how to make real hot chocolate before the spring really starts : grate or cut very dark (fair trade and organic) chocolate finely (I would of course recommend amnesty international extra dark 85% chocolate, I use 3 little squares of this for an expresso cup of milk) rinse pot and do not wipe, heat milk to near boiling point, take off the stove and add chocolate, stir in and then stir slowly over a very slow fire. Create a satisfying foamy mousse by rolling the handle of the whisk between your two hands held very flat. Sweeten with a little honey, agave syrup or cane sugar.
Better still add the hot milk to the chocolate that has been melted over boiling water (boil water, turn off, suspend pot with chocolate in above level of water) and then stir in and etc. as above.
how to make bechamel sauce and never fail : melt 50g of butter over medium heat, add 50g of flour (I use white spelt flour) and cook while stirring briskly with wooden spoon for a few minutes. The flour must cook at this stage, the mix will dry a little. Do not worry about overdoing this, this is the crucial cooking stage. Add 500ml of hot milk or broth in one go, yes, this will be fine because the flour is cooked thoroughly. Reduce heat and cook until the whole mix is like goo and all lumps have disappeared, this will take a couple of minutes. To this you add parsley for a parsley sauce, cheese and mustard and macaroni to make macaroni cheese, steamed chard or cauliflower, leftover meat, sweetcorn and peas to make good use of leftovers. It is said that no one commits suicide on a full stomach and in states of low mood carbohydrates are your best friends, don’t rush to readymades, choose your friends well. Grate some dried up bread over this, dot with a few knobs of butter and bake in the oven. The ratio of ingredients is magical, you will never forget it : 50, 50, 500, double it, halve it, triple it, to suit.