Thursday, January 28, 2010

I like my coffee like I like my attitude...bold and dark

I'm still trying to get used to this "new" schedule I'm working...Thursday is such a strange day to be off from work and it's the only day that I am 100% work-free. I am off from my pay-the-bills job on Saturday as well (which makes going in on Friday seem ten times more pointless), but I teach for a few hours, so it's still at least half a work day.

I took my time waking up and then a little more time to get out of bed, but eventually, my belly began protesting "seriously, woman? there is an emptiness that can only be filled with waffles and coffee." So, I dragged myself all five steps to the kitchen and methodically used as little energy as possible to pop two frozen waffles in the toaster oven while the coffee brewed. Hold that image in your head for a moment while I ramble about the quality of coffee and how you can taste the difference between good and bad coffee even when you can't taste anything else.

Last week, I found myself staring down a wall of organic coffee at Whole Foods, primarily because I didn't want to deal with the garbage at Superfresh anymore...I don't know when it happened, but my tastebuds seem to be constantly evolving. Once upon a time, I could not stand coffee and I could not understand how my friends could drink cup after cup of that sludge. Then, one day, as I watched a friend prepare her coffee, it looked enticing for no good reason. I asked if I could have a sip, and that was the day I suddenly liked coffee. Seriously - it was like a light switch. Same thing happened with ketchup, and I'm waiting on pickles and beer, but I'm not there yet. Anyway - back to coffee.

For years, I have been perfectly content to drink Maxwell House Colombian coffee, and occasionally splurge on Eight O'Clock Bean or Starbucks; Godiva or Gloria Jeans if we're feeling really saucy. Mister and I simultaneously discovered that we hate French Roast, so we try to stick with Colombian or Hazelnut (by the way, EOB has the best hazelnut out there, seriously). When I was at WF, I selected from this Wall of Coffee the relatively nondescriptly named Vail Blend. My favorite Starbucks coffee is Cafe Verona, because it is dark, intense, a little bitter, but tempered with a very subtle chocolatey taste. This little "sleeper" coffee could be its twin, so I was in love from the first brewing.

After we ran out, Mister replaced it with Maxwell House Master Blend. I don't know what that means, but I know I was about halfway to work when I took a sip from my travel mug and upon swallowing, grimaced and said out loud (to my purse?), "Wow, that is some awful coffee."

I needed to grab some things at WF today anyway, so you can imagine a new bag of bold bitterness found its way into my basket. The point is, the last pot-worth of the old bag was tucked away on the top shelf and this morning I drank coffee that didn't suck.

Tonight, I finally made the Aloo Chana Soup from The Garden of Vegan. It was even better than I thought it would be! When I was in the Really Weird Stuff aisle today, a convenient little gem was tucked between pickled sushi ginger and something that wasn't even in English - a jar of pre-minced ginger. I thought it might come in handy, and it did - tonight! One of the preserving agents was evaporated cane juice, though, so I think it added more sweetness to the tomatoes and therefore, the soup, than would have been present otherwise. After being sick for a week, though, there was no part of me patient enough to peel and finely mince fresh ginger, so it worked out just fine.

The primary reason I made the soup tonight, despite the fact that tomorrow's highest temperature isn't supposed to hit the freezing mark, was that I was making a side dish. Look how fancy I am. I was all about the convenience foods when I went shopping today - being sick makes me slightly less ambitious. I got some pre-cut cauliflower and knew I needed to use it immediately. Plus, I was super excited to make a "recipe" I found right after I got too sick to cook. I found it on one of the blogs you can link to on the right side of the page - Your Vegan Mom. It's a super simple way of roasting cauliflower and making it as incredibly addicting as she writes in her blog - check it out.

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