Iced Coffee

Hooray, it’s summer, so it’s time to make iced coffee.  I’m quite finicky about my iced coffee; I only drink it in the summer.  Why?  Because I’m a wacko weirdo.  It tastes the same January or July, but I only want it when it’s warm.

Most of the recipes on-line make huge quantities.  I don’t have storage for those quantities.

Start with 1/2 pound coffee beans

This is where the snobbery rears its ugly head.  I use Starbucks whole beans, preferably Sumatra.  I like to grind them myself in my handy Kitchenaid Coffee Grinder.  I go for a very coarse grind, slightly above a medium.  This makes a huge difference when it comes to water absorption.

Put the beans in a large bowl.  Add 4 quarts water and give it a good stir.  Let this sit on the counter overnight, stirring occasionally.

The next day I get out my handy dandy strainer and line it with cheese cloth or an old t-shirt.  I run the coffee water mixture through the strainer into a clean bowl, trying to get as much of the coffee grinds out as I can.  I then transfer it to a large pitcher and store it in the refrigerator.

To make an iced coffee, I start with a large glass, preferably 20 ounces or so.  Snob alert:  I put in an ounce of whole milk and an ounce of heavy cream for G.  And yes, I do measure it out in a jigger.  If you like it sweeter like G and I do, now’s the time to add sugar or Splenda  or whatever.  Give it a good stir.  Add at least half a glass of ice.  Next, 4 to 8 ounces or so of the coffee mixture.  Time for another good stir.  I serve this with a straw, just because I can.  Viola!  Your very own iced coffee.  Be sure and tell people what a coffee snob you are and how involved the process was and they will appreciate their beverage even more.  People are funny that way.

* From the Recipe Box:

I receive quite a few Starbucks cards as gifts so that feeds my iced coffee quality beans.

and remember what Bob Marley said:  Who are you to judge the life I live?  I know I’m not perfect, and I don’t live to be, but before you start pointing fingers…
make sure your hands are clean!   Big kiss, Lynn

Dalgona Coffee

To know me is to know of my deep and abiding love of coffee.  I didn’t marry a coffee man, but he’s living proof you can precipitate change in a person.  He’s as much a coffee freak as I am now.  Whether it’s the Norwegian Hygge or as our youngest called it ” the Minnesota state pastime of coffee and cookies”, we are fans.   If I don’t have coffee, I don’t turn into a jittery mess. I simply enjoy the camaraderie it brings me.

G and I start the day with coffee in bed.  Don’t hate me.  We just find it the perfect transition from night to day.  We’re old farts, so we don’t want to start moving too fast; we could hurt ourselves.  We start the day with regular coffee.  I prefer a dark roast Sumatra, courtesy of my favorite niece.  G does as well, but he puts cream in his.  I know, what a maroon.

Look at me, digressing again.  So, I often try new coffee drinks.  I’ll go with anything from an espresso martini to cold brewed coffee to this new one:  a Dalgona Coffee.  I’d not heard of it before the last month.  I guess it’s famous on Tik Tok.  As you can well imagine, I’m a huge Tik Tok fan…not!

I wasn’t able to try it immediately; I don’t keep a lot of instant coffee on hand.  It is simply not my style and it’s really no faster than my Keurig.  But good old Amazon came through for me again.  I’m such a creature of old commercials, I started humming the Folgers song right away.  Enough already.  This is a most interesting addition to our coffee repertoire.  It’s going to be a fun summertime on the deck beverage.

Combine the following ingredients in a tall metal bowl:

2 tablespoons instant coffee

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoon hot water

Whisk or beat for 3 to 5 minutes.  It will get rich and foamy.

Pour approximately 6 to 8 ounces of milk in a glass.  Add some of the foam on top and spread around.

* From the Recipe Box:

I stirred the foam into the milk a bit.  It’s what Alton recommended.

It was most interesting.  It wasn’t incredible sweet like I was expecting so I sprinkled on a smidge of sugar.

I’ll make it again, but not tomorrow.  G loved it; he’d have it tomorrow!

And next time I’ll add a lot of ice to mine and maybe a sprinkling of grated chocolate or cocoa and a wee dram of Bailey’s.

and remember:  It’s OK if you fall apart sometimes.  Tacos fall apart and we still love them.  Big kiss, Lynn

Marinated Cherries

When you were a kid, how tempting were the maraschino cherries?  We all wanted them.  I have a confession to make, I don’t like them anymore.   I think it might be how cloyingly sweet they seem now.  So, I hit upon a better idea, I’ll make my own cherry garnishes.  And since it’s cherry season here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, now’s the time.

I love Bourbon, Rye and Irish Whiskey.  I’m in a Rye phase currently.  There are so many fabulous varieties hitting the market now, so when it came time for me to marinate my cherries, I decided to use Rye.  The same is true of cherries.  I usually go with the dark purple Bings, but when I can find beautiful Royal Annes, I’m in heaven.  As you can see, the color intensity varies by variety.

Start with a pint size jar.  You’re not going to be canning it so any jar will do.  I have a large quantity of empty Bonne Maman jars since they make the best raspberry jam so I’m using those.  I use my handy cherry pitter and fill the jar with pitted cherries.  Once the jar is to capacity, I fill it with Rye.  Put it in the refrigerator and let it get mellow for a week or 3.  They will only get better and will last for months in the refrigerator.  If you’re willing to share, these taste exquisite on ice cream as well.

Ingredients for a Manhattan:

Marinated Cherry for garnish

Dash Angostura bitters

2 ounces Rye

3/4 ounce Sweet red vermouth

Combine Rye, vermouth and bitters in a cocktail mixing glass.  Add ice and stir until chilled.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish the the marinated cherry.  You can substitute bourbon for the Rye, but why would you want to.

and remember:  I love to paraphrase Dorothy Parker:  Oh I love a Manhattan, 2 at the most, 3 I’m under the table, 4 I’m under the host.  Big kiss, Lynn

Blood Oranges are the Best

I know, I know.  Why am I wasting time talking about a garnish.  Come summer, when the deck is sunny and people are milling about and the water in the bay is sparkling like a freshly cut diamond, you are going to add one of these frozen blood orange slices to a glass of lemonade, a vodka lemonade or simply a glass of water.  People are going to go, “ohhhh, ahhhh, this looks amazing”.  The flavor of the blood orange isn’t that different, but it does have a berry like tang and the color is simply ravishing.  I also love the color variation from orange to orange.

Blood oranges are only available mid-January to mid-March.  I know you aren’t thinking of summertime entertaining right now, but maybe that’s when we should be.  I start freezing slices the minute I see them in the stores.  I found these the other night at Trader Joe’s (love me my Trader Joe’s).  I line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay the slices down in a single layer.  A quick visit to the freezer and then I store them in Ziploc bags.  They last beautifully.  If you love a Negroni, picture a blood orange slice in that rosy potion.

I used to make them into ice cubes immediately, but that took so much storage space.  I now wait for the weather to improve a bit and I’ll just pop a few slices into the glass with, dare I say, naked ice cubes.  This works equally well with Washington Bing cherries.  They also have such a short season.  Use the same parchment paper technique with pitted cherries.  Your Old Fashioned will bless you for frozen cherries.  Come summer, I will make up a couple of ice cube trays of both cherries and orange slices, just to be ready for an impromptu party.  Ah, look at that color!  Enjoy.


and remember:  Every night I look up at the freckled sky and fall in love with the Universe all over again.  I will be counting the stars for the rest of my life.  Big kiss, Lynn (God, but I love words!)