A Taste of the Holidays in July

Saturday Mornings have always been time to stretch out and do things a little differently.

In College, after practice, I’d head home and start cooking the carbo-load I needed after time on the river.  It would be a large plate of French Toast on order before moving onto more pressing matters.

This day, I stood in front of the kitchen window wanting something just a little different but wasn’t sure what.  Plus the French Toast was a little too much different.  Surveying the Honey Drink, Iced Tea, and Coffee for later, I was looking around the kitchen and spotted the little bottles sitting by the range.  They were left over from a Holiday Care Package my sister had put together this year in December, and they gave me the idea I was looking for.   We ship each other boxes of offbeat gifts, mine are mostly baked, my sister using her creativity for finding some fascinating things that I enjoy deeply, later.

A collection of seasonings and syrups, flavored sugars and cocoas, they sat around waiting for me to realize what to do with them.   Cinnamon Sugar got used making Hotteoks.  The Cocoa was used in baking a cake.  I had moved away from a daily flavored coffee when I began roasting my own beans, the bitterness banished to the Starbucks from whence they came.  Flavoring coffee became a whim, simply not required, so it was a small luxury.

My sister specialized in finding gifts that I would not get for myself, but always found some profound thought in them when I put them to use.  I still have the shirts she got me when I lived in Pennsylvania on Top of the Hill.  Where she managed to find just the right size of “long” tailed flannel shirts for my tall frame always had me wondering – even I could not find them.

These syrups were left over.  I decided that the peppermint coffee syrup was going to be used next, but the vanilla would add a little smooth sweetness to this morning.  Stirring in the syrup, cooling down the brew with four ice cubes, we walked outside to survey the morning by the pool.  Mr Dog and I walked once around the yard, him sniffing lemon trees, and my sniffing vanilla and coffee and remembering my sister well.

Thanks, Pat.  You made Saturday Morning a little bit sweeter.

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