Friday, December 12, 2008

A love affair

It all started circa 1982 in a small three bedroom ranch in the suburbs of Detroit. Breakfast would linger on into early afternoon sitting around my Grandma and Grandpa Cook's kitchen table. Sometimes my father would be engaged in heated discussion with Grandpa about the economy, the Lions, or the best way to drive from Westland to Cherry Hill. Other times my cousins would join me for what now is remembered as treasured moments with Grandpa.

Have you ever seen a percolator? The type of coffee maker that the grounds go in the top and the water is boiled in the bottom? It makes the best bubbling sound as it brews. The entire house would smell of coffee, and as little ones my cousins and I would pull up our chairs for a cup. As we waited we would spoon scoops of sugar and a half cup of cream into our mugs. Then Grandma would come with the coffee, serving each of our little bodies as if we were grown ups. Then Grandpa would start the conversation with a probing question such as, "So what type of lunch do they serve you in school?", or "What did you see on the trip to the zoo?" As we sipped our coffee we would share the details of our lives.

Despite the precocious introduction to coffee I did not become a regular drinker until college. (This was pre- Starbucks era). Then I had one of those 4-cup jobbies that held a prominent position in my dorm room. The peak was in med school just as java hit the mainstream. The day could not start without a Venti and at times I needed a Grande in the afternoon to keep the caffeine withdrawal monster at bay. By the time I interviewed for fellowship I had plenty of company in my coffee obsession, as often the hospital tour would include the location of the coffee cart.

It was quite disturbing when I became pregnant and developed a strong aversion to coffee. I can remember one morning walking into the Lab and passing the kitchen. I stopped in my tracks when assaulted by the worst smell. I feared that a mouse had escaped and died... but upon further investigation I realized it was the smell of fresh brewed coffee! This cannot be. Not a big deal since I could not have too much caffeine anyway- but I still missed my moments with the hot cup, rich smell and smooth taste.

When we moved into our house we realized that the coffee maker has not been used in months. In fact after Zach was born we actually discovered we forgot how to use it- preposterous because it really is not that complicated. We have a perfectly evolved set up- the grinder with removable canister, BUNN coffeemaker (fresh pot in 90 seconds) with bulk supply of special filters and fresh beans in the freezer. As you can see I am back in business, and am in my element as I type away with mug of coffee in hand.

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