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Megan Blocker

My morning coffee fix...

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This minute---second cup of doubleshot, double S&L, hot skim very foamy. Sun reaching through the haze of organza at my kitchen window, shadow-skeleton of the Summer-clad grapevine swinging in the remnants of last night's siren-shrieking, window-rattling, three-sets-of-wind-chimes-orchestrating winds which set records from here to Memphis.

Last night was Spring-wind-too-warm, today is bright chill with clean-swept skies, lawn, thoughts. Last soul out the door for work, just me and the keyboard and the throaty chuckle of the Senseo, foaming out these few words and the rich, steamy day-in-a-cup that brings the world into focus.

Today is marketing day, for fruit and fresh greens and tiny peas to go bouncing into the pan. Rosy radishes, I think, and some bitter endive to support these huge peasant-bread croutons crisped long and slow in last night's oven cooling after the casserole. Navel oranges hefty with juice, tiny burgundy grapes for the weekend chicken salad, some long whips of scallion, a pearly handprint of fresh ginger for the lo mein.

The foraging will consume my morning, the gathering-in, the setting-by. But for now, a bit of sunshine and a hot, foaming sweet cup. And maybe a Fortune-tip out by the lavender bed.

Edited for apostrophe--I've always thought that should be one of the Muses


Edited by racheld (log)

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Marketing went beautifully. Fate handed out a big "HA!" to the enjoyable musings and event.

Yesterday morning, as we were getting ready to head out for a day's wedding photograph session, I went up to give a bite of bacon and a wee section of pastry to our macaw, who occupies the sunny spaces of the upstairs kitchen all to himself.

Pool of blood in the floor, leakage from the FREEZER side of the up fridge. It had to have been OFF/DEAD/Kaput when I put away the FOUR on-sale-today John Morrell hams--.79 per pound, butt portion.

Two huge briskets in the freezer bottom were still icy-cold, but thawed clear through; all the other packages of meat were soft to the touch, but VERY cold.

Thank goodness for the 6-degrees-but-sunny outside. We evicted all the gift wrap, sewing supplies, packages of pictures and spices and pastas from their big snap-top clear lugs in the cold storeroom downstairs, and put all the food, including the orange juice, outside on the shady patio. Produce all fit into the downstairs fridge, and tomorrow a.m. the new fridge arrives. Adieu and a gold watch to the brave old one, friend of a thousand pies and a ton of produce, countless bags and boxes of frozen vegetables and fruit, keeper of icee bags for sore knees, icy-pops for the grandchildren, ice cream for a midnight foray.

Farewell, Old Companion of the dowdy outdated gold finish. Welcome gleaming new white marvel. I've got just the space for you, all swept and mopped, and lots of filling for your shiny insides.

And we discovered the orange juice at breakfast this morning---on a patio table, a solid block in the handy Tropicana carton. It should make a nice slushee for tomorrow a.m.

With my lovely creamy cup of cap. There.


Edited by racheld (log)

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I love working in restaurants because I always have an espresso machine at my disposal. My morning routine hasn't varied in several years.

Upon first arrival I prepare a double shot of espresso. I top it off with hot regular coffee and then steamed milk. Fortunately there is always steamed milk waiting for me these days since there's an abundance of Mexican kitchen staff that are always making Cafe con Leche before I arrive. They get in earlier than I do and make my first coffee that much quicker and more accessible. Bless them. :wub:

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i moved to the pacific northwest in july 2004. i am becoming more and more a coffee addict because of all the wonderful roasters and cafés in portland.

i get coffee approximately three times a week and i always go for the same, single shot vanilla latté, no additional sugar. nonfat if i feel like tagging that onto the list of specifications.

yum. and there's now a bakery in the ground floor of my office building that makes the best i've had!

