By Lee & Lou Havlicek.
Lee & Lou Cook.
We’ve been planning on sharing a coffee granita recipe for a few weeks now, and this week, it seemed especially right to post it. We’re always thinking about Grandma Rose (to Lee), mom (to Lou) when we’re in the kitchen, but she’s especially on our minds this week. It’s our first week without her, and we’re missing her like crazy. Though we never got to make this recipe for her, it’s not so different from the Italian ices that were always special treats from the neighborhood bakery, and it’s mostly made from something that was always on her stove, in her cup, being offered to her guests: coffee (aka “brown coffee”). Coffee and cookies at the kitchen table or in the backyard under the grapevine, next to the fig tree, everyone talking and laughing over each other, with Rose smiling at it all. That’s the picture that will always fill our hearts when we smell a freshly poured cup. But Lou can paint it out for you much better…
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My mom was always ready with a cup of coffee. The smell of her coffee percolating before the sun came up was enough to pull me out of bed to catch that ungodly early bus to school every morning, no matter how little sleep I had gotten. But even after that first cup, that pot stayed ready to brew a cup of coffee for anyone who walked through our door at any time of day.
Sunday meals where family and friends squeezed shoulder to shoulder around our kitchen table were famous and fabulously loud. Politics were pretty much avoided, but sports, family stories, New York and Italian news, and just about anything else was open for discussion. At the end of every one of those unbelievable, two-hour meals she and my dad used to make—the ones where everything was so good, you ate until didn’t think you could have even one more bite—over the din, my mom would interject, “Black or brown?” And as if on cue, my sisters and I would get up in unison, clear the plates, and set out the demitasse and coffee cups. “Black” coffee was espresso and “brown” was regular coffee. I’m not sure why she always referred to them that way—I don’t think anyone else in her family did. But she kept things simple and clear—very much like her life. There was never any question about her priorities: family came first. Period…
For the rest of the post, the recipe, and oh so much more Lee & Lou click here.