Posts Tagged 'don’t put soap in your coffee'

The ends justify the beans

As I mentioned earlier, my Christmas present from Megan consisted of the means with which to roast coffee at home. Pictured here is the product of the first batch, roasted Sunday night. More pictures can be found here. (For that matter, more pictures from Christmas and from goose-cooking can be found here.) We also roasted a batch last night. Thus far, we’ve used the stovetop popcorn popper method; we also want to try the stovetop cast-iron method.

What I can say is that it has not been appreciably difficult or time-consuming and the results have been quite drinkable. The flavor is different enough from your typical bag of *$$ (let me know if you don’t understand what I mean) that it’s definitely an adjustment, but so far it’s been an adjustment along the lines of “See, here’s how something you already like can do what it does better.” Perhaps it’s like being used to macaroni and cheese being made with Velveeta and then somebody comes along and makes a white sauce from scratch with Gruyère — and perhaps that’s an analogy that makes sense to me and me alone (like so much)… Anyway, the point is, flavor adjustment or no, I’m not sure there’s any going back.

One other observation: I’m pretty sure the caffeine content is greater this way.

How sure? Pretty sure. I think my wife has gotten to bed sometime around 4am every night since Sunday.

And now I have a friend with whom we’ve started to have hushed conversations about home brewing. This all sort of started four years ago when I decided I wanted to bake our own bread — does it ever end?

Wow, is it the last day of 2008 already? Couldn’t come soon enough. Retrospective to follow shortly.


The final week of NaNoWriMo and so on

My gold coffee filter was soaking in soapy water all night; I rinsed it out before using it this morning, but the coffee still distinctly tasted of soap and had a decidedly viscous texture. My tongue still feels slimy. Blech.

I will definitely not reach 50,000 words by Sunday. However, there is no doubt in my mind that, save a natural disaster, I will finish the first draft of Pascha at the Singing School by then. I think it will end up around 20,000 words; right now, with Matthias having just confessed in the Saint Catherine Chapel and skipping off to the warmup for the Paschal liturgy, I’m just shy of 15,000 words with just the final plot point and dénouement to go, and depending on how carefully I choreograph the action in the finale, we’re probably talking 3,000-5,000 words. I think I can do this with relative ease over the Thanksgiving break. Then I will stick it in a drawer for two weeks and see what I’ve actually got afterwards. When I’m done crying, I’ll figure out what needs to be fixed and then see what I can do about having some pencil sketches done of some key moments. Maybe, just maybe, I can start trying to shop this thing around in January.

By the way, if you’re at all like me and annoyed that store-bought cereal appears to be increasingly expensive for what you get, I have found that this recipe yields absolutely wonderful results. I made a batch last night, using a cup of walnuts and a cup of pecans and following the suggestion to add hulled sunflower seeds, and tried it this morning; it’s tasty (particularly with raisins added), it’s healthy, and it’s easy to make. I’m not certain that it’s necessarily any less expensive than store-bought cereal, given what nuts cost, but I am certain that it’s more satisfying one way or the other, and likely to be a lot healthier.

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