Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rules of Civility & Coffee

Being With You  In Paris-Steve Vai. Steve Vai is one of the best guitarists ever and it only seems appropriate to pick this song to keep the people of Paris in our thoughts. On Friday I went to see Spectre (the new James Bond film) and after leaving the theatre the very next thing I saw was the news. It was beyond surreal. It was one of those pinch me moments because I really thought, there's no way, that death and destruction was only in the movie. One could say that it's hard to believe such evil could exist, but there it is for all to see. If you're a person who believes in prayer please take the time to include Paris, Beirut and Japan in those prayers. You could also include a prayer for the monsters who attacked those innocent people. Pray that they come to realise what they're doing is wrong. It's definitely been a heavy weekend, but the rock is still rotating and the sun came around again. Carrying on after a tragedy can sometimes feel like the hardest thing to do but it's the one thing we must do.

With the holidays coming up I wanted to share this simple recipe.  If you're anything like me you spend most of your holiday cooking time making sure the food is great for everyone else. Sure having people tell you that your food tastes great is wonderful and having people happy with full bellies is the best but it's great to do something for yourself, tell yourself it's a reward for having your guests lick the plates clean. Sweet cinnamon coffee. A lot of countries use condensed milk instead of dairy creamer or worse, powdered creamer. I don't know what it is about that stuff it just doesn't work for me. The powdered creamer seems to leave a gross oily coating in my mouth and the liquid stuff never sits well. Using real milk or half & half is a better solution but sometimes you just want that sweet, like drinking your dessert.  All you need is fresh brewed coffee (please don't microwave your coffee!) can of sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon. Use 1-2 Tbsp of condensed milk, pinch of cinnamon and fill the cup with coffee and stir. The hardest thing about this recipe will probably be to find a churchkey to open the can of condensed milk. You can still buy them so it's not that big of a deal, but it used to be something every household had at least four of laying around. If you've had an overly stressful day of holiday cooking this recipe would work extremely well with a shot of Kahlua.  The Dude would not only abide, he would approve.
The book I read this week, Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles. The story takes place in the late 1930s. It focuses on the life of Katey Kontent. She's a young, single woman in New York trying to make her way in the world. At first it talks a little about the "class system" but wasn't sure where it was going with that, it just felt like it was establishing the characters. It did turn out to discuss this upper, lower and middle class stuff but much to Katey's surprise, no matter how much or how little money you have you'll always have problems, especially if you create your own. It seems like a story that's been told over and over, poor little rich girl/Cinderella nonsense, but the way this author tells it, it's much more enjoyable to read.  The way the author describes everything, it's just like being there. It's very well written and is a nice escape from the real world.
Next week I'm going to share my recipe for mashed potatoes, discuss champagne VS prosecco and of course some random book I pull off the shelf.

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