My Morning Routine Posted by Serena on Jul 10, 2010 in Culture
‘Pericolo di morte’ è il cartello che, secondo mio marito, bisognerebbe appendere nella nostra cucina la mattina prima che io abbia bevuto il mio sacrosanto caffè. (‘Danger of death’ it’s the sign that, according to my husband, should be hung in our kitchen before I’ve drunk my holy coffee.) Yes, like many Italians I’m very ritualistic about my morning coffee. However, now that I think about it I’m not sure that it will be easy to describe my routine, because for me, first thing in the morning, just getting to the kitchen is already a miracle. What’s more, without my contact lenses (another morning ritual) sono cieca come una talpa (I’m blind as a mole, as we say), and therefore I go into automatic pilot and just trust my Italian intuition and my nose.
Allora, here is what I ‘think’ I do in the morning: before I can begin the process of making my coffee I have to clean out my tiny faithful caffettiera moka per una tazzina (mocha coffee maker for one small cup), that I bought many years ago when I started travelling around the world. This sturdy little gadget has travelled with me to Egypt, Zambia, and England, and now is back here in Italy where it belongs. For those of you unfamiliar with the caffettiera moka, here is a brief description.
The mocha consists of three main components: 1) il serbatoio, a base section which holds the water, and is like a tiny pressure cooker with a safety valve on the side; 2) il filtro, a perforated metal filter which contains the ground coffee; 3) il contenitore per il caffè, a screw-on top section which collects the nectar (my coffee) once it has boiled. This top section has a handle, spout and a hinged lid like a teapot.
With the caffettiera nice and clean, I carefully fill up the serbatoio with just the right amount of water, not a drop more not a drop less. I then insert il filtro, filling it with caffè macinato per moka (coffee, ground for a mocha coffee maker) until it makes a slightly rounded heap. Next I screw on the top section, put la caffettiera on the gas stove with the flame turned to the very minimum, and eat my breakfast while I’m waiting for the music of the bubbling coffee to begin. As soon as I hear the familiar gurgling sound of the boiling coffee forcing its way up to the top section of the moka, I nudge my husband to turn off il fornello (the burner). After all he does sit closer to the cooker, and has longer arms than me. Ecco fatto! (that’s it, done!)
I love sipping my coffee senza zucchero e caldissimo (without sugar and very hot), or, as they say in Naples, ‘with the 3 C’s’: cacchio come cuoce! (hell how it burns!) The aroma and the taste of my strong coffee reconciles me with life in the morning. Without it I could murder someone, and as my husband Geoff is the only one around he’s very glad to see me emerge from my grunting misanthropic state to become, once again, almost human!
I don’t drink much coffee, usually just una tazzina (a small cup) in the morning, and sometimes another one after lunch. E tu, quanto ne bevi al giorno? (how much of it do you drink a day?)
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