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On Saturday or Sunday I make sure I have roasted enough coffee to last Monday-Friday. Lately I've strictly been an Ethiopian Harar man, it's good for burning off the initial morning fog. During the week I wake up, fill the teapot and get it on the burner, set the timer on the burr grinder to "8" and go take a shower. After my shower, the water is boiling so I put the coffee in the French Press, douse it, throw on clothes and go make sure the dog is just as regular as ever. A few minutes later I'm filling my one quart thermos with coffee, a few packets of Splenda, and topping it off with a little 1% milk. No coffee until I'm actually AT work, and this routine has only backfired on me when, nightmare of nightmares……….I'm halfway to the office and realize in my morning daze that I filled the thermos and left it on the counter as I went to get my laptop. At that point I'm stuck with the free office Folgers, but recently someone was good enough to designate one of the shared carafes as "double" so everyone knows to put TWO coffee packets into the machine if they're filling that one. It's pretty terrible, with no discernible coffee flavor, but after about forty cups vs. one cup of the Harar I can usually wake up.

When I work from home and on weekends I fire up my knock-off Bialetti coffee maker, unless my girlfriend is home and wanting coffee in which case I repeat the process above.

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Coffee in the morning? A ritual? Get real... this is medicine! The night before is when you put water in the Mr. Coffee. You run the Columbian Supremo beans thru the Braun. What setting? I dunno, I haven't changed it in years! You put the bean debris in the gold basket and put it in the machine. Bed time!

In the morning you kick aside the remnants of the alarm clock (I hit way too hard when startled) and pad down the COLD TILE HALLWAY to the kitchen. In the dark you grope for the switch. On goes the little light that means coffee will be up in 10 minutes more or less.

(Much more disgusting morning ritual(s))

Stomp down the hallway and fill your Starbucks plastic commuter mug 75% full of coffee. Put in a **splash** of Torani Hazlenut Sugar Free. Fill to top with 2% cow juice. Screw on lid. Grab lunch from fridge when you put the gallon of cow juice back. Stomp down hallway to front door. Grab keys (in autopilot), go down steps, across alley to locked garage. Put keys in wall, open garage, get in car, put on LOUD Van Halen, seat belt and drive slowly out of garage--hoping not to squish one of those little tiny condo dogs on 45 foot leashes. Close garage by button and take FIRST SIP of coffee.

Realize that life is good, light cigar and drive to work sipping MORE COFFEE and puffing like a fireplace.

It's a ritual. It's Zen. It is what it is.

HVR

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Coffee people are some of the wittiest, funniest, most literary and well-read on eG, with natural gifts for turning phrases, making metaphors, singing out similes, and arranging words in charming patterns.

This is getting to be my favorite thread of all time---must be all the caffeine in the air.

alarm clock debris :laugh::laugh::laugh:

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Just spotted this audio slide show on NYTimes.com...more people and their morning fixes!

Click here to listen!

While the evening is ruled by the hops and the grain, the daytime is the reign of the bean. And just like their bartending compatriots, those who pour the city's coffee serve as impeccable barometers for both the weather and mood of their constituency.

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I'm now in a summer morning routine that's sure to change as fall closes in on us. Bleary-eyed I get up while it's still dark outside, drive the ten minutes to the shop, get a few airpots brewed and open the doors by 6:15. Some mornings my day starts an hour or more earlier when there's coffee to be roasted.

At 6:30 or 6:45 one of my morning regulars, a boisterous car salesman who now owns the dealership, stops for a double espresso. The new ritual is that I make one for both of us... he does his with two Sweet 'n Lo's and I used about 1/4 tsp of raw sugar in mine... we toast the day, down the shots and both get back to work.

At 8 AM I make a double shot iced latte with three or four espresso cubes and 1% or 2% milk and head to the office for the "day job". The iced drink has just the right balance to last until 10 AM and that's it for the day... for now....

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Uhh, you might want to check that your coffee wasn't decaf this morning, Owen!

