Francois de La Rochefoucauld penned my favorite aphorism: “However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship.” I have had my share of great loves, but none compare to the profound effect that my friends have had on my life.
The past year has been a difficult one. I ended a four-and-a-half-year relationship, became unemployed, and moved home with my parents. Heartbroken and aimless for the first time in my life, I fell into a tailspin of despair. Through it all, my friends were my beacon in the storm. They made me laugh, let me cry, took my 3 a.m. panicked phone calls, boosted my ego before interviews, let me sleep on their sofas, and celebrated endlessly when I finally landed a great job and a beautiful apartment. I will never forget their unwavering support, or the fact that I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without them.
While many rallied around me this year, three in particular have long been by my side. Katherine, Maria, and Leah. Though we met independently, we soon realized that we all knew one another and became inseparable. Katherine, Leah, and I went to law school together and bequeathed Maria with an honorary juris doctorate based on all the time she spent with us cramming for exams and attending law school proms.
All good things must come to an end, and after graduation Katherine moved to Hollywood to become a lawyer to the stars, and Leah transplanted to New York to pursue a Master’s Degree in Art.
Scattered across the country and consumed by our budding careers, we make a point to reunite biannually. The most recent reunion took place at Leah’s home in Ross. Excited for the day ahead, Maria and I picked up our counterparts from SFO and drove out to Marin County to laze in the sun. We lounged poolside catching up on the details of one another’s lives while devouring Comfort’s Chinese Chicken salads and reading snippets of British Vogue aloud. It felt as though we’d never been apart.
Once night fell, we moved the revelry indoors. Clad in the silk Shanghai Tang pajamas that Leah brought us from her latest travels, we settled in to watch our joint-favorite film, Vertigo. While Leah and Katherine poured the Perrier-Jouet, Maria made parmesan-dusted popcorn for our something salty, and I made Mexican Hot Chocolate for our something sweet.
Our foursome’s predilection for spice reveals itself both in our personalities and our tastes. The hotter the better, making the ancient Mayan libation a perfect choice for the evening. Semi-sweet Taza chocolate melted into cream and sweetened condensed milk rises to the occasion with a heavy sprinkling of cinnamon and cayenne. A splash of cachaca completes the chocolate caliente.
Sunkissed and tipsy, we fell asleep under guanaco blankets while Jimmy Stewart chased Kim Novak around our favorite city. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect reunion with the loves of my life. My friends. xx tt
Recipe – Makes 3-4 cups
· 2 cups whole milk
· 1 cup heavy cream
· ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (I use Eagle Brand)
· 5.4 ounces Mexican chocolate (I use Taza 70% Cacao Puro Chocolate Disks, but any semi-sweet will do)
· 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
· ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
· ½ teaspoon cinnamon
· ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
· Whipped cream and cinnamon sticks for stirring
· Splash of cachaca liquor optional
· Chop chocolate disks
· Place all ingredients in a large sauce pan
· Stir over medium-low heat until combined
· Serve with toppings
toolBOX: Display your hot chocolate in these festive Jonathan Adler Mr. and Mrs. Muse mugs
t+tSTYLE: Wear this playful Etro kaftan while lolling in the sun with your closest friends this summer
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