Posts Tagged With: Food


Toast the Roast- “Live”

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‘Toast the Roast’ “Live”

Good Morning! 🙂

I am pleased to announce:

‘Toast the Roast’ – “Coffee talk with Dahni”, July 6th, 2019 10:00 AM (rain or shine). Class size limited to 14. Sign up at

“Live”- Our first of hopefully, MORE to Come! 🙂


SIgn up at our friends website and hosts for this event Click on ‘Events’


For additional information, see our other blog specific to coffee at The Gathering Place Coffee Roasters

I hope you are excited! I close with raising my cup to you, to…

‘Toast Your Roast!’ 

Categories: Beverages, Coffee, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Live Laugh Love, Making Memories, Manliness, Pursuit of Happiness, Toast the Roast, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spa Side Amore-tinis

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Spa Side Amore-tinis

By Dahnini or Dahnitini
©️2019, all rights reserved

Hot or cold, love is in the air. The Italians call it, amore (love). Heading to the spa or hot tub with your love? Why not a couple of Amore-tinis and watch Jupiter in the night skies or the poetry in motion, in each other’s eyes! 🙂

Spa Side Amore-tinis By Dahnini or Dahnitini


By Dahnini or Dahnitini

Juice of 1 small fresh lime
2 jiggers Amaretto almond liqueur
1 jigger of vodka
1 jigger or apricot juice or nectar
Add ice
Pour into hand shaker and shake

“Shaken not stirred!” -007, Bond, James Bond” 🙂

Pour back into martini 🍸 glass

Garnish with a stick and a skewered piece of dried apricot, dipped in lime juice and sprinkled with mix of almond flour and raw sugar

ENJOY!  Drink your ‘Amore-tini responsibly! 🙂


Notes: Amore is Italian 🇮🇹 for “love” Amaretto (also Italian 🇮🇹), means “little bitter” and is often made with almonds and pulverized apricot shells which also taste like almonds.

By Dahni & I-Magine
©️ 2019, all rights reserved
From my Work in Progress: ‘
The Gathering Place Cook Book’
“How to Turn Your Home into a Four Star Restaurant’

under the category of beverages— ‘Sips with Susan’

Sing it Dean! Ruin it Jerry! 🙂


Lyrics to That’s Amore:



Categories: Beverages, Coffee, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Live Laugh Love, Making Memories, Manliness, Pursuit of Happiness, Toast the Roast, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toast the Roast- Now What? Abbreviated

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Now What Do You Dowith the Coffee You’ve Roasted #4

“The Abbreviated Version” 🙂

(a series about roasting your own coffee) #4 of 4

By Dahni
©️ 2019, all rights reserved

Map of Coffee World-click for a larger view

One dancing goat, the other one is drinking coffee- click for larger view

From Kaldi and his dancing goats from Ethiopia, to Kenya and Yemen, coffee spread across the world where today—

• Coffee locations on the map all share similar characteristics: tropical and high elevation (among others). The climate must be perfect, for coffee to be grown and thrive!
• Coffee is exported from around 70 countries and imported by most countries in the world! The United States, is one of, if not the biggest importer of coffee in the world! WE the People of the USA, like our coffee!
• Mexico is likely the largest exporter of coffee to the United States! Think about that! Where did your coffee come from? Is it a blend of Mexican and some other(s)?!
• No coffee origins (varieties), are exactly like any other! Even the same origin will not always be the same, every time. Correctly roasted coffee reaches a peak then falls off in about 7-10 days! Coffee in those 7-10 days is always subtle, unique and their nuances different, each day! Some believe that the ONLY place to roast coffee is at the same location where the plants are grown, the cherries are harvested and the green beans (seeds), are processed! If this is true, then wouldn’t the best place to drink coffee be, at the same place where it is roasted? Personally, I am not financially independent, not that particular and not this patient!
• They are not really beans, they are seeds! They are called ‘cherries’, before they become ready for our coffee. They are very odd as, not every “cherry” will produce a seed! It takes around two thousand (2,000), cherries (the ones with seeds), to make our one cup of coffee!
• Because of all the above conditions and more, most cherries are still picked by hand, throughout the world! The terrain of most areas where coffee is grown, prevents most beasts of burden and modern equipment, from reaching the plants to extract the “cherries”!
• Arabica beans are the most desired, but they are also, the most fragile, compared to Robusta! Generally, Robusta beans have more caffeine and are larger beans! Robusta are often used in “blends” and to lower costs, while still charging us more for what they tell, are their, “signature blends”! Arabica beans account for sixty percent (60%), and Robusta, forty percent (40%), of all coffee beans!
• Coffee is the second (2nd), most traded commodity in the world!
• Coffee is the fourth (4th), most consumed beverage in the world, following in order: water, beer, wine and coffee!
• Kona Coffee from Hawaii (one of the most expensive and most popular in the world), is about the only place where commercial and mass quantities of coffee, are grown in the United States!
• One of the reasons (among many), Jamaican Blue Mountain (another expensive, popular and my favorite coffee), is so expensive is because, Japan (yes Japan), has had a trade agreement with Jamaica, to purchase ninety percent (90%), of their beans (roasted or green), for maybe well over a hundred (100), years!
• Political unrest and instability, could potentially halt the export of coffee, from that country, at anytime! Think about that and ask yourself what you would do, if tomorrow morning, your favorite coffee was no longer available??? This is another wonderful reason to order green beans at a current price and not at a higher price in the future and green beans can keep for years, in a cool dark place! Need I mention the importance of trying new coffees and educating your palette? ROAST YOUR OWN COFFEE!

Brewed Coffee and Beans

Brewed Coffee

The most obvious thing to do after roasting your beans is to grind them and brew, and have a cup or two or a few. If you have never had coffee this fresh and that it’s not over-roasted, you just might be tasting coffee as it was meant to be enjoyed, for the very first time??!! If you usually drink coffee with cream, sugar or both, you may be surprised how great your roasts taste, drinking it black??!! Enjoy the flashback ‘Percolator ‘ song, from the YouTube video to follow. 🙂

OK, what next?

What to do with those grounds? Do you have roses or hydrangeas? Share your grounds, they like coffee too. One of the reasons for this is due to the acidity in the coffee that plants like. OK, what next?

Decaf? There is no such thing! Most coffee marketed and sold as decaffeinated is around 97% caffeine free. Well, that still leaves around 3% caffeine doesn’t it? What I’m calling it is, Locaf (lower caffeinated) Coffee.

Locaf or Lower Caffeinated Coffee

Sometimes, you or your others, may or would like a cup of coffee before say, bedtime. Maybe you don’t need the energy or the buzz from caffeine and you don’t want to stay awake all night. 🙂

To remove caffeine, it begins with green beans ONLY! There are only 2 ways to remove up to about 97% of the caffeine from coffee:

1. Chemicals- Not for me!
2. Water- The most natural and organic! For anything and everything you may or may not want to know about so-called decaffeination (lowered caffeine, but never all), click here 

Want it? Need it? Well, you have three choices:

1. Buy whole beans or ground decaffeinated (Locaf), coffee. But if you are a home roaster or want to be, why would you?
2. Buy green beans that have most of the caffeine (never all), removed and roast yourself. NO PROCESS CAN REMOVE ALL OF THE CAFFEINE! But I would only choose green beans that use the water process, to remove caffeine (whatever amount is removed)! Where to get them? Click here
3. Do it yourself! How? Well, it will take some time!!! Place your green beans in a bowl. Pour hot water onto the beans and cover them with the hot water. Let them soak, for a few minutes. Drain and rinse. Repeat. Each time you do this, more of the caffeine is removed. When finished, roast the beans to your satisfaction.

Did you know, there are over 1,200 complex compounds in coffee, which contribute to their flavor profiles?? There are!!! Uhh, why then, would anyone want to over-roast and mess up any of these flavor compounds??? Just Don’t!!! Sugar is just one of the compounds. Caffeine is another. But it is odorless and colorless, though it does contribute acidity, which does affect, the overall taste of some coffees.

Note: There is more information available on this to class participants or online subscribers. See classes- click here

OK, what’s next?

Blends or Blending

Blends could be something you might like? Blends are for two real reasons, in the coffee industry:

  1. By using inferior beans and over roasting, costs can be cut and it can be marketed and sold as a signature blend and charge more for it.
  2. You really want to produce a signature blend with something unique. Or, maybe you had no choice? Look back to the South during the Civil War. The North was often blocking the southern waterways and prevented or disrupted the supply of coffee. They either had to make some dark beverage from roots and other stuff besides coffee or they stretched the coffee by adding other grains and etc. to it.

