Food

Weekend Recap | Bengals, Coffee, Storm, Coffee, Snoring, Coffee

Dear Kid,

To recap the weekend.

The Bengals. Painful. Just painful to watch. In case you missed it (be thankful), there was fighting—as in it looked like a hockey game broke out on the field (no, I don’t think it looked like mixed martial arts). People were ejected. Commentators had explosive coronaries.

Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of coffee. ~Stephanie Piro DearKidLoveMom.comSpeaking of painful to watch, I was on TV (I do not like to be in front of cameras). David (from La Terza Coffee) and I got up at (insert ungodly hour of the morning) and went down to WLWT to talk about the Cincinnati Coffee Festival. Dad said we were awesome, so I’m going with that. Of course, we were followed by puppies (seriously—tiny balls of fur were showing off their adorableness before their adoption event) and it’s pretty much impossible to compete with puppies.

I did not adopt one. But it was a struggle.

I’m going to be on TV again today on a different channel with a different coffee vendor. Hopefully no puppies and no struggling to walk away without taking one home.

Equally as difficult was sleeping. There was a storm. Complete with warnings (Flash Flood Warning, Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Tornado Warning, Unhappy Puppy Being Walked in the Rain Warning—you name it, we were warned).

On the plus side, it was clock changing weekend. I love having an extra hour. I usually spend it doing something wildly self-indulgent. This year, I spent it watching the Bengals implode. That was not self-indulgent. It was more ex-dulgent.

Also on the plus side: snoring Puppy. It is one of the most wonderful sounds in the world. And since he snored on and off all day, it was more than enough to satisfy my extra hour happiness quota.

Hope you enjoyed your extra hour.

Love, Mom

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Cincinnati Coffee Festival and Weird Coffee Facts

Cincinnati Coffee Festival and Weird Coffee Facts

Dear Kid,

We’re busy getting ready for the Cincinnati Coffee Festival (the world’s coolest event November 11-12 at Cincinnati Music Hall–buy tickets here). Which means we are thinking about….wait for it….coffee.

Coffee can make people do, um, interesting things.

That about sums it up, doesn't it? What I learned about Bulletproof coffee. DearKidLoveMom.Napoleon Bonaparte asked for a spoonful of coffee while on his deathbed, and his autopsy revealed coffee grounds in his stomach. He once said, “I would rather suffer with coffee than be senseless.” That’s pretty much how I feel every morning.

Coffee is used in all kinds of sayings. In baseball, a player with a “cup of coffee” is one who has played only one game in the majors as either a pitcher or a batter. (Did you know that? I didn’t think so.)

Some people drink coffee. Some people drink a lot of coffee. Some people drink a LOT of coffee. Like Honoré de Balzac (the early 19th century French author) who reportedly drank 50 cups of coffee a day. Most people would agree that is a ridiculous amount. It’s a good thing Balzac didn’t get $9 lattes.

Some people drink coffee black. Others don’t. Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, drank a lot of coffee. He would pour sugar into the coffee cup until it was piled up above the rim, then add incredibly strong, black coffee, which slowly dissolved the sugar. Then he’d gulped the whole thing down in one go. Have a little coffee with your sugar.

And some people think coffee is more than coffee, it’s their own personal canvas. 

Love, Mom

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The Truth About Peanut Butter and Jelly

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as peanut butter and jelly. This was known as the Pre-Lunch Period.

Even once peanuts were invented no one really cared or paid attention until the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

Initially, peanut butter was a très trendy treat and one ate it on toast triangles while one called oneself “one.” One sometimes at it with watercress just to show that one was sophisticated enough not to spit out the watercress.

Meanwhile in 1901, Julia Davis Chandler invented the recipe for peanut butter and jelly. (All hail the first Ms. Julia.)

Peanut butter and jelly DearKidLoveMom.comThings really picked up for pb&j when Otto Rohwedder invented the bread slicer. Yes, he most certainly did, and he marketed it as “the greatest step forward in baking since bread was wrapped. (Later the slogan became “the greatest thing since sliced bread.”—I am not making that up.) The bread slicer meant that people (and by “people” I mean children and klutzy adults) could make sandwiches without having to handle sharp implements.

With pre-sliced bread readily available, people needed things to put in between slices.

Enter Mr. Paul Welch and his love of smooshing up grapes into jelly, which wasn’t nearly as good as strawberry jam, but Paul didn’t care about that at all.

Meanwhile, the peanut thing was happening. Fact: Peanut butter was not invented by Dr. George Washington Carver. He just popularized all things peanut. Peanut butter was probably invented by Dr. Ambrose Straub who thought peanut butter paste was a good thing for patients who had trouble swallowing (or fewer than the standard number of teeth). Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (you know him as the inventor of boxes of cereal) figured out how to manufacture peanut butter. Kellogg and Straub went to the Fair (the St. Louis World Fair) and it was a hit. A smallish hit, but a hit nonetheless.

Enter sugar added to peanut butter (yum), creamier peanut butter that didn’t stick to the roof of your mouth as much (yay), and The Great Depression (boo). Peanut butter was satisfying, high in protein, and cheap, all of which helped boost its popularity.

Then (this part should be accompanied by an amazing soundtrack), We the People entered WWII and pb&j went right along with us. Peanut butter and jelly was (were? was?) part of the rations given to soldiers—and it was better than much of the food they were served. And with that, peanut butter and jelly became the quintessential American lunch.

Nothing much happened on the pb&j front for many years. Then came the Era of Commercialization and Mistakes Were Made. Like combining peanut butter and jelly (and blech) in a single jar. And inventing a shelf stable way to make peanut butter slices (think individually wrapped American cheese slices but with peanut butter) which avoided all that spreading and bread ripping. Bad ideas all around.

These days, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a staple of most homes that have people living in them. There is much controversy in the world about whether creamy or chunky is the correct version (as if it’s even a question!) but that’s a different discussion for a different day.

Love, Mom

P.S. Guess what I had for dinner last night?

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Coffee, Caffeine, Hashtags, and Don’t Talk to Until I’m Alive

Coffee, Caffeine, Hashtags, and Don’t Talk to Until I’m Alive

Dear Kid,

Some things seem obvious.

The problem is that there are some things that are obvious AFTER coffee that are not so obvious BEFORE coffee.

Good morning. Time for a lovely cup of coffee. DearKidLoveMom.comLike not wearing a black shirt to cuddle the Puppy.

Because the Puppy insists on shedding.

#WayTooMuchTimeWithTheLintRoller

Or not experimenting with a breakfast that takes 30 minutes to cook—on a workday when you hit snooze three times.

#NoFoodForMeToday

This leads to our Lesson Of The Day: Do not make major life altering decisions until you are sufficiently caffeinated. Do not Operate Machinery until you know how the appropriate amount of caffeine affects you.

Dad does not always remember this Important Lesson. He has never (to the best of my recollection) snuggled the Puppy while wearing a black dress shirt. On the other hand, he often tries to talk to me before I’m alive.

This is not practicing Safe Communication.

#TakingHisLifeInHisHands

Beware the Uncaffeinated, my love. We are vicious.

Once we wake up.

Love, Mom

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Cincinnati Coffee Festival, NYC, and Hotcakes

Cincinnati Coffee Festival, NYC, and Hotcakes

Dear Kid,

Tickets are available for the Cincinnati Coffee Festival and they’re selling like hotcakes.

This, of course, raises the question: Exactly how quickly do hotcakes sell? The blindingly obvious answer is: Very.

Apparently—either in reality or in someone’s fertile imagination—hotcakes were crazy popular at fairs and festivals. I’m guessing there wasn’t a lot going on at the fairs and festivals of the nineteenth century.

NYCoffee Festival Bag DearKidLoveMom.comDad and I went to the New York Coffee Festival this past weekend and it was awesome. Not as awesome as the Cincinnati Coffee Festival will be but that’s partly because it wasn’t in Cincinnati Music Hall. Not that I’m biased or anything.

NYCoffee Festival Bag DearKidLoveMom.comWe had coffee, cascara (you remember what that is, right?), tea, turmeric tea latte, cookies, more coffee, chocolate, donuts, even more coffee, and a whole lot of other yum. Which is pretty much what people will find at the Cincinnati Coffee Festival. I can’t be sure about the turmeric lattes. We’ll also have live music, demos, and a latte art throwdown.

I’m reasonably sure there won’t be any hotcakes.

Love, Mom

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The Corn Harvest

Dear Kid,

As you probably remember, Dad spent much of the summer tending his vegetable gardens with the love and care usually reserved for offspring.

Because of all his hard work, we’ve enjoyed home-grown cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, beets, and a melon. Ok, we didn’t actually enjoy the melon; it was pretty awful. But the rest of the produce was great.

The corn harvest 2017. DearKidLoveMom.comLast week we celebrated Harvest the Corn Day. Yep, we grew corn (and by “we” I mean Dad did all the work and I occasionally glanced out the window to see that, yes indeed, there were cornstalks in the middle of the backyard). And yes, we know it’s October, but getting seeds in the ground early is generally not part of Dad’s farming protocol.

The Puppy carefully supervised the shucking and cooking of the corn, waiting (im)patiently for some to drop on the floor.

The corn was excellent. By far the best Dad has ever grown. 

Love, Mom

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