The Comfort Of Tradition


Coffee 3

The other day, I learned the expression ‘creature comforts’. That is, “material items that contribute to one’s ease and well being”. I found the expression so endearing that it made me think of what I would define as one of my own creature comforts. I’ll be honest, and say that food in general is the ultimate comfort. A hot bowl of chili on a cold winter’s day or a chocolate ice cream cone on a summer night; each are equally comforting. However, despite the fact that food is probably at the top of my list, the social situations linked to a snack or meal are arguably just as heartening.

Pondering about creature comforts made me think back to family visits, both in the past and present that involved food. Let me tell you, in my family, there are too many such events to count. So I narrowed my search down to family occasions that were not centered on food. These types of events would be more of a casual visit among few relatives. During these visits, there would be hours of stimulating conversation, laughter and of course, complete with coffee and cake. What is interesting about these memories was that the cakes were always freshly baked, no matter what the event or how spontaneous the occasion. Cake would be ready to be served, decoratively placed on the kitchen counter.

My Mother, who takes great pride in her family’s roots, always baked fresh coffee cake when company would be expected . Growing up in the eighties, I still remember the trendy cake mold she used for the both dense and fluffy cake. As visitors would be seated around the kitchen table conversing, I remember being too shy to join the table and partake in the conversation. Instead, I would anxiously wait to be offered a piece of cake. Little did I realize, that the comfort was not the piece of coffee cake (delicious as it was), but simply hearing the voices chatting from down the hall into the kitchen. As I got older, my excitement was less revolved around the piece of cake and more around having a chance to take a seat at the table and join the conversation. My Mum probably learned to keep a fresh cake in the freezer to have on hand in case of company from my Grandma. My Grandma probably learned the same tradition from her Mother. That too is a comfort and a tradition that I hope to continue.

Thankful for the memories of family visits, I realized that though I had always hoped to continue this tradition, I have not yet started. No time like the present. For this weekend, I’m going to honor my family’s traditions by having coffee and cake at the ready in case of weekend visits or pop-ins from loved ones. Check out my recipe below for an iced coffee beverage to serve house guests. On Sunday, feel free to visit Fanciful Impressions again for my family’s coffee cake recipe.

Iced Coffee Recipe

Coffee 1

Ingredients & Supplies: 1 pot of coffee (previously chilled), 12 coffee ice cubes, 2 cups of skim milk, 1 jar of nutella, cinnamon, blender

Number of Servings: 4

  1. For the coffee ice cubes, simply pour about 1 1/2 cups of coffee into an ice cube tray and chill over night
  2. To make your iced coffee, pour about 12 of your coffee ice cubes into the blender
  3. Add 2 cups of skim milk
  4. Add 4 healthy teaspoons of nutella (yum!)
  5. Add a couple of sprinkles of cinnamon for added flavour
  6. Finally, pour about 4 – 5 cups of your chilled coffee
  7. Once you have added all of your ingredients, cover the blender and turn it on at the appropriate speed (I used level 2)
  8. Once blended, pour into a glass and serve ice cold with a straw.

Coffee 2