Hot Drinks for a Cold Day

One of my favorite treats growing up was my mom's homemade hot chocolate and homemade freshly-squeezed hot lemonade. Nothing warmed you up quicker than having a big mug of one of these hot beverages. It's not something my family splurged on very often which made it even more special.

I think without fail, I burnt the roof of my mouth every single time with both of these hot beverages. For some reason I always wanted to sip the hot lemonade through a straw. Don't try that, you'll scald your mouth.

I grew up in a small house that only had two space heaters. The small bathroom had a small heater and the living room had a bigger heater. Both of them ran on natural gas. These two heaters were expected to warm the entire house and actually did it fairly well. It was a tradition, and still is, to back up to the heater to get warm in the winter. I spent many a cold night standing in front of the heater to get toasty warm and it's always the first thing I do when I go to visit my mother in the winter.

Simple Recipe for Homemade Hot Chocolate

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Handful of miniature marshmallows or whipped topping (optional)

Place the cocoa powder, sugar and milk into a saucepan, mix thoroughly and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously. Do not allow the mixture to boil. As you continue to stir it you'll notice steam bubbles along the edge of the pan. When this happens, remove the pan from the heat and serve. Top with marshmallows or whipped topping if desired.

Simple Recipe for Hot Lemonade

  • 8 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 cups of water

Clean the lemons and place them in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes. Remove them and roll them firmly on the counter. Both of these procedures help to loosen the pulp from the lemon and allow you to juice them easier and get more juice from them. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and set aside.

Mix the sugar and 5 cups of water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the squeezed lemon juice into the saucepan stirring it in. My mother always added the actual lemon pieces as well just in case she might have missed some juice. (That's why I had you clean them). This is optional of course.

My mother always felt it was necessary to bring it to a boil before removing it from the heat. It's probably not necessary and is probably the reason I always burnt my tongue on it.

Serve and watch for the seeds.

This Dearborn heater is almost identical to the one at my mother's house that I grew up around.
This Dearborn heater is almost identical to the one at my mother's house that I grew up around.

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16 comments

Jane@CM profile image

Jane@CM 6 years ago

Love homemade cocoa!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Who doesn't, Jane? LOL I agree.


franki79 6 years ago

I've never heard of hot lemonade,,, for some reason this sounds oddly interesting. Maybe I'll get a wild hair up my you know what and try this. Hot chocolate rocks


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

My dad always asked my mom to make hot lemonade when he thought he was coming down with a cold. I think you'll like it Franki79. :)


K Partin profile image

K Partin 6 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

Hey KCC great hub, I love my hot chocolate. :)


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks K Partin! Me tooooooo!


M Burger profile image

M Burger 6 years ago from Florida

We used to make hot jello. Just add a tablespoon of the jello powder to a mug of hot water. Its really very good!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hmmmm that sounds interesting, M Burger...I might have to try that. Thanks for sharing!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Nothing like a hot drink on a cold day! Thanks for the tips!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks Habee! Wish I wasn't too lazy to make myself one right now!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Hot lemonade sounds delicious!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

It is very good, Steph! Thanks for stopping by!


Meghann 5 years ago

Coming down with a cold and was looking for a recipe for hot lemonade. The picture of that old Dearborn heater just brought back a wave of memories. It's the exact one from my childhood at my Grandmother's house. She passed away last December 26th. So strange what simple reminders can do for the heart. Thank you.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Sorry to hear you're not feeling well, Meghann. Hope the hot lemonade helps! Glad the photo of the heater brought back memories for you like it did for me. It's very much like the one my mom still has and uses. It's so nice to back up to on a cold day. Hold on to those fond memories of your grandmother. The upcoming holidays must be tough for you. (Remember, watch out for the seeds. *wink*)


electricsky profile image

electricsky 5 years ago from North Georgia

Thanks for sharing your memories.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks electricsky!

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