3.03.2009

Making coffee like it's the Civil War

In the Trader Joe's checkout line a week ago, Margarita commented that I shop quickly.

"Yeaaah, that's because you were following me and watching," I admitted. I don't usually spend $200 in twenty minutes.

"You were supposed to pretend I'm not here!" she said. I smiled guiltily and hoped I didn't skew her grocery shopping habits results.

I've been buying pre-ground coffee beans because the electric grinder has developed an attitude. Sometimes it works but more and more often it only responds to an increasingly exact formula of pounds per square inch in just the right place at just the right angle. If the barometric pressure, humidity, or temperature in the room shifts, forget it. If Mercury goes in retrograde, no coffee.

With Margarita on my heels, I'd rushed past the Trader Joe's coffee shelf and plucked off a canister of whole beans. And this morning I got up to grind those beans. Nothing. I worked my way around the grinder, pressing on the edge and the center. I plugged it into different outlets. I STOOD ON THE COFFEE GRINDER. It did not break but neither did it grind.

I recalled hearing that in the Civil War soldiers carried small burlap bags of beans and crushed them with the butts of their rifles to make coffee. I don't own a rifle so this didn't help but it DID remind me of something. I bought a mortar and pestle when I moved into this apartment!

In what was clearly a hypnotic trance at the Linens 'n Things liquidation sale, I imagined that I'd turn overnight from being someone who doesn't cook much to someone who grinds her own spices. The heavy mortar and pestle has since sat stonily in the back of the cabinet. Until now.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

when you get married, you can register for a coffee bean grinder and then jocardo and i can have a bridal shower for you and you can open your grinder & be genuinely happy that you will have a batch of beautifully fresh and evenly ground beans the very next morning... so fun.
can't wait, right?????
xxx
b2

marybethonline said...

sooooo would this coffee grinder happen to be the one J & I lent to Matthew? :)

ronckytonk said...

no, THAT would be the coffee grinder that matthew is going to bring home from work tomorrow since I threw away the one I stood on this morning. ha!

ronckytonk said...

b2: you shut up.

marybethonline said...

good to know. i had fear that our coffee grinder died a pain filled death.

Matthew said...

Mary Beth,

Your coffee grinder is safe from the wrath of Jessica for approximately 2.5 hours. Be concerned. Evil grins.

Best,
TL