If you follow me on Twitter, you know that the Starbucks closest to the house where I grew up closes on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It tortures me. Yes, I know I should care about the baristas spending time with their families but…ugh.
On some holidays, I have found that a local Dunkin Donuts is sometimes open. But if you follow me on Twitter, you also know that I think Dunkin’s coffee is a poor substitute for Starbucks or a good independent cafe.* To try to come anywhere close to satisfaction at Dunkin, I order their largest iced latte with an extra shot of espresso and decline all of their ridiculous flavorings.
But I’m still left craving my daily iced venti latte.
This year, it occurred to me: why not order tomorrow’s coffee today?
On Christmas Eve, I popped into Starbucks and ordered one latte to drink immediately and one for Christmas morning.
I would exclaim “GENIUS!” but the real exclamation warranted here is “DUH!” because I should have thought of this a long time ago.
If you decide to try this for yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind:
This should be obvious but just in case it isn’t: order your regularly-iced drinks sans ice. You don’t want your drink watered down.
Tell the barista what you’re doing. S/he will want to either only fill the cup about 2/3 of the way (to avoid creating a drink with too much milk and too little espresso) or add an extra shot and fill it to the brim. I went with the latter option.
I’m told that ordering just shots of espresso to save for the next day doesn’t work well – tastes sour.
I can’t imagine this would work well with hot drinks – sorry.
On Christmas morning, I woke up horribly sick (that’s another blog post to come) but at least I had my iced latte. Oh, and PRESENTS.
One of the kindnesses I referenced here was a trip out of town with my friend Julie.
It was my first time visiting the Berkshires and the trip could not have been better: great company, wonderful food, terrific music, perfect weather, a good amount of wine – and even a celebrity sighting!
I discovered that the daily “Lunch Swap” routine began late last year, when associate marketing director Hillary Smith rallied four of her co-workers to alternate making and bringing home-cooked meals to share. Inspired by Julia Kramer’s James Beard Award-nominated “Lunch Al Desko” story in our April 2014 issue, the group wanted to add an element of community to re-thinking the midday meal. Now they can’t imagine workdays without the variety, pleasure, and economy of putting time and care into cooking for one another on assigned days. Since all five swappers are adventurous eaters without dietary restrictions, their food rules are relaxed, and the focus is on enjoying relatively healthy meals rich in flavor and texture.
I love the idea in theory. But as a somewhat picky eater, the notion of putting myself in others’ hands like this makes me anxious.
Have you doing something like this? What recipes would you use?
I crossed #15 off my to do list recently: I dined at Peter Luger.
Sometimes iconic experiences don’t live up to the hype but Peter Luger absolutely did. I loved it.
The restaurant is from another time. It was established in 1887 but is aging quite well.
There are gleaming brass light fixtures throughout, wood paneling and in a little booth, a purple haired cashier (I’m pretty sure her hair isn’t purple out of trendiness). The servers, all men from what I can tell, are no-nonsense. Not brusque, but efficient.