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right now I'm biking to work, so I make a nice slurry in my press, throw it in my Polar bottle, and chug it over the 8 miles to work....when I'm back at school with the house espresso machine, I'll make a double or triple shot straight up before my morning rides/runs/classes. If I'm not taking it the usual black, I'll do it carribean style and tamp a teaspoon or so of light brown sugar in the porta-filter before locking it into the machine, that way the sugar is nice and dissolved and I don't lose the crema by having to stir any sugarin. While I haven't been to Jamaica, an acquintance who has been there a few times informs me that this is the way everyone picks up their tweak juice in the mornings from the corner stands.

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A nice creamy double-shot in a thick white mug, S&L stirred in vigorously as the streams hiss into the cup. One while contemplating the shade patterns of the grapevine cover through the haze of the kitchen window curtain.

One carried out to the garden, while DS#2 tilled up several now-exhausted rows of green beans...we had fourteen quarts from two little rows, and lots of teensy ones picked out and left whole for salad.

Stroll round the hostas, couple of dips into the crema for my macaw, who looks up eagerly when I emerge from the sunny door with the cup. "MMMMM! Yummy!" he says, then a tentative, "Cookie?"

Into the house, caffeine-revved, to put on the first bottomless pitcher of cold, sweet tea with crunchy ice.

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At home our mornings involve a double latte (beans from Vivace), either iced in the summer or hot.

During the summer my wife and kids are at our cabin which is solar powered, so a honking resistive load from the espresso machine isn't possible. After flirtations with French Press, Vacuum pots and drip, this summer we discovered the AeroPress, a semi-espresso device (invented by the same guy who designed the Aerobe). It's like a giant coffee syringe. Makes great coffee, perfect for camping as well.

http://www.sweetmarias.com/aeropress_instructions.html

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I make coffee at home, and have a cup or two before I leave for work. Must grind beans fresh.

Then I make some the second I get here.

Ideally, I love cream and sugar in mine, but I'm trying to cut down on the sugar, so I've been putting soy milk or soy creamer in there. It's ok.

Favorite coffee, believe it or not, is Dunkin' Donuts.

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I make coffee at home, and have a cup or two before I leave for work.  Must grind beans fresh.

Then I make some the second I get here. 

Ideally, I love cream and sugar in mine, but I'm trying to cut down on the sugar, so I've been putting soy milk or soy creamer in there.  It's ok.

Favorite coffee, believe it or not, is Dunkin' Donuts.

(Clapping hands) I believe, I believe!

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My ritual has changed considerably now that I don't have to be up at the crack of a disgustingly early hour every morning (and now that I no longer live with a Rancilio). I have discovered the joy of moka coffee (and am hankering after a Mooka).

Angela and I are the only two coffee drinkers in our four-person household (Holli drinks tea and George...well, I have no idea what George does, as I don't usually see him in the morning. Coca-cola, maybe. Could be crack, although he's awfully laid back for that), so whichever of us makes it out of bed first (usually her. I have no idea how she is so alert before noon) fires up the moka pot. We've been trying various coffees from our local Corte Inglés (we don't have a grinder, so all pre-ground), but Angela just brought back some El Caracol, which you can only get in the Canary Islands, apparently. It's pretty awesome stuff, full of deep coffee flavor, not bitter, hardly needs any milk at all. I still heat some milk in a little saucepan and add it with one teaspoon of raw sugar, as I like my cafe con leche.

I carry my pretty coffee mug (it's white with blue flowers, handmade in Ouray, Colorado. I also have the cream pitcher and sugar bowl. Used to have another mug, sadly, it broke) out onto the terrace, look over the wall at the late-morning Madrid foot and car traffic on our street (thankfully much more of the former than the latter) and sip coffee and enjoy the breeze and sunlight till my brain cylinders start firing and I'm finally really awake.

