It's officially gas-station hot chocolate season

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Let the hot cocoa flow.
  • Let the hot cocoa flow.

When Mother Nature decides to spit freezing rain down upon me, I know only two ways to cope -- salting my steps and stopping for gas-station hot chocolate.

After a yearlong layoff, I inevitably fail to stop holding the button before the cup is full and hot cocoa runs freely into the catch basin beneath. I burn my tongue on the first sip because I don't wait for it to cool. And in truth, the overly sugary drink isn't particularly good hot chocolate. But for me, it wouldn't be winter without a to-go cup of cocoa.

Forget the Winter Solstice or Daylight Saving. We mark time by what we eat. Chefs focus on using seasonal ingredients, so why don't we focus on the dirty cravings of each season. In spring, I'll buy and eat every Cadbury Egg I see. Summer means that no lemonade stand or state fair booth can be passed if it's selling yellow gold. Fall heralds the return of chili, whether it's courtesy of Wendy's or my stove top.

And winter? Well, that's when I finally cave and make sure to always have a treacly hot chocolate in my cup holder. It's the opposite of hitting the gym. I'm prepping for the drinking chocolate and oversized marshmallows of Christmas morning. With frost on the ground and a cold car waiting for you each morning, what's your gas-station hot chocolate?

[Image via Flickr: photo_mind]

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