Monday, December 28, 2009

The Tao of Frappe'



Greek Frappé

Preparation Time: 2 minutes Serves: 1 Ingredients 2 tsp Nescafé Classic 2 tsp sugar Ice cubes.

Preparation: Pour 10-15ml of water in the shaker (preferably not chilled, but chilled will still do). Add two tea-spoonfuls of Nescafé Classic and one tea-spoonful of sugar, or more if desired. Shake strongly until all the water becomes foam. The use of an electric hand mixer, instead of a shaker, will make a shinier and creamier foam. Pour into a glass of 250ml, add 3-4 ice cubes and chilled water to fill the glass for black Nescafé Frappé. For white Nescafé Frappé, add 20-30ml chilled evaporated milk. Ideal serving temperature is 10 degrees Celsius.
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Hint: The quantity of water in step 1 plays important role in creating qualitative foam. Very small quantity will not produce enough foam while large quantity will produce soapy foam. If you desire different dosages of coffee and/or sugar, the exact quantity of water in step 1 should vary accordingly. Milk should always be put after stirring otherwise the foam loses all its stability.
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I am watching a video called "My Life in Ruins." It is a B+ grade movie about a college professor who lost her job and takes a position as a tour guide in Greece. We'll just say that things don't exactly go her way and she is a bit up tight and cranky. After many mishaps she is blowing her cool and begins to melt down. Richard Dreyfuss is the smart ass of her latest tour group. She finally blows her lid at him after he makes another comment and no sooner than some defensive words leave her lips than she realizes she said something she didn't really mean. Come to find out Dreyfuss lost his wife a few years previous and went on this tour because she always wanted to go to Greece, so he goes in memory of her.


The movie reminds me of my Greek travels last year. Seeing many of the places that I went to. Simply breath taking! I feel very fortunate to have been able to go. I feel very fortunate to have been able to travel as much as I have, do the things that I've done and meet the wonderful people that I have along the way.


There is a part of the movie where someone is drinking a "frappe' " and it reminded me of my first frappe in Greece. Nestled in a quaint outdoor cafe' in the center of Athens I was told that a frappe' in Greece is kind of like having a Starbuck's here in the U.S. only MUCH better! Having a frappe' is more than just a drink it's an experience to be shared and to be relished, not rushed. So that is exactly what we did, enjoyed the conversation, watched all of the crazy people go by, talked about where we all had been, what we did, would like to do, what we thought and just about any other subject you can think of and sometimes we all talked about nothing in particular at all. This went on for hours. It was strange at first and took me some time for me to fully appreciate and embrace. My fast paced corporate habits were difficult to shake, but after the guilt went away and the feeling that I had to be doing something more "productive" subsided, I was able to enjoy simply being, sharing and living. It was simply wonderful!
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What can be more productive than sharing the experience of being alive with others? Joseph Campbell said, "I don't believe that people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive!"
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I think Joe was absolutely correct!
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The person who I have to thank for introducing me to my first taste of Greek culture was Hannah, a sweet Aussie bartender I met at the hostel Athena on my first night in Athens. She taught me a few things about Greece; Ouzo, frappe, torpedo's, how to drink guy after guy under the table and probably the biggest lesson of all, how to really live life. Hannah was young, full of life and fearless. She befriended everyone she met and lived for the moment. When I heard of her death this past August it made me reflect on many things. I was glad to have met her and continue to be inspired by her zest for life.


It just goes to show that you better be enjoying the ride you're on, because tomorrow may never come. Do you remember the movie Captain Ron? At the beginning of the movie some guy on the elevator says, "We all have things we want to do in life, but before we get to do them some window falls on us, some truck flattens you or you catch some disease... Someday I'll retire to Wisconsin, someday we'll all have more time for our kids, someday Marty will do something worth writing about. Well, what if someday never comes and this is all there is? Huh?"

Well, what then?!


If one day you woke up to believe this was true how would you change what you are doing right now? How would you treat others? How would you choose to spend your time?!


Food for thought for the new year.


Enjoy that frappe' as long as you can my friends! Life's too short!


All the best,

~Craig

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