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Monday Madness: The Lamentation of the Blackcurrant Scone


Let’s not think about how much I could have done over the weekend and didn’t. How far behind I am on everything I want to have done already. How much my apartment needs a good cleaning… Let’s talk instead about my favorite independent cafe.

My favorite food to order at Cafenation, for as many years as I’ve known about its existence (about three), has been the blackcurrant scone. Its buttery flavor and dense, rich texture made it,  in my mind, the perfect scone. I would get one sometimes when I wasn’t even hungry, because they were so good and I knew I’d be hungry at some point.

In my memory (which has been wrong at times, but we’ll just go with it), the first time I got it was a morning when I was interviewing someone for a short biographical article. I got up early, walked down to the cafe, ordered a coffee and one of these scones, and brought them back home. I ate it as I set up my things for the phone interview, and it was probably the most satisfying breakfast I’d had for some time. The interview and article writing both went fairly well, but that’s not really relevant to this story.

Over the past three years–or, the parts of those years that have taken me near the cafe–I have bought one of these scones more often than any other food at this cafe. Suddenly, a few weeks ago, I stopped seeing it. Since I had only been a few times, always later in the afternoon, I assumed they had sold out… but then, they usually had a few left at that time. So I asked while I was ordering a coffee, whether they were just out of them momentarily, and I was informed that they had to switch to another bakery.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Ok, that’s out of my system now. I ordered a blueberry scone to try the new ones, and it was good. But not as good as my favorite, my love, the blackcurrant scone. I was disappointed. This is long ago enough now that I have moved on, but there will be times when I think of that one scone that I crave and I will regret that I can’t get it anymore. But hell, it’s just a scone, right? There are other things I would be much more devastated to lose.

Earlier this year, Cafenation had decided to close their kitchen at 3pm every day. I assumed they just weren’t selling enough kitchen-prepared orders in the later hours to keep the kitchen open, and since I rarely ordered from the kitchen anyway, it didn’t actually affect me very much. Still, I like having the option, so it always felt slightly disappointing. Now, they’re keeping the kitchen open later, but the cafe closes at 6 now, instead of 7 or 8, when they used to be open. Once again, this doesn’t really change anything for me, except that I don’t like going to restaurants or cafes in the last half hour before they close, which will have to happen from time to time, as I frequently leave work at 5:30.

I am the very first to admit that these are not real problems. The point is that people do not react well to change. I’m trying to get to a point where I can more quickly shake off that first disorientation of finding something to which I’m accustomed suddenly changing and move more quickly to filing away the new information and adjusting accordingly. Particularly when the change will have very little (if any) impact on my life.

Doesn’t that seem enlightened?

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Voting day breakfast


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This is the breakfast I got to have to reward myself for getting out to vote early enough to actually have time for breakfast afterward.

At Cafenation in Brighton. I ordered the Spanish Sunrise omelet, stuffed full of beans and cheese and a delicious salsa fresca. There was cilantro in my eggs! Perfect! It came with nicely ripe melon and a stack of buttered Iggy’s toast. I was so happy about the toast–so often when your breakfast comes with toast, they fail both to avoid burning it and to put the butter on before it’s cooled off too much to melt it. Cafenation, doing toast right! I almost never get to have this type of breakfast on a weekday.

And of course, an iced coffee because it’s a hot day! I considered chai, but coffee mornings are most wonderful. But if you don’t like coffee, Cafenation has really good iced tea, including one of their summer drinks, Thai iced tea (which I just have to get a few times every summer, it’s delicious but very sweet).

They also had tons of day old bread available, so I got one bag of baked goods (the scone will be either a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack) and one of ciabatta rolls. They aren’t hard at all! I love when the day old bread is still fresh and soft.

That’s my breakfast spiel. Did you vote? Did you have a nice breakfast? Are you thinking about iced coffee and/or tea? I need to know!

 

**By the way, that out-of-place clothing tag on the table is actually my bookmark.

Best Coffee in Boston


Wait long enough, someone else will take your idea… (not “steal,” but “have the same one and actually follow through with it”)

I have been thinking for quite a while of doing a “Coffee Guide to Boston,” which would entail me talking about favorite cafes in different neighborhoods. I guess I would go about mine a little differently, but it’s still basically the same idea. 😦 No fair. But I haven’t been to most of these. I’d like to try out Voltage — it’s on the Scoutmob app right now.

College Foodie Guide

When I find places where I can get a cappuccino or latte that tastes as good as any café crème I had in Paris, I want to tell the world! And if it looks as good as the ones I used to have at Cafeotheque that’s an even better reason to share it.

While this list is only just beginning, I figured I would share where you can find a great cup of coffee in and around Boston. This list is still a work-in-progress!

Voltage Café

A couple of blocks away from MIT, this cafe has been written up time and time again for its excellence in coffee. And from the many times I’ve been there, it does not disappoint. And although the people working there could have been snooty about their coffee and looked down on someone like me who was asking questions, they were the exact opposite: incredibly…

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Monday Madness


I’ve been feeling frowny today, not being completely unfocused but not as productive as I would like to be. Mustn’t get ahead of myself, though; maybe it won’t be so bad after all. To make a long story short, I’m very busy, and I probably will be until mid-June. More on that maybe next week…

You know what’s weird? Some places offer three sizes of cups, and others offer only two. Weird, right? You never know whether it’s small and regular, small and large, regular and large, or maybe they call regular “medium,” which doesn’t make much sense if there aren’t sizes on either side of it. They generally tell you on the menu what terms they use in that store, but I’m starting to be annoyed that I have to hunt for it at all. I think I advocate one-size beverage shops. No confusion. Just order the drink and they already know what size to make it.

And the places that have 4 sizes… they’re just asking for confused orders. Especially if they go by weight or volume. Someone wants the 12oz cup, and they order a small, but to you that means the 8oz, so then they get a smaller drink than they wanted. In some cases, hell breaks loose because there are people who really cannot handle not getting what they want.

(I so rarely get what I want that I can barely handle it when I do.)

These are not thoughts you should take seriously. I was thinking about stopping at Cafenation after work to see if I could snag any day-old bread. And maybe order a small iced tea. Or would it be a regular? …and things just kind of spiraled from there, as sometimes happens in the madness of Monday.

 

 

Lonely dining: smoothie time!


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Raspberry mango smoothie from Temptations Cafe in Coolidge Corner, Brookline. I didn’t ask what they put in it, but I assume raspberries and mangoes are two of the main ingredients. It’s very tasty.

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