The joys of savoring.
As I sit here, I'm having trouble typing without rubbing my palms together [which position was generally frowned upon in my sophomore typing class (where I met my still close personal friend Bill The Almost Accountant.)].
See, I have a thick slice of ham on my large cast iron skillet, and I can hear it sizzling and and smell it. Said slice was carved off of the Giant Ham Of Doom. The GHoD was given to me for Christmas, and has lived in the bottom of the refrigerator. Originally, we planned to cook it and use the ham bone for our New Year's Day black eyed peas, but we just didn't get it in the oven early enough. See, it takes eight hours to cook a 24 lb ham. I have no idea what this bad boy cost, but one would start by pricing a large porcine animal.
The meat's incredible.
I'm as excited as this girl.
Eerie, ain't it?
- - - -
Of course, one needs a fine beverage to wash down this (succulent, juicy, tender) dish with. No, not a beer. A: too early in the day, and B: They frown upon me showing up for work (as I am scheduled to do in a couple of hours) reeking of IPA.
No, it's Coffee Time.
And I'm not just throwing down a cuppa cheap mud.
I am drinking the Real Thing.
Regular readers of this blog know that I have a certain... uh... relationship with coffee. My own beloved mother commented on this blog that I had an unhealthy obsession with it. "Coffee" is probably the most-used post tag on this blog. Yet until this week, I had been appreciating something less than what this brew could fully be. I was as a car afficianado appreciating the superb renditions of Hondas out there (quality cars to be sure, but there is a point beyond which they cannot exceed), or a shotist waxing poetic about the wonders of his Uberti clone. I was ignorant of what lay beyond.
Oh, I had heard of greater lands. Friends and bloggers whispered in my ear of coffee presses and fresh-roasting. But I had an $11 handy grinder, and I bought good Starbucks beans, and why should I listen to them?
[Fie on't? Oh fie, fie 'tis an unweeded Garden...]
To think of the portion of my life that I have wasted, with my parched lips unannointed by this nectar that I have decocted in my own kitchen.
Why is this method not more popular? Answer: It takes time, and attention.
Last year, I upgraded to a quality burr grinder.
This Christmas, I received from Holly and Dad a chambord French press coffee maker. I uncharacteristically read the instructions, and found that, although it takes significantly more effort to make a pot of coffee, the results are spectacular.
Then, on New Years Eve, Mom-- the same lady who accused me of having an unhealthy obsession with the Dark Brew Of Happiness-- gave me a Fresh Roast Plus 8 Coffee Bean Roaster. Put a couple of scoops of green Colombian Valencia beans into it, dial it up for 6 minutes, and let it turn those bad beans brown.
While it's roasting, double-filter a couple of pints of tap water and get that to boiling.
Grind the roasted beans in the burr grinder on Coarse setting.
Pour the whole batch into the chambord.
When the water's boiling or just below, pour it over the coffee in the French press.
Stir with a plastic spoon.
Cover and let sit for four minutes.
Slowly press the straining plate down to the bottom of the coffee pot.
Turn the strainer to the front of the spout, and pour a cup.
I haven't managed to go from cold green bean to cuppa coffee in less than 20 minutes, but I'm trying.
One of the most amazing things about this method is that the last cup is better than the first. Also, it's far, far, far, far, farfarfarfarfarfar more caffiene-rich than regular drip or espresso.
Dammit. I am so frickin' ruined. I feel like the main character in a certain fictional movie discussed over breakfast in Reservoir Dogs; nothing will ever feel as good again.
It's like my first cup of coffee.