31 March 2008

Hot Cocoa Ho-ness

Hot cocoa is a Cheek chilly weather ritual recently renewed. Had an "aha" moment when I first scrounged a few years back to whip up a cup from Hershey's cocoa powder, and recognized it as my Grandma's hot chocolate. A strong, provocative memory - as she died when I was six.

I believe I've perfected the ritual of assembling hot cocoa goodness. Follow these steps for a single cup:

1. Select your cocoa with care. I choose a powdered mix for convenience, as I ain't gonna get all Martha Stewart-y and select solid chocolate. Good on ya if that's your druther. Pick a powder of substance. No individual packages. And if you call Swiss Miss good stuff, stop reading now and get a life. Darker is better. Free trade if you can find it. Shown here is Trader Joe's Sipping Chocolate.

2. Put a cup of milk (8 ounces, or 1/4 litre for you metric types) in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and nuke on high in the microwave for 2 min 45 sec, or until it bubbles up. Be vigilant until you know your machine's time for boiling milk, as cleaning up the boiled over mess is a pain in the a**. Use at least 1 percent milk - skim milk is not worthy.

3. While the milk is cookin', measure out the recommended powder into an oversized cup. If the 'structions call for less than a cup o' milk, do the math and increase the ratio of powder to balance with 1 cup o' milk. Yes, you may have to deal with fractions for the first time since high school. Build a bridge and get over it.

4. Poor enough of the pipin' hot milk to just cover the powder, then mix thoroughly.

5. Slowly pour the rest of the milk into the cup, stirring constantly.

6. Add copious amounts of whipped cream, and top with your sprinkle of choice (mine is nutmeg).

The goal is to mitigate the hot cocoa suck factor of wasted goodness at the bottom of the cup. When made as directed above, your quaffing will yield no suck factor.

The fickle Atlanta spring has me guessing as to which day will bring the season's last hot cocoa experience, but the blooms about town hint that it will be soon.

28 March 2008

07 March 2008

T.S.F.U.R.T.M.: Killing Hawks

An article I read this morning on CNN.com yields the opportunity to add another acronym to things Cheek. That would be:

That Sh*t's F*cked Up Right There, Man (T.S.F.U.R.T.M.)

Article in question describes a pro golfer who whacked a ball, not into a gopher hole, but into the nose of a red-shouldered hawk because it had the brazen audacity to squawk when f*cktard golpher was filming a segment for TV. The hawk died.

Who the f*ck does the golfing f*cktard think he is? Different story if a random distance shot had nailed a bird in flight, but this f*cktard shot over and over to nail this hawk. And the crew and cronies stood around and didn't do sh*t to stop the f*cktard.

I have the unfortunate experience of becoming recently familiar with Antisocial Personality Disorder. This golfing f*cktard is making my a**hole quiver - and not in a good way - over his sense of entitlement and power over the fate of living things. Life is not a game, and it's certainly more valuable than this f*cktard's golf game or TV show. T.S.F.U.R.T.M.

04 March 2008

Speak and Write Gooder, all y'all!

"We owe much to our mother tongue. It is through speech and writing that we understand each other and can attend to our needs and differences. If we don't respect and honor the rules of English, we lose our ability to communicate clearly and well. In short, we invite mayhem, misery, madness, and inevitably even more bad things that start with letters other than M. (Seriously—sort of. But it is true that misplaced commas have cost companies millions of dollars. Murderers have been identified based on idiosyncratic grammar errors. And even the oft-maligned semicolon has changed the outcome of court cases.)"

Read and learn more at NationalGrammarDay.com. I'm *so* tempted to buy the T-shirt!

Kernan the Grammarian also offers you a wonderful verb that you've likely been *doing* for some time, but you didn't know there was a word for it: prepone, brought to you by the wonderful Anu Garg and the folks at A Word a Day (A.W.A.D.).