Cold night, hot vanilla

For years my family has loved this warm winter drink.

Hot vanilla topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg. — Connie Berry

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered last night that I’m not the only person who makes hot vanilla. I thought for sure I made up this well-loved family recipe, but alas, Google has yet again dashed my dreams. 

As soon as we see the first snowflake, I love to put on a saucepan full of this warm and tasty treat. It’s like hot cocoa without the heavy chocolate feeling that comes after you finish that first mug. 

Last Sunday morning brought flurries, and gave us the push we needed to finally clean out our gutters. Because neither my husband nor I have the fortitude — or the balance, really — to climb tall ladders, we left the work to my son James. I like to reward a job well done, so I made sure there was a warm pan of hot vanilla waiting for him on the stove after he finished.

Hot vanilla takes all my kids back about 25 years ago, when I first started making it. And that was also before I Googled everything. In fact, as soon as my other son, Dan, sees the pan warming on the stove he says, “Remember when you were little?” I sure do.

I’ll let you in on my not-so-secret recipe so you can serve it up to the little ones (and big ones) in your life. It’s the perfect complement to a warm blanket and a good book. 

Hot Vanilla

3 cups whole milk

2 Tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Warm the milk on the stove on low heat, add sugar and vanilla, and stir. Keep stirring occasionally as the sugar melts. When it’s nice and steamy, pour into two mugs and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg.