Saturday, July 9, 2016

Neither Zen Nor Art

My mother died, so the motorcycle didn't make it to Utah*, so I thought I'd do some things I usually don't because I'm busy motorcycling instead. So I'm planning a maybe backpacking expedition to King's Peak (3 days, 30 miles) and I need granola, so I pick some cherries and dry them, but I need some butter, too, so I have to spend three hours fixing my bicycle to get the butter, and then the chain gets jammed up anyway on the way to the store, and I never get the butter (way better than oil, by the way), but -look!- there's one of my favorite brilliant yellow birds**, dead in the middle of the road, and suddenly I turn back; I must carry the dead bird home in my bicycle basket (what am I, eight years old?), and it makes me cry and cry and...see?  This is why I hate fixing motorcycles*.  The End
*This really does all make sense.
**Yellow Warbler? Wilson's Warbler? I'm not sure.

Granola tips: Use whatever bits and pieces you like, but instead of plain oil, used browned butter or coconut or olive oil,  and instead of honey/sugar/agave syrup/whatever, use maple syrup. Put in the dried fruit after baking. Cook it low and slow, turning it over often.  If you want it "clustery," grind up some of your oats and coconut into flour and let your final mix sit for a few minutes before baking it. Then pinch it together into clumps before baking.  (See here for the method, but I think this recipe itself is too sweet.) Mom, however, in her final weeks, had a sweet tooth that never would have been obliged in earlier days. She requested I pour caramel all over her granola when I made it for her this spring.  She remarked candied orange peel would make a lovely addition, and she was absolutely right.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Coffee Break

The last few months of my life have been spent not on a motorcycle, but on the commercial airlines. Something along the lines of AZ-FL-AZ-FL-AZ-CA-AK-FL-UT-FL-UT-AZ-UT.

Except for the trip to Alaska (miraculously not cancelled, whereas the repeat ride to Baja was cancelled and, by the way, hooray for Adrian* for making the ride with out me), these journeys have been filled with heartache and loss.  And in saying that, I'm not talking about the time American Airlines delivered me to the wrong city on the wrong day, or the times they charged me twice for the same checked bag.

As I sit waiting for the final leg of this reluctant game of hopscotch to end, I take more than a little pleasure in a coffee done right.

I admit, Cartel Coffee Lab hasn't been my absolutely favorite coffee in AZ, (Why does their downtown Phoenix location seem perpetually closed, anyway?), but they've just won me over for life. I could almost forget I'm sitting in a airport. Thank you.

This one's for you, Mom. 

So much to love:
The caffé macchiato is actually a caffé macchiato.
The caffé macchiato is served in a real glass.
The caffé macchiato is served with the appropriate glass of water.  I didn't even have to ask for it.
The olive oil muffin is not only delicious, with its crispy sweet sugar crusted top and golden rich interior, but is not the size of a truck.

*Yes, you've met Adrian. How could you forget?