Place item was collected
North Logan, Utah
Jennifer Bowen McKinney
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Jennifer Bowen McKinney is the second eldest daughter in the Bowen Family. She and her husband live in Rexburg, Idaho with their three kids: Daniel, age 5; Eva, age 3; Clark, age 1. Both Jennifer and her husband come from families who value food which is both inexpensive and delicious.
This collection took place in Debbie Bowen’s kitchen in North Logan Utah on a Sunday evening. Children were playing in the kitchen just before bed. Josh, Jenn’s husband, was making hot chocolate while the foodway was being told. The mentioned brand product, Western Family, is a label created by a grocery co-op organization throughout the Western states in order to reduce the prices of many products for smaller grocery stores, and provide a custom label for such stores. [Walmart does the same with their “Great Value” label, along with others].
Um, Hot chocolate has become a, premium item in our house, ‘cause every time, we make it uh, Josh has to make it, ‘cause he has a special way of making it, with the dry, hot chocolate powder and then, a bunch of non-dairy creamer, on top then put the water in, mix it up so it has a big ole chunk of foam at the top, put it in the microwave, make sure it doesn’t, boil over ‘cause that makes a sticky mess, and it makes a nice kind of almost crunch on the top, so we don’t, we don’t get hot chocolate anywhere else, and if you make it a different way it’s like ‘agh, man’, and his is way better [laughs] we never buy it ‘cause, he can make it better, always, pretty much
[her husband says something in the background]
Yeah, you go outside and it’s cold, ‘hey, let’s make hot Chocolate’, I think that’s probably in lots of families, though [laughs] come in and eat, drink hot chocolate. Warm up.
[Interviewer asks if there is a specific kind of hot chocolate powder Jennifer’s family always uses]
Josh: uh, the cheapest
Interviewer: Whatever’s cheap
Josh: Whatever’s cheap
Jenn: He likes the cheapest I, I would rather have Stevens, ‘cause I like the flavors
Josh: I like the flavors too but
Jenn: And it’s a little creamier by itself, but, he doesn’t care, it’s not chocolate-y enough, to him, he just gets the regular, Western Family, or whatever.
At the time of collection, Jennifer’s children were playing on nearly every surface in Jennifer’s mother’s kitchen. Since it was toward the end of the day, Jennifer was obviously tired and ready to put her children to bed, and although she was not unwilling to talk about this foodway, she also was not especially enthusiastic. Her enthusiasm would generally have been a little higher when actually serving hot chocolate to her children at a time of day when she felt comfortable doing so.
Semester and year
Bowen, Ben, "Special Hot Chocolate Recipe" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 95.