BARBWIRE BOB 11-30-23

BY BOB SWEENEY

Not On the List… Continued:

Congratulations to all brave survivors who prepared a Thanksgiving meal or rounded up the family for a buffet dinner. After my last grocery store list adventure, my family did the buffet routine, which worked well. One problem: no turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes or gravy to enjoy that evening or the next day — or days. Oh well, maybe Christmas will provide a roasted turkey dinner!

The shopping adventure continued for me the next day as we still needed items that were not on the list. This time, my wife Gerri had me escort her to the store, still limping along as she suffering from a bout of sciatica. We went for a few weekend items and returned with a cart full of groceries — some not on the list. 

Along the way, we forgot to bring the shopping bags in the trunk of her car, so we spent 30 cents on plastic bags; I think the friendly clerk gave us a break.

Right off the start, I spotted those luscious large green grapes that are hard to find; it must be grape season on the West Coast or Latin America, where most of our fruit is produced.

As my wife headed for necessities like toilet paper, I headed for the frozen pizza section, especially fond of the DiGiorgio brand. I found the last two quarts of Meadow Gold 2 percent milk. Together, we just shopped around. She likes Mocha brand coffee, but they only had the decaf, so she passed.  

I’m an early morning coffee addict and enjoy a strong cup of “Joe.” I remember those ranch mornings with my parents and the iron coal stove where they boiled a large pot of coffee with water and mixed coffee. It was a large Folger can. My dad would drink his coffee and enjoy a Lucky Strike cigarette, which eventually took his life with lung cancer at age 75.

My experience with coffee began in the army when I was with my tank unit in the bitter winter cold hills of Kentucky while on night tank maneuvers. 

I never drank coffee until the quartermaster folks arrived with a large canvas bag of hot coffee placed on a tripod. 

They didn’t provide any cream or sugar, just gallons of black coffee. We had cold c-rations that made “Spam” famous, but the hot black coffee on that cold morning had me pulling out my aluminum canteen and filling it with the still lukewarm coffee. That was the beginning of decades of enjoying black coffee. The Europeans, southerners, and more sophisticated folks usually add cream and sugar in smaller cups to enjoy the creamy beverage. The more civilized way of drinking coffee is generally with one or both cream and sugar. Dieters must know that sugar and cream add many calories to the beverage. With the rise of Starbucks and other coffee merchants in recent years, we have a vast assortment of coffee on the shelves to consider. We’ve recently had my wife’s choice Caramel and Sea Salt and French Vanilla and anything with Pumpkin and Spice. I still drink them black.

I learned something about adding various brands of bottled crème flavoring to coffee. I started following my wife’s lead and enjoyed adding the flavored cream to my cups of coffee; it made it taste more like hot chocolate — which I like.

This significant change in my life habit of black coffee lasted about four weeks. I suddenly developed severe indigestion during the day and night. 

The pain increased to the level I almost thought I was having heart problems because of the increased indigestion pain.

I didn’t trace it to the new blend but went to my doctor for my annual physical. I told him about the discomfort, and Dr. Ludwig immediately said, “That cream is famous for indigestion.” Wow, I stopped the cream, and the indigestion immediately went away.

My wife does not suffer from the same combination, but I’m back to my latest can of Folgers Columbia dark bean roast. She adds her cream, and we can enjoy our morning coffee; for her, one small cup, and for me, at least three cups of good old black coffee.

If any of you readers have suggestions on exciting brands of coffee, please let me know. I’m open to trying other brands as long as I can taste the coffee’s aroma and flavor.

Coffee creamer is not on my list.