Monday, February 2, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LANGSTON HUGHES! Let's have some cinnamon mocha coffee to celebrate!

It's wonderful to participate in Cook the Books once again! Lots of changes kept me away from this blog altogether, but I knew it was going to be only a matter of time before I returned.  My endeavors will be a bit more limited this time around, I mean to join as many Cook the Books as possible, Simona's Novel Food will be on my agenda for sure, and then there is Deb's Souper Sundays... 

There are other things taking up my time, and you can read some of them here!  I mean poems of course, and the more of them there are in the world, the better. Just like soup, and books and flowers.  Poems! However, Imaginings in Verse will be on the back burner today so that I can spend time here at Sweet Almond Tree. Where do I come up with these names? 

For this round of Cook the Books, we read "Sustenance and Desire, A Food Lover's Anthology of Sensuality and Humor"  

Chosen for us by Rachel, from the Crispy Cook, the book is edited by Anne Bascove, who goes by the mononym of Bascove, and Bascove also supplied the paintings appearing in the book, because after all she is an artist/illustrator. Have a look:

Still Life with Eggplants
   
Still Life with Heirloom Tomatoes
There are some wonderful pieces of prose and lots of good poetry that Bascove chose for this anthology.  Some of the authors represented are Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Wislawa Szymborska, Czeslaw Milosz, Marcel Proust, Allen Ginsberg, May Sarton...  should I go on? Get the picture? A lovely compilation, in a book that should stay on your shelf and be available to frolic with every so often.
  
For my entry, I decided to focus on a poem by Langston Hughes.  Not only is it a beautiful poem, but just yesterday, February 1st, was the commemoration of the author's birthday, so it seemed very appropriate that I say thank you Mr. Hughes, your poetry has made a difference in our lives and in our culture.  The poem is called "Harlem Sweeties," and on the Internet it can be read here.
I was inspired by the poem to make a uniquely flavored drink. 

drops of honey, and sticks of cinnamon, a dusting of cocoa, a sprinkling of cloves
Cinnamon Mocha Coffee contains honey, cinnamon, there is coffee for the most part because it is after all a type of coffee drink, there is cocoa also, and a few cloves are thrown into the mix.
All these earthy flavors are in keeping with Hughes' theme, which is that there is an untold and uncounted variety of hue in the integumentary aspects of "Harlem Sweeties," that there is lusciousness in the skin color of people of color. Hughes is offering a hymn of praise to African Americans, and by extension to all people who show their courage by embracing difference. Thank you Langston Hughes, and Happy Birthday!  


Here's the recipe for Cinnamon Mocha Coffee, based on one from Taste of Home magazine:

Ingredients:

1/3 cup ground coffee
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few cloves

4 cinnamon sticks


Directions:
In a coffeemaker basket combine the coffee and cinnamon. Prepare four cups of brewed coffee according to the manufacturer's directions.
Meanwhile combine milk, sugar, cocoa, cloves and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for about seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the hot milk mixture into four coffee cups, then add the cinnamon-flavored coffee.  Garnish with cinnamon sticks.  


So easy to prepare, a warm drink with luscious colour!

14 comments:

  1. I was hoping someone would pick this poem for their Cook the Books post. One of my favorites, as well. And what nice birthday tribute to Mr. Hughes!

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  2. “Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
    Montage of a Dream Deferred, 1951

    Happy Birthday James Mercer Langston Hughes!

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  3. Wonderful to have you back, Ana! You've been missed.

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    1. June (busy, busy girl), it's wonderful to see you here!!!
      Thank you so much! We will talk...

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    2. Very much looking forward to hearing from you again, Ana. Yes, I'm busy enough, but never too busy to chat with a friend.

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  4. I really liked the poems in this collection and enjoyed your cozy beverage inspired by it -- cathy from Delaware Girl Eats

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  5. Very creative recipe chosen from a very thought provoking piece.

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  6. What a delicious looking coffee drink, perfect for that poem, and in celebration of Langston Hughes' birthday.

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  7. So happy to have you back at Cook the Books again Ana and I will look forward to you popping back up in the Souper Sundays kitchen too. ;-)

    I love that you chose Harlem Sweeties as your inspiration and how cool that your post ties into Langston Hughes's birth date. Everything I adore is in your coffee drink--cinnamon, honey, vanilla, chocolate/cocoa and of course coffee. It's a rainy night this evening and I would love to enjoy a mug. Great job!

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  8. What a great post. I loved the poetry selections AND the art of Bascove.

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  9. So glad to have you back, Ana. First of all, congratulations on your poetry blog! It looks like both you and I found time to start a new creative venture :) But I am happy to read you plan on cooking with us at CtB and also Novel Food (coming up later this month) and other events. I love it that so many of us have been inspired by poetry this time around. I enjoyed Langston Hughes' poem as well and love the way it inspired you. Lovely post.

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  10. Your coffee looks glorious! How perfect that it was also the author's birthday this month!

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  11. Fabulous pick! I think I might just have everything I need to whip up your creation on this gloomy, soggy day in California.

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  12. I love the poem you picked Ana. You know me though, coffee, black LOL!

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