Raclette with the In Laws

21 04 2007

Yesterday night for dinner we tried Raclette, often also called “Party Grill” – raclette is the new fondue of the 70s.  You sit around, grilling your food as you eat, talking and laughing.

 Those of you who know my father in law, know he doesn’t cook for himself.  Never has.

 This has been a year of change for him, at Christmas Paul, Kate, Colin and myself watched him serve himself coffee, and use the microwave at Christmas.  The room fell silent with gobsmacked onlookers!

Both Mr and Mrs Graham enjoyed the experience, but won’t be hosting their own raclette meal any time soon.


I don’t speak Starbucks

13 02 2007

I am about to admit something I can imagine I might get some flack for.  Espeically from one of my (four) faithful readers, Penseroso, who lives in Seattle. 

I don’t like Starbucks.

Perhaps this dislike is simply brought on by the fact that even though I adore the smell of fresh brewing coffee – I can’t stand the taste of the stuff. 

I’ve tried to like coffee, and I’ve given it every opportunity to like me too.  And every once in a while I give it another second chance.  I believe coffee has at least 10 second chances in as many years.  We still agree to disagree on liking on another.

I remember my first day of college going to the on campus Tim Hortons and ordering an extra large regular coffee and thinking to myself, “I better learn to like coffee, how will I survive college if I don’t?”  I took two sips of the bitter concoction, and threw it away.

Over time I’ve sampled esspressos, lattes, vanilla this, carmel that. . .  .I just can’t feel my way through the bitterness to the angelic delectable flavours of a good cuppa that everyone keeps telling me about.

As the rampant infestation of Starbucks weed their way into every mall, high street, book store and street corner I have felt that I needed to give this life giving exilir even more second chances.   The sweet breads, cookies and other baked goods working just like the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel luring unspecting non-coffee drinkers like myself into their fold.

Recently I went to lunch with some Starbucks Addicited co-workers.  We stopped off at the local for a brew.  They asked me what I wanted.  I could feel the globuals of sweat beading and pooling on my brow, my breath shortened, panic set it.  “I don’t know, uh, well, how about a hot chocolate.  . . . . . “

The lady with the spiky pink hair, horn rimmed glasses and the lip ring behind the black laquered counter said something about Ventis and Grandes.  I grunted and pointed to the smaller of the two cups she was holding out in front of me.

She Says, Foam or no foam?   I Say, Pardon?

She Says, Blended or Stired?  I Say, Uhmmm. . . .

She Says, Double blended? I Say, Double who?

She Says, One shot or Double Shot?  I Say, So early in the morning?

She Says, Wipped Cream or None?   My eyes drew thin, scanning the expansive wall of options – desperatly looking for a picture on which to base my uncharted caffeninated beverage on.

She Says, Milk or low-fat-non-dairy-creamer-subsitute?  I Say, Whats the difference?

She Says, Drizzled liquid carmel or chocolate shavings?  My heart beating hard against my chest.

She Says, White or milk chocolate?  I Say, what about the carmel?

With a smug look and furowed brow I think to myself, does that come in “fair trade”?


I took a deep breath and exhaled with effort.  “Excuse, can I change my mind and just order a tea please?”

Cup of Life

21 01 2007

I got this as an email this week.

Thought it was pretty darn good, good enough to share.  Have a cuppa on me!

coffee pot

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups—porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite—telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds NO quality to the coffee.  In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.  What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups. And then you began eyeing each other’s cups. Now consider this:  
Life is the coffee.

The jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee.” God brews the coffee, not the cups. Enjoy your coffee!

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have.”

Live Simply. Love Generously. Care Deeply. Speak Kindly. Leave the rest to God.


I hope it isn’t too far from God’s plan if I help myself to a cup of tea instead 🙂