Cafe con leche. James grew up on this stuff. He grew up to be over six feet tall, so it’s a good thing for him that we didn’t have to worry about “stunting his growth”, because, Lord knows, we didn’t! He had his first REAL taste of java at about two and a half, maybe three years old. I remember the moment vividly and we still laugh… hard, at the memory. James and I were down in the study, he, watching Sesame Street and I, playing laundress. I could somewhat roam that end of the house as it was sealed off by a huge baby gate that spanned the width of the dining room, the entrance to the study. The other end of the study included the laundry room, James’ room and his bath. This was before french doors or hurricane impact glass was available. So we had two big, sliding glass doors, perpetually locked, which led to our courtyard. I’m sure I have plenty of company when I say that morning I thought I’d throw in a couple of loads of laundry and make good use of my time. Am I right?? Thought so!! Anyway, I was in our coffin-sized laundry room when all of a sudden, behind me came a big SLAM! James saw an opened door and closed it. How considerate! Unfortunately for me, that door locked from the inside! Oh, Lord, NO! I was trapped!! Like a rat!! And my baby was left alone! Mama’s precious angel. It was hot…it was hot as hell in that crappy little room and I couldn’t get out. The laundry room does have a window. A very small window. What do I do, what do I do, WHAT DO I DO? I opened the window, jumped up on the washer and kicked out the screen. Relief! Air! Somehow I wiggled through that itty-bitty window and then realized I was just outside. Just outside! I cupped my hands around my eyes and peered through the slider glass. There was James, standing by the coffee table, my french coffee bowl in his hands. He ever so carefully put it down on its napkin, and happily waved! Hi, Mama!! Smiling, he went back to my coffee and Bert and Ernie.
Of course he was happy! Mama takes her coffee strong!! French roast espresso with steamed milk and a fair amount of sugar. No naps today! Jimmy calls it “breakfast candy”. Peeping in one last time, James was waving and had big, big smiles for Mama, I ran across the street to the neighbor’s house and pleaded with him to help. He kept saying, “I can’t believe you don’t have a spare key outside. I just can’t believe it “. I thought, “Buddy, you say that ONE MORE TIME I’m gonna rip your tongue out through your ASS. Just reach right up there and RIP. IT. OUT. OKAY??”! And there was little Jamesy sippin’ on Mama’s cafe con leche just smiling, fat little baby hands waving, Bert and Ernie dancing across the television screen! An hour later, Loser had taken all the pins out of the stained glass kitchen door and I was back with my boy! I buried myself in the sweetness of his neck. Reunited and it feels so good!
Boysie stills loves coffee drinks and I want him to know how to prepare a perfect cup or bowl in the morning. We like our coffee strong, French Roast is our favorite. Bagged and jarred coffee usually indicates the strength. We use a French press but a little Italian stove top espresso maker is just as good. We put about 1/2 cup of freshly ground coffee into the press then add the water, which has almost come up to the boil, and reaches an inch or so from the rim. 3-4 minutes later, the coffee is ready, if you take it black. Slowly push down the plunger and add milk and/or sugar. My milk to coffee ratio is somewhere between a third to a half of milk to a third of coffee. Gauge your amounts depending on your vessel of choice. Some people are okay with soy and skim milk. I’m not one of them. 1% milk is fine and I also really like the fat-free but tastes like 2% ones now out on the market. I heat my milk in the microwave after the coffee has been prepared. To my hot milk, I add the coffee, then sugar. Any coffee left in the pot or press makes a great iced coffee later in the day. And I always use a silver spoon. Did I tell you my baby drank ALL my coffee? Oh, yes he did!