Reads, Recipes, and Relaxation
I love you, pennyheads, but I don’t want to be sitting behind this computer any more than you do during the holiday weekend.
Instead, I’m going to introduce you to some favorite coffee (related) recipes and enough reading you keep you occupied in between sumptuous holiday meals and during recovery from engagements both voluntary and obligated.
After the first of the year, though, I have a treat for you all. In 2022, it will be a decade since I wrote — and more or less sat on — a future history of Edelman that I wrote during five sustained Saturdays of MBA-driven boredom. Rediscovered it while chunking through some old writings. Taking some time to soberly evaluate what I got right and wrong, but it’ll be something fun to share in any event.
Anyway, happy holidays, pennyheads.
A really awesome friend forwarded this to you, huh? Too bad it’s only the lame holiday edition — the “Star Wars Christmas Special” of dispatches. If you had been a subscriber all along, you’d have received cool insights, great readings, and more. Subscribe. You’ll be glad you did, I swear.
Toltec War Party Juice
This stuff is part of my daily ritual. The recipe started out based on a throwaway line in the CW series The Flash, where the doomed love interest of the brilliant-but-conflicted scientist ordered a coffee with cayenne pepper. I figured I’d give it a try. Remembering that both chocolate and capsaicin-bearing plants were native to modern-day Mexico and Central America, I threw it all together and came up with the following.
This is, by far, the best cuppa I’ve ever had. I used to make it using re-usable Keurig pods, but the cocoa powder kept gumming up the works and straining the pump, producing maybe only three ounces of bitter sludge. French press is really the only way to go here.
3 rounded tablespoons Cafe Bustelo espresso grounds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1.5 teaspoons 100% cocoa powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups boiling water
Put ingredients into a French press coffee maker. Bring water to boil. Pour boiling water into French press. Stir. Let steep for five minutes. Press. Serve. Lay waste to your day.
I know that the traditional French press method calls for coarse grounds. Trust me on this, though.
Honestly, people don’t explore breakfast cocktails nearly enough. If you’re lucky enough to not have to go into work (or do much of anything else) during holiday mornings, treat yourself to this one before curling up on the couch, taking in this week’s recommended reads, or binge-streaming away a lazy mid-morning.
3 oz whole milk
1.5 oz cachaça, preferably an oak-aged one (Magnífica Extra-premium or Werneck Ouro work the best, neither of which you can find in the U.S. When in doubt, Leblon Reserva Especial or Novo Fogo Barrel-aged. I’ve found you can substitute Seagrams 7 Crown whiskey in a pinch.)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon freeze-dried coffee (Café Bustelo preferred, but plain ol’ Taster’s Choice or Folgers will work too.)
Shake with ice and serve. Sprinkle nutmeg and/or cinnamon on top of the foam.
By this point, you’ve figured out that I’m a fan of Cafe Bustelo. No, this is not sponsored. Hell, I’ll say it for free. The gigantic party size tub of espresso grounds available at Target for about $14 is the best thing to happen to my morning since I stopped having a commute three years ago and began eschewing cable news programs.
FILM: “Carrie-Anne Moss on the ‘Matrix’ Movies and Playing an Action Hero in Her 50s,” The New York Times (2021) — I didn’t think much of Matrix: Resurrections, to tell you the truth. I found it self-celebratory in all of the most onanistically indulgent ways to the same degree that Spider-Man: No Way Home handled it delightfully. But there is no question in my mind that Carrie-Anne Moss deserves to be enshrined on the Mount Rushmore of iconic science fiction actresses alongside Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton.
CULTURE: “‘Beavis & Butthead Do America’ Stands the Test of Time,” Jacobin (2021) — No, I didn’t have a brain injury. While I disagree with the evaluation presented in most of Jacobin’s content, I do appreciate the analysis and writing. I also appreciate that they took the team to put this easily dismissed piece of American satire into the proper context. Huh-huh. Huh huh huh. That was cool.
CRYPTO: “The Inside Story of an NFT Project That Didn’t Sell Out,” Polluter of Minds (2021) — NFTs are the hot thing, but what about what it takes to make a project work? Well, it takes more time and money than people think, as well as interacting with the so-called “influencer” set, which will be a topic for a future column.
Coming soon: Lickable screens.