I was thinking about the specialness of today* and craving a hot drink after being outside in the cold. I wanted something creamy. With high protein. Something comforting. Here’s just the thing, inspired by the hot milk drinks I used to make for my boys when they had trouble falling asleep.
I am dedicating this Hot Honey Custard Soothie recipe to Michael Cloud, who came into my life exactly 32 years ago.
October 5th, 1981 is a day I will never forget. I labored for 36 hours (34 at home with a midwife, my mom and Mickey’s dad.) He was kinda stuck by my crooked tailbone and even after I got to the hospital (we had tried for a home birth) I had to breathe through the contractions while we waited for a doctor to come from Butte… a doctor who could turn my baby’s head around 180 degrees with forceps without hurting him. When his head came out, the doc told me to stop pushing for what seemed like forever — it was probably just a minute — while they suctioned the phlegm from his lungs. In those eternal seconds, I had the most amazing experience of mutual eye contact with my baby before he started breathing on his own. He was calm and quiet, eyes wide open, staring into my eyes. Still part of my body. Not yet on his own. Seconds later he wailed as his umbilical cord hit cold air and they put him on my breast. He was fine except for two bruises where the forceps had pressed into his head.
Now Mickey and his wife, Michelle, have two boys of their own and I know they have had experiences as profound and moving as I had with him on that day. I am so proud of the man he has become, of how loving he is toward Michelle and his children. Of how he uses his mind and his body and heart to make good things happen in the world.
Here’s to you, Mickey — I hope you pass along this warm drink to your kiddos when they inevitably have a hard time falling asleep. xoxo
Hot Honey Custard Soothie
- 1 cup milk (or rice milk, soy milk or coconut milk)
- 2 tsp honey (or to taste)
- 1 very small egg (if you are doubling the recipe, use a normal size egg for 2 cups milk)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- a few drops almond extract (optional but super yummy)
- works best if you have a blender or a hand-held blender. A whisk will do if you don’t have the blender
- Gently heat the milk, cinnamon stick, vanilla and almond extracts in a saucepan on the stove until it is very warm. Try not to boil it over like I always do. (ahem!)
- While the milk is heating, beat the egg with a whisk until creamy, or beat it in the bottom of the blender.
- Take the cinnamon stick out of the milk and suck on it while you finish the drink. [grin]
- When the milk is very hot, turn on the blender and gradually pour the milk into the beaten egg while blending. (If you pour it all in at once, the egg will cook in the hot milk and get chunky.)
- When the hot milk mixture is very foamy, pour it into a pre-warmed cup and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve immediately while it’s still hot. Yummo!
- You can substitute nut milks, rice or soy milk, or coconut milk for the cow-milk. Coconut and soy milks foam up pretty well in the blender. Rice milk and almond milk not so much, but the drink is still delicious even if it’s not foamy.
- If you are vegan, skip the egg. It won’t taste the same but again, still yummy.
- This really does taste like custard — the ingredients are the same and that nutmeg and honey give it dimension and depth. Heaven!
- Heating the milk to a very hot (but not boiling) temperature cooks the egg just enough to kill any bacteria. It’s safe for children, though I wouldn’t give this drink to babies.
- With the milk and eggs, this is a nutritious way to give your kids not only protein and calcium, but also the kind of comfort and soothing they just might need at bedtime. Make sure they brush their teeth after drinking the soothie.
- I used a teeny egg from our friend, Colleen. Her hens lay beautiful eggs with dark orange yolks, so in the photos my soothie looks yellow-er than yours might if you are using store-bought eggs.
Charlie likes soothies on cold days too: