Food

Learning About Coffee at La Terza

Dear Kid,

In all the excitement of The Big News yesterday, I didn’t have time to tell you about our experience at La Terza.

La Terza is an Artisan Coffee Roasterie in Cincinnati. Not only do they roast up extraordinary coffee, they believe strongly in educating people about all things coffee. So on Saturday, Dad and I went over to La Terza for a tour. And education. A tour-cation. A tour de force of tasting and learning.

Learning about coffee at La Terza. DearKidLoveMom.com

We tasted three different kinds of coffee (Ethiopian, the second one which I think was Brazilian but I’m not sure, and Sumatran).

We learned that when coffee is first brewed, it is too hot for all our happy taste buds. The only ones that work at super hot temps are the bitter receptors. So wait for your coffee/tea/soup to cool from about 180 degrees down to 145 or so to taste the full flavor.

Learning about coffee at La Terza. DearKidLoveMom.com

We learned about how coffee spread around the world and how it’s now grown on farms. We learned more in an hour and a half than….well, we learned a lot.

Then we got to help in the process! (How cool is that!)

We got to help roast the Sumatran beans. Dad poured the green beans into the roaster. (I moved the lever.)

Dad helped roast the Sumatran beans at La Terza. DearKidLoveMom.com

When the beans were done, David (La Terza’s owner) ground them up and made us coffee. Freshest cup ever.

Dad helped roast the Sumatran beans at La Terza. DearKidLoveMom.com

It was a wonderful morning.

Love, Mom

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Yark! Running a Little Late

Yark! Running a Little Late

Dear Kid,

Yark! This morning came a little early.

Actually, this morning came right on time. Our decision to do something with it came a little late. Which means I have 8 minutes to dash off this letter, finish my coffee, and be in the car.

We’re headed for a tour of a coffee roaster. I think that sounds like an excellent way to spend a boiling hot Saturday morning, don’t you? According to Dad, we’ll get to see the roasting operation and taste a couple of different kinds of coffees. I’m in!

Six minutes.

Other exciting things on the docket for the weekend: fill the car with gas, do some house cleaning, do a little cooking, brush the Puppy, sleep. Makes you wish you were here, doesn’t it?

Two minutes.

Gotta fly.

Love, Mom

 

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The Sound of Silence (I Wish)

The Sound of Silence (I Wish)

Dear Kid,

You know the Sound of Silence? The one where nothing disturbs a beautiful sleep? The one Simon & Garfunkel sang of so eloquently back in the day? The one that’s supposed to exist on a summer Sunday morning?

We didn’t have it today.

Instead, the Puppy decided to practice his impression of an alarm clock. A very unhappy alarm clock. An alarm clock no one bothered to turn off.

After doing my best to ignore him for a while, I rolled out of bed to see what the catastrophe was. He wagged happily, said good morning politely, and returned to his pillow for a nap. I made coffee.

If I had to guess, I’d say that he was upset about not being invited on the bike ride with Dad and Pi. But since they aren’t here at the moment, I can’t inquire. Because the Puppy isn’t talking.

Have a good Sunday, kiddo.

Love, Mom

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You’re Not Going to Believe What Went Into These S’mores

Dear Kid,

The other day it rained.

Not a monsoon, but enough to break out my beloved rain boots and scurry from car to building under an umbrella. A big umbrella, not the tiny collapsible kind.

By early evening the storm had passed, leaving everything sparkly fresh. And wet.

So we made s’mores the traditional way—by cooking the marshmallows over the stovetop. DearKidLoveMom.comPi had one of her friends over to visit and Dad suggested s’mores. He’s been particularly s’more-fixated this year. The girls thought it was a fine idea. They collected the ingredients and Dad, thePuppy, and I went outside to build a fire.

Did I mention “wet”?

We searched high and low to find semi-dry fire building material (strong emphasis on “semi”), and we had no trouble creating fire—that is, lighting the matches. Many matches.

The Puppy amused himself by digging a bed in the mulch.

After a while, Dad decided to (sacrilege!) add newspaper as a fire starter. We had no difficulty in lighting the newspaper. We even managed to get some of the pine needles to smoke and smolder a bit.

After another while, the girls, the Puppy, and I went inside where we made s’mores the traditional way—by cooking the marshmallows over the stovetop. (Advantages: actual heat and fewer mosquitoes.) Dad refused to give up and continued to attempt to create fire.

Many, many matches gave their lives in the attempt. No actual wood was harmed.

We invited Pi’s friend to come back another time when the probability of lighting a fire might be higher.

Love, Mom

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Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day

Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day

Dear Kid,

Do you know what tomorrow is? Besides being July 1st I mean.

It is Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day.

This is worth thinking about creatively. Not in a Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean kind of way (no, I cannot imagine Ear Wax Ice Cream), but creatively nonetheless.

What's your idea for a creative ice cream flavor? DearKidLoveMom.comLike Ben & Jerry’s all out craziness.

How about Cheesecake Chocolate Ice-Cream-Sandwich Brownie Caramel Ice Cream with Cool Whip on top? Already been done? Moving on.

What about a flavor called Sailboat that could make you feel like you’re drifting on a lake on a bright spring day?

Or one called Aced It which would be the flavor of getting all the questions right on a final exam?

How about Snuggle Puppy which would be the warm hug of a tired puppy curling up in your lap?

On the other end of the flavor spectrum we could have Frozen Computer Screen.

What’s your idea for a creative ice cream flavor?

Love, Mom

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When Following the Rule is a Bad Idea

Dear Kid,

One of the things we’ve tried very hard to teach you and Pi is to try new things, especially new foods. However, I have just discovered there is at least one exception to the Try New Things rule.

We were watching Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network. It was the episode where Marcus Samuelesson battles Bobby Flay. Because it’s Bobby’s show, the guest gets to choose the dish. And Marcus chose Chicken Doro Wat which is a spicy Ethiopian chicken stew and which Bobby had absolutely no idea how to make.

The King asked the Queen and the Queen asked the Dairymaid “Could we have some butter for the Royal slice of bread?” And NO ONE asked for funky fermented butter. Ever. DearKidLoveMom.comThat’s not the interesting part, nor is it the part about you not trying things. My understanding is that doro wat is about a zillion kinds of delicious. (So be sure to try it if you have the opportunity.)

One of the ingredients Marcus used was funky fermented butter (I’m quoting). Well-known (and pretty funky herself) chef Anne Burrell went over to check on Marcus’ progress and asked if she could taste the funky fermented butter. Of course he said yes, so she did.

And the face she pulled was priceless.

Apparently, funky fermented butter is delicious when used as the base for Chicken Doro Wat but not something one should eat plain.

Now you know.

Love, Mom

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