Chicory was once such grain and it is still popular in the south, particularly in Louisiana. Have you ever heard of Cafe du Monde? It is world famous and started in New Orleans in 1862. They are open seven days a week; year-round, except, for Christmas Day or if an occasional hurricane forces them to close. We still have a can of this in our freezer (not a good idea to store this way, but it’s done). My wife Susan, actually had this coffee in New Orleans. I first tasted it in Japan. Yes, it’s all over the world. But in a can? How fresh can [pun-ny], that be? What if you made your own? Yes, yes you can!

Coffee blended with pine nuts

Another blend I liked and tasted, is roasted in New Mexico, USA. It is coffee made with pinions (pine nuts). It is very unique, but how long can it stay fresh in a can or even a nitrogen packed can or foil bag? When was it roasted? How many months ago was that? How many months hence, from the date of roasting, does the package read, “Best is used by [some date way into the future]”. Why not roast this blend yourself? I will be, as soon as possible!

Blends and Dark Roast

Do you like or do your friends and family like espresso, latte, macchiato, capuchino and other dark roasted beverages? Then roast some! It is easy to do. Any coffee, if dark roasted, can be used for any of the beverages above. But here is where blending or blends come in. I wanted to try this and I mixed three (3), different coffees from different countries. One was from Ethiopia. By now you know that Ethiopia is likely, where coffee began. In our classes, we use Ethiopian coffee to roast. Class participants get to sample some fresh brewed, from fresh ground, and from fresh roasted coffee beans. And they each receive a 1/4 pound of fresh roasted beans, they can take home and enjoy the next morning. Now by “fresh” I mean, coffee beans that were roasted 24-48 hours before shared. Two of the class members will each receive 1/2 pound of the coffee, I roast at the actual class. Chosen by having the winning ticket selected, one receives from the popcorn popper roast and the other from the skillet roast. Obviously, I cannot make these available online and I do not have the means or the desire to be roasting around 7 pounds of coffee beans (what is needed for a class of 14), more than once or twice a week! But also, in class and by way of a special password required protected location and for a limited time ONLY, class members will receive the actual recipe I used, for making my dark blend, for espresso and etc.  For more info. on classes and etc. click here Again, Ethiopian is the coffee used for classes, for obvious reasons. It was probably the “FIRST COFFEE”, many people have never tried it, it is one of the most popular and it is great in a blend, for espresso and etc.

Various beverages from dark roasting-click for larger view

This could be your dark roasted beans- click for a larger view

Note on Blends/Blending: Technically, each coffee used in a blend, should be roasted separately and then blended. But I only made a 1/2 pound of dark roast and I roasted all three (3), different coffees together, at the same time. You are probably expecting this, but you will have to take my word for it (or take a class, learn the recipe and roast it yourself), but it made the freshest and best cup of espresso, latte, macchiato and cappuccino, my wife and I have ever had! Then I did another, not-supposed-to-do thing. I put it in a plastic sandwich bag, in a sealed black plastic container and stuck it in the freezer. Oh Noooo! 🙂

If needed or desired, I have my dark roast on hand, for anyone that comes to ‘The Gathering Place’ (what we call our home). I will be roasting this again, if/when needed, but especially for, the winter holidays! OK, what next?

Roasting for espresso? Have you ever had or do you like eating espresso beans? How about chocolate covered, espresso beans?! I have recipes for these too! Take a class and/or become a subscriber. Click here OK, what’s next?

Latte Art

Have you ever seen or had one of those extraordinary and barista artist created designs with cream, on top of your dark beverage?

Latte Art- click for a larger view

Latte Art You Could Make at Home

Do you think these might add to the cost of your cup? Why not make your own? They do not have to be complicated and so detailed and complex, that you regret destroying the art when you or someone drinks your cuppa! I’ve seen some that are so detailed, they look like famous people, animals and all kinds of stuff! Do you you think these might add to the time it takes to get a cup, and drink it and that your coffee may not be as hot as you may like it, depending on how long it takes to make and get it to you?? Please do not misunderstand me. I like, admire, respect and appreciate art and artists. But as a former chef, there is a line I just won’t cross. That line is in the middle of Impress and Bless. There is nothing wrong with presenting food and drink in a beautiful or visually pleasing manner. It actually aides in digestion, promotes good conversation and increases enjoyment or JOY! But If I want to, have to or feel the need to impress you, I have crossed the line over my desire to simply, Bless You! And, like anticipating and expecting and waiting on a good meal or beverage to come, I just don’t have the patience to wait for say, da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ to be made with cream, on top of my coffee. And as a former chef, I don’t have the patience to wait to see your reaction to what I’ve prepared especially for you! Still, latte art is cool. You can learn to do some really simple, gorgeous, beautiful (find your own adjectives), latte art which will bless your guests and not take forever and a day to make. The word bless means, “Highly Favored!” For more information, to take one of our classes and/or become a subscriber. Click here  Or wait until I finish my book (see below). OK, what’s next?

Cold Coffee (iced) or Cold Brew

Cold Coffee-click for larger view

Have you ever had or do you like, Cold Coffee or Cold Brewed Coffee? What’s the difference? Cold coffee is just like it is written. It is coffee that has been brewed and allowed to cool. It is served at room temperature, cool, cold, ice cold or with ice. It is served, with or without cream and or sugar. Cold Brew is just like brewing sun tea in a glass jar, in a filter (or a tea ball), and allowed to sit in the sun (or even on your counter-top). I call this, ‘Sun Coffee’ 🙂

Each (Cold Coffee or Cold Brew), have their own unique tastes, and depend on the origin of the coffee they are made from.

Sun Coffee- click for a larger view

One of a grandfathers (a proper man and a highly educated man), liked cold or cooled or chilled or room temperature coffee (whatever was his preferred temperature). He would make coffee in a glass-top metal percolator, on top of his stove. Then he would pour some out into a nice teacup, which sat on a matching saucer. He would let this cool, pour some into the saucer, set aside the cup and raise the saucer and drink form it. I never saw him do this in public. I do not know if it is civilized or acceptable in public or how Emily Post or Miss Manners (two culture, class and etiquette champions), would view this, but it was his home, his castle, his private time and it made him happy! To be honest, I was not a fan of coffee that has any other temperature than hot enough to burn my lips! Hosting others and serving others is a responsibility and should be a joy to all chefs. Seek to bless and not impress! But I concede these (Cold Coffee or Cold Brew), have a place and FYI (for your information), I am warming up (or cooling down), to the idea! 🙂

You can add some spices and (natural flavorings), to either of these, to really transform your summer-cool-off beverages or whenever you want your coffee to Chill Out! 🙂

I’ve recipes for these too, also either available from online, for class participants, subscribers only or when completed and published, in my book—

‘The Gathering Place Feast Book’
(“How anyone can turn their home into a 5 star restaurant!”)
By Dahni

Note: If you like Nitro (nitrogen treated), Coffee, I cannot help you. I don’t care for it and I certainly do not have the necessary equipment or nitrogen sitting around in my mad-scientist lab in the basement! And there will not be one in the future, either, EVER! 🙂

OK, what’s next?

Other Beverages with Coffee

Other beverages with coffee? Like what? How about Adult Beverages (alcohol or non-alcoholic), for your Libations and Happy Together Hours! Coffee Liqueur made by you? Absolutely! How about a home-made ‘Coffee-tini’ by your’s truly, Dahnitini, mixologist; drink meister extraordinaire! 🙂

Desserts With Coffee

Coffee ice cream, coffee cake, tiramisu, coffee pie, coffee cookies anyone? We’ve got em’ and a lot more. Make your own! Make up your own.

Coffee as a Spice

Ground coffee as a spice? Sure, why not? Use as a rub, or part of a meat sauce for hamburgers and etc. The possibilities are endless. Use it. Make up some great stuff!

Coffee in Art & Literature

Yes! I’ve used coffee as a water color background, for some of my photograph turned paintings. Remember, Thomas Jefferson loved coffee and said it was the most civilized drink in the world. He may have had coffee when he was working on the drafts, to the Declaration of Independence. Maybe our Founders of this wonderful Republic of Ours, consummated its signing, before, during or after, with coffee. Poets and authors wrote and write, while consuming coffee. I have a cup of coffee beside me, as I am writing this. Now maybe this is not literature, but I am writing and I am drinking coffee, while doing it!

