This morning, my husband Bill left to spend the next 18 days working in another location. As is his habit before he goes on business trips, he stocked up the groceries for me. Yes, I know that’s crazy… he takes very good care of me. He enjoys it and I enjoy it.
Bill noticed that the sugar was getting low. He forgot to buy sugar at the commissary, so he went to our neighborhood Rewe to pick some up for me. You would think this would be an easy task. How hard is it to buy sugar? Well, as it turns out, in Germany, it can be a real challenge, just as buying flour is a challenge for some, and buying chicken can be a downright disaster. We have lived in Germany for a good while now… over four years this time, two years last time, plus Bill was in Bavaria in the 1980s. But sometimes, we still make rookie mistakes.
Bill bought what he thought was sugar for baking cakes. He put the sugar in the canister, apparently not noticing its “odd” appearance. Then, this morning before he left to go TDY, he fixed me my usual cup of coffee. At first, I didn’t really notice anything amiss. But as I got closer to the bottom of the cup, I started to notice that the coffee tasted… strange. I noticed some white stuff was clumped to the bottom, and some had floated to the top. I thought maybe our half and half was getting old, or something. The clumpy white stuff on the bottom of the cup reminded me of the Cremora non-dairy creamer my parents used to use in their cheap Maxwell House sludge.
I asked Bill what kind of coffee we were drinking. He said it was Peets’ wonderful Haraz blend. I was dismayed by that, since the Haraz is one of my favorites and the coffee just didn’t taste right. It tasted sour to me.
It looks and tastes… strange. It also doesn’t blend well.
Bill argued with me about the sugar, even after he pulled out a spoonful of it to show me. It didn’t look like everyday granulated sugar. Annoyed, he found half of a box of sugar cubes and directed me to use those. What I will probably do is just go to the Rewe myself and buy the right sugar. I am still capable of that much.
No… this is not the right sugar.
It contains pectin and other ingredients for making jams, jellies, and relishes. You shouldn’t put it in coffee… especially exquisite reserve coffees.
Before he left, Bill brought me the bag and broke the news. He had bought me sugar intended for making jams. This is not the first time Bill has messed up my coffee. In fact, very recently, he ruined my second cup of coffee by stirring it with a spoon he’d just used to mix ricotta cheese and fish oil for our dogs. The tiny bit of fish oil residue left a very pervasive and disgusting taste… Maybe I should put it on my food as a diet aid.
The simple solution, of course, would be for me to mix my own coffee or start drinking it black. And I will be mixing my own coffee for most of March, since I will be without my love. He likes taking care of me, though, and does an excellent job of it. And he usually mixes my sugar and cream better than I do. When I make my coffee, I only put in one spoon of sugar because I want to be disciplined, even though I prefer two spoons. Bill always gives me two spoons.
Anyway, I’m sharing this cute story for my readers in Germany who shop on the economy. When you’re buying staples, take a minute to make sure you get the right stuff. Sweet and sour coffee is not so good.