Usually Angela and I go through at least two moka pots between us (she's in cleaning frenzy at the moment...just defrosted the freezer, which was probably a good idea because see George has this thing where he puts a coke in there to cool and then forgets about it and, well, kaboom). Today I have a rehearsal at 12:30, after which I'll probably go with David the pianist and my friend Paco for another coffee (no, Paco, we will not go to Starbucks. I did not move all the way to Spain to go to #!%^$^#$ STARBUCKS, when now I live in the country with the best coffee I have ever had). What's really fun is when we're both sitting in the living room with our coffee, working on our computers - she translating television scripts into Spanish (she's a translator by trade) and me, at least yesterday, translating obscure French poetry into Spanish for a concert (cuz, yanno, I prefer my audience to KNOW what I'm singing about, although I gotta say this Carême stuff was hard enough to translate into English the first time, let alone Spanish now). We sit there and type, sip and curse in several different languages.

I plan to bring back some ground, vacuum-packed fresh-roasted beans from my dad, next time I hit AZ.

When I'm on a job, it's a different story - breakfast is provided in all the hotels I've stayed in, so if I can force myself out of bed before they start serving (not an easy task when the opera started at 10pm and ended sometime around 1:30 and you didn't get back to the hotel till 3 and you were too wired to sleep till 4:30 or so), I head down, grab a yogurt and some fruit and let SOMEONE ELSE make my two cafes con leche for me (ok, bane of my life: hotels with those frigging push-button machines that make some beverage that is DEFINITELY NOT COFFEE, I don't care what it says. In those cases, I will actually head outdoors and find a restaurant and order coffee from the bar).

When I was on a job in Italy in July, I used to stagger down to the Caffe Gran'Italia in the piazza and order a cappuccino. And every. single. frigging. morning. I had to explain myself to the waiter, as ordering cappuccino after 10 am is apparently frowned upon (my explanation: I live in Spain. This IS morning. And you are not nearly cute enough to keep giving me that doubtful look before I've had my first coffee).

K, sipping a second - or is it third - cup

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How Rebecca and I would love to have coffee with you!!! There, with all your new-found delights of taste and sight, or here, for a stroll out by the lavender bed, cups in hand, and murmurs of conversation to match the soft clang of the windchimes.

And Rebecca tells wonderful fortunes.

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I NEED someone to make coffee fo, and tell fortunes to, as well, these days! No coffee for Rebecca anymore :sad: . Not even decaf. :shock::sad:

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I NEED someone to make coffee fo, and tell fortunes to, as well, these days! No coffee for Rebecca anymore :sad: .  Not even decaf. :shock:  :sad:

Darlin, if I still lived in the Metro area, I'd be happy to keep you company all day lon with coffee for me and herbal tea for you! So, can you tell my fortune over the 'net? :rolleyes:

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Once a week I visit my parents and pet their dog.  I knew you'd want to hear about my dog  :laugh:

But in the morning I'm blissfully unencumbered by anything other than work responsibilities.

So here's how it works for me:

Two or three evenings per week and once on the weekend I roast  about 150 - 300 pounds of green coffee beans per day in 34 pound batches.

I roast it on this gizmo:

gallery_2480_97_3826.jpg

Tuesday through Friday mornings at about 8:30 I make myself a quad shot (two double ristretto shots - about 3 fluid ounces of espresso)  latte with foamed 2% milk in a paper cup.  I get up at 5:00 AM and begin work at 6:00 AM but don't care for caffiene that early in the day.

I use the "house espresso blend", which is a staple on my early morning barista job.  That drink travels with me to to my desk -  where the "real" job begins at 9:00 AM- and the drink lasts until 10:00 or 10:30 AM. 

I make the drink on this beautiful machine:

gallery_2480_188_1097006044.jpg

Friday night I turn on my little home espresso machine.... leave it on straight through Monday morning and drink any number of 6 oz cappuccino's in these cool little Illy cups. I can rarely handle more than two of them each morning (each has a 1.5 oz double ristretto shot of espresso) but sometimes I cave in to desire (make that most times)  and have another one in the afternoon or after dinner.

