Monday, December 20, 2010

Keeping warm from the inside out

For years I enjoyed making Russian tea and hot chocolate for the Norton, Va., Christmas parade. Hundreds of cold parade watchers would warm up inside The Coalfield Progress newspaper office and enjoy a cup of something warm, while the floats rolled past. But it has been since 2005 that I worked at the newspaper and this year the weather was so unpredictable that the Norton parade was cancelled.

But I still enjoy making these drink mixes for my family and friends. They are super simple and make great gifts. The Russian tea recipe using a favorite drink mix from the 1960s, Tang. And the hot cocoa mix comes from a church cookbook in Wise County, Va. The addition of coffee creamer and powdered milk makes this recipe, which is blended with hot water, particularly creamy.

Consider making a batch of either or both. They are great gifts and guaranteed to please a crowd.

Russian tea

3 cups sugar
2 cups Tang
1 cup instant tea mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix thoroughly. Add three heaping teaspoons to a mug of hot water.

Best-ever hot chocolate

Two 10-ounces boxes powdered milk
16-ounce bag powdered sugar
1 large jar coffee creamer
1 large container Nestle Quik

Mix ingredients thoroughly. Add 2-3 heaping teaspoons to a mug of hot water. Enjoy!

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