Smell the coffee…

It’s been a busy week at HQ with lots going on and lots being done. I feel as though I’ve been on autopilot, moving swiftly, if not slightly chaotically, from one task to another. So this afternoon is the first time in the last few days that I’ve been able to sit down, take stock and write this post. I’m usually pretty organised and jot down ideas as they pop into my head, but this is completely off the cuff . When I think about the various things that have transpired this week, most of which have revolved around the children, play dates, guitar lessons, homework, school projects to name but a few, it’s made me think about the things that I loved as a child…things that my children may never get to experience. So here it is, my list of childhood experiences and memories that may elude PFB ( perfect first born) and PSB (perfect second born) completely…

1. Writing letters to friends Now this was something that I became ever so slightly obsessed with as a child. It got to the point where to me, it was inherently important to communicate with my friend who lived quarter of a mile away, by mail. Well, she did live right at the top of the hill to be fair to me and of course, this fact made the writing of ten page letters seem a totally logical and reasonable task. Fast forward twenty years (it’s actually slightly longer than that but I can’t bring my self to put the actual figure in writing) and I very much doubt whether my sons will ever feel the need to get out a sheet of paper, an envelope and a stamp.

2. Taping the Top 10 from the radio I loved doing this! I would even go as far as taping the taped version to cut out the talking in between…that’s as hi-tech as technology went but Sunday evening were eagerly anticipated and woe betide anyone who interrupted my concentration whilst the taping was in progress. The coming week would then be taken up by the fast forwarding and rewinding of my recording as I’d lie in bed, headphones plugged in, lost in my own little world. PSB knows how to log into iTunes, select songs and create playlists…I never did work out how he found out my iTunes password (note to self: change password).

3. Researching essays from actual books Our house had lots of books, in fact books are a distinctive childhood memory of mine. But, there was one book, one very special book, that was delved into for every essay, project and homework task…The Children’s Encyclopedia. This was not just a book, oh no, it was part of the family. I was lucky that I was the eldest of three, because I’m sure that my brothers would have had very similar information to mine in their school work. As the Internet has taken over the world, these days, if PFB has a school project, then I call on my very good friend ‘Google’ for help! I’d be lost without him…

4. Open Sandwiches I loved these and my mother was skilled at making them. For those of you who have never experienced the delightful ness of an open sandwich, it’s basically a sandwich…but not closed. this worked well with rolls or a baguette, but I remember them having all sorts of weird and wonderful fillings…tinned peaches spring to mind! I think it’s safe to say that these will never be seen again, especially the tinned peach variety.

5. Sticking photos into self adhesive photo album pages Does anyone do this anymore? Enough said.

6. Sitting at a wooden school desk with an inbuilt ink well These days, you walk into a school and all the furniture is plastic. I genuinely think the classrooms of today lack character without the compass engraved wooden school desk with the inkwells that were used as pen holders, but inevitably, your pen would just fall into the desk below. These desks were a lesson in themselves…you just had to read the graffiti written on them!

7. Being allowed to drive the car on the beach at seven years old Not much explaining to do with this one but I loved sitting on my Dad’s lap and driving down the beach (well, I was actually just steering, but to a seven year old, that’s actually driving). Now there was the incident when we intercepted by a panda car, but that’s another story. Think we’d get away with doing this today?

8. Owning a Global Hypercolour T-Shirt At one time in my distant childhood, these t-shirts were the most coveted item of clothing ever…period. For those of you who have no idea what I’m taking about, a Global Hypercolour T-shirt was one which changed cloud in heat. That’s right, the sweater you got, the more vibrant the colour…no wonder you don’t see them on the shelves today!

Right, leaving the writing for a couple of hours as I now have a school quid night to attend…the fun just never stops!

Ok, so back from the quiz, our team was third out of ten so not too bad! Moving on from nostalgic memories to nostalgic aromas. Lots of people tell me that cinnamon evokes childhood memories of baking and being in the kitchen with family, so I thought I’d end the evening with a vanilla and cinnamon coffee…and for you lucky people, I’ll note down the recipe as I go.

You will need:

2 and a half mugs of Whole Milk (just use the mugs you’ll be drinking from)

160g Whole Organic Coffee Beans, lightly cracked (but this will vary on how string you like your coffee, so try it and make a mental note for next time)

1 1/2 stick(s) (3 inches long) Cinnamon Sticks

1 vanilla pod

60 mls Honey

A blender

A saucepan

The finished article...complete with a sprinkling of cinnamon

The finished article…complete with a sprinkling of cinnamon

What to do:

Place the milk, split vanilla pod and crushed coffee beans (I put them in a blender and pulsed around twenty times) in a saucepan.

Heat the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat until it starts to simmer.

Immediately remove from the heat and leave to rest for 15 minutes (or 5 if you’re as impatient as me) Strain the coffee mixture and transfer to a blender. The crushed coffee beans and vanilla pod can be filed under ‘b’ for bin.

Add the cinnamon sticks, and honey to the milk and blend on high speed until the spices are ground, about 30 seconds.

Strain the liquid back into the saucepan and throw away the ground spices.

Rewarm the spiced coffee over medium-high heat until the liquid is hot and steaming. Pour into mugs, and serve hot (I have found that pouring in a splash of rum for medicinal purposes, of course, is a nice addition)

So there you have it…they say that the smell of coffee helps to sell a house, the smell of THIS coffee may get you an offer over the asking price!

Over and out x

4 thoughts on “Smell the coffee…

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