Outdoor Lore and the Lure of a Good Cup of Coffee

Autumn … let that sink in for brief moment.

Dense fog and moisture in the air, dewy wetness on all things still green and those turning color too.Rusting leafy foliage falling away baring their now stark treed host. Dried corn plants shuffling their crinkly leaves await the harvesters blade and the pale early morning sky fuzzy misted over as the sun begins to burn through with a cool and bright effort. And pumpkins dotting this or that field or ornamenting this or that farmer stand or door steps.

Yup, it’s fallish out there folks.

And I’ve got a hankerin’ to be out there, to spend time in the thinning woods. Where green turns to rust and mushrooms show themselves off against the leaf littered forest floor, some pretty, some ugly and all of them fascinating.

Yesterday I gave in to that hankering and hunkered down the evening before to prepare my daypack for a short day trip into the local deciduous woods. The air felt fresher, the temperatures chillier and my step quicker so as to generate a bit more body temperature even though my wool mix hoodie kept me snug and warm.

It being a Saturday morning, the forest lanes and roadways (this is Germany and the woods are crisscrossed with ‘Waldwege’) were empty. I had the place mostly to myself. And as I often do, I wondered where the wild boars were. But most of all I was anticipating my first cup of outside coffee.

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goodness (ciaodarlingciao.wordpress.com)

If you’ve ever made a delicious cup of hot coffee outside you may know the pleasure I speak of. No, not a cup of instant crap but the real ma-coy, boiling water poured into a coffee filter over a large cup. The result a brew so good that it nearly blends into the surrounding beauty. Ah ok, so the heady scent of a freshly brewed cup of java out there is kinda out of place as it were but it does the body good. If you prefer a good hot cup of tea would also do the trick I suppose but coffee is my choice for moments like that.

I spent some time looking around and gathering a bit of firewood, smallish bits and processed them into suitable sizes to accommodate my Bush Box multi fuel pocket stoves’ small size and then set to building the fire that would boil the water that would release the intense flavored coffee into my cup and then my mouth. It took a little while but the time spent doing the work was well worth the efforts.

Bush Box

By the time my cup was filled, the sun had begun to shine on the spot I’d selected for the coffee ritual.

I sat back and just liked being there.

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Of Cups & Cakes or How the Professional does it

I am not a baker, nor am I scientific in my thinking and therefore baking being semi scientific in approach, I do not bake much, at all.

I like, nay I appreciate the occasional sweet home baked delight and prefer them over their store bought counterparts on any given day. Yesterday I had the opportunity to fully appreciate the complexity and joy of building a refreshing lime/coconut bit of sweetness. I had a pro come over and replicate their chosen recipe. I lent the occasional hand/help  around the periphery and even managed to learn a thing or two about the super sweet world of cup cakery.

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coconut lime cup cakes mid production

One thing that the unsuspecting cup cake making novice such as myself soon discovers is that those tasty suckers aren’t all that cheap. I spent nearly $50 on the ingredients for this session and while I could do another go round with some of them, I’d have to go a replenish the ones that professional and I used up during the initial session. I still am not sure why I still have so much icing in the fridge but I am certain that I’ll double up on the coconut content for the last recipe. I must also admit to arriving at a better understanding as to profit margins in the resale aspect of some of the more indulgent recipes; $3.oo per cup cake oughta cover that part nicely.

The professional and I tore at, measured in, whipped, scooped, slashed at, extracted from, finely slivered, frothed, spooned, mixed with, levelled this, diced that, mounded this, beat that some more, gave that a good squeeze, cut, chopped up, folded into, soured, poured and scraped various ingredients that made up the little cakes. I nearly abused the lime and vanilla bean bits savagely while more buttery sweetness was beat into submission by the professional. I could tell that the professional had done this before.

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… first half was excellent too

And then after sweating it out while the first batch of delicately citrus flavored cakes were baking, the resultant delight proved to be just the delectable treat that had fired our imaginations since reading the recipe.

It had not gone so well had it not been for the professional, you know who you are. Thanks kindly.

2012©myronunrau, iphoneographythis©

Until only one remained

Personal Blooper

Sitting down with the first big hot fresh cup of coffee of the morning … and only moments later the very real sense of total disbelief at seeing the cup tip and spill that morning goodness all over my lap, chair and immediate floor. Note to self: Don’t do that again, ever.