Friday, August 21, 2015

Sweetheart Cocoa and The Happiest of Endings

Photo courtesy of Ed Dubiel

Cari Dubiel, super librarian, author and co-host of the ABC Book Review podcast is here today to match her short story, The Happiest of Endings with the perfect drink. You can read her short story here

This short story, published in Kings River Life this past June, was born from a podcast. On an episode of The ABC Book Review earlier this year, we were discussing romance and relationships. My co-host, Beth, mentioned that her dream was to die at the same time as her husband. She’d seen articles about people who die together in nursing homes, usually hours apart, and she wanted to go that way. I had to laugh, since I’d never considered that as my dream ending. I’m married too, but I always figured one of us would go first, and the other one would have to carry on alone.

I’m definitely not as romantic as Beth is because the banter gave me an idea. What if a couple died together in a nursing home, like that happiest of endings, but it was under mysterious circumstances? We always assume that couples who die together do so because of grief or maybe a shared fatigue of life. But even that seems odd. What if someone arranged for a couple to die together? Since the story needed to revolve around Father’s Day, I created a retired detective and his lonely daughter. The elderly man is the only one in the nursing home who finds anything suspicious about the whole thing, and even the daughter questions his sanity. But they piece the puzzle together all the same.

My drink of choice for this read is Sweetheart Cocoa. It has all the innocence of a life well spent together, with a hint of something a little more dangerous.

Sweetheart Cocoa:
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Strawberry flavoring syrup to taste (such as Torani)
  • 2 oz. spiced rum or marshmallow vodka

Put milk in a saucepan and heat on stove top. Whisk together cocoa powder and sugar. When milk is warm, add cocoa mixture, vanilla, and alcohol to the mixture. Pour into a mug. Add Torani syrup to taste. 

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