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Ah Winter!!

Ah Winter!!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth of my warm, steaming coffee cup
I love thee to the level of no more than 180c
I love thee freely, as the red wine must pour
I love thee purely, like the layers I wear to disguise Winter indulgences

I love thee with a passion for delicious comfort food
I love thee with a love I seem to lose the minute Summer arrives!!!

Oh how I do love Winter – red wine, Irish coffees, stews, curries, no sweating or skimpy clothing, lots of coffees and afternoon teas, blankets on the couch, sherries and ports! It’s just the season of sheer indulgence. It’s a pity we can’t move Christmas to the middle of our Winter, then life would be just perfect because in addition to loving Winter, I also love Christmas! In particular, a cold Christmas – that’s because we can eat more. I mean it’s really not indulgence weather when you are sweating to death while cooking up a feast fit for a Winters meal, all the while you can’t wait to flop into the pool with an ice cold cocktail and have that for your Christmas meal instead!!!

So our Editor is tripping around the USA? Gives me cause to recall the USA of my youth. A long time ago when MTV still played rock videos (see that – videos!!!) They were called VJs in those days!! I arrived on my friend’s doorstep, much to his surprise. The letter announcing my plans to come visit arrived the next day! Again – before the days of email and internet! Eish! Anyway, back to my story, it was wonderful that evening to watch the sun set over the sea for the first time instead of watching it rise over the sea. That’s because I was on the West Coast (for you doffies out there). The next morning my education and introduction to America began. America for me has always been two things – freedom and salt!! It’s almost too much freedom; the freedom of choice is shattering and confusing. Yes, I see the quizzical eyebrow………………………. Salt??? Well, you may not believe this but before I was the sophisticated Europhile that I am now, I was a real plaasmeise. No really!! I know, unbelievable! Where I came from we only drank one type of coffee – puuuurree!! (whose name that we never mention)!! Back in the day, we had no choices; you had bread – brown or white, Sugar – brown or white, Milk – full cream Etc. Now I arrived in America! At my first breakfast I was asked how I would like my eggs – well I knew scrambled or fried but could still have them over-easy, sunny-side up. Holy Toledo my poor little brain nearly fried itself. Still, it got worse because that’s when I was sent to the supermarket to buy salt. An innocent enough request but not one I was prepared for because back on the plaas, we just had SALT!! There in this very large, very impersonal supermarket was an entire aisle dedicated to SALT!!!! I had never in all my days seen so many different types of salt!! What?? Why??? Who?? Is salt not by any other name just salt??? I stood there doing my best plaasmeisie impression with my mouth wide open trying to figure this one out. Sea salt, Crystal salt, Rock salt, Black salt, Brown salt, etc. etc. etc.! Nooooooooooooooooo!! I just wanted SALT!! Sometimes too much choice is just too overwhelming, so we got NO salt! And let’s not even go into the breakfast cereals………………..

Unfortunately for me, Starbucks was yet to be created so I didn’t get the opportunity to try it in its homeland. America turned out to be a lot more expensive than the Travelling Partner and I had budgeted for so we got most of our meals from Wendy’s for the daily 99c special. Can’t say that the coffee there was much to speak of but every now and then we would sneak into the local bikers club and grab a good strong cup from there but I have to say that I think America owes me a few good cups of coffee, that’s for sure.

I have only ever experienced Starbucks outside of America and whilst in Egypt met a young man who had been collecting Starbucks mugs all around the world. I thought this was a most superb idea and decided I would do this too. Unfortunately for me again – what’s with me and Starbucks, the Egyptian Revolution started and I didn’t think the large, sullen-looking gentlemen escorting me to my plane would take kindly to me asking for a detour to the Starbucks counter to buy a coffee and a mug! So sadly I have yet to start my Starbucks collection and have a Starbucks coffee in Cairo!!

Oodles of Toodles

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