The espresso blend is usually one that I've been experimenting with for future use - sooner or later Phaelon Coffee will be selling it on-line but for now it's just research. My current favorite includes Brazil, organic Mexican Chiapas, organic Sumatran and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.  But I've sworn myself to secrecy and I can't reveal the proportions here (despite having already done so in this forum in some previous post  :wink:  ).

I make them on this:

gallery_2480_97_80445.jpg

And the drink looks like this:

i4379.jpg

Occasionally I even manage to achieve some rudimentary latte art but for me...  at home...  it's all about how it tastes. And it tastes good.

I am sooooooooo jealous...those machines look amazing.

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For me, the coffee begins shortly after booting in my office door. I drop whatever detritus I've brought with me, take my the carafe from my Black & Decker Thermal Cafe, and take it to the janitor's room to give it a rinse and a fill.

The janitor's room is where the sweet water is, as opposed to the briny swill we refer to here as "raw water".

Dripping disconsolately, I make my way back to my office, snarling cheerfully as my colleagues straggle in from the heat.

I pour the water in the machine and give my attention to the beans.

Every year I bring back 40kg of different beans from Canada to support my office addiction.

For the moment, I favour the Mexican Blue Mountain. Lighter, nuttier, an uplifting cup.

I crack the hermetic seal, pour a flurry of beans into the grinder, reseal the container, and then grind.

And everything becomes better.

I love the smell of coffee when it's just being ground, and everything goes into the air. As you lift the grounds out of the grinder, you can close your eyes and imagine a nicer place.

Then the filter goes in the basket, the coffee goes in the filter, the trap swings shut, and the carafe slides into place.

With only a moment of trepidation, I slide the switch to on, and then listen contently to the rumble and hiss as the water pushes through the coffee, clutching and tearing at the flavours in order to bring them to my pot.

At this point, everyone else in my corridor hates me.

And I don't care.

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How Rebecca and I would love to have coffee with you!!!    There, with all your new-found delights of taste and sight, or here, for a stroll out by the lavender bed, cups in hand, and murmurs of conversation to match the soft clang of the windchimes.

And Rebecca tells wonderful fortunes.

You're on. I'll be in the States in October and early November. PM me.

K, on her third moka cup for the morning (hey. I had a late night. Again).

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My second cuisinart grind and brew is having problems with the grinder sticking in the machine. A crowbar won't pry this thing out. That's it. I'm getting a regular cuisinart brew central and a separate grinder. :sad:

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I usually get up around 5:30 or so. In Miami Beach it would be sunrise on the shore, but here in New Jersey it's dark in the parking lot. I get out my little ibrik, (Ibrahim/Abrahim depending on my mood, but I always talk to him) and I grind myself some coffee, very fine, almost a paste, it's so fine. I turn on my lovely NJ gas stove and put my ground beans and some raw sugar in the ibrik, and then fill it up to the collar with cold water(not hard to find in NJ!). Sometimes I crush a cardamom seed in as well.

Now my dance begins. When the coffee boils and bubbles to the top of the pot, I take the pot off of the fire at once, it calms, I repeat the journey of coffee coming past the collar, twice, thrice. We're ready! The smell of this strong brew is heady, intoxicating, really fetching and evocative of sensual intrigue. I kid you not.

Especially when I have well roasted Ethiopian beans, oh my.

I pour my darkly sweet brew into a rounded cup. I let it sit for a moment and the 'grinds' settle. I take my cup to the glass doors that open on my tiny back garden(here in NJ I have planted only evergreens so far, so that I will a green winter).

Kiddle will wake up soon, now. I'll be making breakfast, reminding kiddle of myriad mundane things to be done, "brush your teeth, where are your lab chem notes? wear a hat! bring your lunch bag home today. hug me or I'll chase you to the bus stop. call me if you're bringing more than 2 people home. brush-your-teeth."  is usually how it goes. But right now, I'm still Rebecca, still the me who isn't Mommy of a thousand reminders, sister of a thousand smiles, Auntie of a thousand pocketfuls of surprises, nice girl who helps a thousand strangers.

I drink my dark coffee alone.