‘Ever Notice’ By Dahni © 2006 Background is painted with coffee- click for larger view

Coffee Around Your Home

I’ve already mentioned using your used coffee grounds, on roses and hydrangeas. It’s great fertilizer. Coffee grounds contain several key minerals for plant growth — nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium. Compost with 40% coffee produce less green-house gas and contributes greatly, to some of the best quality compost.  Coffee around your plants help create a barrier that slugs and snails do not like to crawl over. Coffee grounds contain compounds that are toxic to many insects. You can use your coffee grounds to repel mosquitoes, fruit flies, beetles and other pests. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which helps eliminate odors. Try placing some roasted beans in your refrigerator or really, anywhere you want to neutralize odors. Place some grounds by your sink for scrubbing your hands, after handling onions or garlic.  Take some roasted coffee beans in a plastic bag with you, when you go shopping, especially for fragrances, perfume, cologne, scented candles or anything scented. and etc.  After sniffing a few fragrances, your ‘nose’ can become overwhelmed and you can hardly sense another scent’s attributes. Open your bag of roasted coffee beans and sniff them for a few seconds. Your ‘nose’ for new scents will come back to you! Do not worry about what others may think about you sniffing coffee beans at the store. I have found many places offer this technique (service with coffee beans), and I always recommend it to the stores I shop at, if they don’t already offer this. It really does work! Try it! There are seemingly endless and countless ways to use coffee!

Coffee for Your Health and Wellness

Do some research and you will find that coffee consumption has many health benefits. My sister makes a fabulous shower scrub with coffee! My wife, Susan, loves it! Not to get personal or anything, but coffee is a diuretic. It helps eliminate salt and well, it helps you go. Coffee is excellent for constipation, it keeps me regular! Some people use coffee as a laxative. Some use coffee for enemas, to clean-out their digestive tracts and rid it of a buildup of toxins and poisons. Many people who do this, report feeling healthier, happier and much more energetic. That being said, personally, I would rather drink and consume my fresh coffee! There are so many things coffee can do, for us and that we can do with coffee.

Coffee for Conversation

In my book, I will have a section on making your own home made ‘Beverages’. I call this section, ‘Sips with Susan’ (my wife). Whether it is during our Happy Together Times (Happy Hour), or our morning coffee, we sit and sip, enjoy one another’s company and converse about little things, no-things of great importance or great things, which truly matter. This is what conversations are for and I truly believe, coffee promotes good conversation. Even if you are a tea drinker, have you ever invited someone or have you ever been invited to, ‘Have a Cup of Coffee’? I’m sure that you have! Even if you are having tea, saying you are having a cup of coffee with someone is a good-feeling, friendly, civil and cultural thing to do!

Coffee as Gifts

Almost everyone loves and craves for, “A Taste of Home,” “Home Made”, “Home Cooking” or just going or being Home! You could help provide these wonderful and good feelings, by giving away as gifts, some of your roasted coffee beans. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and on and on, a gift of your coffee would be like any other special gift, but it’s made by you and it’s FRESH. What about coffee as a home warming gift? The new house owners may be living out of boxes, for awhile, but I bet they have found their coffee maker and it’s in their kitchen. Imagine them sitting around and sipping your coffee, while they decide where to put all their furniture, where to hang or put this and that. How about your coffee for a baby announcement? Think about the new mom and dad, sitting around and enjoying your fresh roasted beans that they ground and brewed, while they think about names for the baby. A coffee gift of thanks, appreciation, friendship and love? Yes! The possibilities are too numerous, to even try and list! The greatest gift that can ever be given is said to be, the gift you give of yourself! You are and your own fresh roasted beans are synonymous. You and your beans are one! Give the gift of yourself! 🙂

Where to Go from Here?

Coffee, it’s Not Just for Waking Up!


This concludes our series on roasting coffee, ‘Toast the Roast’. Remember this, it is really simple to roast your own coffee! I hope like me, you enjoy learning. I hope you have learned something!

Learning is, an Exciting adventure! 

I hope you are excited! I close with raising my cup to you, to…

‘Toast Your Roast!’ 

Categories: Beverages, Coffee, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Live Laugh Love, Making Memories, Manliness, Pursuit of Happiness, Toast the Roast, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toast the Roast- Roast Away Abbreviated

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‘Roast Away’— Roasting Coffee at Home or Wherever & Whenever #3

“The Abbreviated Version” 🙂

(a series about roasting your own coffee) #3 of 4

By Dahni
©️2019, all rights reserved

Roasting with a Popcorn Popper- click for a larger view

Green Coffee Beans in the popcorn popper (roaster)- click for a larger view

Simple Coffee Roasting Directions Using a Popcorn Popper

The old-fashion hand-crank popcorn popper is one of the easiest and most economical ways of Roasting Coffee. With practice, anyone can obtain great results and enjoy, some of the best and freshest coffee you have ever had!


1. Propane grill with side-burner— about $250 and get (if you do not already have),one of those long-handled butane flame lighters or long wooden matches to start your grill, as in my experience, most grill’s push-button igniters wear out or fail, in about a year.
2. Popcorn popper— about $30 (clean, no oil or leftover chaff or popcorn). Get it here
3. Green Beans— about $6 per pound and up. 10 ounces of Green coffee beans = about 8 ounces or ½ lb. beans when roasted. This is a good amount to start with and it keeps the beans moving when stirred. Roasting 20 ounces of green beans will = about a pound roasted. Get them here Here is a suggestion, if you decide to get your green beans from them, call them first and ask for Keith (although anyone there can help you). Tell them you are just starting out and using a popcorn popper (or skillet). Tell them what your favorite(s) is/are. Or ask for their recommendations. Ask about samples or if they have some practice green beans (end of the barrel beans), you can start your journey with. It won’t take you long before you are roasting to your satisfaction!
4. Scale and measuring cup to weigh green beans about $20 for both
5. Pen and paper (log), to record your efforts.
6. Kitchen timer (with seconds) and stopwatch function— about $8
7. Wooden long handle spoon to stir with or pry loose beans if stuck under turning wire/bar of popper— about $1
8. Infrared Thermometer (able to read at least 500° F.) — about $25
9. Colander (stainless steel wire mesh), to toss and cool beans in— about $10
10. Flat pan to cool beans and to catch chaff— about $2
11. Small electric or battery operated fan to blow off chaff (particularly in summer) — about $12
12. Hot pad/pads/gloves for safety— about $2
13. Funnel (for pouring roasted beans into bags or container— about $1
14. Stand up foil pouch with one-way vacuum seal, to store roasted coffee beans or some other closed container. — about $1 (each)

Start up about $350-375 plus green beans $6 lb. and up. Then again, maybe you have most of the supplies needed, already? If that’s the case, you just need a popcorn popper and some green beans.


1. Record weight of coffee beans used, along with any details you may find useful later, including: temperature (outside), date, time. and etc.
2. Preheat your popper over medium heat, for a few minutes
3. Pour green coffee beans into popper over medium heat, and start timer. Begin turning the crank-handle at just about any pace that is comfortable, while regularly checking your beans, for color, sound; aroma, and if you like, temperature (of the roasting process). Record your observations, noting the time things occur, as you go. You can use this information as a reference guide, for the next time you roast.
4. As beans reach about 380 degrees F (4 to 6 minutes in), they begin to make a sound similar to pencils or toothpicks breaking. This is known as ‘FIRST CRACK’. From this point on, your coffee can be removed from the heat and later ground and brewed. The beans will continue to roast a bit while they are cooling however, they will not continue to roast if you return them to the heat source. FIRST CRACK should last a minute or two with beans going from light to medium brown, ending around 410° F. The pace of the roast and smoke (steam), will increase while the sounds slow, for a few seconds to a minute and the bean temperature rises. Around 410° F – 425° F SECOND CRACK begins. This sounds like milk being poured over crispy rice cereal. This is what I shoot for, a medium roast, around 20 seconds or so, after the beginning of SECOND CRACK.

Of late, I have started roasting, for around 60 seconds or so, of SECOND CRACK. The brown roasted beans appear shiny, but not oily. This is the sugars of the beans, beginning to caramelize. Much beyond this and you’re are heading towards the DARK SIDE of the ‘Force’. 🙂

On the Dark Side, beans begin to look really dark to almost black. Believe it or not, this is what many roasters try and sell as coffee. I call it a dark roast and suitable only, for espresso and other dark roasted beverages. If the beans are burnt, it tastes like burnt caramel. I am not a fan of burnt caramel! Much more beyond a dark roast and you run the risk of burning the beans. That’s not roasted coffee, but more like pouring water over charcoal briquets. I’m not a fan of charcoal or burnt coffee! But the chances are high that many people expect this is what coffee is supposed to taste like. If this is what you are used to, you will never know the nuances of flavors, correctly roasted beans will give and you probably will not like it! Correctly roasted coffee will never taste the same every time and it shouldn’t! But if one desires ‘same-O’ and consistency, blend, over roast and burn the beans.

