Memories of hot cocoa—a cup of warm comfort used to drink chocolate milk when I was a kid; it was a real quick fix. Just pour some milk in a glass and add two tablespoons of the powdered chocolate and that was it. This wasn’t my favorite beverage, but it was a good enough drink to settle down with on a Saturday or after school on a weekday. Sometimes my mother bought the powdered strawberry mix, but I didn’t drink the strawberry milk. That often stayed right in the cabinet unused. It wasn’t until I was just out of college and visiting my aunt at Christmas when I tasted something different—hot cocoa. Now, I’m not going to say that I never had hot cocoa before because I’m sure that I did, but this time it was so memorable.

Take an occasion like Christmas. Add on a spoonful of Christmas music like Donny Hathaway and little Michael Jackson from the Jackson 5 Christmas Albuma classic in a lot of African American families).  Sprinkle in some family with just a pinch of understanding about how precious this Christmas was because it would probably be our last holiday with my aunt, who was dying from an incurable disease. Then serve this reality with a cup of hot cocoa fully loaded with marshmallows from the hand of that loved one. This made for a special cup of hot cocoa and a memorable experience.


Written by Monica Johnson

MCCN Staff Talk Easter Food Traditions

Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor– To the best of my recollection hot cross buns stand out for me.  They were sort of different and it never really dawned on me about the religious signifigance.  They were neat looking.  As for the taste, it was somewhere between a pastry and sweet bread.

Chef Jay Bonilla, En La Cocina Para Mi Amor- Host– In Honduras we don’t celebrate Easter as you do here, it is a time for reflection because it is when Jesus died, and Friday we eat dried fish soup because we are not supposed to eat meat.

Monica Johnson, MCCN Associate Editor– I don’t really have a favorite meal, but I do remember making Easter Eggs…boiling them, dying them and then decorating them was a lot of fun. Afterwards, I would put it in my big straw Easter basket. The thing I anticipated most was eating the big chocolate bunny that I got faithfully every year. I’m really thankful for those memories.

Micheal Fusco, MCCN Film Critic “Film and Foodie”-

My aunt makes an amazing potato, onion, and cheese casserole. We have it every year.

Sunni Boswell, Asian Express Host -Easter time was a time for traditional midwest feast of delicious glazed ham directly from a butcher.  Festooned with pineapple slices and cherries carefully arranged on the cross-hatched surface. All golden brown and soooo delicious. Decadant scalloped potatoes with three cheeses and onions, a crunchy delicious cucumber and onion salad and roasted tomatoes. Hardly Asian, but always delicious
and mouth watering. And, of course, a bowlful of colorful decorated Easter Eggs and chocolates!! As well as fresh cut flowers in crystal on table along with crisp linens.

Catrina K. Sally, MCCN Food History Managing Editor-Banana Pudding does that count as a dish? Whenever I made it I always ate more cookies than I put in the dish!
Carla Crudup, Make Yourself Comfortable American Style- Host: I can remember smelling the buttery homemade yeast dinner rolls rising and baking, fresh green beans cooking and helping to make the potato salad. The glazed ham baking in the oven also brings backs great holiday memories that was garnished with cloves, brown sugar and pineapple.  We always had a second entree that was either prime rib, salmon or a rack of lamb. My mom was very diligent and passionate about decorating for the holidays and made easter baskets for everyone. I can recall the bunny napkin rings that graced the table that had been decorated with china and crystal. Pots of fresh lillies, daffodils and tulips were placed outside of the home… My parents always emphasized the reason for the celebration of Easter.

The Olympic Village Menu

Free! Free! Free! That’s the million-dollar word for Olympians who moved into the swanky Olympic Village digs in Whistler/Vancouver. After the games, the upscale athlete neighborhood will convert to a residential neighborhood, but for now it’s free living, free Wii, and free food.

 “Food, folks and fun” is the name of the game and “bah, dah, dah, dah, dah…” the athlete’s “are loving it.” For the eighth consecutive Olympics, fast food mega-chain, McDonald’s, spreads its golden arches in the Olympic Village, and they are the only official restaurant feeding the Olympians. On the eve of the Olympic’s Opening Ceremonies, with the help of Olympic gold medalists Cassie Campbell (Canada), Shawn Johnson (USA), Picabo Street (USA) and Katarina Witt (Germany), the fast food chain unveiled its new upcoming menu item — Real Fruit Smoothies.

Available in Strawberry Banana and Wild Berry, the beverages will debut at the three McDonald’s restaurants in the village. For the rest of us, we will just have to wait for the summertime when the Real Fruit Smoothies becomes part of the McCafe line-up. Other items being served to the Olympians include, Mickey D’s signature item, the Big Mac, as well as Chicken McNuggets with a new Spicy Szechwan dipping sauce, and of course, the international favorite French Fries

Now, don’t you worry about your favorite athlete over-indulging on meat and carbs; salads and parfaits will also be available on the menu as well. Beyond McDonald’s there are other options, the Olympic Village contains a cafeteria which serves dishes like Egg Foo Young, Chuckwagon Chowder, Carved Jamaican Pork Tenderloin, and grilled chicken and roast potatoes. The catering is provided by Sodexo.

*Olympic Village Cafeteria Menu Breakfast:

  • Breakfast: (4am -10am) Cereal, egg dishes, assortment of breads, meats, potato dishes, and other hot items such as waffles.
  • Lunch (10am – 4pm) and Dinner: (4pm-12am) – Lunch and dinner meals include soups, international entrees, an Asian section, grill/carvery, a Native Canadian section, pizza and pasta, halal and various vegetables and starches (rice, noodles, pasta).
  • Late Night-soups, pizza, salads, omelets, pasta, salads and a Native Canadian section. *Menu taken from:

Learn about Olympic Athlete Apollo Ohno:

by Monica Johnson