coffee

All posts tagged coffee

A Little Bit of Planning

Published September 18, 2017 by lynn k scott

It’s no secret that I am planning on my own funeral.  It’s really not that morbid and it allows my A-type personality to see myself through to the end.

Having personally planned three funerals, I really wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.  It’s not that it’s difficult, but death brings up feelings that people probably aren’t prepared to deal with or don’t deal well with, in general.

Why shouldn’t I lesson their burden?  I know what I want:  A Celebration of Life.

I have already chosen:

  • The person I want to officiate the service
  • The music to be played and sung
  • The location
  • The food
  • Cremation because I don’t like people looking at me.  Plus, if people were staring at me, I wouldn’t be able to tell them to stop (well without scaring them to no-end lol)

Being a native New Yorker, who transplanted to Northern California, I can’t have a generic gathering after the service, right?  So, I’ve planned on using a local, little pizza joint (fellow NYers, of course), to provide pizza, calzones, submarine sandwiches and Buffalo wings.  Then, there will have to be bagels and cream cheese.  Lastly, we’ll add some cheesecake for good measure.  No diets will be observed at this Celebration of Life.

People should embrace my Irish heritage and eat, have coffee (my life blood right now) and share humorous stories of how I despised the Evil Empire, acclimated Californians to how NYers spoke and their expectations.  They can share the memory of the poor guy who chose to tell me I was only in Mets gear because they were in the playoffs one year.  A decision he would come to regret when he realized I was truly a NYer.

Either way, thought I would share.  Perhaps someone else may take this as a sign to start thinking about the inevitable.  One day, I’ll have eternal life and I want those I leave behind to remember my time here on Earth; the good and the bad.

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DO OVER!

Published March 5, 2017 by lynn k scott

Last night ended very poorly (nasty fight with my adult son).

That being said, I woke with the notion today would be a better day.  Hmmm…guess today didn’t get the memo.

  • My coffee frother lost a screw in the dishwasher; so there goes my homemade latte.
  • I have warm milk to put in newly made coffee, but opened fridge and added cold milk to the mug (ugh).
  • Dog drooled all over floor in the seconds it took to add a cup of kibble to his dish.  Slippers and drool don’t mix well.  At least I didn’t fall.
  • Started making yogurt this morning.  Do my temp check and it’s only at 85 degrees.  Hmm….try to get it to the correct temp and DUH!  Damn thermometer and the Celsius setting.  Oh look, right temp now that it’s on Fahrenheit.  Sadly, I’ve done this before and should know better.
  • Went to reblog one thing and ended up repeating myself.

Is it too early to go back to bed?  All this before 9:30 a.m…….

Dutch Bros. Coffee

Published August 24, 2016 by lynn k scott

I admit it; I love coffee.  Now, I’m not a coffee snob, however, I choose not to give my hard earned money to the “Evil Empire”.  I won’t say say them by name (because I really dislike doing that).  However, unless you live in a cave, they are the coffee company that’s literally on just about every street corner, they heat their milk too hot and it’s just a mediocre product, at best.  Ok, so I really dislike them.  Alas, I digress…

Within the last couple of years, a new coffee place has emerged, called, Dutch Bros.  I really enjoy their large, hot, caramelizer.  I don’t do cold coffee…ok, maybe I’m a smidgen of a coffee snob.

My 10-year old daughter adores going to Dutch Bros.  When I treat myself to a coffee, she is typically treated to a medium, chocolate Frost (aka a milkshake).  I should interject, there is a Dutch Bros. in the city we live in, but I typically frequent the one near my job, as it’s closer to me.  My daughter actually comes to work with me, before and after school, because her school is near my job.

That being said, a few times, I have had to sneak out to get my coffee when she has been with her friends or at school.  Dutch Bros. has a stamp card too.  Every 10 drinks, gets you a free one.

Now, I used to leave the stamp card in the center console of my pickup.  Until one weekend, we were waiting for my husband to pickup his car and she started looking at the card.  UT OH!!!  This child remembers EVERYTHING!  I swear, she’s part elephant….

I see her start counting the stamps.  As she is always with me, the stamps should be an even number.  Now, I’m in trouble.  I hear, “You went to Dutch Bros. without me?”  She sounded dejected.  I confirmed I did, out of exhaustion, one day.  That was true, I had been exhausted.  My sad child turned into a psychotic demon, who I could have sworn was foaming at the mouth and in a demonic voice bellowed, “YOU WENT TO DUTCH BROS. WITHOUT ME!!!!”

