun-oriented, and then we will all be off until January 9th for a well deserved Christmas break. I look back at all we have accomplished with my students and I couldn’t be more proud. I am blessed with an immensely rewarding profession.

And now that all my grading is officially done, I am finally enjoying a pyjamas weekend far from any lesson planning. Part of it is devoted to pre-Christmas housekeeping (cleaning, paying bills, putting up last-minute Christmas lights) before I leave for Poland next week. The other part is dedicated to enjoying the good old art of doing nothing and just letting time pass. For this lazy part I made myself some hot chocolate.hot-chocolate-winter-2Lazy Sunday hot chocolate (1 portion):

  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan combine 200 ml of milk, the cocoa, sugar and cinnamon. Set on high heat and stir well in order to properly dissolve the cocoa powder and combine all the ingredients. I have used a small hand whisk to ease the procedure. When combined, stir in 1 tbsp of vanilla extract (mine is home-made and vodka based). I have chosen to use dark muscovado sugar for its liquorice notes, I figured it would pair well with the cinnamon and vanilla scents. Any brown sugar could do the job, anyway. I removed my hot chocolate from the heat just before it reached boiling temperature, when it was pretty steamy. To cool it down a little and tone down the thick cocoa flavour I added 50 ml of cold milk at this point. Optionally, some extra milk can be foamed aside and added on top of the chocolate, to make it extra fancy and milky. (It’s what I did after the photos.)lazy sunday hot chocolateI enjoyed my mid-morning lazy break with a couple of gingerbread cookies on the side. Those were made on Friday with two of my classes. Or rather, those are a few of the dozens of gingerbread cookies that were made on Friday during my lessons, and that my students kindly let me take 🙂hot-chocolate-winter-3On Wednesday I’ll be going to work with my luggage, as after school I’ll head to the airport. I’ll be spending the night at the Jumbo Stay Hostel in Arlanda and catch my flight to Krakow the following morning. It’s been over a year and a half since the last time I visited Poland and it feels like forever. I’m looking forward to meeting my family there and to paying a visit to a few favourite places of mine from the days when Krakow was my home. Some Krakow-themed posts will follow so stay tuned for updates from my favourite Polish city.

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