Open Your Eyes to a Good Day

anytime is coffee timeAnytime is coffee time.  And anytime is a good time to open your eyes.  To look around.  To feel grateful and appreciative. To be inspired by the beauty that is all around.

Today is Thursday and it’s a day to kick up your heels and have some fun.  It’s a day to explore and to laugh out loud and to smile at every single person whom you encounter on your walk in the park.  A day to mention to someone something that they do well — something that might otherwise go unnoticed.  You answer the phone with a very pleasant tone.  You are always so good about replacing the ink cartridges.  I like the way you open the door for people to pass ahead of you.  Thank you for always emptying the dishwasher.  Little things that speak to the bigger Inside Things.  Anytime is a good time to express your appreciation to someone, anyone, everyone.

Have a GREAT & FANTASTIC day today!  Savor the moment.  Please, take 9:39 today to watch this amazing, unfolding TED talk by Louie Schwartzberg on Nature, Beauty, and Gratitude.  It is a life changer.  Truly.  Enjoy.  So beautiful.

Life is such a lively event.  Savor and appreciate, drink coffee, and get to it.

What’s stopping you?  xox Boots

These coffee mugs make me happy.  The art, the colors, the message . . .  all combined give me happiness.  What a message to start the morning with . . . and to carry with you on your way out the door to your next adventure of the day.   Enjoy the journey!

Karma, by Stephen Joseph KA140957 Happy Trails Fox Travel Mug, Multicolor

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Karma, by Stephen Joseph KA140929 Happy Trails Sugar Skull Travel Mug

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Karma, by Stephen Joseph KA140976 Happy Trails Owl Travel Mug, Multicolor

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Spoontiques Positive Affirmations Travel Mug, White

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Retro Percolator Coffee, Grandma Cussing in Polish, & All’s Well That Ends Well

old percolatorBoots the Badass Coffee Babe here to talk Percolator Coffee . . . Are you thinking that this brewing method is just too old-timey or outdated or un-hipster-esque?  Does the image of a percolator bring back your mother’s or grandmother’s Wednesday morning kaffee klatch?  Or a church supper?  Or a rousing Saturday night of Polish polka on a waxed dance floor? Or Uncle Dean’s summer mountain cabin?  Or old-timey conversating between the old folk sitting around a kitchen table?

I can’t think about percolators without hearkening back to my very early childhood and my morning-grumpy, bootlegging, Polish grandmother.  It was at this tender age that I learned the life lesson that caffeine serves as an Adult Lifeline and Morning Saviour.  And another thing that I learned: Don’t mess with Grandma’s coffee and no one will get hurt.

percolator topIgnorance is bliss, or so they say.  What I considered to be an innocent Borrowing turned out to be an act of Brazen Temerity: I borrowed (translate: nearly lost) the glass plug that fits into the percolator lid for my playtime pleasure.  I was setting up an opulent mud-pie party for my dollies and, after scavenging the kitchen cupboards and drawers for Items of Elegance, I came across the glass perking plug — which was to become the most perfect and elegant crystal teacup.  I didn’t give it another thought until the next morning . . .

. . . when my caffeine deprived grandmother went on a cussing rampage while she looked for the necessary glass plug.  Looking back, she probably dropped the equivalent of a few muttered F-bombs, but as for me being the Guilty Party who had absconded with such an Integral Element of her Morning Ritual?  Well, I was quaking in my Buster Browns, I am telling you.

If you have never heard someone cussing enthusiastically in Polish, you will not understand how terrifying and mesmerizing this was to my innocent, yet guilty, little soul.  To put it plainly, Grandma wanted her coffee and she wanted it bad.  And I knew that my intrepid borrowing had led to this moment of extremely-motivating personal terror.

Grandma searched the dish drainer, the kitchen junk drawer, and garden bucket of peelings.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the error in my judgment, the epiphany of which sent me on a reconnaissance mission to Recover the Crystal Grail.  I found said Grail out in the sand box and, surreptitiously so, replaced it in the dish drainer that my grandmother had already checked 3 or 4 times.  It was gritty and dirty and it bore all the signs of having been abused by someone who was not yet of an age that could fully appreciate the Sanctity of the Crystal Grail.

