Deanaland

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coffee and Me

I'm back to blogging about coffee today. I was thinking about how, at 35, I'm finally drinking coffee on a regular basis. Starbucks, with their "heaven in a paper cup," probably helped bring this about. But I have another theory on why I shunned coffee for so many years.

The truth is that coffee caused one of the most jarring disappointments of my life.

Lovington, New Mexico: During the late '70s/early '80s, we lived in this little southeast N.M. town. Wasn't much there. When I was in 6th grade, we got a Dairy Queen, and you would have thought the Pope had moved to town. Anyway, on the way out of town towards Hobbs, on the left side of the highway, between the vet and the farm and ranch supply place, was the Pioneer Steakhouse. Because my parents ate there the night before I was born, the Pioneer and I go way back. I didn't love the Pioneer for the steaks (a vegetarian in the making even then,) it was the salad bar that kept me coming back. On the salad bar was a huge hunk of cheese with one of those cheese knives so you could cut off your own slice, and next to that was a steaming vat of beef broth. That beef broth was rich, warm, yummy, and the best thing to put in your stomach on those cold, windy, New Mexico nights. And it looked just like coffee.

"That must be what coffee tastes like," I thought.

Years went by and we moved to Beaumont, Texas, when I was in junior high. One day my dad was having coffee and he asked if I wanted to taste it. Remembering that dreamy beef broth of my childhood, I eagerly jumped at the chance. Imagine my surprise when that bitter taste hit my mouth. It almost tasted like hot liquid dirt. "Never again," I said, handing my dad's cup back to him.

And I didn't. Not until my thirties, when I found a way to make coffee not taste like coffee.

So now I've made peace with coffee. And I wonder if the Pioneer Steakhouse is still open. And I realize how disturbing it is that the Pioneer was right next door to the vet who cared for all the local livestock. Hmmm...

10 Comments:

  • At Tue Oct 24, 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Jacinda said…

    I can drink coffee is it's really doctored up....kind of like Starbucks!

    I wrote a post about Target today.

     
  • At Tue Oct 24, 12:31:00 PM, Blogger Chad said…

    I didn't start drinking coffee until graduate school. It was either coffee or cokes for my caffeine fix and the coffee was free.

     
  • At Tue Oct 24, 12:33:00 PM, Blogger Cheryl said…

    My first encounters with coffee were the extra sweet cooled off last drops from Mom's cup when I was very young. I loved it then. And I love it now!

     
  • At Tue Oct 24, 12:41:00 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    I have never had chicken strips as good as what they used to make at Pioneer Steak House-wasn't it all you could eat on Friday nights? We probably should never admit in writing what happened to those good rolls they made....

    You know how I used to make carvings out of a brand new carton of ice cream? I always wanted to do that with the cheese. I wonder if they ever got new blocks of cheese, or if they just used the same one over and over. This thing was big.

    Ernie Robinson owned that restaurant(as well as the Dairy Queen)and he moved out to Florida several years ago.

    If for no other reason, I would go back to Lovington this Friday night to eat chicken strips if I thought they were still as good as they were back then. But then I'd have to stay in the Lovington Motel right across the street, and I don't know if I could do that....

     
  • At Tue Oct 24, 12:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Coffee addiction is a progression. My parents drank it all day long. I never drank coffee in college or my young professional life. After I had my first Child at age 25, I would occasionally drink flavored coffee at a baby shower. I had a friend who would make coffee with chocolate in it. I eventually drank coffee with cream a few mornings a week. I went back to work when I was 32. It did not take long to start drinking coffee everyday. I am now a 2 to 3 cup a day addict. I tied once to give it up and drink Green Tea. I lasted about 6 weeks. I was in a bad mood everyday. I started back with the coffee. My life is better with coffee in it. My family is very grateful. Yes, I can drink black old cold coffee warmed in the microwave. It is not my favorite way to drink it, but it will do in a pinch.
    SusanF

     
  • At Tue Oct 24, 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Diane said…

    I didn't drink coffee until 2 years ago when I moved to the coffee mecca of the world (or at least in the U.S. anyway). I have several friends that buy their coffee beans green, roast & grind their own coffee every day!

    I am still a coffee novice though, because it has to be "doctored" before I can drink it. I must say, however, that the coffee in the northwest is really better than any I have ever tasted.

     
  • At Tue Oct 24, 01:50:00 PM, Blogger WinSpin said…


    I didn't drink coffee till my early 20's. That's when I joined the Army. During basic training at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas (near Ft. Smith) I had to walk guard all night. Several nights of walking guard all night in Arkansas will make a coffee drinker out of anyone. The seargeant would drive by about 3 AM to check on me. The coffee he brought me was great. I now know that it was the worst stuff I ever put into my body. But at the time, it tasted heavenly.

    Ever since (1959) I have been a coffee drinker and I drink it black. If I add cream and/or sugar I become nauseated. Go figure.

     
  • At Wed Oct 25, 08:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can't drink the stuff. I have tried Starbucks, sugar, Splenda, flavorings, etc. It still tastes like coffee! Now, I do love my hot chocolate on cold (or even cool, right Carol?) mornings. I always said I would quit college if I had to start drinking coffe. Dr. Pepper got me through college and now Diet D.P. gets me through. I guess I was born to live in Waco.

    Carrie

     
  • At Wed Oct 25, 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your salad bar memories made me think of Bonanza. When I was about 10 or 11, we went there for lunch one day. My mom told me that she had noticed vanilla ice cream at the end of the bar. I found a soup bowl and spooned several huge spoonfuls of ice cream into my bowl. I noticed several people staring at me, but I didn't understand why....When I got back to our table, I ate a huge spoonful. Then I realized why people were staring at me. It wasn't ice cream--it was butter. Nasty! I still think of that awful bite whenever I eat soft serve vanilla ice cream.

    Carol

     
  • At Wed Nov 01, 07:29:00 AM, Anonymous jilly said…

    The nice young LDS missionaries almost had me, until they told me about the NO CAFFEINE thing...

     

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