J: “It is not uninteresting (be wary of men who express themselves using litotes).”
I’m working and working, and completely unlike all the previous years of my life, sleeping at least the recommended number of hours. I used to fight against sleep and loved being awake for as long as possible, but now sleep draws me in. Then I am awake and make coffee but forget I’ve made the coffee, leaving it to get cold. Repeat.
I’m reading and reading, and the more I read the more I want to read. So many random titles and themes are thrown at me constantly, so the mix of things is incomprehensible to many, who like to stick with well-trodden paths (that is, some people are strictly fiction, some non-fiction), but I am all over the place. Monday, instead of finishing a project, I grabbed Kingsley Amis’s The Alteration as a quick, spontaneous read after reading about it in The Atlantic. It’s an interesting semi-sci-fi/alt-universe thing with an airship called Edgar Allan Poe and the repeated exclamation: “Fuck a fox!” (Which, in literary terms, always leads my mind back to Kerouac’s TheSubterraneans and Mardou Fox, but whatever.)
I’m writing and writing, and something totally different from what I had imagined. It’s also collaborative, which is entirely new for me, and that makes the process more energetic and speedy.
Sometimes I deliberately deprive myself of good coffee for a week or more just because it makes the hit of good coffee so much better when I get it. Trouble is – it’s not that easy to get good coffee in the first place.
How hard is it to get really, really dark, Italian or French roast coffee beans????
I am going to start baking and see where it takes me. I made a plan and made a list but these lists easily get well out of hand with more than 20 things on them. Is this excessiveness necessary?
My dreams last night were weird. I was living at least some of the time in France, but nothing seemed at all like the France of reality. I spent most of my time in a cafe (that was a lot more like cafes I frequented in Iceland) that served coffee in French presses (which of course is what Americans call coffee presses… and French people call them Italian – and they ARE an Italian invention. Aussies and Kiwis call it a “coffee plunger” and Icelanders call this a “pressukanna”…). In the dream people went to this place specifically for the coffee, and then one day a law passed that forced all places to serve coffee in the same way (not French press). Another law was introduced at the same time that required all EU countries to harmonize car license plates!? I don’t know where any of this came from.
The anxiety and annoyance of the US election will finally be over on Tuesday. Hearing Mitt Romney speak just makes me sick. The latest global prosperity index knocked the US out of the top ten countries for the first time. Not surprised to hear that. Norway is number one (not surprised to hear that either), with Denmark and Sweden right behind. (And lands of plunger coffee and Anzac biscuits, Australia and NZ, round out the top five.) Not surprising in the least. Confirmation that I made the right choices about where to live and work (not that I had any doubt).
Kahlua coffee cupcakes
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoon flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature and lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
Preheat to 350˚F.
Combine cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Add butter, milk, egg and vanilla. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and beat to combine. (The batter will be quite thin.)
Divide the batter into each cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the Kahlua glaze:
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoon Kahlua
Mix all ingredients except Kahlua on stovetop in a small saucepan. Heat on low until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and then stir in Kahlua and set glaze aside.
When cupcakes are cool, poke holes in each and pour a teaspoon of the glaze on top of each cupcake. Then frost as desired.