Sigh.  I get it now.  Mr. Shakespeare had it right: “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”  My anguish could have been greatly minimized had I simply fessed up to Grandma and asked her to help me find it. I don’t know.  I still feel mildly twitchy when I think back on this event.  William Shakespeare wrote: “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good an ill together.”  In other words, All’s Well That Ends Well — as his play is so aptly entitled.

Mr. Shakespeare knew his stuff.  Being a sensitive kid and a quick learner of Human Nature in the Morning, I was never to borrow The Crystal Grail again.  All I can say is thank God for Saint Rita, the Patron Saint of Desperate Causes, for I was able to recover the Precious Plug.  My grandmother received her morning dose of caffeine, and all was, once again, right with the world.  Like Helen, in Mr. Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, life sometimes does end with a nice, neat ribbon tied ’round the Event. And like Bill tries to tell us: Don’t worry.  Be happy.  It’s all good.  You’re gonna be fine.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Things are going to turn out fine in the end.  And don’t mess with an Uncaffeinated Grandma.

So, if you are like me and you like happy endings and you like to have more than one gizmo for making coffee in your kitchen, why not add one more?  A percolator is fun, retro, and old school.  It has all of these cool parts that fit together kind of like Tinker Toys, and you will experience the beauty of making coffee with Essential Parts of a Greater Whole.

And people who perk say that perk coffee is the best.  After seeing my grandmother’s Tizzy Fit unfold, I am a believer.  So why not try it?  The percolator pot isn’t expensive to buy, and you will always be ready for whatever coffee emergency that may occur.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING A PERCOLATOR?

Why use a percolator . . . when you already have a French press or an automatic drip machine or a pour-over cone or an espresso machine?   Here are some reasons why it might be a good idea to have a coffee percolator in your coffee arsenal:

  • You live in an area where you have frequent power outages.
  • You live off the grid.
  • You’ve run out of fine-grind coffee for your espresso machine and your grinder only does a coarse-grind.
  • You feel like doing something to honor Throwback Thursday.
  • Your grandparents are coming to visit and this is the only coffee they like to drink.
  • You like to try new things.
  • You are going camping and you want something that is super simple and unbreakable to bring along for your coffee brewing.
  • You like the look of a percolator on the campfire grate.
  • You feel inspired to belt out cowboy songs when you hear the percolator bubbling.
  • You feel a sense of magic when you see the coffee perking into the glass top plug.
  • You think of your grandmother and wish that you had learned how to cuss in Polish from her when you had the chance.

IS PERCOLATION A DINOSAUR BREW METHOD?

Is it a generational thing?  Are percolators going the way of cursive handwriting and mental math?  I don’t think so.  There are many people who still use this method of brewing.  And I know a few people who are pretty proud to make coffee with such a cool, retro looking pot.

HOW THE HECK DO YOU USE A PERCOLATOR?

This is a great question.  And I’m not going to lie.  It was TOUGH to find a decent video about percolating coffee to share with you.  I came across this particular one with Quaker Anne and said Eureka!  She walks you through the steps and convinces you that percolating is the way to go.  I especially like the way she talks about her special coffee treat of adding pure maple syrup and cream to her coffee as she is relaxing at the end of the video.  It looks like this gal knows how to savor and enjoy life’s little pleasures. Check it out.  It goes for almost ten minutes, but it is kind of restful and meditative to watch.

Quaker Kitchen: Stovetop Percolator Coffee (9:56)

As Quaker Anne so wisely says: “That which is worth having is worth waiting for.   I am thinking that QA is one smart cookie.