When the beans internal temperature rise, you will see the color change from green to light tan and you will notice that they may smell like grass or tea as, the smoke (steam), also begins to rise.

Note: By the word “smoke” I mean steam. It may look like smoke, but it is the beans releasing water and some of the cafeine bound in the water, during the roasting process. The longer the beans roast, the more caffeine is removed! Now if you really do smell “smoke”, the beans have been over-roasted or burnt!

Simply watch, and listen, and record the relevant data, at the point you remove your beans from the roaster, into a colander or roasting pan for cooling. I am so convinced that anyone can do this that I honestly believe even the deaf and blind can learn to roast coffee, to their satisfaction! By using what senses are available, a good roast can be accomplished  by the color of the beans, by the sound of the ‘CRACKS’, by the smell of the finished roast. and any combination of one or more of our available senses!

Medium Roast- click for a larger view

5. Remove roasted beans from heat.
6. Gently pour the beans evenly, into a flat pan to cool and blow off the chaff. Or you can pour them into a colander and shake and blow the chaff away, while they cool. Or if it is really hot outside, you could place the colander of beans over a fan to cool the beans and blow away the chaff. Chaff is the skin of a coffee bean and is not needed and will contribute nothing to your coffee! Get rid of all or most of it!
7. Pour cooled beans into an airtight bag, an airtight container or one with a one-way vacuum seal. CO2 (off gassing), will escape, keeping oxygen out and helps to keep your roasted beans fresh, for as long as possible. As “fresh for as long as possible” means, 7-10 days. Roast away, grind down, brew over and drink up!
8. Allow your roasted beans to rest at least 4 hours before brewing. Some say 12 hours. Others say, 24 hrs. This resting is for the off gassing (CO2), to occur. Being excited and somewhat impatient, I have immediately ground, brewed and drank coffee, from freshly roasted beans. I’ve enjoyed it! 🙂

But now, If I roast during the morning, afternoon or evening of one day, it will rest until the following morning, when it is ground and brewed.

Note: At SECOND CRACK, the pace of the roast and smoke (steam), will increase while the sounds slow for a few seconds to a minute and the bean temperature rises to about 435° F. The beans continue roasting quickly to a darker and more robust brown. At this point, the bean temperatures rise rapidly and the beans become almost black and shiny (oil on surface – 450° F.). This is a dark or an espresso roast. Watch closely and stop before the beans are burnt. Remember, beans are for roasting, not baking, nuking, cooking, and burning etc. You stir the beans or move them in the process so as not to burn them. Let the beans transform themselves. When they reach certain temperatures internally, they do certain things (release water and caffeine, turn color, shed their skin (chaff), and their sugars begin to caramelize and come towards the top or the outside of the bean. All we are trying to do is to keep the roaster from burning them by stirring/turning the beans and allowing them to do their thing. 🙂

Simple Coffee Roasting Directions Using a Skillet

Roasting in a Skillet- click for a larger view

Roasted beans in a skillet- click for a larger view

Skillet roasting is a lot simpler than roasting with a popcorn popper. Its two biggest advantages are that you can see, hear and smell the whole process, from start to finish. You can watch the beans turn colors. You can smell the grass aroma and then what you would expect, the aroma of fresh coffee. You can hear the “CRACKS” and don’t worry, the beans are not going to pop out of the skillet or the popper like popcorn. You can see the chaff (the skin of the beans). The chaff does nothing, for the taste of your fresh ground and fresh brewed coffee, so remove as much as possible, by shaking the beans in a colander or flat pan for cooling, blowing off the chaff or blowing it away, as you roast in the skillet. Skillet roasting has another chief advantage— all you need is direct heat (from say a campfire), a skillet and a spoon or even just a stick. So, skillet roasting is ideal for camping and backpacking etc. I’m not about to take my roasting popper, my colander and cooling pan when I’m camping! 🙂

To cool the beans, just put the bottom of the skillet into water from a stream, lake, pond and etc. That’s water under the skillet, not over the beans! 🙂

The only three disadvantages I can think of when skillet roasting, compared to using the popcorn popper, is the popcorn popper is stainless steel and the skillet as pictured, is cast iron. Stainless steel is a great insulator of heat compared to iron. Since the skillet does not have a lid like the popcorn popper, it takes longer to roast with a skillet than with the popcorn popper. Chaff is more difficult to deal with in a skillet over the side-burner of your grill. It could blow or fall into your grill, making cleanup take longer. Chaff is flammable so, take care, when roasting with a skillet! This is a major reason not to roast inside on your stovetop. And most hood-vents are not actually vented through the roof. Most just have a metal mesh filter to catch the grease and the fan just basically recirculate the smoke back into your kitchen. Can you hear the smoke alarms going off?! I have actually watched a video, of an Ethiopian couple, roasting beans inside their kitchen with a skillet. My best advice is, JUST DON’T DO IT!!

Note: By the word “smoke” I mean steam. It may look like smoke, but it is the beans releasing water and some of the cafeine bound in the water, during the roasting process. The longer the beans roast, the more caffeine is removed! Now if you really do smell “smoke”, the beans have been over-roasted or burnt!


1. Record weight of the coffee beans used, along with any details you may find useful later, including temperature (outside), date, time and etc.
2. Preheat your skillet over medium heat or fire or some other direct heat source, for a few minutes.
3. Pour green coffee beans into the skillet over medium heat and start timer. Begin stirring at just about any pace that is comfortable, while regularly checking your beans for color, sound, and if you like, temperature (of the beans during roasting). Record your observations, noting the time these things occur, as you go.
4. As beans reach about 380 degrees F (4 to 6 minutes in), they begin to make a sound similar to pencils or toothpicks breaking. This is known as ‘FIRST CRACK’. From this point on, your coffee can be removed from the heat and later ground and brewed. The beans will continue to roast a bit while they are cooling however, they will not continue to roast if you return them to the heat source. FIRST CRACK should last a minute or two with beans going from light to medium brown, ending around 410° F. The pace of the roast and smoke (steam), will increase while the sounds slow, for a few seconds to a minute and the bean temperature rises. Around 410° F – 425° F SECOND CRACK begins. This sounds like milk being poured over crispy rice cereal. This is what I shoot for, a medium roast, around 20 seconds or so, after the beginning of SECOND CRACK.

Of late, I have started roasting, for around 60 seconds or so, of SECOND CRACK. The brown roasted beans appear shiny, but not oily. This is the sugars of the beans, beginning to caramelize. Much beyond this and you’re are heading towards the DARK SIDE of the ‘Force’. 🙂 Then, beans begin to look really dark to almost black. Believe it or not, this is what many roasters try and sell as coffee. I call it a dark roast and suitable only for espresso and other dark roast beverages. If the beans are burnt, it tastes like burnt caramel. I am not a fan of burnt caramel! Much more beyond a dark roast and you run the risk of burning the beans. That’s not roasted coffee, but more like pouring water over charcoal briquets. I’m not a fan of charcoal or burnt coffee! But the chances are high that many people expect this is what coffee is supposed to taste like. If this is what you are used to you will never know the nuances of flavors correctly roasted beans will give and you probably will not like it!

Simply watch, and listen, and record the relevant data, at the point you remove your beans from the roaster, into a colander or roasting pan for cooling. I am so convinced that anyone can do this that I honestly believe even the deaf and blind can learn to roast coffee, to their satisfaction! By using what senses are available, a good roast can be accomplished  by the color of the beans, by the sound of the ‘CRACKS’, by the smell of the finished roast. and any combination of one or more of our available senses!

