Before we get to today’s yummy recipe, let’s stir the pot a bit, shall we? Ooooo ... controversy a-brewin here at It’s All Gouda. A couple days ago, an article ran in the local newspaper that one of the local high schools has banned the use of student cell phones inside the school. Students violating the policy will have their phone confiscated and their parents have to pick up the phone during school hours if they want it back.
Halleluiah was my reaction. Actually, my first reaction was that I thought cell phone use was already a no-no in the classroom. Keep in mind, my blogging buds, that the bulk of my professional career was spent in the cellular phone industry, so it's not the phones themselves or even the technology that makes my eyes roll. In addition, I love my little antiquated, dinosaur of a cell phone. I keep it with me, and in the years that I’ve carried it, I’ve been reached four times for serious emergencies and used it twice myself to call for assistance. When used properly, it's an awesome tool. But cell phones in school ... in the classroom? Nah, I don’t think so.
The root issue here revolves more around texting, not talking, on the phone. I’m not put off by kids using cellular devices after school. But in the classroom? All access all the time? Can you imagine the teacher’s frustration trying to present a lesson while kids are texting back and forth, phones are buzzing, pictures being taken, etc.? Does anyone else find this, well, downright rude? I mean really, really unacceptable?
Texting is the current hot communication medium. Do you remember the hand signal for “call me”? You know ... you make a fist but extend your pinky and thumb while holding said hand next to your head? I imagine prior to that, it was "write me" with someone making writing motions with their hands. So what’s the gesture for “text me”? Do you wiggle your thumbs or something?
What's happening to face to face communication? Get this ... I’ve been told by many carpooling moms that the kids INSIDE the car are texting the other kids INSIDE THE SAME CAR! One mom was so flabbergasted that she told the kids no phone use in her car. It’s a kind of addiction of sorts. School bullying has taken on a whole new life with instant messaging at students’ disposal. And that’s scary in a whole new way.
So, my blogging friends, what do you think about this whole thing? Speak your peace (or is that piece?) Is this just a phase? Are kids at risk? Pros? Cons? Some parents are very upset that the high school mentioned above has banned phones. What would your reaction be if this was your kid’s high school policy?On a more upbeat note, another thing that kids like to do, and I’m referring to young teens, is walk to Starbucks with friends and get mochas. Where I live, there are Starbuck coffee houses about every 3 feet, and they are usually packed with people of all ages just hanging out and talking. While I’m not crazy about the Starbucks part, I do remember what it was like to be a young teen and wanting to venture out on my own with friends. When I was growing up in small town middle America, the cool thing to do was walk downtown and hang out at the A&W Rootbeer Stand. I had a lot of fun in those days. So, when my 14 year old teenage (sob!) daughter asked if she and the neighbor girl could walk to Starbucks, I gave her the okay.
She had a blast. She loved it. She loved the experience of going off on her own. She loved ordering at the counter. She loved using her own money. She loved finding a seat to share. She loved hanging out and feeling cool. And ... she loved her mocha.
I mean the child really loved her mocha. It’s all I heard about for days. I know how to take a hint; time to learn to make mochas. This could be tricky, because you may recall that coffee rarely passes my lips. I don’t know how to make coffee. Not to be deterred, I set out to make my mocha bigger, better, and more affordable than Starbucks. The end results, well let’s just say it’s time to restock my mocha pantry ingredients. Move over Starbucks; it's Mocha time!
My youngest daughter, who naturally wants to do everything her older siblings do, of course wanted to try a mocha.Here’s the first sip. So far, so good.Oops, a bit of cream on the nose ... we’ve all been there, babe.Yeah, it’s right there.Go ahead and take another sip.I’m not too close am I?Yes, to answer your question, I will blog about this.Okay, I’ll give you some personal space.
This is so easy. Really, really, REALLY easy. Let’s do a check and see how many times I’ve used the word ‘really’ in this post. Really, let’s do it.
1 cup hot coffee (I used decaf)
2 cups prepared sweetened hot chocolate
¼ cup cream
¼ cup chocolate caramel liquid coffee creamer (gross I know, but hey I’m bad)
¼ scant teaspoon pure vanilla extract - optional(hey, at least I used the real stuff here)
shaved chocolate (I put my veggie peeler to work on a chocolate bar)Combine the hot coffee, hot chocolate, cream, creamer, and vanilla extract. Pour into mugs, top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. To shave the chocolate, just get a chocolate bar, any kind will do, and using your veggie peeler, just push it against the chocolate as if you were peeling a carrot.
Oh, it's so good. Rich and creamy and chocolatey! It's very smooth going down, and pleasantly slightly sweet. All three of my kids love, love, love these. Even my husband, who can't stand coffee, enjoyed this.Sip. Sigh. Repeat.