And here is a recipe/summary of QA’s How-To video:

  1. Use excellent coffee of a coarse grind . . . Grind is Essential
  2. Use good water . . . Good Water is Essential
  3. Use the right proportions of water to grounds . . . Proportion is Essential: (I don’t agree with Quaker Ann . . . As a rule, I use 2 T. per 8 oz water for brewing any coffee with any method.)
  4. Spread coffee evenly around basket and place lid on basket put in coffee pot and put all of the Percolator Guts into the pot..
  5. Assemble all of the pieces . . . oh, and make sure that the glass bubble is secure.  You don’t want it to go percolating off the top of your pot.  Messy clean-up.
  6. Put pot on stove and turn heat up to a medium heat and wait for the coffee to start percolating.  People who perk love this sound.  And who wouldn’t?  Coffee is on the way!
  7. When coffee begins to perk . . . turn temp down so coffee gently perks.  You don’t want a raging inferno perking into the glass bubble.  Think Gentle.
  8. Set a timer for approximately 8 minutes.
  9. Do not over perk.  Turn heat off right away.
  10. Let the percolator sit for about one minute to let all water drain through the basket.
  11. IMPORTANT: Pour the percolated coffee into a thermos or an insulated carafe.  There will be no microwaving coffee on Boots’ watch!  Keep it properly hot and you won’t have to reheat it!

And I like QA’s idea to use real maple syrup as a sweetener.  Have you tried it yet?  It is as special a treat as she describes.

Shopping tips: Buy a stainless steel or a granite ware percolator.  Stay away from aluminum.

Have fun with this!  I love trying new ways to make coffee, don’t you?  Plus, it’s nice to have a dependable way to make coffee the next time a lofty windstorm pushes some giant Douglas firs down across the power lines.  At least you’ll have your percolator to fortify your day with some Joe!

Life is a lively event.  Percolate some coffee, pull up a chair, and get to it.

What’s stopping you?

Happy Shopping for Cups, Percolators, & Carafes below!

For starters, how about these Retro cups for your freshly-percolated coffee?  I love these cups!  Makes me think of all of those Kaffee Klatches that my grandma shared with her other Polish-speaking friends.  I couldn’t understand a word, but I enjoyed their stories, nonetheless.
Momugs Unique Retro Hit Color Ceramic Coffee Cup with Spoon and Saucer Set, 10 oz mug, Orange

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Or these?  Fun!
Diner Coffee Mugs Red Set of 6

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Copco Brushed 4 to 8-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Percolator

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Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator

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And for those times when the percolator glass knobs go missing!
2 pack Fitz-All Replacement Percolator Top, Small (2)

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And every kitchen should have at least one carafe:
304 Stainless Steel Double Walled Vacuum Insulated Carafe with Press Button Top, Quality Thermal Carafe, Water Pitcher with Lid, coffee Pots, Serving Pitchers Coffee Thermos, 2-liter,Silver

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Panesor 2 Liter(68 Ounce) Coffee Carafe Thermal, Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Carafe, Hot and Cold 24 hours

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Happy Perking!

xox  Boots

A Cup of Coffee, Freebird Boots, & Lynyrd Skynyrd

Good morning, People!  Yay for Thursday!

Grab a cup of coffee, scroll to the bottom of this post, click on the music link courtesy of the good Lynyrd Skynyrd, and check out these Thursday boots.  The Sadie boots and Mabel boots are especially cute!

Life is a lively event.  Pull on some boots, drink some coffee, and get to it.

What’s stopping you?

good morning coffee cup

These boots need no special occasion . . . they are for everyday fun.  Happy shopping!

Freebird Women’s Sabra Boot

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Freebird Women’s Sadie Boot

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Freebird Women’s Mabel Boot

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Freebird Women’s Phoenix Low Boot

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Freebird Women’s Belle Boot

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Freebird Women’s Chief Boot

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Freebird Women’s Sammi Boot

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A Love & Happiness Saturday morning to you!

saturday. love and happinessLove and happiness . . . this picture makes me feel good inside.  It makes me think of a rundown little honky tonk in a tiny town . . . one of those towns with crooked streets and more taverns than there were bakeries, grocery stores, and churches combined.  It was the place where my sister, Ranger, and I used to go dancing every Friday night.  Friday night dancing . . . we wouldn’t have missed it for all the Joe in Latin America, Africa, and the Asia Pacific combined — the music was just that good.

