Category: coffee

Everything I Need

It was beautiful out this morning—temperature got up to eighty, the sun was shining like there was no tomorrow, and the boys were at their grandparents’ house—so Josh and I drank our coffee out in the camper and talked about all the things that have to be done before The Move.
For those of you who don’t know: Josh and I have spent the last year or so preparing to move from our 800-square-foot house to a 200-square-foot camper. This has obviously required a lot of going through stuff and getting rid of stuffwith Josh doing most of the downsizing and me doing most of the procrastinating.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want stuff. I love the weightlessness that comes from having no things. But some junk I feel like I just can’t get rid of. (My granny gave me this. Somebody, somewhere, could probably use this. Okay, this isn’t useful, but it isn’t broken, either. And this is from that one time, remember?) So I’ve put off working on this for as long as possible.
For the last month, there have been three totes stacked up in our living room next to the entertainment center. The final three totes that need to be gone through. And they’re all full of my crap.
Sitting there in the camper this morning, staring our totally awesome future in the face, it occurred to me: I only really need four things—four actual, physical objects—to be happy, and none of them are in those totes.
Ready for the list?
  1. Coffee (this assumes all related objects, like the coffee maker, coffee cup, creamer, filters, etc)
  2. Something to write on
  3. Something to read
  4. Cookies

I know I can survive without any of that stuff, but those are the objects that I feel enrich my life.
Obviously, I’m not talking about the emotional fulfillment I get from playing with Oak and Bear, the intellectual stimulation of talking to my husband, or the peace and contentment that comes from my relationship with God. That stuff doesn’t take up any physical space.
What I am talking about is how every night I go to bed looking forward to that first cup of hot, sweet, creamy coffee I’m going to drink when I wake up—and the nirvana of actually drinking it in the morning. How I can lay awake for hours thinking through the scene I’m going to start writing on tomorrow—and the feeling of finishing that scene and knowing it’s just right. How time disappears when I’m possessed by a good book and how I never want to stop reading. And cookies. Because duh.
Those four things are the only objects I really need in this life to be happy. Everything else is just stuff.
Which isn’t to say that I’m going to run inside and start working on those totes. It’s still beautiful out here and procrastination is still my favorite way to deal with things that need immediate attention. But I feel like I hit on a truth that will help me when I finally can’t put off going through those totes any longer.
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Genius

Rather than get into all the stuff I keep promising to, I’m going to let you in on something awesome I invented today: coffee candy.

The inspiration for coffee candy comes from Maggie Brown’s (a restaurant/bar near Pratt in Brooklyn).  There, after eating an $8 burger or $11 hot wings, patrons are served a delicious piece of chocolate with coffee grains in it.  Chocolate with coffee grains in it is exactly what I invented today.

I’m aware that it isn’t considered “inventing” if you just copy something someone else has already made, but I figured out how to replicate it without a recipe or any guidance, so I’m taking what I call “credit” for it.

Here’s how to enjoy some yourself:

  1. Melt some chocolate chips of your choice.  I used Milk Chocolate Chips (which I’m told you should never use for chocolate chip cookies) because that’s what I had.  I’m told some people also like Semi-Sweet Chocolate and still others like Dark Chocolate.
  2. Add the coffee grains of your choice.  I used a dark breakfast blend whose name I forget because I threw the package away back in January, but if you don’t like caffeine or you plan to eat these chocolates before going to bed, I’d suggest using your favorite decaf.
  3. Stir.
  4. Drop on wax paper or tin foil, whatever.
  5. Cool.
That’s it.  You may think I’ve got a lot of nerve taking credit for something this simple, but I may think you’re stupid.  It’s hard to say.

Title Track

I promised to hook you up with a way to make cappuccino in your trailer, and here I am to follow through. Of course, you don’t have to live in a trailer to be white trash. Personally, I’m hoping to move up to a houseboat in the near future. The point is, it doesn’t matter whether you live in a low-rent apartment or a penthouse, whether you’re rich or poor, whether you’re not even white. White trash is a state of mind. It’s a way of life, not a race, tax bracket, or location. One of the easiest ways to tell if you’ll find this blog helpful is to ask yourself: Do I want to make something I don’t have all the ingredients or equipment for? Would I rather substitute something in the recipe than buy the thing I need? Am I a cheapskate with expensive tastes? Then this is the place for you.

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WHITE TRASH CAPPUCCINO

What you’ll need:
+ a saucepan/small pot (I suggest using something without Teflon because, if you don’t, you’ll probably scratch it up.)
+ an espresso maker, some freeze-dried espresso, or a coffee maker
+ some coffee
+ some milk

What to Do:

1. If you have an espresso maker, you probably know how to use it. So, get that started. If you’re using freeze-dried espresso, skip this step. If you’re using a coffee maker, get some brewing–I’d say about half a cup for each person you’re serving. If you’re a fancy coffee snob and you’re mad because espresso is only brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans, not by Americana coffee makers, get a life. This is “White Trash Cappuccino,” not “Know-It-All Hipster Cappuccino Made by a Barrista in a Dark Corner Cafe.” You’re probably on the wrong blog anyway.

2. Rant completed. Please continue to the next step.

3. Start out with cold milk (keep in mind that higher fat content=better foam retention) in your saucepan. Put that on high. You can start whisking right away if you want, or you can wait until it’s good and hot.

4. Pour the espresso into a cup, glass, or mason jar–that Salpica jar is my preferred travel mug–until it’s about a third of the way full. If you’re using freeze-dried espresso, drop the ratio recommended on the container into the milk and finish whisking.

5. When the milk’s hot enough and you’ve got enough foam to suit you, add that to the espresso. Add some sweetener if you want, then enjoy. Maybe catch the end of Cops if it’s late or the Farm Report if it’s early.





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I hope you like it. I think I’ll make something with chicken in it next.