Today was the day. Yesterday was flip flop, cotton shirt, free spirited sunny weather, and today was tights wearing, jacket, rain boots attire. Fall is here and the leaves have magically turned colors overnight and have sprinkled the streets with beautiful Autumn hues. It’s that time of year when I go from cooling down with an ice coffee to warming up to a warm brew that really hits the spot.
Comfort food according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is a food that is satisfying because it is prepared in a simple or traditional way and reminds you of home, family, or friends.
My comfort “food” isn’t actually a food at all. It is a warm cup of coffee. It is simple, it is traditional, and for me it reminds me of home, family and friends.
My affair with the aroma of Java started way before coffee went upscale, trendy and served in Italian measurements instead of cups. When I was just a little girl we used to visit my great aunt Shirley in New York. We would walk up the narrow staircase to her apartment and the smell of fresh brewing coffee was so strong. I was too young to drink her home brew, but not too young too fall in love with all it represented. The memory of her warmth and hospitality has always made me associate the smell of coffee with a warm fuzzy feeling.
Whether with my clan on the slopes of Colorado or while on a family vacation to Israel I would frequently chill with a warm cup of coffee. I have fond recollections of my dad and me in the evenings sitting in a hotel lobby in Jerusalem, drinking “café hafuch”. Coffee brings back good memories.
Few comfort foods can actually be engrained in our DNA. Yet, my comfort food has been embraced by the generations of my past and continues on with me.
Coffee is a multi-sensorial experience. Beyond the sense of taste and smell, coffee has a sound. The sound of coffee is often the first sound I hear in the morning before dawn as my early riser husband, clinks his spoon against his ceramic cup as he stirs his morning java and starts his day. I often shake off the first sounds of morning for a few more hours of shuteye. At which point a second pleasant assault is launched by my daughter perculating her favorite blend before she runs out the door.
While the taste, smell, and sounds all provide ample comfort…coffee is still so much more.
From my Great Aunt’s kitchen, to the social venue, my comfort food provides it all. There is a coffee shop I often walk to down the road. I love the smell, environment, people and music. If I want to catch up with a friend, we “do’ coffee. Many of my business meetings have been around the local coffee shop table. My friendships have been strengthened while sipping my brew. My son in law asked us for my daughters hand in marriage over a decaf. One of my daughters got her college internship while having mocha and a chance meeting with one of my clients. I have organized fundraisers and even secured one of my son’s college acceptances while downing an espresso. I have met clients at the shop and have established future business deals. And many times I just look forward to when my sister and I can just chill at the local perk. My hot brew has been good to me; like an old friend—always there when I need a little cheer.
So as the days become shorter and the cool air is beckoning, I find myself reminiscing of the fond memories of my childhood in the comfort of my warm cup of joe.
For those of you who make the old fashion coffee, like me, when I am not gallivanting to the local coffee house, here are some tips to fabulous tasting brew.
Great ideas for your coffee
- Add some pumpkin pie spice and/or cinnamon. Yum!!
- If you are really adventurous and have time, you can add real pumpkin puree, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to your milk and coffee
- A little vanilla extract goes a long way
- A little hot chocolate mix, milk, and your brew makes for a great mocha
- Put a peppermint patty on the bottom of the cup and pour your coffee on top, mix and enjoy
- A little bit of ice cream on top works really well
How has coffee been comforting to you?