At the end of every night, the band would be casing up their instruments and the music man, Dan the Band Man, used to plug “Love and Happiness” into the speakers to quell our demand for “More!  More!”  His intent, I am guessing, was meant to settle us foot stompers down from a rousing rendition of “Congo Square” or “Love Shack.”

Well, after a night of dancing in this establishment, I can tell you that a Saturday-morning-after-Friday-night-dancing cup of Joe was just what I needed.  This place was a hoot and a half, and I am feeling a story coming on.  Yep.  I can just feel it.

For your Saturday fun and enjoyment, here is some music for you to enjoy.  I am dedicating these two tunes to Dan the Band Man and to Orville Johnson, who can play the best cover of “Congo Square” I have ever danced to — wishing them happy music and good coffee.

Love this version of Al Green’s Love and Happiness!

. . . and I have to add Sonny Landreth into this mix . . . so awesome!  All you have to do is listen to the first riffs of this song, and you know you are going to love it!

 

Life is a lively event.  Listen to music, drink coffee, and get to it.

xox Love,

Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

Time to jubilate! It’s Friday!

Have a Brewlicious Friday!  Life is a lively effort.  Have some coffee and get to it!

Spur (Small) boots signatureWith love and xox, Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

 

brewlicious friday

And while you’re jubilating, check out these awesome Old Gringo Leopardito Western Boots & Texas Longhorn 16-pt Jingle Bob Spurs & some darling belts to accessorize for a kick-up-your-heels yee-haw Friday!


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The Best of the Best in Camp (and Commuter) Coffee Cups

Boots here.  Looking at the best in camp coffee cups and picking out inventory for the Cabin Door Store.  I guess I have become one of those gear junkies that likes to have the best when I head out on the trail.  Long gone are the days when I used to wear wool knickers for alpine skiing on my humble, waxed, wooden cross country skis.   I used to be a purist.  Wool gloves, wool hat, wool socks, wool sweater.  I carried wooden matches, a nice piece of pitch, and a Buck knife that was razor sharp.  My cook box had Granite-ware plates, bowls, and cups.  Allllll natural.  Now?  As much as I enjoy seeing those Janoy skis hanging up in the wood shed, I now have good gear that keeps me dry, warm, and safe and gets me places in the back country.

And as for outdoor cook gear? I have gone on too many camp trips where my coffee went cold pretty much the moment that it was poured in the cup.  If there is any sort of morning chill in the air, you are not going to be drinking even remotely hot coffee.  Take a look at these top-of-the-line cups and mugs listed below from the Cabin Door Coffee Store and think about the hot coffee that these cups promise.  They are best-sellers and of good quality.  You only need one of these to keep you going for years.  No chipping, no denting, and no cold coffee!

And as for my blue granite camp cup that kept me company around all of those fires?  I still bring it along, but I now use it for my morning Bircher muesli.  Some old favorites I’m just not ready to quite give up yet.   And speaking of Bircher muesli, I am thinking that I will share my favorite recipe with you tomorrow.  It is perfect for the trail, for camping, for glamping, and for home.  You can make it the night before and have it ready to go in the morning if you are running late.

And then there’s my Dutch oven.  It is the best.  I am not going to trade it in for anything new and fandangled.  At least not while I have a cook box that will accommodate the size and the weight.  Dutch oven biscuits, baked with the finesse and attention that a Dutch oven asks, are the absolute best.  I mean it!  They are like magic in a pot.  I am thinking that we will have to check a few Dutch oven recipes out later this week as well.

I digress!  Get me started on camp gear and one thing leads to another!  Have fun checking out these most-excellent options for keeping your coffee hot.  Oh, and don’t think that you have to be sitting around a smokey campfire to enjoy these  fantastic options.  I can think of a time or two in recent history when I was running for a city bus in Seattle and my fancy die-hard camp cup was the perfect commuter cup as well.  Nothing says coffee like a great cup!  And in these colors?  Lime, plum, teal, burgundy, red, orange, stainless . . . these colors put the fun in functional out on the trail and on the city bus.

Click on the links or the images below and peruse these cups that are some of the best in camp gear.  It really is the littlest things that make for the best experiences.  Enjoy this fun stuff!

Signing off.  xox Boots xox


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