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I was in trouble.  For all you parents who have ever silently eaten a cookie or piece of candy, that you had hidden from your children, and then get busted mid-chew…I was busted like that.

It cost me a a Frosty to make it up to her.  I’m such a softie (and ok, she’s a bit spoiled too). Now the card is kept in my wallet, for I still sneak a coffee here and there.  The other day, as I was paying for our drinks, she said, “let me see that card”.  Oh boy…she’s on to me.  I laughed it off and quickly changed the subject.  I know she didn’t buy it.  It will cost me later on; of this I am sure.  She’s holding out for when she really needs to use it against me.

We do enjoy Dutch Bros. very much.  They have good products, reasonably priced and the customer service is stellar (no matter which location we’ve used).  Plus, I love my daughter’s pure joy and over-excitement at being treated to her favorite drink:  a chocolate frosty (esp. when she gets a pink straw)!

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Never hurts to look

Published December 13, 2015 by lynn k scott

Everyone has a favorite kind of store.  I happen to love quality, kitchen-type stores:  Crate and Barrel, Macy’s (3rd floor), Williams-Sonoma, etc.

My favorite of these stores is Sur La Table.  It is my fantasy shop, my wishlist shop, my ‘I want this but can’t afford it’ shop.  However, several times a year, ok every other month or so, I get the opportunity to stroll around “my” shop.

While the pricing can be a bit high on certain items, Sur La Table does price-match.  They have a great return policy and the staff is incredibly helpful and engaging.  That might seem silly to some, but in today’s world where customer service is typically a phrase instead of a practice, I truly appreciate the effort the employees make.

Another fun part of perusing the aisles of Sur La Table, is the coffee section.  They have a variety of coffee, latte, espresso and cappuccino makers.  Ok, so you won’t find a Mr. Coffee pot or even a Keurig here, but the options that are available will make the true coffee lover think they’ve died and gone to Heaven.  From Nespresso to a Jura you can literally take your pick of high-end, barista-quality machines.

I had the pleasure of sampling coffee from the Jura J9.  They only go on sale once a year, around the holidays, and I have fallen in love.  I truly appreciate coffee.  While this machine is definitely not affordable on my pauper’s purse, at the moment, it’s something I would consider saving up for.  Yes, I love coffee that much and I can appreciate this machine just as any car enthusiast would appreciate their favorite vehicle “purring” as it idled and wanting to own it.

My favorite spot in the shop, which calls to my bargain-hunting, never pay retail mentality, is the clearance section.  You never know what is going to be on the two to three free standing racks in the back of the store.

I stumbled up on some ceramic measuring cups and spoons.  I thought they were divine.  The cups were $12.49 for four cups and the spoons were $9.99 for four spoons.  I thought the spoons were adorable, but couldn’t justify $10 for them.  The cups, I couldn’t put down.  I would pick them up, tell myself no, and set them down again.  After the third time, I knew I had to have them.  I am really working on limiting plastic cookware in the house and trying to use glass, ceramic and stoneware.

When I brought them to the register, I was pleasantly surprised to find out they were marked down even further to $5.99.  Wait!  What?  Oh I had to go get another set at that price.  I ran back grabbed another set of measuring cups and then grabbed those delightful little measuring spoons too.  If the cups were on sale, then the matching spoons should be less than the current clearance sticker too, right?  YES!

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I managed to pick up two sets of measuring cups and the measuring spoons for a little over $18, including tax.  The original price tag was still on the spoons; they were $20!  I was elated at my little find in my favorite store.  It never hurts to look.

What’s your favorite store that just makes you all warm and fuzzy as you walk through the entrance?

 

Alternative Coffee

Published March 28, 2015 by lynn k scott

Perhaps I might have led you astray with the title, “Alternative Coffee”, perhaps not.  Some people are very routine in their coffee regimen.  I used to be.  I have been experimenting with different ways to consume the caffeinated life blood I rely on several times a day.

In my efforts to minimize my refined sugar intake, I have switched to exclusively using honey in my coffee.  Where I used to be up to two heaping teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, I’ve minimized that intake over the last month.  When I was able to only use half a teaspoon of sugar, I decided to try honey.

