Chicory Coffee & Rituals
I have an inherited adoration for coffee. Notice I did not say inherent but inherited. I grew up drinking coffee. I did not grow up around coffee but drinking coffee. I distinctly remember my first cup.
My grannie fixed my sister and I two tiny glasses of coffee milk (which seemed to consist of more sugar than coffee or milk.) I stretched out my hands and took hold of the cold crystal glass filled with this lovely blonde beverage. My little fingernails slowly etched the scrolling flowery design on the tumbler as I quietly imbibed my very first glass of smoky, chicory coffee. In that one moment, I had unknowingly become part of a treasured ritual I would carry with me daily.
I’m not sure if it was the percolating sound of the coffeemaker puttering about or the smoky aroma that beckoned us out of our beds, but whatever it was brought us together in the mornings. In those small hours, we sat at my grannie’s solid wooden kitchen table and visited for the better part of an hour, hot coffee in hand, sharing life together.
Now, no matter how far I am from my grannie’s kitchen table, I sit with my morning cup of coffee and the comfort of knowing my loved ones are taking part of the same ritual that connects our hearts. Distance means nothing when your kitchen smells like home, or in my case, coffee.
Amber Ryder-Wilson was born into a Cajun family in which making roux became a rite of passage. She is a freelance writer and the author, recipe developer and photographer for the Southern memoir-style blog www.fortheloveofthesouth.com.
Recipe: Chicory Coffee Granita with Bourbon Whipped Cream
Note: I love using Community Coffee, but If you can’t find chicory in whole bean coffee your favorite whole bean coffee will work just fine for this recipe. Also, the bourbon in the recipe is optional, just substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you prefer.
P.S. As the granita melts into the cream, the combination creates a lovely, silky latte effect so it’s good to the last drop, even if it melts!
For the Chicory Coffee Granita:
2 cups of strong chicory coffee, freshly brewed
2 tablespoons of raw cane sugar
Dissolve the cane sugar in the freshly brewed coffee and pour the coffee into a shallow container with a lid. Let the coffee sit in the freezer for an hour. After an hour, take a fork and scrape the ice crystals. Place back into the freezer and scrape the ice every 30 minutes until the granita is fluffy and light. Serve in glasses topped with the Bourbon Whipped Cream (recipe below) if desired!
For the Bourbon Whipped Cream:
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of bourbon (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
Whip all of the ingredients in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. The whipped cream should be able to hold a slight peak if inverted.