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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Seet. I Make You Coffee.

We are standing in the kitchen.

“So this coffee,” I say.  “What makes it Turkish?”

Maryna shakes her pretty little head.  “Watch,” she says.  “Don’t ask questions.”

I raise my hands, one of which is holding a wine glass, and back away silently, sitting on a stool at the breakfast bar.

“I am not going to tell you how to make,” she says, “you watch and you see.”

I give her two silent thumbs up.

Maryna moves about the kitchen.  Coffee. Salt.  Pepper.  Honey.  Garlic.

I open my mouth, think twice, and shut it.

“First,” she says, “grind coffee.  You have grinder?”

“I thought we weren’t talking,” I say.

She frowns at me briefly.

“Yes,” I say.  “I have a grinder.”

She bustles, grinding this, squeezing that.  She lays the blade of a large knife against a medium-sized clove of garlic, hits it briskly with her hand.

I am always impressed when people do this.

She turns on the burner, and a flame rises.  She spoons the ground coffee into a very small copper vessel.  It has a long wooden handle.  She sets it on the stove.  The smell of coffee rises.   She adds salt, does several twists of pepper.  She adds the garlic, squeezes in two streams of honey. 

It makes a hissing sound.

“You see how ees small?  Because make one, maybe two cups.  We don’t stir.  When we make, cup ees for you, just you.”

She pulls a bottle of water from the fridge.

“Water must be cold,” she says.

I leave my stool, walk over to peer into the small pot.  “What do you call this pot?”

She frowns.  “Pot?  Maybe I call eet ‘pot’.  I don’t know.”

Maryna stares into the waters in the small pot.  “Now we stare,” she says.  “We stare at the water.  No bathroom, no cigarette.  Just stare.”

“A watched pot never boils,” I say.

She looks at me briefly.  “You say that?  Ees very good.”

I consider telling her that it’s an old saying, then decide against it.

I have so little. 

The water rises, and she removes it from the stove.

‘That ees one time,” she says.  “We do two more times, like thees.  Water say ‘shhhhhhh’, and we peek it up.  Two times.”

We stand and watch as the water says ‘shhhhhhh’ two more times.

When the water rises for the third time, she removes it quickly from the stove, pours it into a cup the size of an aggressive thimble, then sets it on a saucer.

“Drink,” she says.  “Ees cup only for you.  When you are done, we teep cup on saucer.  Your fortune.”

Fortune?  “I didn’t know you could read fortunes.”

“Me?” She smiles.  “No, but someone else?  Maybe.”

I blow across the top of a tiny little cup.  “I love you, Maryna.”

She smiles.  “I love you, my dear.”


And the coffee?  Absolutely delicious.  And of course she sent me home with the pot, six cups and saucers, and a garlic bulb. 


Maryna’s Recipe for Turkish/Ukrainian Coffee
Makes two cups

Two heaping teaspoons of ground medium roast coffee
Half teaspoon salt
Half teaspoon ground pepper
One small clove of garlic, smashed

Heat on stove over medium flame.

Add two long squirts of honey.  It will hiss.

Add cold water with enough room at the top so as not to boil over.  Do not stir.

Stare at it.  Don’t go anywhere.  Don’t go to the bathroom.  Don’t have a cigarette.  Don’t let it boil.

Let it go up.  Shhhhhhh.  Remove from heat.
Let it go up again.  Shhhhhhh.  Remove from heat.
Let it go up one more time.  Shhhhhhh.  Remove from heat.

Pour in cups.  Drink hot.


Don’t drink the grounds.


29 comments:

Delores said...

Pretty little cups....but....garlic in coffee???? I'm not sure.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Oh, what an awesome post. Complete with a recipe! Coffee with garlic. Who'd a thunk

vanilla said...

Oh, my. Dare I try it?

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

May I suggest an Altoids after the coffee.

Shelly said...

Although I come from a family of coffee guzzlers, I've never in my life had coffee of any kind. This, though, is tempting me to venture into the unknown.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Just a standard thimble of that stuff would undo me for a week. Even the smell of coffee makes me ill.

Loved reading about it though... YAM xx

NotesFromAbroad said...

" I have so little " ..... this will keep me smiling all day.
love you, C

Eva Gallant said...

As always, you paint such a vivid picture, I feel I am there with you in that kitchen!

Jeanie said...

Hmm? I would love to try this but I feel like I might be sacrilegiously reaching for the cream and sugar.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I will never actually make coffee this way (for oh, so many reasons), but I will always have this experience. Lovely.

Judy said...

Millions of years ago, I had SO who made Turkish coffee! I had forgotten that! No garlic or salt and pepper, though...

Simply Suthern said...

A watched pot never boils, But I say: A watched pot never boils over.

Leenie B said...

I love reading good writing about travel. I love reading good writing about experiences I'll probably never have. I will never have an exotic friend just like Maryna and I'll probably never meet my exotic MSP blog friend, Pearl. But I do get fine doses of her good writing often--and love it. (the cups and saucers are wonderful!)

jenny_o said...

I love recipes with unusual instructions. I have an old one for cake that starts: "shortening the size of an egg".

Does Maryna know you are sharing the recipe with your legions of readers? Don't do anything to get that lady upset!

jenny_o said...

I love recipes with instructions like these. I have one for cake that begins "shortening the size of an egg".

Does Maryna know you shared her recipe with your legions of readers? Don't get that lady upset at you!!

jenny_o said...

I love recipes with unusual instructions. I have one for cake that starts "shortening the size of an egg".

Does Maryna know you're sharing her recipe with your legions of readers? Must not get that lady upset with you!

jenny_o said...

Sorry for the multiple comments - just notice comment moderation was enabled!

Joanne Noragon said...

We all thank you for Maryna.

wendy house said...

I love all the ceremony around drinking, its often so much more rewarding than the drink itself

Elephant's Child said...

And we love you and Maryna. And my partner would love her coffee. And he has (and uses) one of those 'pots'. No garlic in it. Yet.

The Geezers said...

Such a flair for dialogue. I always enjoy these little snippets.

This woman sounds exactly like a 90 years old Yugoslavian friend of ours.

Gigi said...

I'm thinking that is just a little too much effort for me. In the morning, when I'm most in need of a caffeine fix, I need simple.

Merlesworld said...

She taught you how to make it, you must be close friends.
Merle..............

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

with GARLIC!
I think if it were made with this level of presentation I'd actually try it.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Don't sound like Norske coffee to me. (Bruce, from a Norwegian mother and grandmother, said.)

Daisy said...

saving the recipe, but what pot to use?? Oh it smells delicious, and I'll bet, stirred with so much love, it tastes heavenly.

Pat Tillett said...

I always thought Turkish coffee was REALLY strong. Now that I see how it is made and what is in it, it sounds pretty good.

River said...

I love your Maryna stories. I'm going to pass the recipe on to my son, he's always up for a new taste challenge. First I'll have to find a pot.

Daisy said...

I'm not a coffee drinker, and not sure I could even think about having it with garlic in it. Maybe I'll just have the water with the honey in it and I'll throw a tea bag in for good measure. :D I'm glad you enjoyed it, though. Have a great weekend, Pearl.

The "I have so little." line made me laugh. You are such a gem, Pearl!