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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

16 Tasks of the Festive Season - St. Martin's and Newtonmas Tasks (Squares #3 and 15)

I'm knocking off several things in this post, because I fell like I've exceeded my maximum daily post limit today, and they're all related, so it just makes sense.  


First, for the Newtonmas square, I made myself a hot chocolate.  Sadly, this version is alcohol free, unless you count the vanilla extract.  And I totally do.  It's also my own invention, and it's important to know that, since I can't normally function in a kitchen without exact instructions. If you're curious enough to try this yourself, you'll likely want to make adjustments (MT is not a fan of this, lol).


I use milk, Dutch cocoa (not Dutch-process, just... cocoa I bought in Holland), a wee bit of sugar and vanilla and a giant wallop of cinnamon honey.



I totally forgot to take a picture of the ingredients before I blended them but I use two dessert spoons of cocoa, a generous pinch of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon-ish of vanilla and an overloaded teaspoon full of the cinnamon honey.  


Someone gave me a milk frother/steamer years ago and it's the best. present. ever.  Once the milk is steamed I add a couple of big spoonfuls to the stuff in the cup and blend it until the honey melts and the cocoa is smooth.  Then I add the rest of the milk and froth. Obsidian Blue inspired me with her snowflake marshmallows, so I dug through the pantry and found some gold sugar to sprinkle on top (although I forgot to do it until after I took that pic - you can see it in the pics below).


This leads me to my task for the second square, St. Martin's Day and also to the fulfilment of a request from Themis-Athena regarding a picture of the old coal burning fireplace in my bedroom and the unusual tiles around it.  This part of my house dates to 1900, so PLEASE keep that in mind when you see the tiles.  :)


Take a picture of the book you’re currently reading, next to a glass of wine, or the drink of your choice, with or without a fire in the background.   No fire, just the fireplace and an appropriately named book I'm currently reading.



And the fireplace:


The lighting is never great in our bedroom anyway, and the grate was removed long ago, but the fireplace itself is only about 6 inches deep; just enough to fit a small supply of coal.