Medium Roast- click for a larger view

5. Remove roasted beans from heat.
6. Place the bottom of your skillet into some water to cool the beans down, stirring occasionally with your spoon to help in the cool-down. Gently blow off the chaff. Chaff is the skin of a coffee bean and is not needed and will contribute nothing to your coffee! Get rid of all or most of it!
7. Pour cooled beans into an airtight bag, an airtight container or one with a one-way vacuum seal. CO2 (off gassing), will escape, keeping oxygen out and helps to keep your roasted beans fresh, for as long as possible.
8. Allow your roasted beans to rest at least 4 hours before brewing. Some say 12 hours. Others say, 24 hrs. This resting is for the off gassing (CO2), to occur. Being excited and somewhat impatient, I have immediately ground, brewed and drank coffee, from freshly roasted beans. I’ve enjoyed it! But now, If I roast during the morning, afternoon or evening of one day, it will rest until the following morning, when it is ground and brewed.
9. For camping or backpacking, you may want to invest in a manual portable grinder, with conical ceramic burrs. Ceramic burrs keep their sharp edge longer than stainless steel, produce leas heat (which some believe changes the taste of their coffee), and produce less static electricity. However you camp or backpack, you will most likely have utensils, for cooking, like a skillet (your home-away-from home roaster), and something to boil water in (a percolator, coffee brewer, or a pan), cups, spoons and etc.
10. For making coffee, you need a filter for the grounds. There is something to be said about the simplicity and multi-use of a cotton bandanna! Have you ever heard of ‘Hobo Coffee’? A bandanna was often seen as a kind of a backpack or all one’s earthly goods wrapped up in it and tied to a stick. Well, you could place about 1 tablespoon of fresh ground coffee (per 8 ounce cup of coffee), into a bandanna, tie up the corners and place into a boiling pot of water over your campfire. For every tablespoon of coffee in your bandanna filter, you will need 8 ounces of water. Let this boil for a few minutes and you have Hobo Coffee. for every cup (8 ounces of water). The bandanna rinses out well, by the way. Yes, why yes I have had and I’ve made, ‘Hobo Coffee’ myself, but never this fresh or that was roasted by me. I can’t wait to try it again! There’s nothing quite like being outdoors around a campfire and watching coffee boil in a bandanna and then having a fresh cup of coffee. It may not be as good as what we are used to in the civil-world, but it will taste good and if we roast it ourselves, it will never be fresher!


Bandana and a stick or a ‘Hobo Stick’

All anyone needs to enjoy the freshest cup of coffee you may have ever tasted is:

• a direct heat source
• a roaster (popcorn popper or a skillet)
• a spoon or a stick to stir
• some green coffee beans
• means to cool-down the beans (a pan, colander, or water under the skillet, not over the beans)
• something to store the roasted beans until you are ready to grind and brew
• a grinder
• some way to filter and brew your coffee
• a cup
• a spoon if you use cream and/or sugar
• your lips 🙂

It just does not get any simpler than this! Anyone can do this!

You could spend more on other supplies and equipment. You could use other roasting methods than I use and have shown above. I’ve heard of some people roasting coffee in an air popcorn popper. Beware of anything with plastic parts! I’ve heard of small roasters, for around $89-$139, but they will not be able to roast much more than, about 1/4-1/2 pound of coffee at a time.

If you are a DIY (do it yourself), type of person, I’ve seen some interesting home-made roasters. One took the bottom of a stainless steel popcorn popper and drilled holes all around the circumference, for vents. It was setup on an angle and on a stand, which allowed it to rotate freely. A motor was installed to churn the beans and an old hair dryer was used to heat the beans as they churned and turned, over and over inside the roaster. Well, I’m not that mechanically inclined or for that matter, not this creative.

You could spend $500 and up on small home roasters which will give you more automatic control of the roasting process.

For the gadget lovers, you could spend around $1600 for a USB, barrel roaster and software, for your computer, to roast about 10 ounces of coffee at a time. I can roast more than that in my popcorn popper roaster. And there is only about a year’s warranty on a pooter’ (computer), driven roaster with USB connection. I’m wondering what kind of life I will get out of our all-stainless-steel popcorn popper? 🙂

I’ve heard of larger barrel roasters, for several hundreds of dollars that are custom-designed to fit inside barbecue grills. They are used wih some grills that have automatic rotisserie attachments. These will roast a lot more beans at a time, but I can’t imagine the cleanup!!!

Then again, if you are really serious and want to become a master roaster, expect to spend 10’s of thousands of dollars (yep you read that right), even on used, professional roasters. I’m not a professional or a master roaster. I have no intention of becoming one. Yes, coffee can be roasted better than anything I’ve shown you or that I do, but, and it’s a big but to me, I am not a wealthy person. But if I could buy all this masterful and automatic stuff, where would be the fun in that??? 🙂

Yes, I enjoy my “roasty-toasty popcorn popper” (as our friend Janet calls it), roasting and my skillet roasting. In about an hour’s time (prep, roast, cool and cleanup), I can roast enough coffee for my wife and I (and any friends/family/guests that show up), to last us a week! And Oh, darn, if I run out, I get to go and roast some more! 🙂

If the outside is dropping stuff (rain, snow and etc.), and it’s windy, I’ve no problem opening up one side of our overhead garage door and roasting just inside, under cover. By the way, our garage is not insulated, heated or air-conditioned. But winter, spring, summer or fall, I’ve no issues, roating there at ALL! 🙂

The worst thing that has ever happened is that my garage and my clothes smell like coffee for a day or two. But clothes can be washed and the garage clears out. Well, quite frankly, the aroma of fresh roasted coffee, lingering in my garage or on my clothes, is not a problem to me!! 🙂

You could roast indoors, but I don’t and won’t and I certainly do not recommend it!

I’ve just a few final points to make before I close this post out. First, if you have a favorite type of coffee, change it up once in awhile and try some new ones. You may find that you like others better, than your favorites now. Our mother once said, “Son, you have champagne tastes, but only a beer wallet.” One of the most expensive coffees you can buy green or roasted is, Jamaican Blue Mountain. It is also my favorite, but I will only buy around 1/2 pound and a 1/2 pound of Hawaiian Kona, around the winter holidays. And I am confident in my roasting to my satisfaction and I am looking forward to it. I keep waiting, for specials and maybe I can order ahead of time, before their prices go up. Remember, green beans can be stored in a cool dark place for years! Anyway, if you try new coffees and when you return to roasting, grinding and brewing you “favorite(s)”, your taste buds will explode and will thank you— again, and again!

I am a former chef, retired. And I think it’s important for you to know this why? Using only the popcorn popper or a skillet, I am not interested in using any other methods to roast coffee. Having said that and as a chef, I would have no problem serving my fresh roasted, fresh ground and fresh brewed coffee to anyone, anywhere and at any time. I roast to my satisfaction and I would not serve it, if I did not believe you would be satisfied too! You should roast to your satisfaction as well!

“To have it very good, it should be roasted immediately before it is made, doing no more than the quantity you want at that time.”

Eliza Leslie, 1837, Directions for Cookery


This is much more information I am giving you, than when I first learned how to roast. I would have loved to have had a live demonstration or to have taken a class! I’m born and raised, from the ‘Show Me State’ (Missouri), and I am a visual learner. But all I had was a picture of a medium roast like you have seen here, the idea of roasting on a barbecue grill with a side-burner and two (2), online links, one for the popcorn popper I use and one for the green coffee beans, where I purchase mine. I taught myself how to roast with a skillet. If I can do these things (and I did and I do), ANYONE can! You can too! But there is more, much more that I can do and offer you— “Live” and online!

I am meeting soon with  someone that may be filming a “Live” Facebook presentation of my first class. And we will be discussing the possibility of filming a professional class, to potentially reach 10’s of thousands of people. They would not be drinking the coffee or taking any home, but there really is something special about, ‘Show and Tell’!! Very soon, I will be offering small classes of no more than 14 participants. For more information about them click here

Maybe I will neither be the best presenter nor maybe these will not be the best presentations you have ever experienced, but I promise you, the coffee will not be found much fresher and my enthusiasm for sharing is hopefully contagious and worth the price of admission. 🙂

I am not a wealthy man. I’m not going to sell coffee or products and services by others and I’m not planning on making a living at or getting rich from teaching these classes. But you would not fault me for trying to make a few extra dollars or claiming some tax deductions as business expenses, would you? I wouldn’t be upset if you were doing this! As a matter of fact, everyone should have some type of, home-based business! And isn’t everyone’s dream to be paid (at least a little), for what they love to do a lot!!! Thank you for your time. I hope that I’ve helped you! I raise now a cup and I—

I Toast Your Roast!!! 

Where to Go from Here

OK, you’ve roasted your own coffee, now what do you do with them? 🙂


Next Time:  ‘Toast the Roast’— What else can you do with coffee

Categories: Beverages, Coffee, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Live Laugh Love, Making Memories, Manliness, Pursuit of Happiness, Toast the Roast, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toast the Roast- Coffee Talk with Dahni

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‘Toast the Roast’— Coffee Talk with Dahni #2

(a series about roasting your own coffee) #2 of 4

By Dahni
©️2019, all rights reserved

Talking Coffee

I’m not boasting, I’m just ‘roasting’.
I have ‘bean’ around.
‘Grounds’ for ‘espresso’-ing yourself!
Something’s ‘roasting’!
Something’s ‘grinding’!
Something’s ‘brewing’!

