Tag Archives: postum

Ode to Ovaltine

cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and co...
cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and cocoa powder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Look at me!  Blogging twice in the same month!

Yesterday at Save On Foods I walked down the coffee aisle – not because I needed coffee but simply because I like how it smells there.  They have those big plastic bin dispensers with flavoured coffee in them.  Vanilla, hazelnut,  irish cream, raspberry chocolate.  Heaven.  And I’m just so happy to be able to smell things again!  A couple of weeks ago I was grinding my Starbucks coffee beans and I could not smell anything at all.  I practically stuck my face in the bag, and still nothing.  It was a sad moment.   But yesterday I had one of those blissful moments when I looked up across the top shelf  scanning the hot chocolate powders and there was Ovaltine.   OVALTINE!  I can’t remember when I last saw that sold anywhere.  Plain and chocolate.  Be still my heart.  I bought a huge jar of the chocolate one.

Mom and Dad used to drink ovaltine all the time, mostly because they were never coffee or tea drinkers,  and because sometimes it’s just nice to have a mug of something hot that’s not too sweet and actually has some stuff in it that’s good for you.  And it looks better than sipping plain hot milk like an extremely old person might do.  Ha.  As if Ovaltine isn’t the official drink of seniors.  They also used to drink Postum – a powdered roasted grain beverage coffee substitute containing no caffeine – and yes, it tasted pretty disgusting – but they don’t make it anymore.  Some old guy in Wal-Mart asked me one day if I knew where he could find it, and when I broke the news to him he looked quite stricken.  I should have told him about my dad’s hot chocolate.  He would put the kettle on to boil, drop maybe a quarter teaspoon of powdered chocolate drink mix (the kind you are supposed to mix whole heaping spoonfuls of the powder with cold milk) into a big mug and fill it up with water that had not yet come to a boil.  Because there’s no point in making it too hot to drink right away.  The last few times I stayed with them in the house in Pt Elgin he always  invited me in the evenings to join him for his ‘hot chocolate’  with cookies good for dunking.  I always did.  The dunked cookies gave the vaguely chocolate flavoured tepid water a bit of flavour.  Not as good as Postum, but damned close.

A jar of Ovaltine from the UK (2006), a mug of...
A jar of Ovaltine from the UK (2006), a mug of ovaltine made with hot milk and a tablespoon of the powder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ovaltine has the taste of malt and grain (yech); but it’s also the taste of cozy warmth and contentment.  It’s a creature comfort.  It conjures up a lovely memory.   Besides, I drink way too much coffee and the extra milk will be good for these old bones.