Having grown up in the mountains there are few things that say “home” to me like a wood fire. For that majority of my life my family relied on wood heat throughout the winter. Tromping through the snow to the woodshed and keeping the wood box full was part of my and my brothers job as children. We each had a number of pieces we were required to bring in and often made a competition of who could carry the most and get the job done in the fewest trip. I lost most of the time…. even as the oldest. I never found that straining myself with “large” loads was worth the one or two extra trips it would require to fulfill my quota. Even today, if I take a trip to the mountains it is not quite fulfilling if I don’t have a wood fire to tend.
Last night my wife found ourselves talking with some friends in town after more than a year of living in Asia. It was great to hear about, and in some small ways, share their life experiences living outside the United States. As with most conversation with expats, the topic eventually made it’s way to the things one misses most when living in another country; Chocolate chips, Dr. Pepper, marshmallows, good bacon, and sliced bread. I found I could not think of many things I would “miss” once I no longer live within the united states. That is, until I went to make coffee. As I ground freshly roasted coffee I found there was one thing that I would truly miss. Good Coffee! Each cup, each roast, and every bean holds different and truly unique caricaturists. Above is a photo of 2010 “washed” coffee beans from the Aleta Wondo region of Ethiopia. A truly unique bean and cup of coffee.