Monday, October 18, 2010

yummy yummy yummy

I love fall, my favorite season. It's cool but not cold with Halloween and Thanksgiving to look forward to. Sweater sets, soup and my leopard print coat all start to make their annual appearances. We can have fires in the fireplace. It's the season of snuggling, break out the blankets it's time to cocoon! It's also the time of year I break down and go to Starbucks.

I don't usually go to Starbucks. If I'm going to buy a coffee I like to go to a great little place near my house that makes cupcakes. It's locally owned by two women. One of the owners has a daughter who will be one soon. She brings the babe into the bakery with her so I can kootchie-koo the baby's double chins. I like to Keep Austin Weird and I'm especially happy to support a woman owned business.

But, I am a sucker for the Pumpkin Spice latte. Hot, venti, whole milk with whip is how I like it. I can't afford to spend five dollars a day for coffee, but I treat myself on the way to work on Sundays.

I even have a ritual that goes along with this seasonal treat.

First, I smell my beverage through the lid. I close my eyes and inhale the lovely, nutmeg-y sweetness and think about how good it's going to taste when I drink it. I think about it because I don't drink it right away. I wait until I've gotten to the church where I work and I'll take my first sip once I get the nursery lights turned on.

I do that trick where I get air mixed into it like I understand one is supposed to do when tasting wine. Then I smell it some more.

During first service, there's usually a parent who comes in with his baby to chat. The baby won't hang out with me, but won't be quiet in the chapel so she and her dad come in to confab. I drink some more of my coffee, sipping it, making it last.

My baby friend usually runs off after 15 minutes and her dad runs after her. I rarely have any babies to play with during first service, so I'll sit in the rocker writing in my journal and finishing up the last of my coffee. I make sure to swish it around so the flavoring doesn't all sink to the bottom. Though I sometimes let that happen to get the really strong taste on my last swallow.

I look forward to this autumn ceremony starting roughly in July.

When we were living in Canada, we could get a maple latte. That was a kick in the head! One of my favorite coffee drinks ever! This is the beverage that made me appreciate smelling my drink before I drink it. My friend Cynthia pointed out that it smelled like breakfast, so I tried really inhaling the aroma. She was right, maple latte smelled just like every wonderful winter-time breakfast. Pancakes or french toast with maple syrup, the scent mixed with the milk heating on the stove for hot chocolate and my grandmother's coffee.

It was like being able to drink my childhood. Sadly, I cannot get a maple latte anymore. But, I can get Pumpkin Spice lattes and feel like I'm taking a sip of fall.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day: Wash your face before you go to sleep at night. Even if you just splash with water, wash your face.

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