Deer Hunting and Homemade Hot Chocolate
Of course I had to bring refreshments as well, and I’m glad I did. My friend Kent and I sat in a grove of trees for an hour and a half, watching, whispering and drinking my homemade hot chocolate with shots of Belle Meade Bourbon on the side. Being warmed from the inside is just as important as being warm on the outside.
Then a deer appeared. And before Kent shot it, I remembered something Chris Hastings, chef/owner of the Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, said when he visited for the Southern Chefs Series. He said he approaches animals with reverence and shoots for sustenance, not for sport. So I said a prayer for the spirit of the deer, thanking it for what it would give us.
Kent dressed the deer and we headed back to the truck: Him with a carcass and me with my picnic basket full of cold-weather cocktails.
4 cups whole milk
1 cup Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips
2-4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch or two of cayenne
Pinch of kosher salt
Place milk, cacao chips and sugar in a saucepan and heat to medium until chips are melted and milk is hot. Remove and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.