Thursday, February 28, 2013

Penn Dutch Musician's Spiced Java

     Musicians, artists and writers have a reputation for not living a life that many people would consider to be normal.  What exactly is normal?  If everybody lived the same life, there would be no variety and in all likelihood, mankind would either die from boredom or digress to become a primordial slug.  When some people describe normality, they unintentionally describe self limitations or restraints that are imposed by society.  Normality is sometimes described as restrictive confinement that is imposed to enforce conformity. 
     Okay!  Never mind!  Nobody wants to hear a philosophy session, that is, unless they have been smoking their lunch.  When people smoke their lunch, they sometimes drift off while listening to music and forgot that it is Taco Tuesday.  The following day, they feel regret.  How could someone possibly forget about Taco Tuesday?  Possibly, by smoking their lunch!
     Not every musician wakes up at 6:00AM sharp.  Many fall off of the couch at about 4:30 in the afternoon.  Getting ready for another gig, at another bar, sometime around when the bar patrons come out at night, is how many musicians live from day to day.  I have lived with plenty of musicians during my life and there is one thing that those musicians had in common.  The first thing that they wanted after waking up was a strong cup of good coffee to get it in gear. 
     I once knew an old Pennsylvania Dutch musician who played in famous big bands and played in philharmonic orchestras.  This old Penn Dutch musician had the weirdest afternoon coffee ritual that I had ever seen.  First he would grind coffee beans, put them in a sauce pot, then he added water, cream, lots of sugar and German winter spices.  The coffee simmered till it became extra strong, then poured to coffee off of the top.  He drank the coffee, read every word in the local newspaper, stared out the window for a while then asked his wife if she was making chicken for dinner.  
     The same thing went on every time that I visited, but that was not the best part of the musician’s spiced java ritual.  For breakfast, he made toast and put the toast in a soup bowl.  He took the spent boiled coffee grounds from the pot and placed them on the toast.  Then he poured milk and sugar on the coffee grounds.  The musician then waited for the toast to become soggy, before he ate the cold sweet spiced coffee ground soup.  When he was done eating this breakfast, you could hear his dentures grinding from a mile away!  It was kid of like watching a Frankenstein movie, when the monster was being charged up with high voltage jumper cables.  
     Next thing you know, the old Penn Dutch musician cleaned and polished his musical instruments, got clean shaven and dressed up in a tuxedo for a gig with the philharmonic orchestra in the big city.  Strong java can literally raise the living dead from the grave.  Strong spiced java and a breakfast of coffee soup can not only raise the living dead, it can get them to perform on stage!
     I will skip the coffee soup part of this recipe for now, but if you need that extra "get up and go" zap start, then by all means give it a try!  For this recipe, the spiced java is simmered in a pot, old Penn Dutch musician style, but it is strained and not just poured from the top.  A few coffee grounds will pass through the tea strainer, so the coffee will have that authentic Musician’s Spiced Java look.  

     Penn Dutch Musician’s Spiced Java:
     This coffee is strong enough to peel the paint off of the walls!
     Place 1 1/2 ounces of fresh ground coffee in a sauce pot.    
     Add 20 ounces of water.
     Bring the coffee to a gentle boil over medium/medium high heat.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 pinch of cinnamon.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground clove.
     Add 1 small pinch of allspice.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground ginger.
     Simmer till the liquid turns a rich black coffee flavor.
     Add 2 ounces of sugar.
     Add 1/2 cup of cream, while stirring.
     Pour the coffee through a strainer into a large coffee cup.  (Or pour the coffee off of the top and and leave the grounds in the pot.)   
     Optional:  Coffee soup can be made with the grounds.  Follow the description in the paragraph above.  

     I decided to post this recipe, because a week ago I ran out of coffee filters.  While making coffee in a sauce pot, I remembered the old Penn Dutch musician making coffee the same way.  I gave it a try.  Next thing you know, I wrote 4 required essays for school, edited 11 old recipes and wrote 3 new recipes for this food site.  My teeth were chattering all day!  Yum!  ...  Shawna   

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