I had approached the situation with misguided optimism. Upon waking this morning and like a sleep-stupored zombie wandering to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and some toast, I snipped open the brand new bag of grounds just as I saw the word “decaf.” Hoping for a placebo-like effect on my brain, I made a cup anyway, tossing grounds into the French press and dousing them with hot water. Mixing the strained coffee with a little fresh milk and sugar.
Oh, oh, oh what a horror. My eyes and my limbs lisping back into sleep. Heaviness settling into my bones. My fingers thudding on the keyboard as if there were little bricks attached to each one.
Oh, no, this would never do. Real coffee needed to be procured immediately. I grumbled my weary body onto my bike and slugged to the nearest grocery store to right the wrong.
Home again, I said good riddance to the failed morning and lay back down in bed. I’d restart the day. And when I woke up, I’d make a cake.
Status: 15 minutes later
At least, we know that caffeine is real. I’m standing at the wooden bar in the kitchen, sipping a nice, strong (maybe overcompensatingly strong) cup of coffee and whipping up butter, powdered sugar, and an egg yolk into dough.
Yesterday, as Germany faced Portugal in far-off Brazil and the canons began to sound not long after, I was in a garden in Schöneberg picking currants. The bushes were full of ripe little fruits, clustered like grapes, with thin translucent skin bursting red. I filled my bag with one bunch after the other and still found branch upon branch hiding jeweled bunches of berries.
The vuvuzelas blared out into the balmy Berlin evening.
I grew up calling red currants Johannisbeeren, which is what they’re called in German, and Germany being the only place I’d ever seen them. » Continue reading this post...