Monday, December 05, 2011

Advent Plans: St. Nicholas Day

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Nicholas.  Rather than try to explain the story of St. Nicholas and the traditions around his feast day I will share this link to the St. Nicholas Center.  But just briefly he is known for helping the needy and leaving small gifts (often gold coins) for them in their shoes or stockings.

This year posed a few challenges with Ben's food allergies.  First we started last year making St. Nicholas Cocoa.  The recipe calls for cocoa mix, non dairy creamer (which does contain dairy), and powdered milk.  All ingredients off limits for Benjamin.  But I was determined to tweak the recipe and come up with something.

First I found this product called DariFree.  It is a dairy free (also gluten free) powder I got in original flavor.  I figured I would use this to replace the powdered milk.

Then I figured I would have to make my own cocoa mix somehow because all the mixes I have had had dairy in them.  On a whim I figured let me check out the Ghirardelli brand cocoa because their chocolate chips are the only dairy free ones I could find.  Sure enough it was dairy free!!  This made my life a lot easier.

So we left out any replacement for the non dairy creamer assuming that the DariFree would cover all bases being creamier and richer than a regular powdered milk.

We tested it out and it is delicious.  You would never know any tampering was done.  So it is ready for a special warm treat tomorrow morning with breakfast!

We also have the kids put their shoes by the door so St. Nicholas could put treats in their shoes while they slept.  Traditionally chocolate gold coins go in the shoes, but again it would be hard to find a dairy free gold coin.  So I left out the chocolate this year and went with candy canes and small twizzlers to represent St. Nicholas's crozier. 
Their little gifts included a St. Nicholas DVD I picked up at a homeschool conference this summer, The Three Wisemen, and this adorable St. Nicholas and Angel set by Playmobil.


Allison said...

So sweet! Gonna make sure we have some cookies and hot chocolate today after seeing your hot chocolate pics.

Happy feast day!

Katherine T. Lauer said...

Fantastic hot cocoa! We own that DVD and it's wonderful. That little wooden set looks darling.