Sunday, March 06, 2005

Coffee Chronicles Continued

My, it's been a long time, hasn't it? I've been busy, as usual, with little knitting to share. My neckwarmer is working well. It even works on backaches.

On Thursday, my lecture teacher at school informed us, as if we already knew, that we were having a mid-term exam next week. Nice. Nice of him to give us fair warning. And nice of him to test us over two more chapters than have been due as homework yet. Nice. I think the whole class just bust when we figured out why he was reviewing things; usually we're quiet and try to act interested, but on Thursday night we were smart-alecks and snots. But he deserved it. He was reading questions to quiz us, but he was just reading whatever was on the page. He read one question like this "On the internet, find a restaurant in a city you haven't been to that you would like to visit. Find their menu and write a review...blah, blah, blah" and then he looked up as us like he expected an answer. We just nervously giggled, and somebody asked "How do you expect us to do that?" I mean, really.

Sometimes I get a cockamamy idea, and I can't get it out of my head until I either plan it or do it. On Saturday, a customer at the yarn shop pulled out her wallet to pay, and it was made of duct tape. Now, apparently, this is not a new idea, but I thought how cool it would be to have a tote bag made of duct tape, which is also not a new idea. I did a little internet research, and produced this -
a little prototype:

It's got a little pocket on the front. I thought it showed promise.

After church today I went to Lowe's and bought some clear duct tape. How cool is that?

How cool is this?

It's just big enough to hold a copy of a pattern in a page-protector, and some yarn and stuff. Neat, huh? I should have been studying, but I have an hour scheduled for knitting on Sundays, and I don't feel like this is a test I can really study for. Who knows what it'll be like? And really, in the long run, how much does it matter?

A few posts ago, I was trying to learn to like coffee. I had found some Folgers instant Cafe Latte, which was working alright, but it was taking an awful lot of it to perk me up. Then I was watching a tape of episodes of Good Eats Donna had given me and one of them was about coffee! Alton told me all about the best way to make coffee and how to prevent the bitterness, so I decided to try some of his suggestions. I bought the cone filter holder ($3, what a deal!) and some different coffee, and that seemed to help. I could at least ingest the stuff. Then I bought a coffee grinder so I could grind it fresh, which was supposed to help, but I don't think I've mastered the fine art of grinding not too coarse and not too fine. And then on Friday night, I was trying to take apart my insulated travel mug, and very stupidly broke it, so I had to buy another one. It turns out that there are two kinds of travel mugs: $10 leaky-not-very-insulated and $35 leak-proof-with-working-insulation. I am now the proud owner of a $10 Thermos-leaky-and-keeps-it-sort-of-tepid travel mug. If I thought this was going to last, I might invest. But I don't think it will. This is a lot of work!

For a person who doesn't like coffee, I sure do have a lot of coffee crap:
Sandy gave me a Red Bull on Saturday; it didn't do much for me, and it tasted bad, and the goal here is to not spend a ton of money on a regular basis. Coffee is cheap, compared to soda and things like Red Bull. But I think I'm all set now.

5 comments:

LaTejanaFria said...

Beth,
Thanks for writing such a great blog! I'm the person who was looking for you a couple of months ago on the knitlist and am finally leaving a message.

As for your pursuit of coffee. . . While not a coffee drinker myself (I prefer a good cup of darjeeling), a few people on the Living Below Your Means board on the Motley Fool discussed alternative ways to make coffee last year.

It seems that you can make less acidic (and hence, I assume, less bitter) coffee through a cold process with this device: http://www.biogro.us/toddy.html AKA The Toddy Coffee Maker.

There were also some economical alternatives discussed, such as this:
I mentioned this to a guy here in work earlier, and he said they used to do it when they'd go camping. Basically what he said is that they'd take a one-gallon jug, and pour a pound can of coffee into it, then fill it with cold water and let it sit overnight, up to a day or two even. He said it will get *really* black. Then you just strain it good, and can even freeze it in ice cubes if you want (for serving size). He's disgustingly good at food stuff, crafts stuff, home improvements, etc. (all his past lives before ending up here), so it must work.
Looks like you might have to do some experimenting with the dilution process, but might make a less bitter cup of joe.

In either case, good luck on the midterm.

Nancy
AKA LaTejanaFria

noonie said...

"On the internet, find a restaurant in a city you haven't been to that you would like to visit.....

Uh and this is your teacher? Honestly I'd complain about someone who did that, that's just not on. If he can't be bothered to do the prep required to teach the lesson, he shouldn't be teaching it.

mussem fussem

Teri said...

Those bags are pretty neat. I love the clear one. GROOVY!

Vicki said...

That bag is great! You'll even be able to see your pretty yarn through it. You're very persistent with this coffee thing :)

Rebecca said...

I agree with you on Red Bull. I think it would taste better to drink the can!

The duct tote is SO COOL! How did you get it so nice and square? Did you use two layers of tape, back to back?