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When I was in Europe this Christmas, I was surrounded by coffee fanatics. I don't necessarily mean Europeans (although they certainly enjoy their Nespressos) - but the members of my family whom I was holidaying with: The day did not begin until everyone had coffee. I've generally been a take-it-leave-it kind of person when it came to a cup of morning Joe; I've never really been that big on Starbucks and generally I hadn't been bothered to make it, except for maybe on the weekend. But seeing as coffee was being made every morning, I'd help myself to some each day - and since I've been back in Canada, I've been drinking it somewhat regularly. Just a cup in the morning, made with the french press. I've been learning how to make a better brew, by letting the grounds "bloom" first - and it's been weirdly interesting to discover that there really is an art to everything.
But as we all know, art is highly subjective - as demonstrated in Redbook's November 1965 magazine article, "How To Perk Up Your Day With Coffee."
|As you can see from the cover stories, |
it's just one of MANY great finds in this issue.
... but it's when the magazine goes into the specifics on how one can add touches that make coffee "a bit different" and what "foreign flavours" can bring an "elegant note" to the evening that things take a turn for the worse:
Ok, so perhaps I just happen to be someone who really hates when orange flavours are put where nature never intended them - I'm talking to you, Terry's Chocolate Orange - but sliced oranges in coffee? Really?
"It's delightful! You should try it!" says some random crazy person on the Internet.
No, no. I'm going to try another of the magazine's suggested flavour combinations. Prepare to get your elegance on with a dessert that blends coffee with gelatine, peanut butter and - I shit you not - Marshmallow Fluff:
You know when certain religious conservatives get all hysterical about "gay marriage" and start talking about a bizarro world where people can marry dogs and children can marry toasters? They really need not worry about it because the most brutal of combinations has already happened in the above recipe, and God hasn't smited (smitten? Smut? Yes! Smut!) us yet.
I'd like to thank the above recipe for giving me the excuse to do something I have ever done in my life, and that's buy / have Marshmallow Fluff.
In buying this strange little product, I was also introduced to something totally new that I had never heard of; a Fluffernutter:
Oh, we already figured that one out, Fluffernutter.
If I hadn't seen the picture, I would have thought it was something else, but thanks to the label, I take it that a Fluffernutter is marshmallow fluff and peanut butter, in bread. And this is what people eat? For lunch? At school? Why hasn't Michelle Obama mentioned this in, like, every single one of her speeches?
But what's truly sad is that Coffee Gelatine With Peanut Sauce is actually worse than a Fluffernutter, nutritionally (and, probably, spiritually). In each serving of a CGWPS is 1/2 cup of coffee, gelatine, 1.5 tablespoons of sugar, 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1.5 tablespoons of marshmallow creme, 1.5 tablespoons of milk, half a tablespoon of molasses, and a sprinkling of salt.
And with that dry heave, let the cooking begin.
The coffee gelatin was easy enough to make. I don't have sorbet glasses, so these highball glasses will do.
In the meantime, I got the topping to look deceptively normal:
I've popped it all in the fridge to chill. I'll update this post with the final product once my
The dessert is complete and the Guinea Byck is standing by!
If you didn't know what was in it, I wouldn't call it a repulsive looking dish:
Since we're talking about an elegant dessert, it should no doubt be accompanied by candlelight, cloth napkin, and an eager gourmet!
"What's in this, again?" the poor dear asked.
"Coffee. Gelatin. Peanut butter. Marshmallow. Sugar." I said.
"I like all those things," replied the sweet GB optimistically.
I steadied my camera to capture his first reaction.
"Wait. There isn't shrimp in this, is there?" he-with-the-shellfish-allergy asked.
"When has there ever been a dessert that had shrimp in it?" I yelped.
Iron Chef, replied the voice in my head. The voice in my head watches a lot of TV.
"You didn't answer my question," my husband said suspiciously.
"No. I promise, there is no shrimp in that," I sighed.
I held the camera again, ready to take a picture.
"So, do I just eat this, or start with the top or ...?"
"Whatever you want, dear," I said, realizing how rather stupid blogging is.
He put his spoon in and skimmed some of the topping and sniffed it. And then he put some in his mouth.
And then he had another bite. And another.
"Thoughts?" I asked.
"It's good," he said. I just don't get him sometimes.
"I can't finish it all right now, but I'll have the rest later! Don't throw it out!" said the strange man I married. He got up and kissed me on the cheek and I quickly learned of an immediate side effect of eating this dessert: seriously disastrous breath.
But then I couldn't help it. I decided to become Guinea Byck #2 and give it a try.
I wish I could tell you the taste was a surprise that really did warrant a thumbs-up. It wasn't. It's like having cold, jellied coffee with a fuck-tonne of sweetened peanut butter.
It makes ... no sense.
The topping and the gelatine don't compliment each other, they don't blend together - they are simply two awful things that just happen to coexist in the same container, like as if Josef Stalin and Naomi Campbell shared a limo.
You puzzle me, Redbook. You puzzle me.