Friends.  What would life be without them?

Ours would be decidedly less fun and interesting, that’s for sure.

Two days ago, a regular customer who has been in Costa Rica since December came in with a pound of Costa Rican coffee for me.  What fun!  We all know how much I love fun, unique, and interesting foods.  And my love of a good cup of dark roast coffee is legendary.  What could possibly be better than a pound of dark roast coffee labeled especially for me?!?

The coffee comes from Finca Flor Mar, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

It is rich, it is flavorful, it is bold without being overly acidic and in-your-face.  In short, the perfect cup of coffee.  I’m drinking it iced, right now.  Black.  No sugar.  No cream.  The way Mother Nature intended it to be.

They do have a website but it appears to be getting updated and there’s no information on how to purchase right now.  I’ll publish it when there is, because I would like to get more of this!  Rachael said that they sell it as a fundraiser of sorts and I would definitely prefer giving my money to a sustainable farmer in Costa Rica than a multi-national corporation somewhere.

And what better way to celebrate coffee from a friend than sharing it with friends?!?  This morning, Mike and Barbara stopped by from South Carolina on their way to NYC.  I met Mike through an online newspaper bulletin board several years ago.  Politically, we’re on the same wavelength, and personally, we all just have a lot in common for being from such different places.  They are just fun people.  They stayed with us a year or so ago with their daughter on another trek to the Big Apple.  Did I mention they’re fun folks?!?

This trip, I made Lemon Corn Blueberry Pancakes with a Strawberry and Raspberry Maple Syrup.  Did I take any pictures?!?  Of the friends or the food?!?  No.  Oh well.  It’s not the pictures, it’s the company and conversation.  It was great seeing them, again, even if it was just for a couple of hours.

Back to coffee for a moment…

I bought Victor a way-cool, ridiculously expensive KitchenAid coffee maker a year or so ago.  Problem was, it was about an inch too tall to sit on the counter under the cabinets.  It had to live on the island.  It brewed a really good cup of coffee – it actually heated the water hot enough – but it also took up valuable real estate.  And the paint was corroding around where the water was poured in.  Great features.  Too big.  Great coffee. Looked like hell.  A perfect love/hate relationship.

After Mike and Barbara left, Victor and I were standing in the kitchen and he made an off-hand comment about getting a Mr Coffee.  I looked over at the coffee maker and noticed the time was off by a couple of hours.  I hit the button to change the time and – nothing.  I turned the knobs, and no lights.  I unplugged and plugged back in.  Nothing.  This time the clock was gone, too.  Even though I knew the socket was working, I plugged it into another.  More nothing.

Victor had hurt its feelings.  The coffee maker committed suicide.

Oh well.  I’m not about to cry over dead coffee makers.  And I’m also not about to spend a gazillion dollars on a coffee maker, again.  This last one replaced an $80 Cuisinart.  Down to Kmart and a $38.00 Mr Coffee.

It just made a really good cup of coffee.

And back to friends…

Victor was talking to our next door neighbor, Ed, this morning, and Ed said he had a bird house for us.  Ed’s wife, Peg, calls him Geppetto.    He has his woodworking shop down in the basement and is down there for hours on end making and creating.  He has done commission work replicating complete homes for people.

They are the perfect neighbors.  The day we signed the papers on the house we were standing out front when he walked by with their dog.  He said “You boys buy the house?”    When we replied, yes, he said “Good!  I’ll be over with a bottle of whiskey.”  The perfect neighbor.

Peg used to drive around in a bright yellow MG until her health went down hill.  She’s slowed down but refuses to stop.  She’s quite the amazing woman.

So it’s been a day of friends and sharing.

And we’re very grateful for all of it.