January 17, 2010

At the Too-Early Breakfast Café...


... maybe it's getting light earlier. Spring is coming, perhaps. Or at least Spring Semester. It arrives on Tuesday. I'm caught up in syllabi. Syllabi in lieu of lullabies. I make coffee with the Meadhouse Aeropress and heat the milk in the microwave instead of using that machine that makes cappuccino/latte at the push of a button.


It's still winter here but "Summer Samba" plays in my head. It was one of the songs that played softly in the common room at our hotel in Austin, Texas, where we ate breakfast every morning from January 4th to January 13th. But we're not in Austin anymore, and it's not summer or even spring. It's the middle of winter in Madison, Wisconsin, and there's no morning light that has me up at this hour. I'm nearly through my first glass of coffee, and there's no reason to be up now except that I've slept enough.



The name of our Austin hotel? The Kimber Modern. Here's a NYT article about it. And here's one of those "36 Hours In" articles about Austin.


vbspurs said...

I make coffee with the Meadhouse Aeropress

Oh, how curious, I have the very same Aeropress. I have this Gaggia, but I confess, it's a hassle keeping it ship-shape enough for the coffee purists' idea of a perfect "pull".

One of my coffee-snobby friends highly recommended the Aeropress as an alternative.

Tried it, but honestly, I don't think it's better than my handy Bodum French Press.

Went out super early at 5 AM to Mickey Ds for a "Big Breakfast". Hadn't done that in yonks. No coffee for me, but I did get OJ. Talk about sticker shock: one large glass was almost 4 bucks. Can you imagine how much it'll be when they factor in our recent freeze?


ricpic said...

I use the simple French Press. Makes great coffee.

Anyone know the name of that tree in the bottom photo? Just got back from Biloxi, Mississippi, where it was all over the place. Love that tree.

vbspurs said...

Trust Ann to stay at a politically-correct hotel.

From the NYT:

“We travel a lot, and we’re always looking for unique, interesting, modern places,” said Ms. Cavendish, 49. Kimber Modern, she says, offers a chance to apply what she and her partner have learned in 16 years of traveling together.

In this case "partner" could've meant business partner, which is still always what I think when I hear the word.

But the photo leaves no doubt that they are a romantic couple. One of the co-owners is tenderly grabbing the hand of the other.

“We’ve done a lot of spreadsheets,” she said."

I'm sure.


rhhardin said...

Summer sunrise in Sydney webcam from yesterday.

The sun rises in the southeast there, the same as it does today here.

It proceeds northwards, though, rather than southwards, and so heats things up a lot more.

Click here at about 1:30pm (US) Eastern Time, if it's not cloudy there, which it often is.

Ann Althouse said...

The tree is a live oak.

The $4 orange juice... is it fresh squeezed? That's worth a lot. Also, maybe the price is affected by the recent freeze.

The Aeropress... it makes fabulous coffee, and I'm not being snobby. Did you have the right grind and so forth? We get better espresso than at any of the cafés we used to go to every day. It's harder to want to go out to a café when your coffee at home is better.

As for a "politically correct" hotel... I didn't know anything about who owned the hotel or whatever. We just saw the recommendation in the "36 hours" article, looked the hotel website and went by the pictures, the details about the accommodations, the location, and the location.

AllenS said...

Wisconsin finally got its January thaw.

vbspurs said...

Live oak! Excellent. I was going to say angel tree. A Southern tree par excellence. I am really an utter duffer about trees, being a sad city girl.

The OJ doesn't taste at all fresh-squeezed, which only Tropicana comes close to matching. I called Mickey Ds shortly after posting, out of curiosity, and they said the prices haven't been raised. Sheesh. Incredible.

Nono. It's not the poor Aeropress' fault. It's mine. I recognise it is a very good (and super cheap, $25!) coffeemaker. I have a Rocky Rancilio grinder, fiddling around with the grind in case it was my ineptness. After 5 attempts at making coffee, I gave up. ALL my snobby coffee friends love it, as do you, so it's gotta be me.

I wuz just yankin' yer chain about the hotel, as you know.

(Mind you, what are the chances in freaking Texas?)


rhhardin said...

I think a freeze results in cheap juice, for a short time. They sell the oranges for juice very fast.

Roger Sweeny said...

.. maybe it's getting light earlier."

Today the sun came up only two minutes earlier than it did on the day with the shortest morning, January 4. Days don't get symmetrically longer and shorter. Afternoons actually started getting longer December 12.

At the end of the month, you'll be looking at a gain of 15 minutes. I assume you'll be up and looking :)

John Burgess said...

Yay, indeed for the Aerobie Press! It manages to make the several kinds of coffee I like, from the daily standard brew, to espresso and its variants, down to Greek/Turkish/Arab coffee. You just have to experiment a bit to find the right proportions. And the price cannot be bettered.

But 'glass of coffee'? Is that a Wisconsinism?

WV: hymation... making a fetish of hymens, I suppose.

Tari said...

You sound like you miss Texas. Maybe it's time to head south for good? Meade couldn't take you cross-country skiing in Austin, but y'all could two-step at the Broken Spoke from time to time ...

PatCA said...

I keep trying to find a good, cheap espresso maker. I now use Mr. Coffee but it's a big noisy machine.

Does the Aeropress espresso have good crema?

edutcher said...

Ann said...

... maybe it's getting light earlier. Spring is coming, perhaps. Or at least Spring Semester. It arrives on Tuesday. I'm caught up in syllabi. Syllabi in lieu of lullabies.

Properly pronounced sil uh be. Somebody else who went to school where they taught Latin as if it were Italian.

:) Just messin' witcha.

Rialby said...

Did you and Meade get a chance to go house shopping while you were down here? It makes sense that you're planning on moving here - your son is in Austin, no? I hope UT came up with a good package for you.

If you're looking for funky neighborhoods, 78704 is always great - Travis Heights or SoCo. You should also check out Hyde Park - it's right near the law school and there are some great houses in that neighborhood.

Rialby said...

One more thing - it's supposed to be 67 and sunny here today. Maybe I'll go to the Veloway.

John Burgess said...

PatCA: In brief, no. No 'crema'. Aerobie is like an upside down French press, with a filter. The filter pretty much means no crema.

El Pollo Real said...

These days I'm a push-button espresso machine kinda guy but in the old days there was nothing better than the reliable stovetop espresso maker link. Those simple machines were invented to extract only the best from coffee using steam extraction rather than contact with water.

So sue me for being a snob. :P

PatCA said...

Oh, it's the filter that determines the crema...interesting, thanks.