Tag Archives: Morning Drinks

Getting Warmer

Talking about the weather has always been portrayed as what you talk about when you have nothing else to speak of. I find myself shying away from the subject just in case my life is actually a Raymond Carver story (oh to be!) and he’s trying to establish that my relationship with whomever I’m speaking to is shallow and doomed. I’d like to take a minute out of my acute self-awareness to relate to you how the weather relates to this here breakfast blog.

Even those of us who are compulsive about liking the valley have trouble turning its damning and intense heat into a positive. I compiled a brief list but found none to be all that compelling:

-No polar bears
-I’ve never bought antifreeze.
-The undeniable superiority of warm weather clothing for the ladies.
-My back porch has a defrost setting.

Like everybody else I’ve talked to about this (which isn’t that many since none of my relationships require such drab conversation as the weather!) the hardest part of the 108/85 degree days isn’t the high- that comes in the afternoon and is why God made pools and beer- but the 85.

85 in the morning is just ridiculous but can be dealt with by thinking a little ahead. I’ve taken to starting the shower warm and then moving to ball-retractingly cold halfway through. Another approach that doesn’t scream “I’M CRAZY” quite so loud is makin’ tea. I am currently starting to dry some of my herbs to get real loose later in the summer but for now, this little guy ain’t too shabby.

Lavender Ginger Iced Tea

Most of the ingredients are just to taste but, I’ll give you some rough ideas

4 ounces dried lavender
5 slices fresh ginger
2 dried red peppers (the cheapest with the least English on the package)

A word on the lavender: I am using lavender incense from a very Redford lookin’ guy at the Sunday/Wednesday markets. Gentlemen, keep an eye on your ladies around this purple hunk; I’ve seen him flirt with many a ringed hand. Great lavender, though.

Honestly, its just tea and I don’t need to detail how to make it. My mother’s current embrace of all things Goodwill got me a little gold teapot with an infuser, and this is exactly the type of thing to use it for.

If you look closely you can see me without a shirt on, OMG

But wait! I just told you how to make the tea, but not the secret of the icing. It has been previously documented that our lemon tree out back still pumps out the citrus and I saved some of their juice in ice cube trays. I probably overdid it on the lemon cubes, but mixing about half water with half lemon juice and a pinch of sugar makes a pretty good team.

Store it in jars in the fridge and crack one in the morning instead of your usual Natural Light. Oh, you don’t do that? Sorry.

For those that are inclined to like orchestral pop out of the UK and like to namedrop, then Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch’s latest story-as-music effort, God Help The Girl dropped last week and out Belle-and-Sebastians Belle and Sebastian. The good people at Matador threw a couple extra free downloads into my record sleeve so I have 5 more free downloads to give out to you, my readership. Listen and decide if its worth the time to email me. I think it is.

God Help The Girl – Funny Little Frog


La Dolce Vita

Think about the last time you wandered, I mean, aimlessly. I try to make it a weekly occurrence, particularly when I’m in a new place. It familiarizes me with where I am and gives me a ton of exposure for possible Craigslist “Missed Connections.” You don’t need an excuse to wander, but if you’re doing some hardcore tramping, you may need a prop of some sort. If you’re a huge douchebag, walk around with a bunch of sports gear on. If you’re all business, pretend you’re texting and look at the world through your iPhone. Me? I like having a camera, it gives you a free pass to take as much time as you want and to stare as much as you want. Is he from the paper? Is that the Sartorialist? Having a camera around your neck is like having a VIP pass to life, and my camera got me backstage here in the North End yesterday afternoon.

After locking my keys in the office, I thought I’d piddle around while the hordes of commuters got out of dodge. I made a good decision. I headed up Salem St. and stopped into Policari’s Coffee to grab a half pound o’ beans. This place was opened by a first generation Italian woman and is the type of store that can only exist in a place like the North End. That’s right, if you want to buy coffee, you go to the coffee store; for meat go next door to the butcher’s; and there are stores specifically for pasta, produce, booze and cigarettes, too. Move over Whole Foods, we got us a neighborhood.

I told them who I was, what I do and if I could take some pictures. We talked coffee for a bit as I tried my hardest not to play the “HAV U EVAR HAD STUMPTOWN??/? I WUZ A BARISTA IZ UR BEANS EQL XCHNG??/?” card. I told them that my morning routine usually involves a few hundred calories plus seriously menial tasks and that I need some kick to avoid pulling a Costanza and converting my desk into a bed by 10 a.m. They offered up the Copenhagen blend- a lighter roast, and I obliged.

“Matt, dudebro ur coffee guys r idiotz. They thnk that lite roasts are dankr than dark?”

Yeah, and they’re right. Its simple, though I guess somewhat counterintuitive- the more you roast, the more caffeine you lose. That’s why they serve French Roast at dessert. Compared to a light roast, there is actually a considerable difference in caffeine content. If they gave you the real dank after dinner you’d stay up all night tossing and turning, that is unless you have a SleepNumber Bed.

I brewed my Copenhagen this morning and yowza, it’s amazing. Dark roasts taste more chocolatey, more bitter, because it concentrates the acid in the coffee. This is sweet, dare I say fruity and it doesn’t seem to taint my breath as much as darker br00s. But as anyone I’ve dated can attest to, I’ve never been a good judge of my own breath.


In addition to coffee and tea, they’ve got canned goods, dried fruits and nuts, a selection of stovetop espresso makers and a ton of bulk beans and spices. If I lived anywhere near there I would not have a pantry, just Policari’s. Ahh, the wonders of a local economy.

Breakfast recipe coming up, I promise. I got some pepperjack back at the house and some bell peppers to use. I’m going to try my hand at baking eggs again and see if I can’t rustle up some noms.

Bob Dylan – One More Cup of Coffee

Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs – Sugar Shack