While I was stirring the boiling porridge with my ladle to make it thoroughly mixed into the kettle, it intuitively reminds me of my Lola Abe when she was still active in handling the kitchen chores. I can’t remember that there was a lapse of delicious hot chocolate in every meal served on the table at breakfast every time I had the chance to eat together with them.
Beside at their house in Tago, there were two luxuriant Cacao trees that had been producing cocoa barely enough for them for a myriad of years. Unfortunately, it’s gone now and the luxuriant Cacao tree has been replaced by an array of chicken pens.
Every time the Cacao tree will bear its fruit and eventually turns into a yellow orange, we would know right away that it is already ripe. We would heartily chew it then the sweet white outer layer of its seeds like cotton until it’s completely gone.
My Lola Abe then would wash the chewed seeds from the tap water and utterly laid it freely into the piercing heat of the sun using an intricate woven oblong bamboo tray until it becomes totally dry. Once the seeds are dried up, she would roast it by wriggling occasionally using a pan and a long handle turner until it would becomes blacken its color. She would then crack open its hulls by squeezing her hand and grind the polished seeds into the grounding machine. The smoothly ground seeds then are now called cocoa and it would yield a delicious chocolate once you cook it into boiling water with a refined sugar to taste.
I don’t know what the secret on her hot chocolate is. I’ve been to other places and I have tried some, but her delicious creamy hot chocolate has its incredible distinct taste that would differ and would outclass from the rest.
How I wish she’s still alive. I could have asked her to unravel the secret for me.