What gets you started in the morning? Most of us would probably say a big cup of coffee (or as my sister calls it—starter fluid).
Regrettably, I cannot often say I start my morning with coffee. While I love a good frappe or latte, I cannot tolerate a lot of milk - any kind of milk - so my frappe and latte experiences are few and far between. *hysterical sobbing*
And while a cup of tea isn’t quite enough to assuage these bitter disappointments, there are a few brands that I really, really enjoy and one of my absolute favorite is Rooibos.
A friend from South Africa introduced this unusual tea to my mother years ago. Rooibos is herbal so it can be consumed copiously at any time of the day and you won’t be lying awake or getting a caffeinated twitch in your left eye.
A beautiful dark red color, Rooibos has a flavor that is warm and hearty and utterly indescribable…unless you were to describe it as ‘A Cup of the Africa of your Dreams’. The smell and the flavor instantly bring to mind wild savannas, safaris moving through tall brush to watch lions stalking prey, campfires with dark starry skies above. No, I am not reading off the side of the box, this is my own prose out of my own imaginative head and Yes, it really does taste like this!
Rooibos is best, in my opinion, without milk or cream and with one lump of sugar—no honey. If you can drink it outside, wearing a bush jacket and a pith helmet it will taste even better.
No, I have not done this! What do you think I am; a nut or something? (comment below)
Well, I like imaginative nutcases, so if you have a pith helmet, go a head, do something nuts, you don’t have to post it for the whole world to see, just enjoy the experience.
Rooibos can be purchased at Wal-Mart and I like to drink it out of a FiestaWare mug or a beautiful teacup out of my growing English Bone china collection…English Bone china that has been careful wrapped and stored, hauled miles across the Savanna and then filled and savored while I crouch in front of the camp fire and listen to the roar of the lions…
Coffee, coffee, I love coffee, EVERYBODY LOVES COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE!!!!
I think you understand how much I love COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE! But, as I mentioned in a previous post, I only like coffee with milk (I won’t drink it black) and I can’t drink a lot of milk. So what’s a girl to do?
Coffee flavored chocolate, of course!
Call me dumb, but I’ve only just discovered this very likely obvious answer.
I was standing in line at a local Tuesday Mornings, trying not to salivate over the array of ‘Die Happy’ goodies laid out to tempt the customers when I spotted the best chocolate I have ever tasted in my life.
I first picked this item up because of the unusual shape. I instantly liked the idea of a stick of chocolate, there was just something really cool about that, it would be great to fit into a back pack and you could tell everyone it was a chocolate covered carrot, which means you wouldn’t have to share (who wants a chocolate covered carrot?) and everyone would think you were eating more healthy than you really are.
So, I picked up a stick of chocolate and examined it, my eye snagging on the word ‘coffee’.
I hadn’t tasted coffee in months and though I wasn’t too sure about how this would taste. I suspected it might be so expresso-y that it would taste more like mud than chocolate. Then I saw the brand, Harry London’s. I had experienced another type of Harry London Chocolate the year before—a rhapsody that deserves and will have a separate post of its own—so I knew I was holding quality in my hand. Plus it was in a cool stick shape, and it would fit into a back pack really well and I could tell everyone I was eating a chocolate covered carrot and most importantly, my dad, my brother and my older sister wouldn’t be trying to eat my chocolate because they hate coffee.
And it was only .69 cents.
Back in the car, I tore it open, took a bite and experienced an epiphany.
I had just found the greatest chocolate in the whole world.
A rich dark chocolate with a lovely coffee taste that lingers deliciously even after you swallow the last morsel. This is a treat that dentists will fear because it makes you not want to brush your teeth.
Real espresso grounds are in the stick, so it had the crunch of Crunch bars but without the nasty crunch stuff they put in it, plus it actually tasted caffeinated. I knew it wasn’t just the excitement of discovering my new favorite that had me buzzing. Caffeinated chocolate! The answer to a maiden’s prayer.
This maiden was deliriously happy. It was the next best thing to a latte and oh how I had been longing for one. Plus there was that added sparkle of taking a chance (okay only a .69 cent chance but hey, that’s almost an Mp3) and having it pay off. The anticipation and then the pay off as those anticipations are realized create half of the taste bud experience.
Harry London’s Espresso Sticks are an experience and they are an experience that you should experience now!
I don’t know if this specialty item is at any of your local stores but you can order them online at fanniemay.com, but don’t you dare wipe out their inventory.
My General Eating Habits.
Eating and writing are closely intertwined for me. Meal times is often when I have ‘free’ time to write and I usually have drink and sustenance at my elbow while I’m glued to my computer. The writing process for me is usually: Type frantically, chomp, hastily wipe fingers than type some more while I chew and swallow. Or its this: Stare moodily/glassily at computer screen, chew, swallow, stare some more, drum fingers, chomp, munch, stare some more. Usually it’s this.
Repeat either option until meal is over and I have to start and/or go back to work (as if I wasn’t working already).
I’ll be regularly sharing some of the food that I eat while I submerge myself in the crazy phenomena called creative writing. I’m not saying these foods will make you leap tall writers blocks with a single bound, or turn you into a plotting genius, but good food makes a happy writer, and a happy writer is…well, a happy writer.
Seriously, a writer is an athlete, albeit a mental one, and they have to eat to keep up their energy—though I admit, when the Muse has struck I have sometimes forgotten to eat.
To sum up, it helps if what we writers eat actually tastes good, which brings me to the first of one of the many tidbits that get me through the day and my writing. Though sometimes the action of eating is a distant sensation, the taste always creates a pleasant haze around me while I work. I’m in a haze most of the time and I say the more pleasant we can make our haze—then just do it.