Monday, March 7, 2011

Coffee Reflections

One of the main reasons I blog is to record my history... for myself, my kids, my family and my friends. I fear I will forget my own stories and realities as I get older. I also think I have relatives/readers who have their own memories of our shared history, and might enjoy reading my take on the subject.

Naturally, I hope someday Marly and Dean will enjoy revisiting my stories, and the stories that are their own as well.

Anyway - on to today's story.

I love coffee. Rumor has it I started drinking coffee around the age of 3. This would have been watered down Lutheran coffee, so don't get too worried about my caffeine intake back then. I recall using my mom's coffee to dunk my cookies in. She would get mad about the cookie crumbs floating around her cup. Early on, I got my own cup when out visiting. In the country coffee was usually a part of any visit among women in their homes. (Oh.. and entering houses through the garage, but that is another story.) One such occasion - when my mom came to town to pick us up from school. We would stop by my Aunt Toots's to visit. (Our normal bus ride took about an hour.) Toots lived just a block from school. I would get on the bus, and then look out to see if my mom was parked up the street. If she was, Brett and I jumped off and headed over to her white Chevy Caprice Classic with the baby blue vinyl roof. At Toots's, we would have coffee and some selection of my aunts wide and varied array of baked goods before heading home.

My mom hated baking. She only made oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies, and various pans of bars when necessary. Those two kinds of cookies were REALLY good though. She would make DOZENS at a time and freeze them. When she baked big batches on Saturday mornings, she would listen to records like Carol King or Cat Stevens. She placed chocolate chips in some of the oatmeal when they were hot out of the oven for my dad, because my dad preferred cookies with chocolate in them. Both the oatmeal and chocolate chip were excellent for DUNKING in coffee. The chocolate chip were always perfectly round and uniform in size and shape. I wish I could have one RIGHT NOW!

I also remember going to "coffee parties" with my mom and the neighbor ladies in the country (Brookfield Township to be more specific) - Patty, Yvonne, and Irene. If there were others, I don't recall. The ladies gathered for each other's birthdays. No gifts - just coffee time. I got to come. I was the only child there, as the other ladies were older. I guess Brett got sent off with my dad in the tractor or to the shop while we were gone. And here, I drank coffee.

Coffee on Saturday at my Grandpa's in Bird Island was an institution. My cousins Dee, Kris and I got to go up town to the bakery to get rolls and donuts to go with the coffee. My grandpa used a percolator pot on the stove. He told me the coffee was going to stunt my growth, but let me drink it anyway. I have no idea if coffee was a factor, but in elementary, I was usually the shortest child, and always the skinniest.

At our own house, my mom had a Bunn drip brew coffee maker, so the water was always hot and ready. She brewed Folgers every day. (At my grandpa's it was a can of Hills Brother.) Looking back, I believe it was rather watered down. My mom would re-heat cups through out the afternoon in the microwave. My dad didn't/doesn't drink coffee, so the pot was hers.

I wonder what she would have thought of grinding her own Caribou beans, like I do at my house? I wonder what she would have thought of a latte? (...or what people will pay for coffee.) I suspect she would still prefer her Folgers.

Anyway, this Saturday I had a Breve from Caribou. I grabbed it when I made a quick run for eggs and a few others things at the store around 8 am. I decided it was time for Marly and Dean to give it a taste. Dean wasn't interested. Marly was willing to try.

She didn't take to it.

I think I will keep on trying. A love for coffee must be somewhere in the blood of Marlys's namesake.

Maybe I need to start with Folgers...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love this post, A. Although I wasn't a coffee drinker (and still am not!), I was a country girl who got invited along on those visits, too. An integral part of my childhood! Your post made me feel all warm and fuzzy. HHB


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