Friday, February 1, 2008

cafe au lait- a big bowl of comfort


cafe au lait
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Today was my first day back at work after more than a month off. Of course, that meant that my son didn't want to get dressed for school and being Friday, my class was distracted. It is deceivingly bright and sunny- still too cold to go out without hat and gloves. Which I did. I felt sorry for myself, so after lunch I made my favorite coffee drink- a simple cafe au lait.

Some people use latte and cafe au lait interchangeably. A latte, though lovely, is made with espresso and steamed/frothed milk. The cafe au lait is much more straightforward: simply mix one part hot strong (almost double-strength) coffee with hot scaled milk. Some people prefer to use a chicory coffee like Cafe du Monde from New Orleans. We like use Community Coffee's Between Roast* when we can get it. My mother is from Louisiana, so when we visit her parents we stockpile our favorite brand of coffee. The grocery store price is $2 more per pound in the Memphis area. It is still affordable just a bit more than we want to pay for our daily grind. When we're out of the Louisiana stash, we substitute Yuban's** Dark Roast.

An afternoon cafe au lait is a "having a hard day" ritual for me. It's a nice pick me up but not so involved that I have to take extra time to make it. I hope you'll enjoy yours, and it will make you feel better when you need it, like I did this afternoon.


*You can buy Community Coffee online! Go here! When I was in college, I used to get classmates from Louisiana to bring it back for me. Wish I'd known about online coffee then- if it was even available 10 years ago!

**Yuban coffee was specified in a 1974 recipe for homemade kahlua in the Natchitoches (pronounced Nak-o-dish, not Nag-a-do-ches, as the town in Texas is pronounced), LA, Cane River Cuisine, published by the Service League of Natchitoches. It is my favorite cookbook for old fashioned regional favorites like real gumbo, old fashioned cocktails (milk punch, anyone?), and divinity.

5 comments:

Beth said...

I love community coffee! I had it first with Gretchen W from salem (her family is from LA). Then I had it every day on our mission trip to mississippi. You make me want some now!

Nikki said...

I just found your site from a link on MollyCoddle. I love your work and I'm looking forward to seeing much more. Now I'm going brew some Community Coffee...I have some stowed away in my Louisiana cabinet.

bridgmanpottery said...

Thanks, ya'll!

Nikki said...

I'm from the Lafayette area, way down south in Cajun country. I hate that Blogger doesn't let you reply directly to email. Anyway, nice to be in touch with the south!

Anonymous said...

I'll bring some Comm coffee next time I see you. LAM