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Tiny journeys in my kitchen (#2): coffee for you
|January 20, 2011||Posted by ameliaps under coffee, inspiration, journeys, lunch, poem, poetry, simple; cappuccino|
[Pictured above: home-made cappuccino for my love with cocoa and our Neapolitan espresso maker; the rain on my car’s windshield, as I drive; a brown wintry leaf in the backyard]
Tiny journeys in my kitchen (#2): coffee for you – January 20, 2011
You might recall that I just started a new series of blog posts titled “Tiny journeys in my kitchen”. You can find the first one, a simple lunch, and an introduction to the series, here. Here is my second post.
I try (key word: try) to take the time everyday for a small little gesture of love. It really does not take much, just the thought. All I need is to remember that stress, tension and anger are short lived but compassion, humbleness and giving are built over time, day after day, one small gesture at a time. Feelings are a bit like water… when they come down fast and all at once, they are destructive, but when they come down slowly and one drop at a time, they shape, model and leave a mark. Our relationships are marked by the pace at which we communicate and if we take time to slow down that pace (maybe think twice before saying something? maybe listen more carefully?…truly listen?), we can say words with a stronger and deeper meaning. A little gesture to let us know we are being thought of and are loved of is all we need, especially on cold, muggy, slushy, rainy, lonely, middle of the week, middle of the winter, middle of the road days. Today was one of them.
So today, I made my husband some fresh home-made cappuccino.
You start with a small espresso maker (the classic Neapolitan “macchinetta” is great but a Bialetti will do just fine). You carefully open the tin of ground espresso (I like the kind that is sustainable, shade grown and organic: it’s better for the universe, the soil, and the birds) and sniff in the aroma from Sumatra, the Colombian Andes, Jamaica’s Blue Mountain, or the island of Kona… imaginary travelling is always welcome. Once you are back on Earth, pour water to the pressure marker in the bottom part of the coffee machine. Mind you, spring water is best, unless your tap water is from Naples. Put the filter in and add a few tablespoons of coffee, seal, turn the fire on, warming your hands over the steam, and wait for the smell and sound of espresso to greet you at the stove. The taste of coffee starts in your ear and nose. I like to take a tad of the first dark “expression” (the few initial drops that come out when water presses the coffee and burst to the top like a sleepy volcano about to erupt) and mix it with sugar (don’t be shy…maybe 2 tablespoons), in a cup, creaming it with a small teaspoon, until it’s silky and smooth: this makes the perfect froth. Distribute the froth in two small cups and add coffee. Stir. Then heat up some milk in a small pitcher and whisk it until airy bubbles form on top. To assemble: you pour the milk onto the sugared coffee, top it with the milk froth and dust it with dark Dutch cocoa (but anything goes, even cinnamon). Dropping a small piece of dark Swiss chocolate on the bottom of the cup is optional and makes for a great mocha flavor.
You can see this is a labor of love, a special giving ritual. And it tastes like it. Make it for someone you love.
Coffee for you
I made you some cappuccino.
I had a feeling you needed a cup of coffee,
The real stuff,
Maybe one with an extra teaspoon of sugar,
Possibly some milk, a bit of froth on top,
…and a sprinkle of dark cocoa to finish.
On this wintry and lonely January day,
There’s some snow left-over from the storm, mostly slush,
The rain is trickling down and the leaves are still brown,
But inside it’s warm.
Come inside, dear.