As I am writing today’s post, Typhoon Ruby (International Code Name: Hagupit) is raging throughout the Visayas and even we in Manila have not been spared. Public storm signal #1 was raised over the National Capital Region last night at 11 PM – and stronger signals remain hoisted over much of the Central Philippines, including the provinces of Samar and Leyte, both of which were ravaged by the devastating Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan last year.
The best course of action is to stay indoors at this point in time and keep one’s self posted with regard to news updates on the radio or on television (if, of course, the power holds out).
Hot chocolate, in my personal opinion, is one of the best ways by which bad news can be made a little easier to deal with. If you’ve the time to spare or if you’re calmer than most people, you’d make it from scratch: whisking together milk, dark chocolate, and spices over medium heat till that subtle alchemy transforms those ingredients into a soothing drink. But, if you’re too wired to do any work in the kitchen at the risk of burning yourself – or your house! – then instant mixes are fine.
Goya, that old local stalwart, has the Everyday brand of hot chocolate mixes. There’s plain hot chocolate, chocolate with marshmallows, and the double chocolate with cinnamon.
It’s surprisingly rich for an instant mix: dark, smoky, a slightly bitter edge softened somewhat by the nip of cinnamon added to it. Cold weather comfort, indeed.
In the meantime, we huddle before our televisions or tablets, radios or laptops, and pray that the storm gives up and finally lets our people go.