Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee- March 19 2012

ahhh my pressish
Aaauuuugghhhppphhh.... yawn, stretch, scratch, repeat.  Stumble and bumble to the kitchen, eyes half open, fumbling for the light switch.  Run the water until it's nice and cold (does this make a difference?), pour out the leftover water stagnating in the electric kettle since yesterday and take a peek inside.  The element is starting to get a heavy coat of scale from the hard water we have- I'll have to soak it in vinegar soon.  I fill the kettle half-way, click it neatly back onto its base and push the button, then turn my attention to my french press.  I pull off the plunger lid, scoop out yesterdays grinds by hand and give the whole thing a thorough rinse and wipe-down.  Now the coffee.  For my taste, 3 scoops of whole beans make the perfect pot, and they must be whole.  Flavored beans are out- flavoring is a great way to sell bad beans, and any true coffee snob will be able to detect those rancid flavors underneath that heavy layer of Irish Kream.  I'm not a total nut- I don't have a burr grinder, the kind Alton Brown claims is essential to perfect coffee.  I've priced them things.  I've had my blade grinder for 19 years and we're starting to get to know each other.  Except for some rare occasions, I've used it every day, and I grind my beans by sound.  When the loud clacking of whole beans muffles down just so under the assault of the blades it's ready.  By now the water is boiling and the kettle kicks off.  I've seen people use a spoon to stir the grinds into the water, but there's a simpler method of ensuring a good steep- just gently depress the plunger half-way then pull it back up.  Four minutes later my coffee is ready to pour.

So let's have a cup.  French press coffee is one of life's truly guilty pleasures.  I'll never forget my first taste, sitting in my friend Karen's kitchen in Kalamazoo.  It was heavenly.  It has a creamy, almost unctious body, and produces the richest coffee aroma possible.  They say it's high in cholesterol.  I don't care.  Karen was an old friend I hadn't seen in years who I had bumped into by chance.  Tall, red-haired, with a strong personality, she had insisted that my brother and I crash in her and her husbands basement instead of sleeping on cots in that empty apartment.  Karen had retained her nutty sense of humor after all these years, and her hair was just as crazy.  I remember mocking her back then for having to pet every dog that came within sight, and the odd part was that even mean dogs that would go after me would let her pet them.  I don't know if they sensed her strength of character, that they were no match for her, or if she was just really good with dogs.

a scene from my world

Alex, post jinx
I fished quite a bit this week.  With Daylight Savings Time kicking in, there is now lots of time to fish after work.  Melting snow and heavy rains have brought the rivers up, but also brought in a few steelhead.  I hooked up on a big one Wednesday night that I didn't get to see.  I hooked up on another smaller fish Thursday.  I took a local reporter fishing Friday and she hooked up on two fish, the second one running her around for nearly ten minutes before coming unpinned.  I hooked up on one Saturday morning first thing..... I've been feeling a little snake-bit lately.  I've hooked up 5 times in 3 trips, and no fish to hand.  I call this "the twenty second dance" and thus my post Saturday.  The big news this weekend was the weather, with record setting highs of around 80.  The nice weather really killed the fishing.  I fished with Alex Cerveniak Saturday night and we were sweating in ball caps and T's.  Alex was good enough to jinx the trip by catching a small fish right away.


I have been invited to join the Isle Royale "Coasters" 2012 Qwest, in search of the fabled Lake Superior coaster brook trout, a lake-run form that grow quite large.  Should I go? Ha, dumb question, of course I'm going.  We will be filming, photographing and writing about this trip.  The coaster brook trout used to be numerous in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but only remnant populations remain.  Only in the waters of Isle Royale National Park are they said to be common, and we're going to see if we can catch one.  Isle Royale is a rocky and mountainous island about 45 miles long, far out in Lake Superior. It has numerous inlets and islet and I''ll be bringing my kayak. We are looking for sponsors for the trip, and we do intend to use this opportunity to shine a light on the plight of coaster brook trout in Michigan waters.  If you would like to sponsor our trip in any way please contact me at fontinalisrising@gmail.com. I'll be writing about this adventure, and Michigan author Wayne Snyder will be on this trip as well.  Go "Like" our Facebook page and keep an eye on how things develop.

hopefully I'll be seeing this from much closer up

I have several exciting events and new features coming to this site soon.  I still have lots of cool items to give away with upcoming interviews, and some other swag in the works.  Check back each week.
Get yours.  If you haven't already, make sure you read my interview of Cameron Mortenson and enter to win a free Comrade motif T.  One of my giveaways will be to reward my followers, so if you're not following, you may want to take care of that.

To continue my "Good Takes" series of interviews, I'll be posting my interview of tier Mike Schmidt of Angler's Choice Flies Wednesday.  Mike is one of my favorite tiers out there and we'll be giving away a half dozen of his streamers and a fly box for them with the post, so don't miss out.

I'll  be at the Traverse City Hunting and Fishing Expo this Saturday.  I'll be at the booth of author Chris Weston, so if you're going to be there stop by and say hello.  I'll be hanging out and schmoozing, so come on out and take in the show, and if you see me, be sure and say hello.  Here's a link if you need info and directions   http://www.tchuntfishexpo.com/

Okay, it's time to go to work.  It's going to be a busy week, let's get after it.


9 comments:

  1. you make my 8 o'Clock Coffee taste putrid, thanks. Congrats on the Coaster Trip! Are they genetically different? DO they warrant special protection?? Cool you will be in TC with Mr HAwgeye~ See you on the water.
    Tight Lines,
    Koz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Koz- It has been a pleasure to get to know one Chris W. Weston, Esq. thanks to you. You ask some good questions about the Coaster's and now I'm wondering if I'm over-selling it. Either way, Isle Royale is on the life list, as are its trout.

      Delete
  2. That Isle Royale adventure sounds right up your alley! What fun...can't wait to read about it. But, it sounds like you have a few venues to take on first! Have a great week, FR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shoot- kayaking, brook trout, fly fishing, and a helluva cool destination? How could I go wrong?

      Delete
  3. I've been so heads down in the wallow of life that I was truly stunned that first Sunday evening of Daylight Savings Time when it was light out and I fished past 7 p.m. What a joy!

    For some unknown reason, I only use the French Press when camping. I guess it's the best way to have good coffee at camp. One of these days I should drag the thing inside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve- I should be saving my press for special occasions, but life is too short.

      Delete
  4. Cold water definitely makes a difference. At least, in my mind. ;) Which at times...hell, most often...is confused. Anyhow, many congrats on the Isle Royale search! Very cool...and could there BE a more perfect trip for you? I think not. Good week to you...'getting after it' will happen after another cup or two of coffee...made of course, at the start, with cold water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree E. I live in the same swirl you do- capiche. I'll bet you have some good cold water where you live.

      Delete
    2. Capiche...and I do love my well-water! :-)

      Delete