This afternoon, I got a wild hair, and decided to make a late afternoon baked good for Jake and I to share, as we wrap up a somewhat relaxing day of church, playing with Spencer, and cleaning. (Cleaning is the part that makes today not so totally relaxing, but hey, at least the house feels inviting and comfortable again...)
I don't have a ton of recipes lying around (they're all packed away), but I did have a Tastefully Simple boxed Cranberry Apple Cobbler mix, so I grabbed that out of the cupboard and went on my business. Of course, I added my own little flair to it (a few spices, some nuts, some oatmeal, and some caramel will be on the top) so that it's not just a boxed dessert.
I then put on a pot of coffee.
As I did, the aroma surrounded me, and wrapped me in memories of my childhood.
When I was younger, my grandmother and great-grandparents on my mother's side all had "afternoon coffee" time. I think it was probably an every day occurrence, but I can't be totally certain on that. Regardless, I remember sitting around the kitchen table at my Foster Great-Grandparents and my Flesner Great-Grandparents places when we'd visit, as the adults drank coffee and we all had some sort of pastry or other baked good.
At my grandma Leora's house, her table was in the dining room, and that's where the activity would take place.
I remember when I was older (around 10, probably) I was given the opportunity to have a cup of coffee for my cookie or cake, whatever it would be, and I felt so cool. I always loved spending the time with my aunts and mom and grandparents, so to be able to have the coffee too... well, maybe you can imagine how awesome that made me feel.
Truthfully, I didn't really like the taste of the coffee, until my aunt Deb introduced me to creamer, and grandma let me put flavored extracts in it to sweeten it up a bit.
Sitting here with my cup of (not so good) coffee, smelling the cobbler bake, I wonder... is that why I like coffee? I bet it is. Heck, if I think about it, I still don't care for the bitterness of black coffee.
I almost always had creamer (usually flavored) or milk and a shot of flavored syrup of some sort. I will admit I am an addict for Starbucks (and yes, Caribou too (because face it, they use real melted chocolate in all their drinks, and they have some really tasty variations from what Starbucks has (say Macadamia Coconut White Mocha, anyone?), sorry Robert), especially a venti Caramel Macchiato with two pumps white mocha and extra drizzle.
And really, I don't care for the aftertaste of coffee, either.
But, I like it, somehow, for some reason, and I always find myself coming back to it. It's quite possibly the acquired taste mixed with this familiarity of my comforting memories.
Man, I miss those days of camaraderie with the family. Sure, we still have them, from time to time, holidays mostly. But, it's not quite the same without the grandparents.
(The photos are mine, I took them. I probably have even more coffee cup and coffee photos somewhere... in fact, I KNOW I do. I just can't access them on my flickr.