Honey has a higher caloric count than table sugar, but has some benefits over sugar.  It has a lower glycemic index (not by much, but still lower) than sugar.  It has trace minerals and pollen in it and well as being antimicrobial.  I only buy raw, uncooked honey and never purchase from the grocery store.

I use less honey than sugar because it’s a bit sweeter.  I like that it’s not chemically combined, the fructose and glucose, like table sugar is.  Some people might find that reasoning strange, but less sugar, in honey or other form is better, in my opinion.  I haven’t made it the stage where I don’t need any sweetener at all.

Next, I’ve primarily given up dairy in my coffee.  My family has a history of milk intolerance.  I experience these symptoms from time to time so when I can use an alternative to cow’s milk, I do.  My latest passion for lightening my coffee is using coconut milk.  I love the flavor it adds to the coffee.  I am not a fan of flavored creamers or half and half.  I’m so picky, right?

I’ve been using the honey and coconut milk combination for about two weeks now.  It’s proving to be one of the best combinations I’ve come up with.  The die-hard “Dunkies” who love their coffee regular (East Coast terminology) would probably have a heart attack with my tree-hugging, California-influenced, coffee drinking concoction, but it’s ok.  They just haven’t been enlightened to the yummy taste I now enjoy daily.

A New Yorker in Northern California

Published March 7, 2015 by lynn k scott

I spent the first 25 years of my life living in rural Upstate New York (NY).  Contrary to popular belief, there is a world outside of New York City; as in 2/3 of the rest of the state of New York.  There are smaller cities and lots of farming communities.  I come from a small town, yes town, not city.  It’s a semi-famous town.  I was at the base of the mountain that Rip Van Winkle supposedly went to sleep on, there’s a famous boxer that left our town and made it big.  If you can figure the location out from there, you get a bonus point.

My adult life has been complicated with a capital C.  Without going into details, I accepted a sales job in CA.  The company paid my bus ticket and my mother saw me off at the Greyhound station one brisk April morning.  No one knew I was leaving except her (see the complicated sentence).  So with a new jean jacket and one suitcase, I started my journey to California.

I had never traveled by bus before.  It’s a long journey, to be sure.  Greyhound stops in the most remote locations where you’d never imagine a commercial bus would stop.  I met a couple of guys along the way.  We stayed together for most of our journey.  There was even a moment when I considered an offer not to continue to CA, but to continue on with one of the guys I had met.  That didn’t happen because you’re reading I did end up in CA.

We finally pull into Sacramento, CA.  This was not my destination, but just seeing all the palm trees lining the street made me feel as if I was in Beverly Hills.  Yes, I know those two locations are worlds apart.  Can I help it if my exposure to California had only been via the movies?  We continue on and I had about another two hours to go.  I was headed for Hayward, CA; the armpit of the East Bay.  No offense to Hayward, but it’s not the nicest of cities and compared to surrounding cities, via a 30 minute drive, it’s sort of a dump.

Needless to say, I safely arrived.  Now, to find my ride.  It seems the person sent to pick me up was also picking up someone else.  We managed to connect.  I had made a comment that I didn’t know what I’d do if we didn’t make our connection.  He told me, “well you could have taken B.A.R.T. to the motel”.  Now, being an out-of-towner, Bart is a kid on the Simpsons.  What the heck was he talking about.  As it turns out, B.A.R.T. is short for Bay Area Rapid Transit system. In East Coast terms, this is a cross between the subway and El Train.  I wouldn’t learn that for a few more days.  Then I asked, “why didn’t you say it was the subway”?  That just got a laugh.  As I would learn years later, having to commute via B.A.R.T., it’s anything but rapid and it does service (most of) the Bay Area.

Fast-forward a month or so.  That sales job did not work out.  All sorts of reasons why not.  I end up in a homeless shelter in Newark for a couple of weeks.  I was able to find a job as a live in maid.  Yup, this white girl was a maid.  Working for rich people has its own challenges.  One thing I did learn, many Californians eat dinner late.  Back home, dinner was at 5:00 or 6:00 o’clock max.  Here, eating at 6:30 or 7:30 is normal.  I attribute part of that to commuting.  Commuting here can be a nightmare.  Six lane freeways are often multi-colored (car) parking lots.  Nothing like having an hour commute, going 65 mph and it taking you 90 minutes because of slow traffic.

