Woke up this morning after a lovely book party that Laura threw me to find out that we had no electricity. Here in rural southern Illinois (jocular t-shirt abreviation: So. Ill.) we lose our electricity–quite literally–in a stiff wind. Luckily my brother was here and figured out how to open the garage door manually . But the most frightening problem, worse than missing mother’s day bagels if the car was trapped, worse even than the potential loss of all our party leftovers–how to make coffee when we had only whole beans and electric grinders? We generally use a French Press (despite the fact that it has burned Laura with an explosion of boiling water a few times), and I could light the stove with a match to boil water, so there was hope. But what to do about the beans?
I came up with–I thought–an ingenious solution. I got out the rolling pin and scattered coffee beans on a wooden chopping board. But, slick oily little guys that they are, they refused to stay still for crushing, particularly when the crusher was a long round tube.
I tried covering them with wax paper (weird idea, I know) and that did little to fix the problem. Finally I tossed them into a plastic bag (we have no zip locks due to a conspiracy between disorganization and environmental concern). That worked. It was crude, and they tore the bag, but I could crush them.
Unfortunately, I got frustrated quickly, and I tried to make a pot with mostly large bean framents; no good, too weak. Then I tried again, first wrapping the beans in wax paper, and then putting the wax paper packet into a plastic shopping bag. I beat it with the pin for a few minutes, and then rolled it for a long while.
The most powdery crushed coffee stuck to the wax paper, and some spilled out into the bag through rips. It took a while to shake it all into the french press. But man did that strong cup of coffee taste good when I finally got to drink it.
Reminds me–I better get some ground coffee and stash it in our emergency kit (which doesn’t yet exist) in case a tornado knocks down our house. Imagine how awful it would be to have your house knocked down AND not to be able to have a cup of coffee in the rubble. Just think of the headache.
PS: Sorry about the bad taste in posting this today. I only heard about the actual tornado disaster today after I posted it, due to not having electricity until the afternoon…