21 December 2011

Operation Smile, Chocolate Style

I've begun to feel challenged, lately, to find more opportunities to smile with my neighbors. A quick wave as I drive by or a chat at the mailbox are easy to do. But in the wintertime, when we are all clustered indoors, we see each other very little and it's too blasted cold outside to really visit on the sidewalk over recycling bins.

But yet, I've had this nudge. Reach out. More. Keep it simple. Show you care. Bring a smile.

I can do this.

So this year we mixed up a ridiculously easy hot chocolate recipe that slaps together faster than a bejeweled Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye musical number. (Have you seen "Sisters"?? Watch the ladies first and then watch those boys. One of my favorite old-timey movie scenes ever).

Once made, we spooned into containers, wrapped in string and tied on a little note. The girls and I delivered small tubs of hot chocolate mix to our frosty and hermited cul-de-sac. And you know what we got? A lot of smiles.

We pray for opportunities to show His love, right? Here's a nice, simple, chocolately one that's a sure-fire winner.

• Pass-It-On Hot Chocolate Mix •

8 c. powdered sugar (1 c. more if you like it on the sweeter side)
4 c. cocoa
10 c. powdered milk (or one 8qt. box)
4 t. salt
8 t. cornstarch
a couple good shakes of cayenne pepper

Mix all together, spoon into air-tight containers or baggies. 2-3 T per mug of hot water or milk.

**Takes me two batches to make up enough to pass out to neighbors and friends.


  1. What a thoughtful gift! Where did you get the candy cane striped string?

  2. I'm smiling as I imagine you and the girls making happy deliveries!

  3. Anon-
    There is a link to the place I ordered the string on this post:

    It lasts for-ever!

  4. That's one of my favorite movie moments as well. So funny! And such a wonderful movie.