Percolating Memories from Hummingbird Farms

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

I am sitting here having my first cup of percolated coffee from our brand new Presto percolator! I have to tell you that it is one fine cup of coffee. Seeing my new percolator sitting in my hundred year old farmhouse makes me feel all nostalgic. It just seems to fit so much better than a drip coffee maker. In fact, I think I'm going to go put on a skirt and an apron and sit here until this entire pot is gone. It feels like the appropriate thing to do. Our drip coffee maker went out the other day so I snagged the drip coffee maker from our guest house and brought it into the main house, only to have it go out on us a few days later. After that, Jack and I both agreed that we were done with drip coffee makers. For some reason it seems like we've been having to buy a new coffee maker every couple of years (or less).

We have a big Bertha percolator that we get out when we have company. It always makes the best coffee and everyone always comments on how much better percolated coffee tastes compared to drip coffee. Every now and then we will get down Big Bertha just for ourselves to enjoy some great coffee for the weekend, even when we don't have company. The great thing about big Bertha is that you can make it early in the morning and literally drink it all day without it ever getting bitter, unlike a drip coffee maker. So - when both of our K*ups coffee makers went out on us, we decided we were done with drips....

I grew up on percolated coffee. I can still remember when my parents got their in vogue Mr. Coffee. Everyone except our neighbor, that is, seemed to be throwing out their percolators for their new drip system coffee maker. Our neighbor and my Mom's best friend, Tomi, had a green percolator (it matched her linoleum) and she flat refused to get rid of it. Far be it from Tomi to do what everyone else was doing. She has always been her own trend-setter and has always had a unique beat to her very own special drum. I often realize how many of her philosophies I live by to this day; she had such an influence in my life. I also realize how fortunate I was to have grown up with a house across the street that was as much like mine as my own house. Our families were very close. Tomi's younger daughter and I were inseparable and her older daughter watched out for me and treated me as much like her little sister as her own. Her husband would load up all the kids and take us all camping and fishing and instilled in me my love and appreciation of Big Bend National Park, and Tomi and my mother were - well, let's just say partners in crime... There was no defined line between our families. Our very existence was a 'mi casa, su casa' concept. If I was ever missing it was just assumed I was across the street. I was a part of their family and they were a part of mine.

Okay - back to Tomi's green percolator (which looked like the one here, but was green). I can remember it all the way back to elementary school because her older daughter was always responsible for cleaning it out and getting it ready for the next morning. She taught me how to put it together and clean it out. I also remember coming home from college and fixing myself a cup of coffee from that same green percolator. I recall once being home for a visit (I had to have been in my late 20's if not 30) and laughing at that antiquated percolator and asking Tomi why she didn't get a new coffee maker. She looked at me like I was totally whacked and said, "Why would I get a new coffee maker when this one still works?" She was also insistent that percolated coffee had a better flavor than drip coffee.

So today, decades later, I'm sitting here drinking a fine cup of percolated coffee and finding myself, yet again, living by one of Tomi's philosophies in life that has proven once again to be so very right.

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