THERE HAVE BEEN no kitchen disasters as of late, at least not since the infamous Exploding Brooklyn Label Ketchup incident of March aught-seven. So, I was due, really. But this story, like most all good stories, requires a little history.
In a recent Menu posting I offered a glimpse from the window of the thirty-second floor of 300 Eighth Avenue, a.k.a. The Hearst Tower. This is where for the past two weeks I have been working to help re-launch (on May 23) the Country Living website. That's correct: Country Living. The gig is a little bit of copy writing, an awful lot of data entry, and one hell of a view. I love it.
While assembling a collection of recipes from the CL October 2006 issue, I came across one for White Spiced Coffee. As I enjoy spices, milk, and coffee, I didn't see how I could lose. So, this morning, I smashed one cup of coffee beans with the bottom of a heavy pan and put them in a sauce pan with three to four cups soy milk (you can use whatever kind you like) and brought this combo to a simmer. I promptly turned off the heat and let the milk and coffee beans steep for fifteen minutes.
At this point, the recipe calls for straining the crushed beans from the milk and transferring the warm, coffee-infused liquid to a blender. I strained the beans from the milk and then transferred the warm, coffee-infused liquid to a food processor. In retrospect, I assure you, there is a difference. Nevertheless, at this point none the wiser, I added a couple sticks of cinnamon, a few pods of cardamom, and some honey to the milk, closed the lid tight (ha!) and pushed "blend."
Now, Mint and I do not keep extra rolls of paper towels stored in our apartment. It's just not a product we use so frequently that a stockpile set in reserve is something we worry about. We normally purchase them with a specific need in mind like, say, the windows need cleaning, Phyllis' cage needs cleaning, basically--something needs a cleaning, but for some unknown reason I purchased yesterday a roll of paper towels, cleaning purpose unknown. Omen? You be the judge:
All was not lost, loyal reader. I had divided the milk into two batches of milk to-be-blended, so with my arms and shirt (and a noticeably large part of the kitchen) dripping with milk and honey, I simply poured the half-blended, half-unblended milk mixtures back into a saucepan to reheat. I re-added a few pods of cardamom and sticks of cinnamon to impart whatever spice they could during the reheating.
Remarkably, this turned out pretty okay (see top). You would normally strain your White Spiced Coffee after the blender finishes its job, before reheating, but I was forced to reheat and strain before pouring into a mug. Even with its limited time spent in my food processor, however, a good portion of the soy milk had churned up light and frothy--I imagine with proper blending time allotted this entire drink would be light and frothy. Worth a second chance, certainly. Of course, only after I buy a blender.