I am not a bright ray of morning sunshine.
It’s the caffeine. The source of, and solution to, every single one of my problems. Its careful and tasty delivery into my blood stream dominates how I plan my day.
Anyway. I get derailed easily, which explains, but not excuses, my blogging hiatus of late. I wake up too late, drink soda at work, fall back into the coma and have to either take a nap or recaffienate in the evening, and end up staying up until three am. Rinse, repeat.
I thought that I had kicked it by Friday, though. I made it to sleep at a reasonable hour and vowed to wake up early, brew a pot of coffee, do a bit of tai chi, eat a healthy breakfast and make it to work with my brain in vaguely working order.
So… Electric kettle filled the night before. Beans ready to grind (I buy the Sumatran from Brutopia) Eight hours of sleep, cooperative French press, I “Part The Clouds” for a few, I pour the excess coffee into my travel mug and I was set.
Okay. Fast forward about twenty minutes. I’m in my car, pulling out of the driveway.
Forgive me for another digression. I have this downstairs neighbor. I’ve written about her before. She’s an older woman who lives alone in the large apartment on the ground floor. She walks slowly and stares a lot. She frikkin spooks me.
So there she is in the driveway, this woman that I loathe with a completely arbitrary and irrational intensity I typically reserve for vacuum cleaners, cardamom, and the members of Wilco… blocking my exit.
Don’t tempt me, Cat Lady.
She stares. I turn around and stare back.
I make it a rule to not talk to Cat Lady. If she speaks to me, I grunt, once. It gives me no pleasure, as I actually am social and not a bit misanthropic. But I’ve already been down this road. I say one thing back, then she says another. Then, the next time I see her, she will initiate conversation again, necessitating more grunting.
I feel that by being consistently borderline-rude, we can avoid future misunderstandings. It’s like a Miranda warning with some people, “I am trying to be your friend, and anything I say to you is designed so that we can be better friends.”
And I just… can’t.
Okay, back to this staredown. All of a sudden she starts gesticulating wildly, like giving me these exaggerated thumbs up, with both hands no less.
I roll my eyes, shake my head, and turn away. I can see from the rear view mirror that she has returned to the front porch, and I pull out.
Now, because I’m running late, I’m going a bit faster than I should be. And I should add that my front driver’s-side window is open.
I barely complete the turn into the street when i hear a quick thud on the top of my car, and my shirt is now saturated with burning hot liquid.
I learned that the insulative powers of my travel mug were quite top-notch. The lid, however, doesn’t seem to seal tightly.
Yes, Cat Lady was pointing to the top of my car, indicating that I had left my mug up there.
Of course I could have gone back inside and changed. But this would have involved facing cat lady, and frankly, I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction. But the only alternative was to wear the skanky and stained hoodie that has been in the back seat of my car since, well, last spring. I turned it inside out, but it still reeked. Fortunately the two co-workers I share a room with were both out of the office.
So I need to find a new way to dispose of leftover coffee without wasting it.
I settled on cafe granita.
Basically, you are hyper-flavoring coffee, freezing it completely, then slowly thawing the stuff just enough to literally scrape out something approaching a slushy mass. I do confess to having something of a frappuccino addict, this stuff wound up being almost that good. You have to be patient, I think, and allow it to melt enough to form something with the consistency you desire, either a scoopable mess or a drinkable mess… either way works.
The ingredients are flexible. But do remember that the cold will deaden your taste buds, so my suggestion is to make this just a bit stronger than you think you will like. This is how i did mine.
2 cups hot leftover coffee
1/4 cup sugar
2 T Something tasty and perferably alcoholic. Grand Mariner is nice. As is bourbon or kalua.
Stir a bit, and pour into a 9 by 9 brownie pan. Note to self, make sure the leftover brownie bits have been cleaned out.
Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
Go to work.
When you get home from work, set the mixture on the counter. Start scraping the frozen mixture with a fork, just enough to loosen it. Wait a few minutes and repeat. Do this several times until you have a critical mass of semi-frozen coffee shards which you can then decant into your favorite vessel. Eat, or wait several minutes, stirring occasionally, and drink. VERY refreshing. And no cat ladies.