A live presentation, how anyone can roast their own coffee at home (or even while camping), to your satisfaction, simply, easily, fresh, inexpensively and, for a whole lot of fun!

Here are several benefits to you:

• Your favorite coffee(s) whenever you want!
• Coffee roasted to your satisfaction!
• Pennies per cup instead of dollars you probably pay now.
• Organic Fair Trade (FT) or Rain Forest Initiative (RFI) coffee – better, for you, better, for the environment, and better, for the workers involved that have grown it for you!
• The freshest coffee you may have ever tasted!

And last, but not least, coffee you are pleased to drink, share with your loved ones/guests, take it ‘on the road’ and it COULD, all be roasted by, YOU!
Great gift ideas too!

What you will receive:

Gathering Place Roasters – gold vacuum sealed foil bag

• A Little history about coffee.
• Information about your instructor (a retired chef)
• Information about coffee.
• About what your ancestors probably did, during the American Civil War.
• Demonstrations of two methods- popcorn popper and a skillet. Yes, you read that right. 😀
• Watch, listen and smell the beans change in color, to the desired roast.
• Live, written and visual instructions.
• Resources, for everything you would need to do this yourself (very, very inexpensively).
• See and smell fresh dark roasted and ground coffee, for espresso and etc.
• Receive a recipe of a blend of beans, to make your own dark roast, for espresso, cappuccino, latte, and etc.
Enjoy a nice cup of freshly brewed, fresh ground and fresh roasted cup of coffee, from ‘The Gathering Place Roasters’

Leave with a 1/4 pound of fresh roasted coffee you can grind and brew, for YOUR OWN next morning coffee talk! Two people with winning tickets, will each receive 1/2 pound from the two (2), roasts from class, one from the popcorn popper and one from the skillet.

Coffee roasted for class:

Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. It is a variety of coffee very much appreciated all over the world. It is produced in Ethiopia, in Central East Africa. These precious beans are grown in the homonymous region, sometimes transliterated as Yirgachefe or Irgachefe [pronounced eer-ga-chef-f]. These fine Yirgacheffe beans become a high-quality Arabica coffee with a dense fruity sweetness and are from Indigenous Heirloom Cultivars.

Not everyone knows that coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia and then exported all over the world. It looks like a young shepherd in Kaffa, the Ethiopian region where the first plants were discovered, could not believe how his goats, always slow and lazy, would get so excited after eating those unknown little fruits.

Class is Limited to 14
Cost: $30 per person

Disclaimer: There is nothing sold or to buy at this event and the instructor is neither an affiliate of any company or derives any income by promoting any product!

Approximate length of class: 1 1/2-2 hours

What is provided:

• Live instruction
• Grill, for roasting coffee
• All equipment, for roasting
• All class materials, handouts and etc.
• Ground coffee sufficient to brew enough, for each participant
•1/4 pound foil vacuumed sealed bags of fresh roasted coffee, sufficient enough, for all participants to take home plus (2) half-pound bags from class roasts to (2) participates with the winning numbers.
•Display table with other items/equipment you may find helpful/useful
• The Password to a protected page on this blog, for links to many of items I use and/or you might be interested in? This supply page is not open to the public, but is just, for participants of our classes, it’s password protected and, for a limited time only.
• Setup/take down of all equipment and etc. that The Gathering Place Roasters provide

50 Mile Radius of Macedon, NY 14568:

We will only provide classes within a 50 mile radius of—

• The Gathering Place • 2591 Wiedrick Road • Walworth, NY 14568

Click map for a larger size

About me:

My name is Dahni (pronounced Donnie or Donny). I am a retired chef and with the ‘Toast the Roast’ series, I have come full-circle. In all my years in the food industry, I never roasted coffee. I never even thought it was possible – too expensive, for the training and equipment and where would I be able to get just a small amount of green beans to roast? All this has changed now! I can do it myself very inexpensively, with just the amount of green beans that I need and I can start my day and finish off a fine meal with my own— fresh roasted, fresh ground and fresh brewed coffee anytime, anyplace and, for anyone. Many enjoy the the beginning of their morning or the finish of a fine meal, with a great cup of coffee. This is my coming “full-circle”. I am not a master roaster nor do I have any intention of becoming one. I do not roast coffee, for sale and have no future imagined, on ever selling it. I am not an affiliate or a promoter of any business service or product and I do not receive any compensation or benefits whatsoever, from any company, product or service to advertise or recommend them. What I am is, passionate about roasting my own coffee to my satisfaction and showing anyone how they can roast to their satisfaction— simply, inexpensively and with a great deal of enjoyment! But as a former chef, I would serve my coffee to anyone! So could you!


If you are interested in hosting a class or know someone that may be, please email me—  Please include your name, information, location (address), and phone number, and I will contact you ASAP, as a rule, within 24 hours. By the way, I drink coffee winter, spring, summer and fall and therefore, I roast year-round outdoors and often inside our garage with the overhead door open (up), covered from the falling elements and protected from the wind.  So if you have an area that is well ventilated and covered, we can roast anywhere and anytime. So can you!

LinkedIN: Dahni Hayden
FaceBook: Dahni Hayden
Facebook Page: The Gathering Place
Twitter: Just I-Magine

The 4 M’s of the Italian Art of Coffee:

Macinazione [pronounced: mot-sea-not-sea-owney] “the grind” (medium grind for class)
Miscela [pronounced: me-say-la] “the blend” (single origin organic coffee)
Macchina [pronounced: mah-chee-na] “the machine” (roaster, grinder, brewer)
Mano– [pronounced: mah-no]the hand that serves”, from roast to toast) “Toast the Roast”—

Alla Vita

(Italian: “to life”)

We are tentatively scheduled locally, for a class either Saturday June 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM or as an alternative, Saturday July 6, 2019, also at 10:00 AM. Possibly, both! This may well be a ‘Live’ FaceBook podcast and maybe recorded later, for a larger audience. I will keep you posted.  🙂

Next Time:  ‘Toast the Roast’— Roast Away

Categories: Beverages, Coffee, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Live Laugh Love, Making Memories, Manliness, Pursuit of Happiness, Toast the Roast, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toast the Roast- Some History of Coffee

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‘Toast the Roast’— Some History of Coffee #1

(a series about roasting your own coffee) #1 of 4

By Dahni
©️2019, all rights reserved

Now you know why the Mona Lisa was smiling 🙂

This begins today with some— History of Coffee.

Perhaps you have long wondered why the Mona Lisa was smiling in her portrait, by Leonardo da Vinci?  Well wonder no more, just look at the animated picture of her here. She was smiling because of, the lovely aroma of a fresh cup, of fresh brewed, fresh ground and fresh roasted coffee! 🙂

Not believing that? It doesn’t put the tiddly in your winks? Actually, coffee was probably neither familiar to da Vinci or Mona in their day, but the animated image makes me smile anyway! 🙂

Equally as important and perhaps more factual is, the story of the dancing goats?

Anyway, the story goes like this. There was a young Ethiopian goat-herder, named Kaldi. He had fat and lazy goats. One day, he noticed them dancing and prancing, lively and animated. He went to discover why this odd thing occurred. He saw his goats nibbling on the bright red berries and leaves of a certain plant and noticed the energizing effects it had on them. So. Kaldi tried it too. And he was pretty exhilarated as well and danced with his goats. Later, he brought some of these berries to a monk in a nearby monastery. But the monk disapproved of their use and threw them into the fire. Soon, a wonderful aroma filled the air. Other monks came to investigate. The roasted beans were quickly removed from the fire’s embers, ground up, and dissolved in hot water. This became the world’s first cup of coffee?

True or not, from Ethiopia, drinking coffee appears to have spread to Yemen. From these two locations, coffee beans and plants spread to mostly the Islamic world.

Kaldi’s Dancing Goats

“The word “coffee” entered the English language in 1582 via the Dutch word koffie borrowed from the Ottoman Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from the Arabic qahwah.”

Coffee Cherries

“The Arabic word qahwah (pronounced, kah+wah), originally referred to a type of wine. It is supposed to have derived from the verb qahā (“to lack hunger”), in reference to the drink’s reputation as an appetite suppressant. The word qahwah is sometimes alternatively traced to the Arabic quwwa (“power, energy”), or to Kaffa, a medieval kingdom in Ethiopia whence the plant was exported to Arabia. The name qahwah is not used for the berry or plant (the products of the region), which are known in Arabic as bunn.

excepted and edited from:

Hmm, I wonder if the Bunn company that was founded in 1957 by George R. Bunn Jr., who invented the flat-bottom fluted coffee filter and the pour-over-drip-coffee brewer, ever knew his name Bunn, is the Arabic word for coffee berry or plant?

