I’m tired of fighting the good fight for a bad man.
I’m sick of men who use their hands, their fists – on walls, on me. Did my father hit? No, or at least I have no recollection. He threatened.
“I’m gonna knock your teeth down your throat.”
He was four times larger and ten times older…and I believed him. A 5-year old child doesn’t understand hyperbole. I’m tired of these hot-blooded men who loom and intimidate and, conversely, men who shut down and pout, childlike, when boundaries are set. I’m over guys who are incapable of verbalizing their emotions and equally fed up with those who lack feelings to emote. I have no room for strutting narcissists or men with fragile egos, which, on the balance, are two branches of the same tree anyway. I’ve paid my dues tip-toeing on my share of eggshell roadways to nowhere.
I refuse to spend another minute with someone who lies. I’m done with men who willingly cheat on their partners in exchange for a moment with me and I’m equally tired of boyfriends who unhesitatingly cheat on me for another’s piece of ass, another notch on the bedpost. I won’t waste another minute on available men who flirt but are petrified to make a move, looking towards me to orchestrate each assignation. I don’t have time for men who sacrifice nothing while expecting me to forfeit my dignity, my work, my security, my happy life, in the name of ersatz Love.
What use have I for a man who doesn’t even attempt to appreciate my hobbies or interests or a partner who entertains no passions or interests outside of me?
I’m fed up with men who tacitly insist they own my body, refusing to accept “no” means no, pushing their seed in anyway, and enact laws that steal options for dealing with the aftermath, men who believe women are incapable of informed choice, convinced they must “help” us decide. I refuse to play nicely in this patriarchal sandbox any longer.
– Dedicated to my own Good Man.
Raised in Southern California, I grew up steeped in a brew of Mexican flavors, so I was surprised to learn about a traditional Mexican drink I’d never experienced – Café de Olla, a.k.a. Mexican coffee.
When you are served “Mexican” coffee here in the states, it’s a simple combination of regular coffee flavored with a bit of cinnamon. On my recent stay in Baja, however, I was introduced to traditional Café de Olla. Traditional Mexican coffee is made in an earthenware pot (an Olla de Barro – hence the name) and is a sexy and complex alchemy of coffee, citrus, and spices. Each morning of my two-week stay, you could find me at 7:00 a.m. laptop open and a steaming jarrito (a traditional clay mug) of this elixir within arm’s reach. The hotel even made a “Julie Recommends Mexican Coffee” sign at our daily breakfast and a few coworkers and customers were asking me where I could get a cup (eschewing the ubiquitous Starbucks on property for this exotic blend).
Traditionally, this spiced drink is served very sweet and very black, but I usually drink my morning cuppa unsweetened with just a bit of cream so, in the version below, I’ve dialed the poloncillo way back to allow the coffee and spices to shine. This recipe may seem like a lot of futzing in this age of pod-coffee; it’s worth the added few minutes – especially on a chilly and rainy weekend morning like this one.
Mexican Coffee (Café de Olla)
Rich, spice-ladened coffee lightly sweetened with caramelly piloncillo – this updated recipe uses much less sugar than traditional Café de Olla.
- 4 cups water, divided
- ¼ cup piloncillo (or dark brown sugar)
- 4 3” strips orange zest
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, slightly crushed
- 1 star anise pod
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 rounded tablespoons ground coffee (Mexican origin preferred)
- milk or cream (optional)
- In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water, piloncillo, orange zest, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise. Bring to boil and stir until piloncillo is fully melted. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
- Bring remaining 3 cups water to boil. Spoon coffee into a French press and add vanilla. Strain spice syrup over coffee, add boiling water, let steep 3-4 minutes and then press down filter. Pour into mugs, lighten with milk or cream, if using, and serve with a cinnamon stick.