Dribs and Drabs

I have a bunch of small updates:

• In the four weeks before the LolaBobbie incident, I hadn’t seen any bunnies in the neighborhood, aside from the parts left on our front walk. A week and a half after installing the motion-activated sprinkler, I saw two, an adult on the front lawn (still not afraid of me) and a little one bounding through the alleys.
• For two days after installing the motion-activated sprinkler, it went off between 7:30 and 8:00am and again between 3:30 and 4:00pm. Y’all. Bobcats have schedules. Lately, the sprinkler has been going off at different times during the day, sometimes when I’m outside watering the new sod. I’m pretty sure that birds are what’s triggering it, but I have started talking to myself out loud when I’m in the front yard just in case.
• I wonder how many rabbits LolaBobbie has to eat each day to survive.

Cold brew coffee
• The day after I posted about how huge a pain in the ass the ATK recipe is, I got a call from “CI ATK” – Cook’s Illustrated America’s Test Kitchen. I know the timing was a coincidence and that they were calling to sell me something, because

my home phone number is not associated with “Charlotte Cooper.” For a split second, though, I panicked thinking they were calling to yell at me for criticizing their cold brew recipe.
• I grind my beans on a manual burr grinder. Yes, I’m crazy.
• I have learned that when a coffee is described as “fruity,” it is more likely to have that weird sour flavor I don’t like.
• I haven’t been able to identify the ideal ratios of cold brew concentrate, water, and milk. It always tastes pretty good, but every now and then, I hit Nirvana by accident. Creating a recipe is difficult because every batch is different – different extraction amounts, probably different concentrations, and different beans.
• The second to last batch of cold brew I made, I accidentally spilled unfiltered concentrate into the bowl. I was too weary from wringing grounds to force myself to refilter. I ended up with siltier coffee, but most of the silt sinks to the bottom of the jar as it chills in the fridge overnight. I wouldn’t skip the filtering step, but it turns out that being precious about it is unnecessary.
• The last batch of cold brew I made, instead of using a 1:1 ratio of grounds to water, I tried 1:2. It still tastes good and strong, but I still have to wring coffee out of the grounds. I don’t think I end up ahead in the effort at all as the 1:2 coffee doesn’t require dilution and so would instead require more frequent creation.
• Cold brew coffee is expensive. I’ve made four batches and they were all good, but once the entertainment value fades, I’m going to go back to my Nespresso, which is cheaper and less effort.

Online dating
• My mother is mad at all my friends for not introducing me to any bachelors. Mama Cooper is not interested in meeting any of you unless a bachelor introduction has happened or is in the works. Sorry.

Swimming pool
• Someone else at my gym was chatting on the phone in the pool area. This gentleman was sitting on the side with his feet dangling in the water after swimming a couple of laps. It’s true that the gym doesn’t blast the music in the pool area, but I don’t understand why the fierce echo doesn’t bother people. Also – splashing. Lots and lots of splashing sounds.

• I infused bourbon with Asian pear, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla bean, and it is delicious. If I’m honest, it’s probably more sugar than I should be consuming. Eating fruit is ok because the fiber from fruit slows the absorption of sugar, but this infusion is in reality a mix of bourbon and pear juice. Luckily(?), there’s not that much of it.

• The diva who cuts my hair, whose bat mitzvah I attended a couple of months ago, told me in mid-August that I’ve reached critical mass with the grays, and it’s time to start coloring my hair. Three months before this conversation, anticipating the inevitable, I bought some semi-permanent dye at Sally Beauty Supply. After Tricia told me to pull the trigger, she also demanded a picture of the product I bought in case it was something that would make my hair disintegrate. It wasn’t, she approved, and I got brave and applied it. The directions say that you can leave the solution in for 25 minutes at room temperature, but if you put a plastic cap over it and sit under a dryer for 10 minutes, the color will last longer. I don’t have a dome dryer, but I live in Texas. August is the time of year when it is so hot that, when the wind blows, there is no relief because it feels like the world’s largest hairdryer is blowing on you. So I decided to use the heat to my advantage. I applied the color, wrapped my hair in a plastic grocery bag, and then went in the sunshine and watered the new sod. I stayed outside for 20 minutes. Between this and talking to myself to keep the bobcat away, I think I’ve turned into that neighbor.

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