Friday, December 23, 2011

The Advil Calendar 2011, Christmas Eve Eve: LOCALIVOROUS LOVE EDITION


"Localivorous" YES I JUST MADE THAT UP. Shut up. It's the adjectival form of "locavore." I am working very hard on this stuff so give me... ooh look there's a squirrel on the deck!

Ok, so I'm not working that hard. I'm mostly hanging out at the coffee shop, pecking out jokes and trivia in between gossipy visits with the neighborhood retired people, at-home moms, part-timers, baristas, and college students who are fortunate enough to have the time during the day to hang out in the coffee shop.

Fortunate indeed. For there are a few things about OUR coffee shop that make it better than YOUR coffee shop:

  • The coffee is freshly roasted just down the road in a little warehouse space that periodically catches on fire from all the bean chaff in the roaster chimney. 
  • You can get bacon on anything there.
  • All the guys who work at Zeke's are frequently bearded, variously burly, non-emo, and all named Zeke. This is true: most of their delivery customers and plenty of the shop customers just figure they're talking to the original Zeke (who in fact is like 12 years old), and the boys don't bother to correct them.
  • Excellent merch. "Can you draw a coffee bean with a crab on it?" asked owner Thomas Rhodes one day, calling his go-to graphics man, Todd Brizzi, from the road. "Uh, sure," said Todd. "Any particular reason why I would?"
  • Once a year Zeke's buys a big batch of catshit coffee and charges people like ten bucks a cup to try it. This is the marketing genius that is going to pay for Thomas and Amy's kids to go to college anywhere they like.

In honor of Zeke's (and all the Zekes), and because you, like me, may be having a little trouble focusing, what with the kids home from school and all that goddamn wrapping upstairs waiting to be done, not to mention the cards the cards THE CARDS. GOD. I took a marvelous picture of the children and uploaded it and did up the card and ordered them and picked them up and signed the whole stack of them, and I did this all by about December 18th. Of last year. And never managed to address them and send them out. I hate wasted effort, so I plan to change the date on them from 2010 to 2011 and send them out this year. But it's beginning to look less and less likely, isn't it?

Coincidentally, I shot our xmas card photo at the coffee shop.
Huh. Talk about having trouble focusing. Look what happened to that last paragraph. I never said what I was going to do in honor of Zeke's. In my defense, I also have a chest cold and have lost my voice, and also have two brand-new kitties in our house, one of whom is affectionate and fluffy, while the other is 12 weeks old and likes to ambush my hands while I type.

And I can't seem to stop making candles.

So look, this is my solution. Coffee drinks. All these feature the Poor Man's Speedball combo of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, and are guaranteed to keep you awake to wrap presents after the kids go to sleep. No guarantee, however, that you won't get so hammered that you just throw up your hands, slap bows on everything and call it a night.

Enjoy these hot cocktails, cold cocktails, punches and a toddy, and while you're at it you may admire the Toddfather's cool logos for some of Zeke's signature blends. 'Coffee bean with a crab on it.' Yeah, he can draw that.

That's the Bromoseltzer Tower.
Monk's Coffee, sometimes also called The Monk's Rope:
1/4 oz. Amaretto
1/4 oz. crème de cacao
1/4 oz. Frangelico
1/4 oz. orange liqueur (Cointreau is fine, but I have heard amazing things about Clément Créole Shrubb, which is supposed to be less sweet, and to have notes of vanilla and cinnamon as well as the orange)
Zeke's coffee
Mix the liqueurs in a snifter and add hot coffee.

Named for a famous B and O line.

Here's one for iced coffee devotees, The Coffee Cocktail:
1/3 brandy
1/3 Cointreau
1/3 cold black Zeke's coffee
Shake well with ice and strain into glass. The Mixer's Manual recommends serving this after dinner, but I would very much drink this on the rocks in a tall glass in the afternoon. Possibly all afternoon.

Nobody calls us that with a straight face.

And a hot punch that's far too much trouble to make, but sure fun to read about:
Café Brûlot
1 orange
12 whole cloves
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
3 (2-inch-long) strips of lemon zest
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoons sugar
3 cups hot very strong brewed Zeke's coffee
Remove zest from orange in a single spiral with a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife. Stud orange zest with cloves. Add to a wide heavy medium saucepan with brandy, liqueur, lemon zest, cinnamon, and sugar. Warm through over medium heat, stirring. Tilt pan over gas burner (or use a long match) to ignite carefully (flames will shoot up). While flames subside, slowly pour in hot coffee. Ladle into small cups (preferably demitasse).
I read about this spectacular item in my Mixer's Manual, but apparently they've been doing it for over a century at Antoine's, where they call it Café Brûlot Diabolique - i.e., not just burned coffee, but devilishly burned coffee!

Ok and this one is not a coffee drink, but that suck-ass cold I caught turned into a blazing sore throat and I have lost my voice completely. Which everyone but me finds verrrry amusing.
Black Stripe
2 oz dark rum
1 teaspoon molasses
a drizzle of honey
lemon wedge
Put the dark rum, molasses and honey in a coffee mug. Twist the lemon wedge over the cup and then drop it in. Fill the rest of the mug with hot water and stir.

Todd's wife Heather found me this next one while I was mixing up that miserable toddy above (if I had to make it again I'd double the honey, halve the molasses) (but honestly I'd prefer to just warm up a jigger of Nyquil, shoot it, and pass the fuck out). Scrumptious Coffee sounds like eggnog, except with way less dairy and 100% less eggwhite beating. I am pro- anything that reduces the sum total of eggwhite beating in my life.

(Unless said beating results in little meringue cookies, ooh I love those things. Paint the inside of a pastry bag with stripes of peppermint flavored goo and then put the meringue in it and then you get little starlight mint striped cookies. And you bake them in, like, the hot air that comes off the back of the fridge. You practically put them in the sunlight coming in the kitchen window and they bake. Science!)

And that's the tower of the sewage
treatment plant, if I'm not mistaken.

Scrumptious Coffee 
48 oz strong black Zeke's coffee
brown or raw sugar
10 oz brandy
8 oz dark rum
8 oz white rum
2 cinnamon sticks
16 oz whipped cream
orange peel
Sweeten the coffee with the sugar to taste. Mix coffee, liquor, and orange peel in a pan. Heat gently, but do not boil. Let infuse for a couple of minutes. Pour into pre-warmed heat-resistent glasses. Float whipped cream on top. Garnish with thin strip of peel of orange and nutmeg.

Now that one has Christmas day potential, yes sirree.

TOMORROW: Oh my god you guys I am totally tapped out. Seriously. I outlined almost all these posts in late November / early December, before the damn holidays ruled the world and before we got two new cats and Bob and I both caught debilitating colds. But somehow I never lined up anything for Christmas Eve. So things might get a little raggedy-endy around here tomorrow. Ahem. More so, that is. Like I might possibly get one of the kids to write it. THAT would be INTERESTING.