Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coffee with floor stripper ma'am?

One of my oddest memories of life in the Navy is discovering the true use of coffee. The First Class Petty Officer in my squadron's department handed me fifty cents and asked me to go down to the coffee mess (the Navy version of a break room) and bring back plain black coffee. I thought this was odd, because he never drank coffee, but I got it, walked back carefully so as not to spill it, and handed it to him.

He nodded his thanks, and then splashed the contents across the floor. While I stood there gaping, he gestured toward me and the other three airmen in our department. "Grab a mop," he said, and headed out the door.

My puzzlement must've been obvious because the others laughed and filled me in on the joke. The coffee in the squadron was strong enough to use as floor stripper. Believe it or not, it worked.

I didn't drink coffee for about ten years. Even today, I prefer mine weak enough to add a slight taste to the water, and then I add a no-calorie sweetener and plenty of creamer, chocolate preferably. With regular coffee, it doesn't matter how much sugar, sweetener, or cream/creamer I add -- I still don't like it. Too bitter for me, even when freshly ground and brewed. But using about 1/4 the amount of coffee and the rest hot water is perfect.

Life in the military taught me how to improvise and use whatever was handy to get the job done. I'll bet most of the readers here could say the same thing, whether it's in the military or civilian life. We had a saying tacked up on the wall in the department spaces and it still fits me today.

"I have now done so much with so little for so long that I am able to do absolutely anything with absolutely nothing." Even blog. ;)


Vivien Jackson said...

My mom makes her coffee just the same way, which makes my coffee-snob husband crazy.

Gem Sivad said...

I'm a high octane caffeine fiend. Love it any way I can get it.

Thanks for the smile, Kayelle. I've done a lot of improvising in my life, too. ;)


Savanna Kougar said...

Kayelle, that is truly fascinating. I've never been able to drink straight coffee because of the taste and because that much caffeine buzzes my head nastily.

However, I could drink what was called Peruvian coffee, a distilled substance from coffee beans. The bitterness had been taken out.

I do like coffee as a flavoring in my hot chocolate at times. And, there's nothing like the smell of freshly brewing coffee. Also, I use a small amount of coffee to get rid of allergy headaches. Caffeine and coffee do have good medicinal uses, and good healthy substances just like chocolate.

Coco Cola, or Coke, was used to clean car windshields when I grew up because it would dissolve all the bug stuck stuff. I never used it, except on a whim one time. Yep, dissolves that stuff. Also, Coke, what used to be Coke, I don't know about now... would eat your stomach lining away, because it's so strong.
Not to mention the original formula used the coca leaves, or what cocaine is made from... also a medicinal substance when used correctly.

Don't get the wrong idea. I've never used cocaine and don't want to. This is just info I've learned from studying natural supplements.

Kayelle Allen said...

Savanna, like you, I couldn't get past the bitterness of coffee, so didn't drink it. I discovered a few years ago that if I diluted it then it was fine. I buy decaf Folgers crystals, and use 1/2 tsp per 12 oz hot water, a HEAPing Tbs of creamer, and one packet of a sweetener made from dextrose and sucralose. One of my friends calls it "coffee-flavored water." LOL But I love it and can have more of it than I could regular coffee. I'd heard about Coke being used on windshields but didn't believe it -- so that's true? Wow. I'll keep that in mind.

Kayelle Allen said...

Vivien, I love the phrase "coffee-snob!" LOL! One of my coffeeholic friends must have Starbucks or nothing. I have issues with paying so much for a drink -- especially one I don't even like the way they fix it. Altho they do have a low fat, sugar free latte that's good -- my coffeeholic friend bought it for me once. So does hubby only want it fixed certain ways?

Kayelle Allen said...

Gem, That improvisational ability pays off in all sorts of places. I can make dinner out of scraps of things and a couple of cans from the cupboard too. I bet you know exactly what I mean! One of my favorite things is to keep a 1 qt plastic container with a tight fitting lid in the freezer. After dinner, if the leftovers aren't very big, they go in there. It doesn't much matter what they are, and I mix meats like chicken and beef. When it gets pretty close to being full, I pop it into the refrigerator for a day or so, add a can of broth or tomatoes, depending on how liquidy it is, and make soup. It's never the same twice. Nice thing is, all the ingredients are already cooked, so it only needs to be heated through. I need a good name for it -- Leftover Soup doesn't sound very appetizing... but haven't come up with anything yet. Maybe Improv Soup. Hmm... We have it about once a month, and I feel good about serving it because I know it cost me next to nothing but tastes wonderful.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hey, Kayelle, I don't about today's Coke, if it would work. I never drink the stuff, way too many nasty chemicals and I don't care for the taste.

The downside of using it to clean the windshield was the stickiness. However, if you can hose it down, that would work. I tried it at fill-up station while on cross country trip.

I never do decaf... for one thing the process of decaffing puts unhealthy chemicals into the coffee... you're better off using the real stuff, imo... sorry... pretend you didn't read that, if decaf is your thing.

Yeah, I use honey or stevia or organic whole sugar to sweeten [keeps my blood sugar more stable] my hot chocolate and I use organic milk or cream [has the good fats in it and good brain nutrients]... wish I could find a good source of raw milk and cream. But, so far, no luck here.