better, cheaper, tastier, healthier
Starbuck's sells a “short cappuccino” that's cheaper and better than anything posted on their menu boards, but you have to know to ask for it. This Slate.com article has the story.
Or better yet, get yourself a Toddy coffee brewer, and have a MUCH cheaper, healthier, and far tastier cup of coffee instantly whenever you like. I got one of these for Christmas a few years back, and it changed my coffee-loving life.
Then I decided to save myself some more money and roast my own coffee. I bought this book for $12, an air popcorn popper from Target for $7, and six months' supply of organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee from the Seven Bridges Cooperative (whom I'm glad to have found -- they also sell organic ingredients for home-brewing beer and ale, and this Christmas my honey gave me lessons in the practice) at about $2.50 per pound. It's fun, and I think a little better than even the totally fabulous independent coffee roaster's down the block does -- I suspect because the coffee beans I use are higher-quality.
I've become quite the slow food enthusiast. Simple things with fresh ingredients that I cook myself are tastier and much cheaper than convenience foods usually are, and it doesn't seem to take all that much more time, since I tend to cook a couple of large meals early in the week that provide lunches and dinners through the week. If I'm too pressed for time to do a multi-ingredient meal, there's always just throwing something on the grill, which I do year-round.
Since my bishop decided I need another master's, I've been mostly looking forward to going back to seminary (sitting around reading books and talking about them is fun, and I'm fairly good at it), except for four things -- most of all living apart from Karen, and after that the bills, the lost income from not being able to work as much, and (I think) cooking. Or maybe I could keep cooking the way I do. Think fellow seminarians would be happy about chipping in for the 10-person meals I usually cook? There are kitchens in the dorms, I gather ...
"whether you eat or drink ..."
As St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:11:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
I'd say the New York barkeeps and restaurant owners behind this story are doing better than many of us in putting that into action. On September 12, there will be a cocktail hour from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. offering New Orleans-style drinks like the Sazerac, Pimm’s Cup, Comfort Julep, Vieux Carre, Ramos’ Gin Fizz, Obituary Cocktail, French 75, Hurricane, and Brandy Milk Punch at the special -- and higher -- price of $10 each, with all receipts going to benefit Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Gawker has promised to post the list pf participating establishments.
I like that people are coming together to figure out how the gifts they have could contribute something of real and substantial help, and it seems in keeping with New Orleans' spirit (no pun intended) to have a celebration of that city's culture to raise money. I'd love to see folks with other talents -- artists, jazz musicians, and others -- to get together for similar celebrations of New Orleans culture to raise funds for relief.
a good reason never, ever to move house
Life is very, very good.
I do roast my own coffee, partly because it's fun and partly because it costs less than half as much as pre-roasted (and I drink a LOT of coffee). I use an air popcorn popper that I bought for $7.88 from Target and triple-certified (organic, shade grown, fair trade) coffee beans that I mail ordered from Seven Bridges Cooperative (who also do organic home brewing supplies for beer -- something I'd like to try one of these days). I don't always have time (it takes a little over an hour to roast a pound of coffee) or energy to do my own, though, so it's really, really nice to have a place that's an easy stroll from my front door (and open 24 hours!) that does organic fair trade.