Work has been steady and daunting, but there's always the threat, or so they'd like us all to believe.
The one not-so-mild-mannered-comforting distraction, coffee at the end of the meal. I take mine black.
It might be the process. It is the process. Retrieve pot from coffee cupboard. Pull down cups and saucers. Place cups into stove grates. Place saucers next to stove top. Pull one demitasse spoon from drawer (this spoon doles out the coffee, is then wiped clean with my apron and planted onto saucer or placed onto napkin in front of Roberto).
Fill pot with cold water (checking to be sure the water is in fact cold before filling). Retrieve coffee from coffee cupboard. Inevitably grind coffee (because we're always out). Clean coffee grinder and place back into coffee cupboard. Dole out coffee into coffee pot. Screw on top of coffee pot. Place pot onto stove. Ignite the flame. Step back, lean against counter, fold arms, tap foot, listen and wait.
Open up lid of pot. Sigh. Listen and wait. Repeat.
Open up lid of pot at most inopportune time (a small bit of coffee spurts out onto just cleaned stove—this happens every night and is never cleaned until the following night).
Inhale deeply, that wonderful coffee scent. Turn off flame. Pull cups from stove grate and place onto saucers. Poor coffee. Adjourn to kitchen table. Open up sugar pot for Roberto. Blow on piping hot coffee. Sip piping hot coffee. Curse piping hot coffee (this happens every night).
Finish coffee and sweet (ex: dark chocolate, panettone, brownie). Bring cups and saucers to sink. Leaving pot on stove to cool and season.
New Years Eve, we strayed from our norm and opted to whip the sugar (if you recall I take mine black).
"For old times sake."
The holidays require more sweet to help maintain that sugar coated bliss. It's the poison that powers us through, keeps us alert on new years even so that we can press on until 12:01 when we crash into blankets, pillows and forgotten dreams.
When whipping sugar, the top of the pot is left open so that the first stir, the first inkling of coffee can be extracted at just the right time.
Hurriedly, it's poured into the waiting sugar. At this point it is stirred furiously, to the brink of exhaustion with the end of a nice heavy table spoon.
Timing is everything. Proportion of coffee to sugar is everything.
But, I dare say we probably won't be whipping the sugar again any time soon. We've fallen out of that practice. Going through the exercise on New Years Eve just confirmed it.
But alas, the new year is here.
One final bit of business before I wrap things up, the right of passage for one who blogs...take photo of oneself with camera in mirror. The camera, a shy—5 year old—Canon PowerShot SD20. It's all I use, that and natural light whenever I can get it.