I went on a quest this morning to find a container large enough for the gallons of coffee I have steeping, and also to buy more get-the-hell-out-of-my-garden deer spray.
The Co-op was my first destination because they carry the deer stuff. I had that in hand, plus some cheesecloth for straining the coffee grounds, when I saw the coolest pair of cowboy (girl) boots that were nearly my undoing; I settled for a five minute fondling instead. Uh. I wasn't fondled...the boots were.
Alas, they didn't have the right container, so off to Freddy's. For some reason they were just mobbed this morning so everything took twice as long, but I eventually found the perfect thing. I can use it for lemonade or sun tea, assuming I ever finish the gallons of coffee.
So I get home and prepare to strain the coffee and try out my new jar thingy. First, the jar has a spout, and of course it leaks when I test it. I tighten the mechanism, I test, I tighten. Ten minutes later, fed up, I run a bead of bathtub caulking around the outside of the damn dispenser to seal the spout. It works perfectly. Then I try pouring 8 quarts of coffee through the cheesecloth into the jar. The cheesecloth folds into itself, the coffee splashes everywhere--sink, the cabinets, the floor, my clothes--the grounds end up in the jar, not contained in the sieve/cheesecloth..................
It wasn't pretty.
Eventually I prevail. It took me about half an hour to clean the kitchen afterwards. If I do this again (big IF), I definitely will cut the recipe by half, at least. The cheesecloth didn't work either, but paper towels did. If I'd had someone around who could have either poured or held the cloth, it might have worked, but since I didn't, and had to improvise, the paper towels worked just fine.
Later, I made myself a Mason jar of iced coffee and had a brownie. Now that everything is done, and the kitchen is back to normal, I'm really pleased with the coffee. It's very rich and probably too strong for some folks, but just how I like it. With a good dose of half-and-half, it's really good.
As was the brownie. The peanut butter almost oozes out of the center, while the rest of the brownie is close to fudge-like in consistency, with a crunchy outside. Just a totally delicious treat.
I ended up with about 5 quarts of the coffee. A good bunch of it went down the drain when I was struggling with the cheesecloth, the paper towels, the slipping sieve. Supposedly this concoction lasts up to a month in the fridge, but if the weather stays humid and hell-like, no problem drinking it in that time frame.
My experiences in the kitchen are always fraught, though I really can cook. In the end, everything usually works out. Once it's over and all signs of chaos have been cleared away, I seem to forget the torment I put myself through, blanking out the turmoil.
Now, hmmm, where did I put that Limoncello recipe.....??