I am sitting alone in my apartment. It is February 12th, 2016, 23:05. It is just a regular winter night. A Friday night. Last year this day was a Thursday night. And it was a night when I was feeling very happy, completely unaware of what was about to come. That moment, that feeling I had was real, although, it wasn’t.
I was baking a surprise cake for one of my best friends; i was smiling, listening to music.. And I was texting. And I was feeling. Good. The next morning I had a slap in my face with a message. Basically, I got dumped. After that everything went downhill so fast that I cannot even remember the whole sequence of events. Remembering all those tonight feels very heavy. So I decided to write about the wonderful women in my life that helped me go through this one year. They are my heroes. And writing about them will help me, one more time.
M, for example, she opened her house and her family to me. She listened to me for days and night while trying to take care of her baby. Or Ş, who held my hand in the emergency room when I was crying. S & T were those two hardcore women who were my friends, my mothers, my confidants. H saved my life. Period. She did. C always listened, listened and listened. The other M tried to cheer me up, make me go out and even though I was beyond any kind of socializing at that time, her efforts were grand. The third M sent me encouraging and warm messages when I was in Turkey, trying to get better. D & B came all the way to where I was staying in Istanbul, because they wanted to share my sorrow. J came into the picture a bit later, after I came back to Helsinki and when the most disastrous times passed, but ever since, she has been my biggest confidant and my closest friend. And R & C, they saved my life, second time; they prevented my depression to go further and made me realize that I was not a bad person, I was not to be blamed.
I know that many of you are getting ready for a romantic day/night with your loved one on 14th. Many of you even bought gifts. And I am hoping that you will have a beautiful day. But this February 14th, think of your beautiful friends too, just like in Finland (February 14th in Finland is “Ystävänpäivä – Friend’s Day”). Remember at least your best friend, and try to give him/her a bit of your time. After all, your significant other must be your good friend too. Find your person. And remind your person that you are there for him/her. And for your “Valentine”: the best gift you can give is your love and honesty.
Honesty is the new romance.
I have two choices now. I can continue to be miserable, or I can just choose to truly live, without fear. And I choose the latter. You know why? Because it’s damn harder than the first choice. And I never went for the easy way.
So, after all that talk… Here is a spicy hot chocolate recipe, Mexican style, for you & your friends. Enjoy it together today! (This recipe was adapted from “The Bojon Gourmet” blog, converted to dairy version.)
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)
(serves 4 people)
(in this recipe, 1 cup = 2.4 dl)
For hot chocolate:
4 tbsp / 30 gr. masa harina (I bought this from Ruohonjuuri. It is dough flour made from maize, and it’s not corn flour. To understand the difference, this article may be helpful: http://joepastry.com/2010/what_s_the_difference_between_corn_meal_/ )
6 tbsp / 60 gr. muscavado sugar (you can find this easily in big K-markets and S-markets)
2 tbsp / 10 gr. cocoa powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or dried chipotle powder, if you find)
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups / 4 dl + 5 tbsp + 1 tsp water (in room temperature)
2 cups / 4 dl + 5 tbsp + 1 tsp milk (I used lactose-free “kevyt maito”, that is light milk)
120 gr. dark chocolate (try to use at least 70% chocolate)
20 gr. cinnamon stick (about 3-4 sticks)
For whipped cream:
1/2 cup + 5 tbsp + 1 tsp / 2 dl. heavy cream (kuohukerma in Finnish)
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate sauce or melted chocolate
Shaved chocolate etc..
1. Inside a pan, put all the ingredients for hot chocolate and whisk a little.
2. Put the pan on medium high heat and constantly stirring, let it boil. Once boiled continue whisking on medium heat, until it is in desired thickness. Set aside to cool just for a few minutes.
3. While hot chocolate is cooling in the pan, make your whipped cream: Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until you get soft peaks.
4. Divide the hot chocolate between mugs or glasses. Top with whipped cream and garnish with melted chocolate and cinnamon sticks. You can also use shaved chocolate or anything else you want. Enjoy! Hyvää ystävänpäivää! Happy Friend’s Day!