I'm not entirely sure why, but over the last few days I seem to have been connecting again with my inner child. I used to enjoy cooking dinner with a glass of wine in hand. Or at least a beer. Maybe a caipirhinia. Worst case - in a lack of lime emergency - a gin fizz, but really that's the extent of it. However the last couple of days as I chill into my evening routine, crying over sauteeing onions or the sheer beauty of my sundried tomato pasta sauce, I've found myself reaching for the Milo.
Milo, to you non-Antipodean's out there, is something like Ovaltine in the same way that Vegemite is something like Marmite. That is, the absolute ruler over a poor alternative. An alternative which should only ever be employed in times of famine but otherwise relegated to the darkest depths of any kitchen cupboard. It's a sweet, chocolaty powder to dissolve in milk. It's a dairy manna with a bit of crunch.
There's an art to consuming Milo which I perfected in my best friends house at the age of six. We lived on neighbouring farms on the outskirts of town, so aside from riding sheep or dressing up like princesses and dancing around the back paddock in gold dresses and gumboots, there wasn't too much else clamouring for our attention.
Large amounts of Milo should be in the bottom of the glass. A very specific glass in fact, but I'll come to that bit later. You should even pack it down a bit by tapping it on the table. Then, the milk, which must be ice cold. Absolutely ice-cream headache inducing cold. Only seconds out of the fridge when you add it to the cup. It must be poured in gently, not down the sides of the glass and not disturbing the layer of Milo at the bottom.
Here's the bit that everyone then gets wrong.
DO NOT STIR IT.
The CORRECT way to drink Milo is to slowly scoop small amounts of Milo off the bottom layer with your spoon. A dessert spoon which is then filled with cold, non-chocolaty milk with a bit of non-dissolved, still crunchy Milo. This counterpoint is vitally important. The whole enjoyment in Milo is this simultaneous experience of cold, velvety milk and crunchy chocolate.
Integral to this is keeping the Milo at the bottom of the glass, only bringing small amounts to the surface at a time. This only works with the correct shaped glass, where the milk doesn`t creep down the sides and cause the whole mass to pop up to the surface like a meerkat having a quick look-see.
Unfortunately my glasses do not have the right shape. Apparently this childhood drink wasn't designed with cocktail glasses in mind.