Friday, October 16, 2009

Healthy, Chocolaty Way to Celebrate Sweetest Day

Sweetest Day is the third Saturday of October and while it is primarily celebrated in the North Midwest and East of the USA, your Chocolate Priestess thinks that shouldn't stop you tomorrow from telling someone you care about them.  Sisters and Brothers, you don't need to make this a big spending spree to tell someone you care but here's a little history on the holiday and my suggestion for what you might do to celebrate.

Retail Confections, according to this Wikipedia article (for what ever value you give that) are trying to promote this as a day to treat the man you love.  We can see this romantic bent to the holiday on this web article but both articles give more historical information as well.  Again historical facts tell of a very strong confectioner connection with either the holiday started by a candy company employee in 1921 or by 12 Cleveland candy makers in 1922. This first publicized Sweetness Day was aided by candy handouts from two well known actress but they didn't give out sweets to their boyfriends.  No, instead Ann Pennington, former Ziegfeld star turned movie actor, gave out treats to newspaper boys and Theda Bara, stage turned movie star, visited Cleveland hospitals.

Today though the holiday is spreading as people leave the Great Lakes and Northeast for other regions of the USA.  While I'm sure you'll see this holiday promoted as a time to give out candy, I have another suggestion, Sisters and Brothers.

Sit down tomorrow with someone you care about and share a glass or cup of low fat or fat free chocolate milk.  You'll get the sweetness and the cocoa plus you'll get all the healthy proteins, vitamins, and minerals of milk.  You can pick any type of milk but below I'm going to reveal the brand I'll use tomorrow to say "I care about you" to someone I appreciate.

A while back, Sisters and Brothers, I did a product review of Dean’s “Over the Moon” fat free chocolate milk.  The folks from Dean’s contacted me and sent me a few coupons for free half gallons of the product so I’m revealing it to you now as a "Sacrament".  I’m going to look at it two ways.  First as is, straight from the carton to my body.  Second I’m going to heat some and see how it works as a hot drink.

This glass of milk smelled very chocolaty when I poured it and it looked well mixed.  If you’ve ever made chocolate milk from a powdered mix or syrup, you know that those added ingredients can easily separate and settle to the bottom of the glass.  This didn’t happen to Dean’s even when I let it set in my glass for about half an hour and it is exactly what I expect from purchased chocolate milk.  It has a very smooth and cocoa flavor but it’s also creamy which is a bit surprising since it is made from skim milk.  Now, your Chocolate Priestess is used to skim milk but I do admit creamy is not a word I’d apply to it.  I’m not sure what they did with this to keep it creamy but also fat free, but it tastes really good.  Of course drinking it makes no sound other than if I decide to be a bit rude and slurp really loudly.  If you share this on Sweetest Day or any other day you can use two straws.

Next I put some of this milk into one of my mugs and heated it up in our microwave for 1 minute on 80% power -- that was too long or too high still becaues it was too hot to drink for a few minutes.  It frothed right up tough and gave off a good cocoa smell.  Heating it up did dampen the cocoa taste, that's something I've always noticed with a lot of hot chocolates.  You have to over do the chocolate in it to get the same flavor as you get when it's cold.  But this did not have the problem of separation that I often get in other hot cocoas you can make at home from mixes.  No, the chocolate and the milk stayed thoroughly mixed.

If that sounds like a good healthy want to tell someone you think they are sweet on Sweetness Day, check your local stores for Dean's "Over the Moon" chocolate milk.  Or check here to find stores and offers nearest you.

In other news, we have our first entrant into the 2009 Halloween Challenge in the category of "Best Baked Halloween Treat 2009" -- this is The Cookie Sandwich Company who has sent  5 varieties of their cookies, 3 of these chocolate.  You will see a "Special Sacrament" with them next week so you have time to order if you like what you read.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

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