Your parents are always with you even when they’re gone. Yesterday it was this:
Growing up, my mother would make us hot chocolate — with hot milk, of course — as part of hardy breakfast (usually with a bowl of Sugar Smacks or Cocoa Puffs). She’d set it down next to our places along with two slices of toasted, buttered white bread that had been cut into three strips. We’d dunk the strips into the cocoa, and the butter would leave a buttery film on the surface of the cocoa. And the dunked toast came out hot, sweet and delicious.
I don’t know why I thought of it yesterday — maybe it was getting a hot chocolate mix in my Christmas stocking. Inspired, I asked Twitter whether this dunking phenomenon was universal or simply my Pennsylvania mother’s invention. Twitter being Twitter, it did its crazy thing.
Never heard of that but my husband grew up spreading butter on toasted frosted PopTarts. Seems similar.
— Caroline Spencer (@cclaytonr) December 27, 2020
My wife slathered butter on a honey bun then microwaves it to melt the butter.
— Brian Payne (@framhammer) December 28, 2020
And that conversation went on for a while involving even Texas Pete and Brunswick stew. Don’t ask.
So I Googled hot chocolate and toast, and lo and behold, it was a thing once. Food.com even has a recipe, which is written in such a way that even a journalist would enjoy it.
- toast your bread.
- butter it.
- prepare hot chocolate.
- Dunk you toast in the hot chocolate.
- eat and enjoy.
Back on Twitter, my friend Joe Killian got to the core of the matter.
My grandfather used to do this.
— JoekillianPW (@JoekillianPW) December 28, 2020
I’m old enough to be a grandfather, but I’m not. to my shame, I didn’t pass this culinary tradition on to my children. But I love holding onto the memory of it, and more important, the memory of my sweet mother.