Yesterday afternoon, I needed some coffee. It had been a slow morning and I was determined to be at least somewhat productive. And I knew, to achieve this, and outlast the baby who decided now was the perfect time to try out the whole “crying for no reason” thing, I would need a strong caffeine boost. But it had to be something quick and easy. No messing around with the French press and, due to the pouring rain outside, a quick walk to the Starbucks down the street was not an option. However, in our kitchen cabinet, there was one lone satchel of instant coffee. So, I flipped the switch on the electric kettle, dumped the dry grounds into my cup, and in moments I was back at my desk with a sleeping baby draped across my lap (having finally tired himself out), coffee in hand, and ready to get some writing done. I took a long sip of the coffee and then I remembered just how bad the instant stuff really was. Instant coffee in general is not the best and this one in particular wasn’t the best of not the best. And, after spending the past few months spoiling myself with the good stuff (shout out to Philz Coffee!) I had forgotten what these little satchels were like. But then, I took another sip. And another, sitting back to enjoy this terrible, wonderful coffee.
To me, the taste of this particular bad coffee is the taste of falling in love. Madly, deeply, no-turning-back in love. These little satchels of instant coffee are the ones that my husband and I have stuffed by the handful into our packs for every backpacking and camping trip we’ve had together. We drank this coffee before some of our early morning hikes when we first started dating. We drank this coffee during our trip to Hawaii just before getting engaged, as we hiked across New Zealand on our honeymoon, as we explored the beauty of Iceland. And we drank this coffee on our last camping trip just before we welcomed this baby that was now sleeping soundly in my lap. And through it all, I was falling in love. Even after marrying the man of my dreams, every adventure we share shows me something new to love about him. I am so grateful that I was able to find someone who is equally excited about exploring the world, about putting one foot in front of the other and conquering the toughest of trails. The big adventures and the small, I cherish every one I’ve taken with him. And through it all, there’s been this terrible coffee. So bitterly perfect. So, I take another sip and dive into my writing, relishing in the memories, and continued state, of falling in love.
The Baking Challenge: This week I made another bread. Rosemary bread. Not only was this the first time I made this recipe, but I also got to use my new favorite kitchen toy…the Instant Pot! Now, I don’t want to turn this into a long advertisement for the Instant Pot, but just as a quick note, it is an amazing device. I received it as a Christmas present and, while initially weary of having to deal with learning how to use another new gadget, I have come to love this appliance. I honestly use it three to four times a week. It has already saved me hours that I have been able to put to better use. And, in this instance, it saved me heaps of time once more. The original recipe for this bread required over ten hours of letting the dough rise. With the Instant Pot, the dough was ready for the oven after just four. Plus 45-minutes of baking and we had delicious Rosemary bread on the dinner table. The house smelled amazing and it was a perfect warm treat on a very cold evening. I would definitely make this one again.