94 Comments

TBH, losing it over a coffee machine makes a lot of sense. The world is full of massive, entangled messes caused by systemic oppression working together constantly to divide and exploit and literally kill people. No single person can solve it and the little actions we take matter but it's hard to see that in the moment and particularly when a crisis is *actively* happening. So yeah, it HITS HARD when one of the few things where we find some consistent joy and contentment (which MATTER TOO!) goes sideways.

Our nervous systems, if we are paying even the slightest bit of attention, are frayed AF. It doesn't take much to snap and it doesn't make us shallow because the the thing that did it seems like a mark of privilege or ease.

Like, it's good to have routine and consistency and little joys. Those are things we ought to have. It doesn't make us terrible people—it makes us very human because we like little things that make us feel good. We deserve to feel good! All humans! Even in tiny little ways.

I'm sorry your coffee machine bust right at a time when it was one of your precious little joys. That sucks.

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Lyz, you just scared the crap out of me. The "clean me" light on my coffee machine has been on for two days. I just ran out into the kitchen to say "sorry I'll clean you today, I promise. Don't die on me!"

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Nov 3, 2023·edited Nov 3, 2023Liked by lyz

Seriously, WHAT IS UP WITH TIFFANY? She reminds me of that classic Mom admonition, "Be careful making that face. You might get stuck like that."

Anyway, more importantly, DRINKS. And fall drinks are some of my favorites in an historically "I'm cheap and broke and making the best of things over here" kind of way. My top two favorite fall drinks are:

1) Cider and Rye Whiskey. If you spring just an extra dollar for the good cider you more than make up for the fact that it can stand up against the cheapest of rye whiskeys, Old Overholt. Or Old Overcoat as it is termed in my house. Rye is the best choice here because it's more bitter and savory, which provides better balance against the sweetness of the cider. (What? I may be cheap and broke, but I'm not dumb.) If it is rainy and grey and you are sad, this can be served warm, which will make you feel temporarily like the world isn't on fire but your tummy is just enough to make things better.

2) Not Toddies: This is meant to be served hot, but if you insist on matching your drink to the coldness of Ivanka Trump's heart, well, you do you. Ingredients are also only two-- lemonade concentrate and rye whiskey. Add both to your favorite mug in the amounts dictated by your despair and pour hot water over to fill. DONE.

In related news, I recently discovered Apple Molasses, which is simply apple cider cooked down until it is a thick syrup. A half gallon, slowly simmered at the back of the stove, cooks down to about a cup to a cup and a half of syrup. If you put peppercorns in there that might be nice, but crush them or they won't do much. I tried it. You also have to skim off some foam every once in a while, like maybe 2-3 times over an hour and a half or so. But you will be rewarded for this very small amount of labor with a syrup you can add to cocktails and sparkling water and pour over ice cream, or just sip out of a shot glass if it's that kind of day. You're welcome.

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Sometimes, it's not even the actual thing breaking that sends you over the edge. It's that it's one more thing in a long line of things that have pushed us to the brink. See me having a minor meltdown after being outside in the rain for hours at an amusement park and then having problems putting a dry sports bra on in the changing room before a two-hour musical performance when I just wanted to go home.

I'm really enjoying fresh-pressed hot apple cider right now. Sometimes I put some Fireball in it, sometimes I just enjoy it NA. But it's such a nice thing to enjoy this time of year.

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founding

Your dingus (bebe dingii in this case) is always a highlight of my week so thanks for this, Lyz.

I resonated with your comment about tiny joys. ['Listen, I can hear myself. I realize there is war and devastation. I also realize that tiny joys are somehow the only way we muscle through the day-to-day of it all. I also realize it’s a real privilege.']

I cannot dwell in the pit of human misery 24/7. For my own sanity, it has to be balanced with walks and lots of good coffee (Aromas Coffee, Charles City, IA with free shipping across the US!) and the delightful discovery of the 2015 miniseries, Dickensian (available for free on Kanopy with your local library card). I binge-watched all 13 episodes this week; it was marvelous.

I'm basic. I have no specialty drink to offer, but a good hot cup of cocoa with mini marshmallows still feels fancy to me. So there's that.

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Nov 3, 2023Liked by lyz

My mom's afternoon iced coffee recipe (with so much half and half it's embarrassing), a real fountain Coke from a diner, an ice cold martini on a Friday evening after work, a New Orleans Bloody Mary just because it tastes like home.

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Nov 3, 2023Liked by lyz

The Sam Bankman-Fried trial had some of these same large adult baby vibes “kind sirs, who among us hasn’t started this kind of business, publicly claiming to be the genius behind it, only to realize we have no idea what’s happpening and accidentally committing widespread fraud? I’m just a BABY who got in over his head!”

