Tuesday, July 18

Cafe crud and butterflies

Howdy y'all,

I know it's been a while between updates so I'm working on being a bit more on the ball this week. Actually, things are pretty much the same as usual. It's still stupidly hot and there's been no storm activity since Independence Day. I say we arrange some kind of firework display in an attempt to taunt the weather!

There's some species of small brown butterfly that must hatch (emerge? what is the right word) during a very small time window here because there are literally thousands of them in the trees outside my apartment. One day there were none, the next the trees are full of them! Driving down my street is like that scene in Excalibur with the cherry blossoms, except the blossoms are brown... It's almost like driving through falling leaves, only they move in stilted slow motion. I've also seen some huge black and yellow butterflies - I should know what they are because Kath and I saw them in the butterfly house on our Hill Country tour, but I forget. They're gorgeous. There's a lot of Lantana here which is in bloom at the moment, and aside from the fact that I appear to be allergic to it (determined by the red rash on my ankles after walking through a small patch) the butterflies seem to love it. It's mostly yellow, not like the variable pink ones that I like so much in Oz, but still pretty (and they probably have all the other sorts too, I just haven't noticed yet!). Sunflowers seem to grow wild here too, although why they'd choose to bloom with such gusto in this heat I'm not sure!

This next part has been posted by Jac the Coffee Snob. She been repressed for quite a while now but occasionally makes an unpleasant appearance. Feel free to ignore her.... (hey, I heard that!)

I bought myself one of those little Italian stovetop espresso makes to try and vanquish the evil that is coffee in America and get my caffeine levels back up to normal. I've even found multiple fair trade coffee options in the supermarket, so I can stop buying the starbucks one. Even if it is fair trade, I still don't want to support the machine. I can't remember if I told you my dreadful coffee ordering experience in Portland where I ordered a macchiato from a man who ran a small coffee stand. He had a decent looking machine so I figured he knew what he was doing. Wrong! Initially I was seriously berated for ordering a macchiato "we don't make those starbucks style coffees here - we only make real coffee" said loudly and with much pretension. When I politely explained that macchiato means 'stained' (or a derivation thereof) in Italian and describes a coffee consisting of a shot of espresso 'stained' with a little milk or milk froth, the 'friendly barista' (neither word applies) continued with his tirade of how I was actually describing something called a cafe creme and why hadn't I ordered that in the first place and macchiatos were invented by starbucks... then he proceeded to make me something that vaguely resembled a latte made out of cream. Needless to say, I didn't go back. I'm guessing that cafe creme means coffee with cream so he may have been on the right track with something. Anyhow, my new coffee maker is great so no need to forage in the streets.

(sorry about the lack of accents on the text... I could get blogger to do it but it's the end of a long day and I can't really be bothered)


Clare said...

Reading this bit reminded me of me own inital astonishment and subsequent despair that the country that thinks breakfast is coffee actually doesn't have any on offer that would rate as even drinkable let alone worth coming back for.
Delighted to hear that at least you can have it at home.

JacWabbit said...

Wow, you're quick!

The worst of all is cafe au lait (coffee with milk) which in the US is defined as a jug of filter coffee combined with a jug of milk. Like filter coffee isn't bad enough but diluting it with milk?

Can you tell I'm not a big fan of hot milky coffee?

***end of Jac's rant***

mothersupex said...

Hey, Dad had asked many times had you picked up any of the American lingo in your speech and today, he reads your blog and saw your entry. Not so good after I had said you still sounded the same!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Julie and I went out and I ordered my usual macchiato. I thought that with this new coffee shop they would serve the correct coffee styles but alas, I received a coffee, in a mug, with heaps of froth and milk. Yuk......... So I tried to explain how it is made but did not make a difference as I received another mug with weak black coffee and a jug of milk on the side :-{
With regard to the soda, you are a slow learner, even though you continually found small soda cans in the fridge, when you went to raid for your trips home! Good with a shot of lemon juice, better still with lime or even bitters. A little bottle of that would go a long way and adds a great taste.