By the way, being an early riser doesn’t mean I wake up whistling. Far from it. Bill, who nearly always sleeps longer than I, wakes up annoyingly jolly. He bounces out of bed and immediately begins talking and/or asking me questions.
How’d you sleep? What’s your blog about this morning? What are your plans for the day?
Fine. Read it for yourself. I’m retired so I have no plans. Please stop being so cheerful.
Because of this difference in our morning personalities, I love my little bit of quiet time in the morning before he gets up. My routine is always the same. (Now that’s redundant!) I turn on my computer, I walk around and open the blinds to let in morning light or at least watch the sun come up. I make the coffee. While it brews, I post my blog.
By time I’m finished posting my blog, the coffee is ready. I pour a cup, and put the rest in a thermos pot that I have heated up with hot water. Then I sit down with my book and take that first sip.
There is nothing better than that first sip of hot coffee in the morning. Nothing. Better. Period. Not the second cup. Not even the second sip. That first sip of coffee, so hot it can burn your tongue if you’re not careful, is divine.
If you looked up coffee connoisseur in the dictionary and then checked for its antonym, you would see my picture. I am simply not a coffee snob.
A few years ago when I started reading food magazines and watching Food Network, I began to focus on what needed to happen so that my coffee was extraordinary. Freshly roasted whole beans that you grind every morning. The beans must come from certain parts of the world. The water had to be a certain temperature when it brewed. The coffee had to be poured at a certain temperature. It had to have a chocolate taste followed by tobacco and saddle leather flavors at the back of your tongue.
One day it occurred to me that I was just as happy with a cup of coffee from Circle K as I was from beans grown by a lonely farmer at the foot of Mount Kenya.
Yes friends. I have no coffee palate.
By the way, right now both of my sisters are absolutely cringing and checking our family tree to make sure I am actually from the same bloodline. On the other hand, my brother is thinking, yeah, I’ll meet you at Circle K for a cup of joe. My sisters really are coffee connoisseurs. Unlike us, they don’t have holes in their stomachs from cup after cup of crappy coffee.
But even I draw a line.
A while ago, I decided that I was going to try to make homemade tortillas. I read that you could use a big coffee can to flatten your tortillas.
So off I went to Walmart to find coffee in a big can. To my surprise, coffee is no longer sold in metal cans. They all come in bags or in plastic containers.
After looking and looking, I finally found one lone brand of coffee in a big 3-lb. can. Three pounds of coffee for something like $5.75. At that price, it must really be swill, I thought to myself. Still, I needed that can.
About that time, a woman somewhere around my age reached for that same coffee. “It’s my husband and my favorite,” she told me. “It isn’t too strong and we like the flavor.”
So I bought the coffee.
The next day I brewed up a pot of the coffee. I sat down with my cup and took that much-anticipated first sip.
It was, to put it bluntly, undrinkable. Simply awful. I did the unheard of thing and poured an entire pot of coffee down the drain and, what’s more, poured the remaining unused coffee grounds into the garbage can.
Even I have standards.
Since we’re talking about coffee, let me share with you my mother’s recipe for banana bread. It is simple and delicious with a hot cup of coffee. When I made it recently, we put the much-talked-about icing on the cake by smearing it with peanut butter frosting and squeezing chocolate sauce over. Delicious.
For what it’s worth, I never use nuts. Also, it never seems to take an hour to bake, so begin looking at it around 45 minutes.