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Caipirinhas! Which are both delicious and bring up lovely memories of my honeymoon in Brazil. Not only is it the perfect beach drink, but they actually sell them on the beaches (what a civilized country!). It's the kind of drink the just makes me smile.

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I love a variety of caffeinated beverages in the morning, so I understand the struggle. One thing I love to do around this time of year is purchase some really good local apple cider and then make chai with it! Chaider. Warm and sweet and spicy and a great way to wake up.

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founding

I'm a simple person. Give me a really good iced tea and I'm as happy as a pig in shit. I stopped drinking hard alcohol in 2010. Alcohol all together in 2017'ish. Never had coffee before. Love the smell of it and my bougie ass thought about just getting a coffee maker so I could wake up to the smell of it every morning. But felt wasteful as I'd just pour it down the drain.

The little kid in me, which is basically just me because I grew older, but I didn't grow up is quite content with a milk shake.

And when I was drinking a lot of Monsters, the Ultra Zero, frozen strawberries and a dab of powdered sugar I guess I will call a Broquiri.

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OMG, I have been through that exact thing.

I mean, it wasn’t a fancy coffee machine, but when my 12-cup coffeemaker that had been in my kitchen for years died on me, it felt like a personal betrayal.

Even more so when I went to replace it and all of the recommended coffeemakers on Wirecutter cost 300$.

Eventually found a different article for ‘affordable’ coffee makers. Sigh.

Currently, as far as small but necessary treats, I have a subscription for a box of little individually-wrapped Walker’s Shortbread on Prime that arrives every two months, and I stack inside my Disney Sleeping Beauty Castle cookie jar to consume as necessary.

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I want to shout out the Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine with automatic steaming (and then purging to clean) wand. It was a Christmas gift from my FIL to my husband and me and it’s the only good thing he’s ever given us. If there’s anyone in your life who likes to give you expensive gifts because they are emotionally defunct shells of human beings trying to make up for it once a year (or, you know, just awesome and generous) then definitely point them to this machine. https://food52.com/shop/products/8990-breville-bambino-plus?sku=30477&utm_source=googlepmax&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=20613442728&utm_adgroup=&utm_content=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwtJKqBhCaARIsAN_yS_mGOZv8tonaUYAUK7w8lLII96L8Jh2tQvx25d0WrPxLlp7AkOalP2caAtgeEALw_wcB

I quietly quit alcohol back in April and don’t miss how it made me feel. I’ve been loving Ein Zwein Zero sparkling rose when I want to feel fancy and scratch that itch. And I’m living for my maple cardamom oatmilk lattes in the morning.

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I realized (ok fine accepted with tears) last year that I can't have dairy so I've had to pivot with soy milk and other stuff in my coffee, but I love adding a sprinkle of nutmeg on top. It's warming and smells amazing.

But it's also sugar drink season at Sbux and I LOVE the Caramel Brulee Latte. You can feel the cavities forming and it's a delight.

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Nov 3, 2023Liked by lyz

My favorite little drink is a mini beer shot (I like to call them baby beers). Typically it's Licor 43 (vanilla) in a tiny beer mug topped with heavy cream which looks like the beer head/foam. But my favorite now is a mix of Licor 43 vanilla AND chocolate Licor 43 topped with heavy cream. Oh so good!

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Nov 3, 2023Liked by lyz

OOH, my buddy sent me her father's Tom & Jerry batter recipe which I'm copying here verbatim. It is nearing the season where these are lovely nightcaps (sorrynotsorry for all the milk, Lyz):

3 egg whites--beat until foamy

Add 1 cup heaping powdered sugar

1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp allspice and 1 tsp rum flavor (buddy omits this)

Beat and mix all the above and then add

1 cup dry powdered milk and 1/4 cup cream

Mix and beat mixture again. 

Serve using 1 or 2 tbs batter in cup.

Add powdered milk and hot water

Add liquor (jigger) can use 1% hot milk

instead of dry milk and hot water.

Can keep batter in deep freeze.

"Can keep batter in deep freeze" is the most Midwest of Midwest directions I've encountered in a recipe, followed closely by the prescribed powdered milk with the subtext of "well, 1% milk works, I guess..."

My eldest was about 3 months old when Trump was elected and I sort of jokingly made it my goal to ensure my baby would have a better moral compass/temperament than the president by the time Trump left office and that bar was so low.

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Nov 3, 2023Liked by lyz

I have loved many beverages in my day, and I have never found any better than the simple joy of the Diet Dr. Pepper. The wokesters in my life say that it is "all chemicals" with "no nutritional value" that will "kill me" and is "why my GI tract hurts" but they have lost their way with all the new all natural sodas that taste terrible.

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