Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Thrifting!

For me, thrifting can be addictive and can get costly.  I reason that I'm saving money (and I am) but I need to really save money, that is not spend money.  So I made an agreement with myself to avoid the thrift store for three months, basically until mid to end of April.  I'm happy I kept my word to myself.

Yesterday, though, I ventured into the thrift store.  I only spent about $11.00 but I felt really happy about my purchases.  My main reason for going to the thrift store was to find a bag.  I needed something with lots of pockets and compartments.  It needed to a shoulder bag (when we go into the city, I usually carry Z2's stroller on one shoulder and my book-bag really makes it difficult).  I was disappointed when I couldn't find a shoulder bag but thrilled when at the last minute, I found the Skip Hop messenger style diaper bag and it only cost $3.99 although it retails for $80.  It's in excellent condition too.  Perfect.
 Box of Knitting Patterns, Crochet Book, pull out Dora the Explorer book--$3.00
 Cute tote/reusable bag perfect for carrying stuff for my crochet class--$1.00
 Wool Sweater--$2.00

So, a pretty good haul, I'd say.  And I won't be back at the thrift store for some time.  :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stove-Top Coffee

A few months ago, the hubby and I started having coffee together a couple of times a week. We stick to Ethiopian coffees.  We were introduced to it by our friends who lived in Ethiopia for some time.  I was re-introduced to it by my good friend who I went to visit last August.  Her husband is Ethiopian and they enjoy it pretty regularly.  

Before having Ethiopian coffee, I always thought I did not like coffee. Loved the smell. The taste?  Not so much.  But I like Ethiopian coffee.  It has a mellow and even flavor.   I still don't like it enough to drink it everyday plus I am an avowed tea lover.  But I really enjoy having it with the hubby. 

Photo Credit
Anyway, my dad gave me a coffee maker and I was making the coffee in there for a few months until I broke the decanter while washing it.  Well, when I went to find the replacement I realized it would cost almost as much as a new coffee maker!  We don't drink coffee enough to justify actually buying a coffee maker and I did not feel like going through the effort of asking on Freecycle.

My friends who'd lived in Ethiopia made their coffee on the stovetop.  Heck, folks have been drinking coffee for centuries without coffee makers.  So I decided to figure it out and lo, and behold, it's not hard at all.  

First I boil some water and steep the coffee grounds in a 1 tablespoon coffee grounds to 1 cup fresh water ratio for about 5 minutes.  I strain it (using the filter that fit in the coffee maker) into a pot.  I bring the coffee to almost boiling and then pour it into a Thermos so it will stay hot until we're ready for it.  It's pretty effortless and I think I prefer the way the coffee tastes when I brew it this way.  

I'm glad to re-claim some of my precious counter space and I'm actually pretty pleased at how easy it is to make coffee without an appliance.  I feel like I did after I lost the paddle for my bread-maker and figured out how to make bread using my stand mixer.  Liberated, in a way.  
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