Wednesday, October 22, 2008


On river trips, after a long day of rafting, fall starts showing colder evenings and hot beverages warm the inner core of your body. Hot soups, coffee, tea and hot chocolate are the best drinks after paddling all day. How can you provide this easily? Especially hot chocolate? On rafting trips during fall and winter, you are probably limited in carrying much gear. This isn't summer rafting where giant gear boats carry everything. No, it's probably just you and a few friends on the river paddling in kayaks and small rafts.

Hot chocolate is a winner. Hot, sweet and everyone loves it. Save the carton of milk and leave it at home. Here's a quick way to provide hot chocolate without the mess and cooking time. Keep paddling & be safe!

large pot of water (make as much as you can to provide hot tea, coffee, soup)
instant hot chocolate mix (yum, Ghirardelli)
pinch of instant expresso (optional; omit if for children)
chocolate chips (think goodies for kids; peppermint candy is a winner)
marshmallows (mini or regular)
mugs and/or large metal container

Bring the water to a boil using the campfire or a propane stove. Be careful that you keep all children from the area. Cordon it off using a barrier; table, coolers, etc. Split the water into several containers for use for coffee, tea or instant soup. In large mugs or a large container (metal is recommended), pour the remaining hot water. Add instant chocolate mix. We like Ghirardelli brand for the taste of homemade hot chocolate. Add cinnamon to your liking, and a pinch of instant expresso (optional).

Pour into mugs. Allow the kids and adults to add their own chocolate chips and marshmallows. You can have a pinch of expresso for the adults to add, too.

Instant, but oh so good! And after paddling all day on the white water rafting trip, believe me... hot chocolate never tasted so good.

Variations: add peppermint candies (place in a ziplock baggie, cover with a towel and pound it once with a rock) & add to the hot chocolate.

Variations: you already have the hot water... add coffee grinds to your specifications (more = very strong coffee!) into a covered coffee pot with the hot water. Let the grinds settle... voila, hot coffee. Add instant hot chocolate to each large mug and add coffee. This little trick will surprise you. Incredibly yummy. Ahhhh... go ahead and add a bit of chocolate chips and marshmallows. Desert on the river!

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