Being new to CA and desperately needing coffee, someone took me to Starbucks.  This began my dislike of the company I now refer to as the “Evil Empire”.  If you don’t know, people from NY typically have a low tolerance for nonsense.  We are very straight-forward and many of us swear and think nothing of it.  I am one of those people.

At the cash register, where you place your order, there there stacked coffee cups; small, medium and large.  Where I grew up, we didn’t have coffee houses – so this was new for me.  I ordered a simple, “medium” coffee.  The young employee (20ish), responded, “Grande?”.  I said, “no, medium”.  He again replied, “Grande?”.  This was quickly turning into a bad Abbott and Costello routine.  I needed my caffeine fix and this kid was asking if I wanted a large coffee when I was clearly asking for a medium coffee.  I took Spanish, “grande” means large.  Little did I know how backwards the Evil Empire was with its terminology.  I leaned in close, pointed to the medium cup and said, “I don’t care what the f*ck you call this size cup, fill it with coffee and take my money for it so I can leave”.  He suddenly got the picture that this name-game was over. I received my coffee and got my fix.  I wouldn’t return to the Evil Empire for many years.  I actually boycotted them before it became fashionable to do so.

Later, I went to the grocery store.  Now back East, you can go into any grocery store or convenient store, such as Stewart’s, and grab a “hard roll with butter”.  I ordered that at the deli and the person with me and the deli clerk looked at me as if I had sprouted three heads.  Oooooookay….that obviously wasn’t right.  I explained to my friend what I was looking for.  A “hard roll” is sort of like a kaiser roll, with butter on both sides, put together.  In retrospect, it’s like a round butter sandwich.  Either way, it’s the breakfast of half up the town I grew up in.  Ok, back to my job….

The maid job only lasted so long.  I was actually let go by the office receptionist.  My boss told her to call and fire me.  It’s ok, the kids in that house drove me nuts.  No accountability for anything.  I then lived in a motel for a few weeks.  Found a waitressing job in a pizza restaurant that paid the bills.  I was actually hired because of my experience and because I was a NYer.  Yes, my boss told me that.  He said, NYers have a good work ethic and they do their jobs well.  I was like “sweet!”. Shortly after, I was able to rent a room and had met someone; we began dating.  He started showing me California.

Now, going over the Bay Bridge into San Francisco was interesting.  I got to see Alcatraz from the bridge.  The place I’d read about, the place where Capone was sent; I was giddy.  I’m a history buff and I thought that was absolutely fascinating. Years later I would work a catering gig on Alcatraz.  I would see areas that are not on the general tour. Fascinating!

My boyfriend showed me San Francisco and did the touristy stuff with me.  He grew up in San Francisco and hated the tourists.  Coming from a tourist town, I understood that.  We visited Ghirardelli Square (must for chocolate lovers),  Pier 39 (home of the dock seals), Coit Tower and even road a trolley car.  I was impressed that I could see some rooftops.  In NY City, that’s not really an option.  The buildings are ridiculously tall.  I don’t know if my boyfriend had ever seen San Francisco through the eyes of a tourist before.  He got a kick out of all the comparisons.

As for the food, I miss NY for that.  Luckily, I am a good cook and can replicate my favorite dishes.  I don’t make a “like NY cheesecake”, I make NY cheesecake.  There is a difference.  Bagels I have found a couple places that do them justice.  However, trying to find a salt bagel out here can be challenging.  Pizza, I’ve found a local joint that knows how to make real NY pizza.  CA pizza just sucks.  There is no comparison.  One food I have discovered out here, that I absolutely adore is ube ice cream.  For those of you unfamiliar with ube, it’s a purple yam from the Philippines.  The ice cream is a beautiful shade of purple, my favorite color, so that’s just a bonus for me.  I will order ube ice cream at every opportunity.  I don’t get it often and buying a small container of it isn’t cheap.

I’m going to fast-forward a lot of years.  I married my boyfriend who I first met shortly after arriving in CA.  We have been married 10.5 years and have a 9 year old daughter, a house, two dogs and two fish (dang carnivals).  Life still is not easy but I’m working on making it manageable.

Thank you for walking with me down memory lane.

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