The girls run across the studio, screaming. Two of them jump up on window sills. For a moment, I am unsure of what is happening. I look for an axe wielding maniac and simultaneously suffer cardiac arrest. I turn to Mr. Kallio behind the piano. He looks confused for a moment, throws his hands over his ears, and calmly mouths the word, “mouse.” Their screams start to register. The word mouse is shrieked over and over again, and fingers are pointing wildly in every direction.
My students are huddled together on the other side of the studio. They continue to scream.
The screams continue, and the huddle is scurrying from side to side.
Mr. Kallio: (to no one) My ears are bleeding.
movita: Girls! Mr. Kallio’s ears are bleeding!
They scream more quietly.
movita: Girls, I am sure that poor little creature is more frightened of you than you should be of it. Settle down! This is not the first time we’ve seen a mouse at the Conservatory, and it won’t be the last.
Chloe: Wait, wait (her voice lowers an octave), WAIT. What did you say?
I speak very slowly, emphasizing every word. “I said: that mouse is more frightened of you than you are of it.”
movita: (exasperated) Yes! The mouse you were just running from!
Chloe stares at me for a moment. Then her eyes open wide, and she looks completely relieved.
Chloe: Oh, a MOUSE! I thought everyone was screaming, ‘a ghost! a ghost!’ So I was running away from the ghost.
Mr. Kallio drops his head upon the piano keys.
. . .
This is a rich chocolate sauce. Particularly soothing after encountering mice or ghosts. Very sweet and perfect spooned over French vanilla ice cream or drizzled over a mountain of meringues and whipped cream. The sauce might seem thin at first, but it will thicken and set up as it cools post-cooking. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator, and reheat over low heat (or very gradually in the microwave) before serving.
. . .
Easy Homemade Chocolate Sauce
recipe: adapted in the barest of ways from a Carmichael Family recipe passed to the Dyer Family
Yields about 3 cups.
- 13 ounces evaporated milk*
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (4 Baker’s squares) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
* I use a 370 ml can, as that is what is commonly sold here in Canada. That’s just under 13 ounces, but still works out perfectly.
Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Measure out all of your ingredients.
In a medium sized saucepan, bring evaporated milk and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
Once boiling, continue to boil for one minute and then reduce heat to low. Add the chocolate and stir until completely melted. Whisk in the butter, vanilla and salt. When smooth, remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly – the sauce will thicken as it cools.
Serve immediately or cool and store in a mason jar in the refrigerator.
Sauce stored in refrigerator can be re-heated over low heat (or slowly and gently in the microwave) before serving.