The Weird Thing Is

13 Jan

…I don’t seem to be lactose intolerant any more. And with that definitive statement, I shall begin this rather random post about rather intriguing observations I’ve made over the last couple of weeks. Having hated milk all my childhood because really, the stench of plain hot milk is incomparable to anything else; forget something a child likes waking up to and having to force down their throat. But it was something I woke up to every.single.day what with having a mom who didn’t let even the last drop pass without a glare and a threat, much to my despair and anguish. These sentiments are very real, and not as dramatic as they sound. The drama that unfolded every morning as mom brought me that dreaded mug (and not cup, mind you) of horridness was another thing altogether. Of course my pleas and threats and tears and wails and sulk sessions fell on deaf ears, but I did try my very best every single day. I really did hate milk. And if it was milk that had even the tiniest flecks of malai (cream) floating about that my myopic but supersonic-when-it-comes-to-scanning-things-I-hate eyes caught, then the drama was just more than two-fold.

Making it easy for my mom to force-feed me something I despised just wasn’t something I was willing to do. So I had decided that if I had to have that ghastly stuff, it had to be of a certain temperature – not too hot that I couldn’t gulp it down in one shot, not luke warm which left clumps of any additive flowing up against my teeth thus making me gag, not that hot where malai would form easily, not too cold where the said additive wouldn’t dissolve easily – and of a certain colour – not too diluted in nature to indicate that enough of the additive had been added – and so on. My, the list was endless. And I’m sure my mom hated me every morning but I couldn’t care less because I really wanted her to feel the hate I felt for doing something so painful to me. You know?

Talking about additives, there had to be Bournvita or Boost. Milo and Complan were the last resorts. Horlicks wouldn’t do because it didn’t change the colour of the milk. Anything chocolate-y in milk was not entertained; therefore out went drinking chocolate, chocolate Horlicks (if it existed back then) and the rest. Tea and coffee were forbidden and there was no point going down that road. So Bournvita had to work just fine, except I expected it to make the colour of milk a nice, dark, rich brown; which it never did no matter how much mom insisted she’d put those two spoons in my mug. I began despising Bournvita because how could something taste so nice by itself (and something I could have so many spoons of) and so horrid with milk? Milk was the ultimate culprit. I even began trying to throw milk into the kitchen drain when mom wasn’t watching me but then guess who got caught almost instantly? It was all a scheme, a lie, a trap that I couldn’t find a way out of. Growing up has its difficulties if you’re the fussy type, you know? If you hate/hated milk or something else just as much, you’d agree.

But because this routine of having a glass of milk before leaving for school had become the norm, it soon became a habit that fell into place almost automatically and without much fuss as my school years melted into college years. The mother had succeeded and something I had once hated with all my might and still cannot have by itself, was now a supplement I couldn’t do without. Leaving home without that mug of milk made my day feel incomplete and so the tradition continued till a few years ago when I realised that I couldn’t digest the stuff any more. I must admit I was heartbroken. The turns that life takes are also very intriguing. I couldn’t have milk any longer and there really was no other substitute in my mind. Also, having grown up on dairy made soy products feel almost fake; and they still do. Soy milk may be a healthier option but it’s not the same as dairy milk.

Milk was now consumed sneakily in the form of filter coffee and tea. Of course curd wasn’t a problem at all, so it was all sorted; though incompletely so. And then this happened; as is my Instagram feed proof of:

IMG_9137

Hot Chocolate

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Chocolate Horlicks

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Hot Chocolate Again!

I’ve been having milk all over again once I moved cities; something I’ve never heard of within the same country and something I embraced with my arms wide open. The joy of being able to have a mug of delightful hot chocolate is just unparalleled. I’m not really sure how this happened but of course the obvious answer lies in the fact that either whatever’s being added to the milk in Bangalore has made it unsuitable for consumption to many or that the folks here are doing something that isn’t making milk difficult to digest. I’m not sure; but this was a shocker! I never imagined that this could even be. Of course I immediately called mom and told her of this; much to our delight. Do note though that plain hot milk is still not being consumed because that is still some horribly obnoxious stuff. Also notice the piles of additives so there’s not even the slightest hints of white. Haha!

So mothers, do not give in to your kids who hate milk. The child in me has begun screaming at my hypocritical self, but what has to be done must be done and without much attention. After having successfully vomited the milk I was given one morning and having feigned sickness, I was still made to have another mug to compensate for what I had done. So may the force be with you, unless of course your baby cannot digest or tolerate the stuff medically. The rest are all excuses to get away from something that is essential; even kids know that. The silver lining does show up eventually; even if it’s decades later! Hahaha.

As for the hot chocolate that I make; I’ve been asked about its recipe more than once. Here it is, though I promise it’s the simplest and most fuss-free preparation ever.

To every mug of milk (yes, I can’t have anything lesser than a mug), I add a generous heap of cocoa powder because I genuinely believe that the drinking chocolate we get here is a) fake and b) too sweet for my liking. So heat that portion of milk to which you add as much cocoa powder as you deem fit. Add sugar to your preference and a slight scattering of salt. Mix and you’re set. I do not prefer sweet hot chocolates, but if you do, then you’re good to go with drinking chocolate. Also, if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, you can add a touch of cream or liqueur or marshmallows or whatever it is that floats your boat. I don’t add any of these because I love my hot chocolate to taste of pure chocolate and not of anything else.

And if you’re feeling wicked, try some dark rum. :) Plus cookies are always, always welcome. It’s hot chocolate, after all. :)

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