You guys just don’t even know. My house wants me to be crazy.
Last night, I got my first good night’s sleep in about four days. Because my house thinks it’s funny.
It started Saturday night, at around midnight. A lone chirp. Something electronic. I waited for it to sound off again, but heard nothing, so I closed my eyes and drifted off.
Twenty minutes have passed, and I’m woken by the sound again. Again, I wait. Again, nothing.
It’s been another 20 minutes or so, and I’ve just dozed off for the third time. This time, I get up and investigate. We have two carbon monoxide detectors, one upstairs and one downstairs, and a smoke detector downstairs. Our home is an open floor plan, with the entire upstairs opening over the rest of the house, so the one smoke detector works for everything. I checked them all. I waited beside each one for the chirp, and yet, each time it sounded, every 20 minutes, it wasn’t any of the detectors. Yes, I sat around for an hour, moving from detector to detector, from 12:30am until 1:30 am, trying to find the source of the chirp.
I gave up and went to bed. I slept fitfully all night as the incessant chirping interrupted my dreams.
The next morning, I vowed to find it. Except IT NEVER MADE A PEEP ALL DAY. Not one. So you can imagine the frustration I felt when I heard a lone chirp at 11:30 that night, as I try to drift off to sleep.
No. This can’t be happening.
I decided to involve the Hubster. We searched and searched and found nothing. We finally pulled all the detectors from the walls, and deactivated the batteries.
Are you even serious right now?! Is this real life? It can’t be. I’m Phoebe on Friends, and I’ve crushed my smoke detector with a shoe and it’s still beeping.
The Hubster is unfazed and goes back to sleep. I lay in bed with the blankets pulled up to my chin, mumbling, and twitching with each chirp.
The next day, through my exhaustion, I notice….NO CHIRPING. Again. My house hates me. It hates me because, again, the chirping is nonexistent all day, and yet it begins again at around midnight that night. I got up and carried all of the detectors out to the garage and buried them in the laundry.
I was desperate. I didn’t even care about our safety.
I tucked myself back into bed, snuggled down, took a deep sigh of relief, and …
I stood outside my bedroom, on the landing overlooking our living room, leaning on the railing, on the verge of tears, desperate to find the source.
I drop my arms, throw my head back, and…
I FOUND IT!
High on the ceiling, at the peak of the room, was another smoke detector. Stupidest place for a smoke detector EVER, but whatever.
One ladder, a twist, a removed battery, and a little maniacal giggling later, I triumphantly went to bed and slept the rest of the night.
Dear smoke detector maker people, TWENTY MINUTES BETWEEN CHIRPS IS NOT A GOOD WAY TO TELL SOMEONE THAT THE BATTERY IS DEAD. It is, however, a quick road to insanity. The end.
Okay, now, about this recipe…I know it’s officially spring, as of today, and all that, but it’s, like, the yuckiest weather ever here today. And it was yesterday, too. And the two days before that, it wasn’t yucky, but it was co-oooold. I think, then, that hot cocoa, spiced up with some cinnamon, is really the perfect thing for me to welcome spring with. Sorry, warm weather people, but you get warm weather, so…yeah. We’re even.
Still have snow? Toes freezing in the wind? Yucky rain pouring down? This drink is for you. Some fresh whipped cream or fluffy marshmallows, a dusting of cinnamon, and some chocolate sprinkles top this cocoa off perfectly.
Cinnamon-Almond Hot Cocoa
Makes 4 8-ounce servings
4 cups milk (or 3 cups milk and 1 cup half and half or heavy cream, for a creamier drink) (soy, almond, or other NDB for vegan/dairy free)
4 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 heaping tablespoons sugar
4 scant tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips (vegan is available)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla (or other extract of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or more, to taste)
Pour milk (and half and half or cream, if using) in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes (optional).
Transfer milk to small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in cocoa, sugar, chocolate chips, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extracts. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking almost constantly, until it just barely begins to lightly boil, about 10 minutes; remove from heat.
Transfer to a fun mug, top with marshmallows or whipped cream, and any other yummy treats you want. Serve hot.
Recipe by Darla