Mom Hacks: coffee and wine
My kids are back at school this week (hooray!) We are all getting adjusted to the early rising time with sluggish mornings and meltdown-o'clock in the evenings, which led me to my theme this week: coffee and wine.
Anyone who has ever spent any time with me during a part of the day that ends in "A.M." knows that I am a serious coffee drinker. If I am home I drink coffee from the time I open my eyes until 1pm. Sometimes I even leave for a run or to work out around 10ish and then come back, guzzle some water, then switch back over to coffee.
I prefer a nice steaming coffee mug at home, but if I am out or at work my coffee mug is holds 22 oz. or it is worthless. I have owned a travel coffee mug since before I met my husband in 2004. I don't think I can work without it.
Why do I love coffee so much? The smell. Just a hint of that rich aroma fills me with calm and anticipation. The sound. I grind my own beans and hearing that grinder in the morning is like the gun at the beginning of a relay, it lets me know that it is time to start my day. The heat! I don't drink cold coffee. What is UP with all the cold coffee? No thanks. I am happiest with a hot mug in my hand (preferably in my jammies) and I cannot think of anything cozier. The accouterments. Hello? I am obsessed with fun, festive, seasonal, and cute coffee mugs. For my DIY mug rack you can check out my post here. And, last but not least, I definitely like the jolt of caffeine.
Most coffee drinkers have their preferences with which how they prefer their coffee prepared/served. I am all about efficiency. When I wake up, I want coffee as soon as humanly possible. I don't want to wait. I want coffee already, five minutes ago, I want to be drinking it NOW. So my favorite appliance in the whole house is my coffee maker, which I have chosen for its superb efficiency and excellent delivery.
Behold. The Bunn.
I have had a few nice and fancy coffee pots. I have learned that there are gadgets for other things and a coffee pot has but one job: to procure delicious hot coffee. So when I had finally had enough of my previous device (it was just too slow and I wanted to drop kick it while I waited) I invested in the Bunn.
Now I am spoiled.
This coffee pot was designed for coffee lovers and coffee drinkers. There are no frills it serves hot coffee on demand. There is a tank of hot water that stays on and stays hot constantly. So when you stumble down the steps in the morning with an empty and sad mug waiting for your morning treat, all you have to do is fill up the reservoir with the amount of water you would like to brew (um - the entire pot, please), obviously prepare your grounds (I grind my own and I’m kind of a pain in the rear about it) and closet the lid. Hot water instantly pours out and coffee is in the pot. Immediately.
When I am just a little “extra” in the morning I just put my cup right underneath and let it fill my cup first.
All other coffee pots bow down. You can find it online here or on the image below. Don't forget that the Bunn has slightly smaller filters than your average 12 cup pot. They are like regular filters, just smaller. I order them online about once a year. You can find them here.
If my house was burning I might run back in for this one.
Many people have seen me drink coffee. Many, MANY, so very many, because I obviously love it. But unwinding usually involves my other favorite beverage, wine. So much has been written about the benefits of wine (it’s basically like working out - they say) and I am here for it.
Unfortunately, all wine openers are not created equally, which brings me to ...
A two step wine opener
If you spent any time working in a restaurant you know this trusty old friend. I have been drinking wine for many years, in many locations, with many people, and I am always surprised when seasoned and experienced wine drinkers do not know about or how to use a two step.
I am not going to write out all the reasons that I love wine because it will make me sound like I need to be admitted into a 12 step program. Wine speaks for itself so I don't have to. Let's just remember that Jesus did not turn water into Gatorade.
Behold the two step. It’s so simple and inexpensive. I am pretty sure I have seen them sold at Trader Joe's for $1.99. I can’t understand why the world is over complicating opening wine. Maybe it’s BECAUSE it’s so simple and inexpensive? Maybe everyone is waiting for the wine industry to switch over to twist offs?
I found a three pack on Amazon for under $10. You don't want to go too cheap on these or the corkscrew can bend and shred the cork. This is humiliating to happen table-side for a server! I have had one of mine for 15 years, but some are too cheaply made to get through a holiday party.
It is not difficult to use. I learned to use it on the fly while waitressing and opening bottles of wine that were more expensive than the entire outfit and ensemble I was serving them in. Sure I was sweating like a pig in heat under the pressure, but imagine how much easier it would be to learn in the comfort of your own kitchen?
So how do you use a two step? Check out the picture of it open with all of its gadgets out.
Not too bad? Way less scary than a Swiss army knife.
Okay, now close everything except for this little cerated knife. You use this to cut around the foil and pop it off. If I am in a rush or having a big party sometimes I am low class and drill right through it with the corkscrew.
That part should be easy. Now hold the bottle in your non-dominant hand - for me this is left. You don't need to have a wine bottle on the table to use a two-step. In fact, since I learned while waitressing, it really messes me up.
Screw the corkscrew in while holding the bottle in your non-dominant hand. The corkscrew should be placed roughly the center while you do this and try to make sure it goes straight down or you will end up with a problem.
Once you get it most of the way down, you pull the lever close to the bottle and put the first step right on the lip of the bottle. Use the first step to pull the cork half way out.
Then, you put the second step on the lip of the bottle and finish pulling the cork out. Boom. You're done.
The best thing about a two step is they fit right in a drawer, a travel bag, a purse, a beach bag ... you never have to be stuck in a situation where you can't open a bottle of wine. They are dirt cheap so you can get a couple just in case you lose one.
It should be noted that they also make one-steps, which is pretty much the same thing just without the bifurcated lever. I have one and it is not a big deal, but if you have never used a wine opener like this, it's easier to learn on a two step. Plus, you can use one of these to open up bottles of beer. It is just the perfect bar tool.
Learn to master this, and you won't have to fumble with a giant contraption or broken wine opener when it's meltdown-o'clock at your house!
TGIF folks! Go forth and enjoy the a weekend full of these heavenly beverages and definitely call an Uber or Lyft if you aren't drinking coffee. You won't impress anyone in the county jail with your two step skills.