“In Somali and Oromo as būn. Semitic languages had the root qhh, “dark color”, which became a natural designation for the beverage. The feminine form qahwah (also meaning “dark in color, dull(ing), dry, sour”), was likely chosen to parallel the feminine khamr (“wine”), and originally meant “the dark one”.

excepted and edited from:

Coffee was considered a replacement, for wine that was prohibited in Islam. Later, coffee became associated with the birth of Mohammed. Coffee was known for its appetite suppressant effects and would aid Muslims in fasting by day and staying awake during the night, especially during Ramadan.

Coffea arabica (/əˈræbɪkə/), also known as the Arabian coffee, “coffee shrub of Arabia”, “mountain coffee”, or “arabica coffee”, is a species of Coffea. It is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated, and is the dominant cultivar, representing some 60% of global production. Coffee produced from the less acidic, more bitter, often cheaper and more highly caffeinated robusta bean (C. canephora), makes up the remaining 40%. Many blends contain both, to accomplish a signature blend, but no doubt to also, cut costs.

At first, Europe rejected coffee and believed it to be made by the devil and called this evil beverage, “Satan’s drink.”

Sometime in the 16th century, it made its way to the Vatican, in Rome, Italy. There, it was introduced to Pope Clement VIII. Against the will of many of his advisers, they wanted the Pope to ban this evil drink. But the Pope refused to do so, before trying it himself. He was brought a steaming mug of coffee, Java, or Joe and he took a taste. He was immediately enjoyed. Legend has it that he declared,

“This devil’s drink is delicious. We should cheat the devil by baptizing it.”

Popular tradition holds that the pope then “baptized” coffee beans in order to cleanse them from the devil’s influence. Historians are uncertain whether this was merely a metaphor or the Pope performed some actual ritual on the beans? But one thing is clear, once Roman Catholics knew they were allowed to drink coffee, it spread through Europe like wildfire.

Coffee was also brought in to England through the British East India Company and the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. Oxford’s Queen’s Lane Coffee House, established in 1654, is still in existence today.

In Germany, coffeehouses were first established in North Sea ports, including Bremen (1673) and Hamburg (1677). Initially, this new beverage was written in the English form coffee, but during the 1700’s, the Germans gradually adopted the French word café, then slowly changed the spelling to Kaffee.

Hmmm, unless you are French, speak French or understand French, who knew that little favorite spot on the corner of our lives called and named cafe, is the French word café, meaning coffee? I didn’t until recently. And unless you are German, speak German or understand German, you may not have known the word Kaffee?

Composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who was cantor of St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, in 1723–50, conducted a musical ensemble at Café Zimmermann in that Saxon city. Sometime in 1732–35 he composed the secular “Coffee Cantata” Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (BWV 211), in which a young woman, Lieschen, pleads with her disapproving father, to accept her devotion to drinking coffee, then a newfangled fashion. The libretto includes such lines as:

“(Oh! How sweet coffee does taste,
Better than a thousand kisses,
Milder than muscat wine.
Coffee, coffee, I’ve got to have it,
And if someone wants to perk me up, *
Oh, just give me a cup of coffee!)”

Exceprt from: ‘Coffee Cantata’, by Johann Sebastian Bach

WOW, even the religious composer Bach, did secular stuff and even about coffee! Who knew? Not me until recently.

Eventually, coffee spread to the colonies in the Americas.

If all the previous events had occurred earlier, maybe there would have been instead of tea, ‘The Boston Coffee Party’, in 1773. In protest of “taxation without representation”, some 300 plus chests of tea belonging to the British East India Trading Company, were thrown overboard in the Boston Harbor. Facts are, many from this time forward, rejected tea and coffee became their choice during which our fledgling little O’ republic was being born. Who knows, maybe even Thomas Jefferson drank it while writing his first drafts of his most famous of all his written works? Perhaps the signers of our Declaration of Independence, had coffee before or after they signed it? It is possible.

But Jefferson did drink coffee, a lot of it, especially after he retired and invented a silver coffee pourer, still used in some manner today, in serving fresh brewed coffee. He drank it a lot and served it often.

“Coffee, the favorite drink of the civilized world.”

Thomas Jefferson 1824

Coffee Cherries

During the times of the American Civil War or the War Between the States, military personnel were each given around 34 pounds of coffee, by their government. It was required and part of every northern soldier’s allotment or provisions. There was to be no midnight march, without the soldiers first being allowed to drink coffee. In fact, marches were generally unheard of, without first, having coffee. The South had a similar custom, for their soldiers, but they had a serious problem. The Northern naval ships frequently blocked their waterways and the import of coffee was often prevented. This lead to the South having to rely on, “necessity, the mother of all invention.” They would stretch what coffee they had by adding other grains like chicory. With no coffee at all, they often had to roast dried beets or other things, for their dark beverage.

But there is another thing the north and the south had in common besides coffee. No matter what they had to go through by day, they each would return to their camps by night, to drink and roast coffee for the following day.

“Little campfires, rapidly increasing to hundreds in number, would shoot up along the hills and plains and, as if by magic, acres of territory would be luminous with them. Soon they would be surrounded by the soldiers, who made it an almost invariable rule to cook their coffee first, after which a large number, tired out with the toils of the day, would make their supper of hardtack and coffee, and roll up in their blankets for the night. If a march was ordered at midnight…it must be preceded by a pot of coffee…It was coffee at meals and between meals; and men going on guard or coming off guard drank it all hours of the night.”

John Billings, 1887, writing of the Civil War in Hardtack and Coffee

The odds are greatly in our favor that we are descendants of these. Our ancestors from the North or the South, roasted their own coffee. Why not us? And it really does not get any simpler, than a campfire, a skillet, a stick or a spoon, and some green coffee beans. Show them Snoopy!

Snoopy Roasting Coffee. It doesn’t get any simpler than this!

Sampling fresh roasted, fresh ground and fresh roasted coffee is referred to as ‘cupping’. This cup of coffee history is, but a sample, there is so much more. But whether its history is roasted in fiction, and ground into fact, it is brewed into our consciousness and our culture! ‘Toast the Roast’!

Next Time:  ‘Toast the Roast’— Coffee Talk with Dahni 

Categories: Beverages, Coffee, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Live Laugh Love, Making Memories, Manliness, Pursuit of Happiness, Toast the Roast, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Art of Manliness

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My Art of Manliness

By Dahni
©️2019, all rights reserved

This is not my book, just an image 🙂

I live in a country (the USA), of alternative lifestyles. I live in a country (the USA), full of flaming feminists and emasculated males. I’m not going to comment or condemn what may or may not, ‘trip your trigger’. But I did read recently that many young men don’t see marriage as a worthwhile pursuit anymore. Not only is this sad, but it does not speak highly of continuing our species, in the not so distant future. It is not only lacking the building of lifetime relationships and the marriage-drought, which troubles me, but also the decline of the birthrate. This is all I have to say about these things.

I am a man. I am glad that I am. What else could I be? It is what I was born as. I do not know how to be anything else. I might as well celebrate. I am also keenly, kindly and gratefully aware of women. I celebrate our differences and I am grateful, for women too!

I may not be anyone’s best man or the best man who I can be, but I sure do love the pursuit of what I call, the art of manliness, my own manliness.

In my 65 years, I have been some places, seen some things, met some people and learned some things. To each their own and in their own time, but along my way, I learned to cook and to love it, for many reasons. The learning came first before the love. An old world German Chef taught me.

As I learned and my Chef became confident in me and trusted me, those same things, I was able to transfer to myself, confidence and trust.

Chef tasked me with designing, preparing and readying the blue-plate specials, for serving to our customers each day. This taught me to save on food costs, by limiting waste. It taught me how to use what you have on hand. It appealed to my artistic sense to make something visually appealing, fragrant, full of the sounds of something to sizzle, textures and touch and how to make something tasty, basically out of nothing. I think I became pretty good at this because, we always sold out.

Presentation and garnish appealed to my inner romantic self. I soon learned that the ladies in, around, near or of my life, liked men that could cook (especially well). They seemed to value this above any good looks I may have lacked, intelligence deficiency, physical prowess that had perhaps passed me by and my thin bank account and little monetary success. And these ladies seemed to appreciate a beautiful plate of food as they did flowers. So, that became the beginning for me, in my pursuit of the art of my manliness.

I-Magine soldiers roasting their own coffee

I was not too much interested in participating in or observing sports. But in a crowded noisy world of push-and-pull, I have and still enjoy being outside in nature, breathing observing, listening to my own thought, walking and taking my adventures, by my own two feet, for transportation. It is another part, of my art of manliness.