Standing at the doors of my tiny back garden, I feel solitary and peaceful.

The brew in my cup is aromatic, rich, highly caffeinated(long contact time of beans and water, you know) and delicious.

Finally, I take my grind filled cup over to a little plate I keep in the garden. I quickly turn my cup over onto the plate. 1-2-3, I count. I remove the cup. I look into the cup and stare into the patterns those fine grinds have made on the interior. I think about what they remind me of, what form they have taken. Sometimes I make up a story, like my father did for me when I was a child. Sometimes it is simply lovely imaginary things, like gazing at clouds. Sometimes I have a different kind of fun and make up fortunes, like the older women did with the grinds at family get togethers when I was younger.

So, that's it. Most people know me differently than this morning me, I'm known to be silly, light hearted(and -headed by some!), and giving. My friends think of me as soft hearted. Here on eGullet I'm a bit fluffy, I suppose, because I've only been here a short while and joined during a long convalescance, and few here know me in person. But this is me, almost every morning, and I think of Camus, Grass, Trillin, Joyce and Sartre, whoever I'm reading or rereading at the moment, as I drink a cup of coffee that is really a bit more to me than just that.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I just spoke to Rebecca, for maybe a minute---her voice is soft and she needs to rest and keep up her strength, but she was cheerful and so glad to hear from one of our eG Family.

She's offline for a while, but will be back in all her witty, fortune-telling, coffee-brewing glory before long.

rachel

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      + + +

      I’ll need two of Mike’s best crabs for Sunday’s show -- one for the meat in the crab stuffing, and another one for the display of ingredients on the set.

      This morning Mike takes literally 20 minutes to scrub and wash the shell of the prized "display crab." As he toils away, I vow to honor his crab by insuring that the shell will be kept wet and shiny during its appearance -- or I won’t be able to show my face in Mike’s shop again.

      I’ll be making a crab cake mixture to stuff the shrimp. I’m wondering if Mike can top himself after the wondrous crabs he’s already given me, but he doesn’t disappoint today -- his fresh Wild American Shrimp fished out of the Gulf of Florida are just the right size to hold my savory crab cake stuffing.

      In the case of Sunday’s dish of Stuffed Shrimp, the recipe calls for grilling the shrimp on the outdoor barbecue. But we won’t be barbecuing the shrimp on camera this Sunday. I’ll grill the shrimp at home and then we’ll go through the motions of the cooking process during our live segment.

      I try to have all of my prep work done by late Saturday afternoon so I all I have to do on Sunday morning is pack the coolers and drive to the studio. There won’t be a Hummer limousine at my doorstep on Sunday morning waiting to whisk me in comfort to KXLY. I’ll be driving myself to the studio in a Dodge pickup.

      My home office serves as the "staging" area for packing the coolers. Make note of the supplies on the floor next to the cooler-dishes, toothpicks, silverware, tongs, spatulas and kitchen towels.

      And yes, I am following the direct instructions of Mike the fish guy -- I bought a spray bottle at the "Dollar Store" so that I can keep our precious "display crab" wet on camera.

      + + +

      I’ve never cooked on the "Today Show" on NBC in New York. I’ve heard that cooks who appear on "Today" are escorted into what is called a "Green Room," catered with lush displays of fresh fruit, vegetable and cheese trays, pastries and a never-ending assortment of beverages to await their few moments of fame. We don’t have a "Green Room" at KXLY. What we have is a room used by the weekday news staff to script out the flow of the news programs.

      Not having a Green Room is a blessing in disguise. The atmosphere in the studio is very casual and I don’t have to sit in a cold, lonely room waiting for a perky intern to escort me to the studio. I wait in the studio.

      You learn to be patient and immodest around the crew -- these are the people who watch you unzip your pants in the studio. You pull out your shirt so they can thread a small microphone from your waist, underneath your shirt, up to your neck and then clip the little mouthpiece to your collar.

