"Gimme the girl that's beautiful, without a trace of makeup of on,
Barefoot in the kitchen, singing her favorite song.
Dancing around like a fool, starring in her own little show,
Gimme the girl the rest of the world, ain't lucky enough to know."
~Joe Nichols, Gimme That Girl

...not saying that this is me,
but Nichols sure nailed it when
he wrote the barefoot in the
kitchen line!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

hořkost: bitterness

   there are some days during which i feel a weak pulsing of irritation in my veins.  those days are also caffeine-free.
   on the days when that pulsing is absent, i am plagued by extreme, artificial energy that wears off unless instantly replenished.  blame the coffee bean.  i am now a full-fledged addict, and since it's a legal drug sold in actual coffee shops, i feel no guilt.  however, i do recognize my dependency upon this disastrously acidic stimulation, and i anticipate a future battle between the bean and my brain.  logic and rationality might win.  alternately, i might consciously choose the evil i adore.  yes, we love the substances that kill us...even slowly.
   there's a secret, incredible thrill to sipping so magical and so dark a brew.  then there is that anticipatory sensation of impending exhilaration and increased celerity.  the searing heat burns acid down the throat, and into the caverns of your body, and you know what murderous comfort is.  might not be good for the health, but that liquid invades your being like a catalyst and a comet combined.  and it's a gorgeous thing to rely upon.
   currently, i'm particularly fond of three forms of this fluid euphoria.  cappuccinos, iced coffee, and abundant quantities of dark roast.  let's tackle my addictions: in that sequence.
   cappuccinos?  well, i work with someone who makes a killer cappuccino every morning we're on the same shift.  mounds of dreamy, foamy milk gently sitting on top of a blend of more hot milk and a double shot of espresso.  sometimes there will be tiny, fresh shavings of either nutmeg or cinnamon on top.  there might even be a design swirled into the top layer of foam.  my favorite has been cruelly dubbed "frog in a blender", meaning that artistic tendencies are absent, and all focus was instead bestowed upon flavor and construction.  if i had to forego cappuccinos for a week or longer, it is quite possible that i'd eventually break down on wednesday, and just cry.





   iced coffee...  this cold version of heaven is so versatile.  compact, frozen glasses full of ice, with long drizzles of simple syrup, chilly, white milk, and two shots of espresso poured over the top.  grate a little nutmeg over the concoction, and you're fortified for the arrival of summer.  or the new day.  it's fun for a little nerd like me to fool around with flavored simple syrups...peppermint...chocolate clove...vanilla almond...cinnamon caramel...  using different types of milk can be fascinating as well: goat, sheeps, alternative nut-milks.  if an overtly indulgent mood kicks in, i'll even stir up a bittersweet chocolate glaze, and swirl some around the inside of the glass before carefully packing in the ice.  now that's lovely.  the best iced coffee, to my mind, is a full-bodied dark roast with smoky undertones poured over ice, and topped with thick cream.  the three elements battle for dominance: cold, bitter, and richness.

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   ah.  dark roast.  distinct, primal drama.  harsh, bitter strikes against the palate.  burning heat bears the liquid's qualifications, delivering the coveted spike.  undisguised glory: as hideous as midnight, and equally as necessary to the blinding arrival of sunshiney vibrancy coursing through your body.



   these three are my beverage trinity as of late.  i live, high on the strength and continual influx of caffeine.  and i realize with an ironic bitterness that parallels that of coffee, it's my liquid kryptonite.