Kitchen Untensils. Basta!

On the surface is surely looks like labor saving gadgets are the cat's pajamas. But this cat finds that too much stuff in the kitchen crowds his jammies, so to speak.

If you like this sort of stuff, then maybe you would want the accompanying devices to clean all those labor saving tools.
Some Coffee With Your Milk, Mister?


Then . . . Which Goes in First?

Our friend David Wronski writes:

I like my coffee what in NYC they call "regular"; and, that's with milk, by the way. Cream is, well, too creamy. In my Big Apple Days make mine "light". On my way to my Mad-Ave office I would usually stop by the local Chock Full O' Nuts Coffee shop — there were several dotted all over town; not quite like Starbucks, but easy to get to from just about anywhere and order two plain whole wheat donuts — to-die-for and two light coffees, to go. There was only one size to go container, if memory serves; the 8 oz. paper cup the same portion as the familiar Greek diner type cup that is . . . everywhere.

This is how my coffees were dispensed. On the counter the serving ladies would have barrel shaped stainless steel containers filled with milk. Each had a lever protruding underneath. The barrel container was raised above the counter around eight inches on an offset pedestal. The coffee cup would be brought underneath the barrel and with how many upward quick flicks of the lever you got (1) a dark, (2) a medium, or (3) a light. This is a rare image of one of those things. (How do you rate my descriptive powers?)

Which brings me to the main point. Even though I'm sure you love reading about my morning, ahem, breakfast preferences back in the day. They were whole wheat donuts, for crying out loud. Can't be all bad.

I've been told the proper way to take coffee with milk, or cream, is to pour the dairy part into the cup first. Repeat, the milk or cream goes into the cup first. Oh, and don't let's have that all too usual ice cold milk or cream. I like my brew hot, and cold dairy just doesn't get it there. There's one place I frequent where they bring a small carafe of milk steamed from the espresso machine, but not frothed. Ask those profiteers at Starbucks to warm your milk and you get a whopping $3.00 cafe au lait, or an even pricier cappuccino; depending on how the "barrista" interprets that order. Fancy name, fancy price. But, I digress.

I first heard of putting the dairy into the cup first from a story about how my teacher, Dr. Ida Rolf, took her coffee. She was educated as a biochemist so she should know from what's what. I also verified this with one of her earliest students. Yes, indeed, the dairy goes in first.

So, how come?

The easy answers are that by adding the milk in first it mixes automatically. Perhaps more esoteric and arguable, when putting it into a fine china cup, the dairy in first buffers the shock of the hot beverage.

But, we are after some science on this, aren't we? The nearest I can get on this point is that the thermodynamics favor the dairy going in first. In other words, the finished product will be warmer if you put the dairy in first. But, you ask, if you are warming up the milk anyway, what's the diff? That's a good question. Alas, Ida is no longer available on that point. It's just that I don't prepare a cup of coffee that I don't think about her preference to add the dairy first. Funny how some things just stick.


Recipe for Limoncello di Mimmo Schepis

Here is the definitive Limoncello recipe which was given to us—with a wonderful crystal clear sample of same—by our friend Mimmo Schepis. We know Mimmo from Scottsdale, AZ Community Garden Club days. Obviously, he's Italian [think, great garden tomatoes—and, just about anything else the Italians cultivate in their gardens]; but, by birth, a real Nobla Don. Handsome, tanned, impeccably dressed, carefully groomed silver hair, good humored, intelligent, and proud. His Limocello was The Best. He would tell you himself. In fact, it is pretty, pretty, pretty good.

The thing to know is that in southern Arizona a lot of people keep lemon and other organic citrus trees. So the lemons required for this recipe, while not stated as such, should be organic.

Here is the recipe, as given: with [additions and clarifications]


Peel off the yellow part of the skin of 8 [organic] lemons. Place the skins [without pith] in the jar containing the alcohol.

Marinate it for 3 days.

Prepare the syrup by adding one kilogram of sugar in one liter
(1000 cc) of warm water. Once the sugar is melted and becomes
cold combine w/ the lemon's skin & alcohol [1 liter grain alcohol/Everclear] using a large glass container of the capacity of a bit more than 2 liters. Continue  marinating the solution for 8 days.

After 8 days filter the content into bottles and let rest for about one month before using.

Drinking suggestion: room temp, or very cold.


One kilogram of [cane] sugar
One liter of H20
One liter of pure alcohol (95% [190] proof)
8 lemons possibly fresh of good size smooth skin, nice color
And now in the mother tongue . . .

Ricetta del Limoncello

Kg 1 zucchero
Lt 1 H20
Lt 1 alchool puro 95 gradi
8 limoni

Togliere la parte gialla de limone a metterla a macerare per 3 giorni in alcool.Preparare lo sciroppo con I litro di H20 tiepida ed I kg di zucchero. Mettere assieme I due I due e lasciarli per otto giorni.
Dopodiche’ filtrare ed imbottigliare. Fare stagionare per 30 gorni.


Get Your "Freekeh" On

Freekeh is an ancient food, a superfood. It is a roasted and smoked*** green grain (typically wheat), either whole or cracked; and very high in fiber, protein, and minerals. It's prebiotic and low in carbohydrates.

***Roasted and smoked, that's the big deal. While cooking for the first time it smelled like a steeping pot of Lapsang Souchong tea. Mas Sabor.  

It cooks somewhere around the procedure for rice. But, a native of the Middle East told us she soaks the grains overnight. Online recipes vary on water/grain ratios and cooking times. You are on you own to get the exact amounts/times.

Cooking hint: One cup soaked cracked grain, 5 cups water, pinch of salt. Bring to boil, lower heat to medium-low, cook covered 45 minutes. Add water if necessary. Remove from heat let stand 10 minutes, fluff.

Three pretty obvious recipe ideas come to mind: straight cooked grain, a pilaf with other mix-ins, a grain/vegetable salad. The video even suggests for breakfast.

Here's one that looks good. Link to photo credit and recipe . . . click this

Freekeh w hazelnuts

Below is a piece covering the whole subject.


Today's Question #12

You have probably seen it before. Do you know it's name? What you can do with it? Click here.