      The only style advice I ever got was from my co-host, Teresa Lukens, who cautioned me not to wear a striped or checked shirt on-camera-something about the pattern of my shirt being a distraction to the viewers. (And I thought the girth of my waist was more of a distraction to the viewers than the pattern of my shirt).

      I don’t wear a Chef’s coat, because I don’t consider myself a Chef. I’m a cook and I want the viewers to relate to my story and my personality with ease and comfort. I want them to feel comfortable going into their kitchens at home and creating the types of dishes they might have at a restaurant. I don’t want to scare them by thinking only a guy in a chef’s coat can cook good food.

      Our kitchen at KXLY comprises an electric, flat-top stove inserted into a formica cabinet on wheels, held in place with sandbags. We don’t have an oven, refrigerator, freezer or running water. We make do with what we have-and that’s why I bring my own spatulas, spoons and water bottle to spray the crab.

      After the "Pet for Adoption" segment, I’m allowed on the set to get ready. I usually have about 15 minutes to unpack the coolers, put the ingredients on display and get the stove-top heated.

      We begin our cooking segment with a 30-second lead-in, usually after the local sports report. Teresa introduces the dish we’ll be doing and then we break to another commercial. I don’t have a lot of time to grill shrimp when we go live on KLXY -- only four minutes total for cooking time and discussion of the dish with my co-host. I’m lucky to have Teresa as my host. She knows food and cooking. She knows that prosciutto is cured Italian ham and she knows it’s thin and slightly salty. She knows to ask if smaller prawns will work for the recipe. And without prompting, she’ll ask why I’m using fresh Dungeness crab instead of canned lump crab meat. At the end of the segment we cut to one last commercial.

      As we come back live, Rick and Teresa are their normally gracious selves, tasting the stuffed shrimp and declaring it delicious. The show is a wrap.

      One more taste-test lies ahead before we can bring this journey to an end. What will the crew say about my "Shrimp Stuffed with Crab?"

      They tell me the stuffed shrimp were delicious. But you know what they really liked? What impressed them the most? The radishes.

      About a week after Sunday’s show, I went back to Williams Seafood to get some photos of the shop for this story.

      I find Mike behind the counter cutting fresh tuna steaks.

      "At least it looked fresh this time," he says.

      + + +

      Epilogue

      Shortly after I finished this piece, I began working with KXLY on our next cooking segment, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 16.

      The plan was to cook some unique side dishes that the home cook could easily do to accompany the holiday turkey or prime rib. At least that was the plan until I picked up the local newspaper on November 2.

      When I turned to the business section, I saw the ominous news: "KXLY cancels weekend news program." I immediately contacted the producer.

      I had been cancelled -- a victim of the horrible state of the economy. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. Cancelled after seven years and dozens of live cooking segments. Cancelled.

      Because "Sunday Morning Northwest" wasn’t the lead-in program to "Good Morning America," on the weekdays, it relied heavily on local advertising for its survival. ABC wouldn’t (and KXLY couldn’t) carry the burden of producing a local show that didn’t feed into network programming.

      With so many local businesses filing for bankruptcy and others literally closing the doors, one of the first budget items to go was television advertising -- advertising revenue that paid to produce "Sunday Morning Northwest."

      I wasn’t the only on-air "personality" to get the pink slip. The weekend weather "person" also got her walking papers. Rick and Teresa Lukens returned to the security of the KXLY-AM 920 radio booth and continue with their weekday morning drive-time show.

      And I have taken an unwanted leave of absence from local television. At least for a few months.

      Loyalty is not a word that is highly regarded in the television business. If ABC cancels you, you talk to NBC and so I’ve shifted my ambitions to KHQ -- the local NBC affiliate.

      KHQ airs a local morning program seven days a week. So if the culinary Gods are praying for me, someday soon I’ll begin doing a live cooking segment on the "KHQ Morning News."

      * * *

      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food, reviews restaurants and -- obviously -- does food presentation. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team for the Culinary Culture and Kitchen forums.
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