I sit looking out my window at the grey sky, misty-moisty hills covered in fog, and the bright, almost neon leaves outside. I’m so blessed to have this place. Wow, I’m in awe of being alone in PA as my first solo move.
Yesterday, the weather was much the same. I felt dreary like the whole state needed a little sunshine. So I found one of my favorite hobbies—baking!! I baked some INCREDIBLE INCREDIBLE cinnamon rolls. That coincidentally we had for our friend who came for brunch!
Last night I was so tired! When I had gotten home from my wonderful time at the Indian restaurant I found the dishes needed washed. So after washing the dishes I was feeling more awake. I have had trouble sleeping for years and I did not want tonight to be a night I couldn’t sleep. I would guess this sleeplessness resulted from my TBI.
When I was in the grocery store last I picked up some chamomile “sleepy” tea. With my farm experience/herbal research I do know that chamomile is a sedative. It was glorious! I had the best sleep with no interruptions!
If, perhaps you have the same problem. Here are a list of other herbs and methods for sleep:
Hot milk, touch of honey, with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg
Lavender candles- the scent of lavender
Eating a small bow of oatmeal– SHOCKER!! But one I can definitely attest too.
Also, there’s this breathing exercise that I learned: Here’s how it goes: Close you eyes begin breathing deeply, picture a Black sea and on it a black ship. Watch the rhythm of the waves. Keep breathing deeply.
That last one is pretty nifty. My grandfather, who fought in the Frozen Chosin war taught me that one. Does the trick too!
My trials began at 6:01 am, in making Ethiopian coffee started today as I wrangled a ginger root. This darned Ethiopian coffee has me by the neck, I’m telling you! After slicing a nickel sized sliced of ginger I gingerly dropped it into my pot of boiling water and coffee grounds. Previously, I had added 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 T cocoa powder. I prefer Dutch cocoa powder, the dark the better! Bringing this all to a rolling boil, I noticed the lights were off. Quite like me, the baker/coffeemaker to instinctively get up and start my morning in the dark. Not a problem as long as everything is in it’s place! As long as I don’t step on that nail. Ha!
Before I begin my coffee recipe let me enliven you with some interesting coffee facts!
*Coffee originated in Ethiopia and spread throughout Arabia to the rest of the world.
the coffee shrub that is dark green has bright red berries.
*In fact, the word coffee is derived from the Kaffa, the name of a southwestern province in Ethiopia.
*Funny Legend says that goatherders first discovered coffee- their curiosity piqued when they noticed the energetic behavior of the goats who grazed on the coffee plants.
Now for the recipe, perhaps your luck in making it will be better than mine!
Ethiopian Coffee (Bunna)
1 c. cold water
6 whole cloves
6 to 12 whole cardamims
1 slice of ginger root
3 heaping tsp finely ground coffee beans
1 Tablespoon sugar
combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your coffee. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and serve hot.
Additions I made:
1 T. cocoa powder for every 3 T coffee
1/2 tsp. cinnamon for 3 T coffee
So, as noted do not use the additions I made together. If I were making it again I would make sure I had a very fine mesh sieve and use whole cloves not ground cloves, THEY DON’T WORK! The cocoa powder I think would be good by itself but with the cinnamon I think it was a dead beat. I would add either just the cinnamon or just the cocoa.
The recipe also recommended that you put whipped cream over the coffee. Which would be quiet decadent!
I hope I’ve given you some ethnic coffee enthusiasm for the day.
As the coffee perked out delicious smells wafted upward of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and turmeric. The room was cold, it is 5:45, but I was well equipped with my favorite flannel. The writer’s mind had begun. My first endeavor, as stated was coffee. Then jam. Thankfully not writer’s jam but this delicious homemade Saskatoon jam my dear friend had given me. Now, I am not one to shy away from “jam judgment”. Sounds like that should be a game show or something.
Anyway, this jam is the Coup De Grâce of jams! The Saskatoon, otherwise known as Service-Berry or June-Berry is one of my favorite berries to pick as well. Quite a tedious task as the berries are quite small and prove a trifle difficult to pick being nestled back in the Saskatoon bush. Quite a trickster these berries are, resembling something of a blueberry someone might categorize them in the same fruit family. However, the Saskatoon is walkin’ its own jam with the Pome family. The apple family that is. The taste profile of these berries begins with a sweet lullaby and ends with a tangy nutty kick. Which makes sense that I like them because I’m kind of a nut myself sometimes.
Unbeknownst to me, the Saskatoon flaunts its flavor packed with a whole gamut of fibers, protein, and antioxidants. Say what??! These berries are my jam, literally and in my tummy, I for sure recommend these sweet little delicacies.
Below is a recipe for Saskatoon jam:
9 c. of whole Saskatoon berries
Juice and grated peel of one lemon
1/2 c. water
6 c. granulated sugar/ I sometimes decrease this depends on how tart you want it- or add honey for a, I think fresher jam taste
1 package pectin
Crush the berries in a large bowl. Next, pour in water, lemon juice, and pectin. Pour into deep pan and pop on stove set on medium, and keep that hand stirring. When the jam to be, reaches a rolling boil add your sweetener of choice and return to boil. Remember, keep that hand stirring! Boil for 1 minute and “take off the fire”, as my grandma would say (take off the stove.) Ladle the jam into washed and sanitized jars filling till 1/4 inch below the top of the jam jar. Put on the lids and screw on the rounds. Not too tight!
Next, place in canner with one inch of water covering the jar lids. Process jam for 10 minute. Remove canner from heat and gingerly remove jam jar with, I use a jar lifter Ball Jar lifter. Place the jars on a towel, I use Hot Damn It’s Jam Tea Towel, I Eat Local Because I can dish Towel. After they are cooled check to see that all of the lids are sealed. If a jar is unsealed you can just pop it in the fridge.
The coffee pot spits out the rest of its long awaited delivery. Like a messenger cloaked in chocolatey brown, the coffee pot delivers, like an amazon same day delivery. Today’s brew is a little different than usual. The coffee filter nestled inside, like a has a special combination of spices and coffee. Because I started brewing so early, I’m calling this brew, “Up Before the Neighbors” coffee.
Fill your coffee pot with desired water amount depending on how much coffee you’re making. For me, I usually make 2 cups; so thats 3 Tablespoons to your 2 cups of water. Now you’re ready to fill the coffee filter with desired coffee amount and then sprinkle the 6 shakes of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. cocoa and a dash of nutmeg.
Sit back and relax.
You, my friend, are in for a good pot of “Up Before the Neighbor’s” coffee.