Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's Definitely Summer.


The forecast for vacation would be daunting for non-Floridians: 50% chance of thunderstorms every day of our vacation weekend. Or in other words, typical, and what we expected. Not worried. 50% means the lawns in our neighborhood might get a nice afternoon rain while not a drop falls 45 minutes south. Even if it rains at Disney, we are Floridians and we pack ponchos, and the resort has backup plans for movies and games indoors. After the rain passes there's the option of evening swimming in the heated resort pools. Not concerned.

But the sun is fierce and the heat, the heat is upon us, and my next electric bill will be 50% higher than the last one, when it was only hot and then cooler and hot again. The one after that? I don't want to think about it. I hear the AC running. We are in it up to our sweaty scalps now, and will remain in this sorry state until...Halloween?

I'm so desperate, tomorrow I will begin the transport of iced coffee components to the office. We have an overcrowded office fridge, but dammit, I will find room for my cold coffee concentrate and almond milk. It's the only way I can consume coffee from now till what passes for fall here.

I make my own cold brewed French press iced coffee concentrate. I took the proportions of coffee to water from an online recipe that started with, "Set your coffee grinder to medium burr," and jumped the hell over that shit to figure out that 1/3 cup coffee to 1-1/2 cups of water is a good proportion. I popped open a fancy plastic tub of Folgers 100% Columbian and gave it a try. I have a French press pot from Le Target, and I dump in 2/3 cup of Fancy Columbian Folgers and three cups of water from the fancy Brita filter pitcher in the fridge, give it a stir, and stick it in the fridge for 12 hours.

Then it gets a bit mechanical: apply the press and squeeze the grounds. Unless your press is a higher quality than mine, you probably will have a very dark and cloudy and faintly grainy liquid. I then put a small strainer over a 4 cup measuring cup, line the strainer with a coffee filter, and pour as much coffee as will fit without overflowing and let it strain. While this is happening you can walk the dog, put on makeup, whatever, it's not wasted time. Repeat as needed until all the coffee has been strained, then dump into a clean container (I use a Mason jar from some brand of pasta sauce, maybe Paul Newman?) Screw on a lid, (I use a Mason jar aftermarket white plastic lid, again from Le Target) and stick it in the fridge again. You have coffee concentrate. How you use it is up to you. My personal favorite iced coffee beverage is a tall glass of ice filled 1/3 to 1/2 way up with cold coffee concentrate, topped with sweetened vanilla almond milk. If I want it richer, I add a splash of sweetened vanilla almond creamer. It's absolutely decadent, and is the only way I want to drink coffee when my scalp sweats as soon as I open the front door.

Vacation is two weeks away. Yes, it's only two nights at a Disney resort 45 minutes from my house, but yes, I'm excited. I don't get out much.

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