“B” is for Brunch and “C” is for Caffeine

Ma, as you know, I am prepping for the most stressful exams of my life this month. We’re now in the single digit countdown, and I’m nervous, to say the least. But, the key to keeping cool in stressful times is eliminating distractions (thanks to a serious of web-blockers and deactivating my Facebook), exercise (via panicked walks around the library), meditation (those moments when I lay my head against a textbook, hoping learning by osmosis is real), and a good diet!

So for brunch today (yeah, I slept in – it’s a Saturday!) I made sure to load up on good food, and more importantly, caffeine. Yes, caffeine. The life-blood of any self respecting grad student. I will admit, I drink a minimum of two cups of coffee a day. Unhealthy? Maybe. Delicious? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

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This year for Christmas, my Godfather gave me a stovetop espresso maker, so I thought it would be a good day for a test run. I won’t lie, it wasn’t the strongest espresso I’ve ever had, but after watching a Youtube video, I think I will get it right next time. The best part about the espresso + maker? They are both Godfather approved.

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Brunch is a dish best served hot

While I was prepping the espresso machine, I boiled 2 cups of water and a dash of salt. Once the water was boiling, I added 1 cup of rolled oats, and reduced  the heat to medium and let the oats cook for 5 minutes, while the espresso percolated!

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(Please excuse my messy stove – I’m on kitchen duty, but I’ve been effectively and invalid these past few weeks) 

Ma, you are the master of mixing things. What do I mean by this? When it comes to salads, oatmeals, yogurts, or other “bases” upon which you can add toppings to, you are gifted and inspired. I’ve had oatmeals that had peanut butter, apples, cinnamon, chia seeds, walnuts, etc. on top. But today I was boring – delicious, but boring. I topped my oatmeal with 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 modest handful of crumbled pecans. 

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Now that is the money shot

Brown sugar and oatmeal are like Simon & Garfunkel or The White Stripes or Winston Churchill and FDR: a really great team.

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Finally, I poured out my espresso into one of my favorite teacups, my willow pattern teacup,

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Note the two other kinds of coffee/espresso machines in the background… it’s obviously a grad student kitchen!

And voila! Fuel for the day! Mom, I hope you have a productive and happy Saturday – it is so super nice and sunny out! – and I hope I have a productive and happy Saturday, too!

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