There is something about Christmas time that brings out all the sweet childhood memories of days gone by. I am 1/2 Norwegian, and I loved my mother’s side of our family. Scandinavian people are warm, friendly, and hospitable to the point of death…. My mom was an only child….so we got no aunts nor uncles from her…but what she did give us was a flock of great aunts and great uncles.
They were short and red cheeked…they loved to get together and they laughed loud and long. They loved to drink their coffee, and they loved to get together and cook and eat and talk.
No one went hungry…ever…there were all kinds of cookies, bars and cakes…it was a child’s paradise.
About a month ago I saw an ad for an upcoming Scandinavian Christmas Festival at a Norwegian Seaman’s Church outside of Houston. So I circled the date…and set off with Tom-Tom in the navigator’s seat…and found myself surrounded by the sights and sounds I had grown up with.
Women in bunads, Norwegian music, embroidered tea towels, knitted slippers and hats and gloves, samples of pickled herring, goat cheese, cream cakes, and of course….coffee!
The smell of coffee is totally intertwined in my memories, and when I read reports that olfactory memories are often the strongest memories we have, I can totally concur.
My dad got up every morning and put on the coffee. My grandmother had coffee on the stove from sunrise to sunset. Coffee was not just the morning pick-me-up…it was the house beverage of choice. There was coffee with every meal, coffee with every coffee break…coffee before bedtime….no insomniacs in my family tree.
Coffee was boiled, with a pinch of salt (hard water in the Midwest) and an egg…broken, crushed and stirred…YUP! the whole egg was put in the coffee pot, boilled, let to settle, and viola! You have the richest, clearest coffee you can imagine….I don’t know why…it just is the best you have ever tasted.
So when I find out that coffee is good for you, I just have to grin and figure that Grandma Louise and Great Aunt Mabel would be smiling too.
Some cool facts to shore up your unflinching faith in the morning cup of bliss!
* JUST DRINK 2-3 CUPS A DAY and presto! You’re 45% less likely to suffer from gallstones…
* RAISE IT TO 4 CUPS and you dramatically drop your risk of colon cancer (the second deadliest cancer in America)…
* WANT ONLY ONE CUP? Plug in the pot! Because just one cup of coffee packs the antioxidant power of three fresh oranges.
So raise your cup to our ancestors, who were smarter than we give them credit for…Mange Takk (Many Thanks!) Grandma …..I can see that twinkle in your eye as you sit in my memory, sipping your coffee in the morning sun.