When I cook or bake for feast days I like to tap into the culture of my family, and the saint being celebrated, as much as I can. I do this because I want our liturgical living to be intentional and authentic to who we are as a family. I also want to put in the extraordinary effort that liturgical living at times asks of us in imitation of the highest liturgical form, the Mass, which also requires great work.
I have found from experience, that the most memorable traditions come from the instances when everyone gets involved and pitches in to express joy for a feast day. My family used to come together around Christmastime every year to make hot chocolate, sit around the table, and just enjoy one another. I'm sure your family has these experiences too, and if not, it's never too late to start!
For the feast of St. Juan Diego, I went back to my own family's hispanic cultural traditions, so we are going to make Mexican hot chocolate. This recipe does require a bit more attention than sprinkling cocoa powder into warm milk. However, I appreciate that, as it not only embodies some of the principles of liturgical theology that I mentioned earlier, but it's also darn good.
If you really want to make this in a truly authentic way, you could purchase a molinillo in advance which is used to make Mexican hot chocolate frothy. The texture is something that you might not be used to, since it is packed with spices it tends to be more grainy. To achieve the richer taste, you are going to use a more bitter chocolate which will harmonize beautifully with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and my secret ingredient.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4 Servings
4 cups milk
3 oz Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Secret Ingredient: 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper