Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Status Update(d)

True confession here, I dabble in facebook. However, there are days in a row that go by where I forget to even log in, much less breathlessly post another update on my "status".

You want to know my status? I'll tell you. My status is fifty-harumpf, creakier, crankier and heavier than I'd like to admit, taking a bit of a beating from all the heat this year even though I was born here and used to brag about how Texas could keep bringing the heat 'cause I loved it hot.

None of that will change in the foreseeable future so I see little reason to be logging in specifically to share with my facebook friends that "no change is happening over here!".

Yeah. Doesn't so much make for rapt reading.

I do check facebook however to see how other folk are faring occasionally and was a bit startled to see the words recently (from a woman much younger than I) "It is too hot for coffee".

Why was I startled? Because, although the statement is factually true, I am still tossing back two ginormous cups of coffee every morning, even those mornings (which lately would be "every") when the mercury has climbed way too close to the 90s before it hits 9 AM.

This gave me a bit of pause. Why, if it is so hot outside, am I drinking a steaming hot beverage? What am I, nuts? (That is rhetorical folks, please don't bother writing me with your answers).

I drink coffee out of habit (read:addicted to caffeine). In the winter when I have the thermostat set at "hibernate" in an attempt to save on energy bills, I admit to you now I will pour a last cup of hot coffee just to wrap my hands around the mug. But now, when we are keeping blinds drawn and dashing out to haul water for gasping pepper plants as early as we can in order to escape getting cooked for our efforts, now, in this heat, why am I still drinking two hot cups in the morning? The true answer is: I don't know.

I can get my caffeine fix any number of other delightfully cold ways I suppose but I simply hadn't given the matter much thought. I am not so much a fan of iced coffee, but I knew there had to be other ways to have my caffeine and keep my cool. Enter Krysta at EvilChefMom and her recently posted recipe for Cappuccino Granita. This now thrice revised preparation seemed the answer to a daydream if not a prayer. No heat involved, actually a bit of standing in front of the freezer as a bonus, and an end product that is simultaneously delightfully caffeinated and chilly. Well yes, there is booze involved, but what's your point? It is not like you can see me having this for breakfast, right? (.....right????)

Y'all go ahead and visit her to get the recipe(s): (one for cold brewed coffee, two for the granita and three for the show, er, the whipped cream on top if you don't have your own). We subbed in the end of a bottle of Bailey's for the Kahlua originally called for just because we wanted to. Now we've had it that way, not sure I can make a strong case to try it any other way, truthfully. It is refreshingly cold, sweet without being cloying and offers that slightly smoky layer of coffee we like around here so much.Our only hitch was with the whipped cream. We'd decided the Bailey's was boozy enough (although we sure as shootin' are going to add a bit of Grand Marnier as Krysta suggested next time we serve whipped cream over fruit) but the real problem was our organic heavy cream from a neighborhood chain store had apparently gotten too jostled or something. It was about 60 percent of the way gone to the butter side of the road.We managed to get it to a soft peak, and it tasted like whipped cream if it didn't quite maintain the ooomph of a full on whipped texture for long.

Did that discourage? Nah. That slamming sound in a few minutes will be me heading out the door for another carton of cream to make more whipped topping for the rest of the granita.

There were no serving indicators for this prep. I suppose it will be up to you to decide "how much" is enough. The recipe makes up a little over three cups of liquid which you then rake into a lovely pile of icy crystals, so how high you pile it when it comes time to serve will be your little secret. I am guessing we will get 9 servings out of this - maybe more like 12 if we behave. Eh, behaving is not the name of this game certainly so let me leave it by saying the number of servings is fluid for this one.

Icy, crystalline coffee flakes with a little booze to boot. Summertime, you keep right on bringin' your heat. Come the end of the day, my status will be updated to "is ready for more cappuccino granita".


Iris said...

Yum--thanks! I'm going to start the cold-brewed coffee part tonight and try the granita recipe tomorrow. I've never made granita before.

(And I do intend to try it for breakfast someday.)

TexasDeb said...

I'd never made a granita before either and now I am kicking myself for waiting so long - they are so easy and SO good in triple digit weather. I was moving the leftovers into a smaller container yesterday morning and most definitely sampled it "a bit". Breakfast of champions!

PassivePastry said...

woweee, i don't think i've ever heard of a granita- must have one now!

i am also addicted to coffee, and i still go and get it every morning on the way to teach summer school. but i find it is the act of drinking it while in the classroom that comforts me and somehow makes me feel awake. i like it hot- even in the triple digits... but not if i was walking around outdoors.

Rona Maynard said...

Easy for me to say up here in Canada, where summer hasn't yet begun, but it looks as if we should be drinking more coffee, not less. Have you seen the reports that five cups of coffee a day can prevent or maybe even start to reverse Alzheimer's? Here's a link:

TexasDeb said...

Rona, welcome. I believe I'd read that article about coffee and Alzheimer's (but then I forgot....). Thanks for the link and thanks for dropping by.

Krysta said...

that is so cool (i'm blushing)" when it's so dang hot this really does the trick i'm so excited you tried it.