Friday, December 9, 2005

Mexican Hot Chocolate

When I walked home tonight, a wind had picked up and I got pretty cold without my sweatshirt. (It had been pretty warm during the day.) I wanted to make hot chocolate with the chocolate I bought at the mercado, but I thought that perhaps there was more to making it "correctly," Mexican style.

Sofí was in the kitchen, like always. I asked her how to make the hot chocolate. Just heat some milk, throw in some chunks of chocolate, and stir, she said. She got out a pitcher-shaped aluminum (not "aluminium," like my housemate Jill says) pot and a very strange stirring stick. It had a cogged, spinning wheel at the end, perpendicular to the handle. I had no idea why it was shaped that way, but I didn't ask.

Sofí poured out one mug's worth of milk into the pot. I offered her some too, but she declined. She told me to just toss in the chocolate in the disk-shaped pieces it was already in; I didn't need to chop them up more, like Forrest's crazy abuela chocolate. I stirred the mixture with the funny kitchen implement and realized what the cogged wheel was for: it scrapes along the bottom edges of the pan. Surprisingly useful. Might have to pick one up before I leave.

Per Sofí's instructions, I added five disks to the pot (she was going by the liquid's color). I sat and watched the end of a soap and the beginning of the news with her. Some kidnapped people — including a family — had just been found, and their accused kidnappers (a Mexican and his French girlfriend) were arrested. They were doing the kidnappings for ransom money, not for political reasons like in the book I'm reading.

Anyhow. It's funny how the languages are mixing in my head now. Sometimes when I'm just thinking to myself, words will come up in Spanish instead of English. Or when I'm writing, it will try to switch into Spanish mid-sentence. Or when I'm writing down an English word, its Spanish traslation will superimpose itself in my "mind's ear," the way Qwerty keyboards are schizophrenically Dvorak too, for me. I'm taking it as a good sign. ;)