I worked yesterday, as I had anticipated in yesterday morningʼs post. And, with the temperatures, even early, stabbing toward 100°, I did not forget my water bottle! On the other hand, I barely sucked any water out of it. Not because it wasnʼt warm, although at the first few traps I investigated the early morning temperature was blissfully pleasant (particularly contrasted with the dense, muggy heat in our house, except for the air-conditioned bedroom, that is). Nor did I skip my liquids. I just substituted something more exciting for the water, at least for some of the water.
Over the past weekend, The Lovely One and I went down to Clinton (not that I am not getting enough of the county and the urban area in my travels for the USDA), mostly so she could shop for a baby shower gift at Target (where the happy parents were registered) and for groceries at Aldi (whom we yet curse for closing the Maquoketa store). Stopping for gas on our way out of town on Sunday (I of course was working on Saturday) at the Caseyʼs down the hill and beyond Fareway (in what used to fondly be our big back yard, the farm field that got developed nearly a decade back*), we elected to buy a couple of new items at the drinks counter inside — iced coffee. The price was incredibly high (although not so steep when compared with a Starbucks Frappuccino, either fresh in a cup or in the little glass bottles…), and Caseyʼs vanilla concoction (the mocha was empty) had a distinctly (and noticeably unpleasant) chemical tang. We drank them down greedily anyway (and the experience was probably the unconscious prompt that made me pick up a flat of Aldi iced coffee bottles at that store).
So on Monday, just for kicks, when I had mixed myself a coffee with creamer in the early morning and then in the heat forgotten to drink it, I turned that big mug into my own iced coffee, using a tad of a fat-free half-and-half product Janet had bought at Wal-Mart a while back (I never can remember to exclude that hyphen/asterisk-or-star that the corporation has now dropped from its name). And the result was really good. Remarkably good. Incredibly good.
Good enough to inspire a recipe post for the old blog. And hereʼs that recipe:
My Own Iced Coffee
- Brew strong coffee (we use decaf French Roast beans that we grind fresh each day — keeping the beans coldly fresh in the freezer until used; make it strong — the weak tan brews too many people still prefer wonʼt do)
- Mix in sweetener and creamer (in appropriate amounts, to taste) to the hot coffee
- Let the creamy coffee cool (even chill it in the refrigerator)
- Mix in half-and-half (just a wee dram or four)
- Pour over ice in a glass to enjoy.
We use decaf coffee, a fat-free dry creamer (again a Walmart product these days — cheaper, you know), sugar-substitute (the pink-wrapped stuff, from a huge box from Samʼs Club), and the no-fat half-and-half I mentioned above. So the tasty final product is astonishingly without caloric impact.
I really liked my not-quite-a-creation on Monday, so I made it for Janet to enjoy on her drive to work Tuesday, and she was sufficiently impressed to recommend my idea to her sister (high praise that, indeed). On Tuesday morning, working, I drank my own iced coffee, another attempt with Caseyʼs chemical brew (the mocha was still or again empty) which I bought when purchasing gas for the GOV, and a Starbucks bottled mocha Frappuccino.** Starbucks was the best, I felt, but mine was several parsecs better than Caseyʼs stuff.
Give the (accidental) invention a try over the upcoming long months of summertime sultriness.
(And now I want to expand my idea by creating a genuinely summertime version of a Snowy Evening: simply add Irish Cream instead of the half-and-half! …Maybe, as I am composing yesterday afternoon, natch, thatʼs what I should attempt right now…)
* …and where nests the noxious pit of hellish creosote (still abusing our nostrils, senses and lives) at callous Gasser True Value. Please continue to feel free to let them know what unamicable corporate neighbors they are!
** …which is why I didnʼt consume much of my water (nor did I need more than one restroom stop in five-and-a-half hours, either, so I may have dehydrated a bit).