Years after learning to cook, I overcame my fear of grilling. Overcoming any fear, is part of my art of manliness. And I learned, the Thrill of the Grill (barbecue grill).

Along my way, I met and married the love of my life, my soul mate and wife Susan. I started making new mixed drinks, for our happy-together hour. I call these happy hours, ‘Sips with Susan.’ It brings out the best in both of us I think? Or, I like to believe it does! As drinks are poured, the romantic game of conversation ensues. What is in it? How were they made? What do they taste like? How do they make you feel? What did you learn and experience today? What do you think about this and that? It is part of my art of manliness.

To Susan or to anyone, where the situation may be reversed, this all then, is part of the art, of womanliness.

Then I was Woke with the Smoke and this became part, of my art of manliness, learning to use a smoker.

And now currently, I am learning part of my art of manliness, by way of, what I refer to as, Toast of the Roast. I have embarked upon a new adventure of roasting my own coffee at home (outside of course), with an old-fashioned hand crank popcorn popper, on the side-burner of our barbecue grill.


I have for years now, appreciated the freshness from grinding whole beans, from a master roaster and that no two type of beans or those that roast them or the manner in which they are roasted are the same. You like what you like and I like what I like, but until I learned how to roast coffee myself, my taste buds were subject to ONLY an occasional, happy roast. This was when the roasters knew what they were doing. Otherwise, I had to consume old stale coffee, mostly all over-roasted, or burnt, and just bad coffee that often upset my stomach. And this is saying a lot because, I drink pots of coffee per day, compared to others which might only have a 1 to few cups per day. This has been my way, for years, almost 24/7 (twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week), and 365 days a year, year after year. But there are some coffee roasters who over-roast and their blends and roasts, literally upset my stomach. And not just mine, but Susan’s too.

To think that I could roast coffee inexpensively, simply, to my satisfaction, fresh, whenever I wanted to and with not much effort and enjoy the whole process was beyond my imagination. Until, that is, until I seized the day (Carpe diem), and did it (and now, having done it for several months now. several times)! Learning to enjoy the subtle nuances of many different single origins appeals to my desire for variety. And even though I have a favorite, my taste buds could get bored and by trying different kinds then returning to my most beloved, my buds’ blast off into hyper drive and explode. It is now, a new part, of my art of manliness.

I can imagine being outdoors and taking a walk in the woods or maybe camping. Start a fire; put some green beans in a skillet and stir with some branch or stick found and roast to my desired done-ness. Cool the skillet and beans by placing just the bottom of the pan in a little mountain stream. Keep stirring and blow off the chaff. Voilà, fresh roasted coffee, probably just like people and soldiers did 100’s of years ago! Grind and brew in a percolator over your campfire. It does not get much cheaper, fresher, better and funner’ (much more fun), than this, in my art of manliness.

Green Coffee Beans

Just add a stick to stir and a campfire and roast away!

In my years, I have fed 100’s if not thousands of people (often many at the same meal), delicious and beautiful, full-course meals. There have been no complaints that I am aware of. Now unless you think I am bragging, I should explain – Not to Impress, But to Bless.

When I learned to cook all those years ago, part of my manliness was to see that preparing and presenting food comes by drawing upon all the five senses. Besides the final enjoyment of tasting the food, all the senses must be involved in anticipation experience and recall. All of this actually aids in digestion and promotes conversation, good conversation among people, all kinds of different people, men and women. And my “Not to Impress, But to Bless” motto was because, part of my art of manliness, was to serve others.

The evolution of my art of manliness began with food and presentation to serve and appeal to all the senses. I call this, “The Gathering Place.” It evolved to “Thrill of the Grill.” Then becoming, “Woke with the Smoke.” Then, “Sips with Susan.” Now, it has come full circle with, “Toast of the Roast.”

Roasted to your satisfaction

For many people, there is no better end to a satisfying full-course feast, the frivolity of adult libations in moderation, and good conversation, than a nice fresh roasted, fresh ground and fresh brewed cup of coffee while you slowly sip the memories! Ahh, but this is part, of my art of manliness.

Stay Manly

I have prepared with expensive and professional equipment and in several large commercial kitchens. I call myself a chef, but have no piece of paper from any culinary institute. It is not necessary, none of these things are! Remember when my Chef made me responsible for the Blue-Plate special? Part of my art of manliness that served me well in the beginning, serves me well today. I believe anyone can do what I have done and do! Anyone can learn to become what I often call myself, a refrigerator parts cook or chef, turning what you have on hand_ the ordinary, into something extraordinary! And to me, well, it is a part, of my art of manliness.

The sights, the colors, and the smoke. The sounds and sizzle, the fragrances, textures, the presentation, plating and cupping of nature outside or inside, cuz’ there’s no place like home. Cheap or expensive, quick or after much time, these are all parts, of my art of manliness!

Celebrate each moment of life with sense and all the senses, whenever possible. Celebrate with a few or many or alone. Overcome fear. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart and all your might to bless and not to impress. Whether long or hard, short or easy, cheap or expensive it’s all simple, simply to build good conversation and memories worth the living and the recall. The strongest man I have ever known, was the kindest man I’ve ever seen. These I try daily to paint, my art of manliness.

Note: This post, modified, first appeared on another of my blogs, ‘Dahni “Just-I-Magine’ see:

Next Time: a series on: ‘Toast the Roast’- Some History of Coffee

Categories: Beverages, Coffee, Cooking, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Live Laugh Love, Making Memories, Manliness, Pursuit of Happiness, Toast the Roast, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Gathering Place

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This was written sometime ago. I would come back to it every now and again to edit and add etc. Perhaps I should have published this at or near the beginning of this blog. But it was intended to show what is behind the title of this post and the actual wooden sign (as shown as the cover picture for this blog). It hangs over the mantle of the fireplace, in the great room of our home. This blog and that sign (a gift from family), represents our home which we also lovingly call– The Gathering Place. This post was written to explain why this place, called the The Gathering Place (our home), is so named, The Gathering Place. For one thing, I believe most people understand what a gathering place is and what it is for. That visual explanation works for this place, this blog and our home as well. But I want you to understand the depth of my meaning for it as well. I thought today, April 17, 2018, was as good as any time to publish it. Cheers! 🙂


(What’s in a Name)

by Dahni
©️ 2018, all rights reserved

When I was a child, I believed in many things. Then I found out I had been lied to. And I decided right there and then– there was no Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy, no such thing as the Easter Bunny, that people cannot be trusted and there must be, no such person or thing as God. Then I came upon many beliefs about the meaning of life and I just started looking.

Then I found this and that and was told this and that– “Because”, ‘That’s what I was taught”, “Because, that’s just the way it is”,”Come here”, “Go there”, “Look here”, and “Look over there”, and I just kept looking!

I went to the mountains. I went to the desert. I went to the sea. I looked to the stars. I wondered and I wandered. Then I looked to the healing arts. Then I looked to the law. I looked towards anywhere and any place I could find. I turned to the so-called creative arts. I wrote and wrote in journal after journal and would read them from time to time. Then it was discovered I had encircled myself in my own words, trapping me inside them. I burnt them all! The Religion of obscurity and confusion was NOT for me, so I kept on looking.

I went to the valleys of the human kind. I searched the ancients and the currents, their dark arts and their light arts. The Religion of uncertainty, contradiction, hypocrisy and evil, was NOT for me, so I kept on looking.

I returned to the religion of my youth, for some solace and some comfort. I went back to something familiar and discovered the mystery of faith. But faith could not be explained, it was not understood and I could NOT apply it because, I had no faith, not enough faith or I had turned away from the faith. Then I thought, if it cannot be articulated in words it is because, it is not understood. If it cannot be understood, it cannot be applied and there can be no results or consequences. The Religion of faith was NOT for me and I must NOT have been adequate, for the Religion of faith. I found no comfort or solace, so I kept looking.

I thought I must be tried and purified. I must take the chance on luck that by chance I might be chosen. Born to stand upright, to seek and to excel, how could I rise if the fates were not calling me? I was NOT chosen. And the Religion of Fate and Predestination was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

At one time in my life, I considered living a life of self-sacrifice and use my all and everything to suppress my passions, to elevate only logic and reason, much like the ancient Stoics. But that did not seem like much fun to me. The Religion of endless works without ceasing and a joyless existence was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

I saw the dying and the dead. Some of the dying cried out in terror; in fear of the unknown. Some of the dead cried out in losing their lives to the void. They cried out in guilt, for what they had done amiss or had not done, vainly making deals with the unknown, for another chance, more days; more years. I saw them curse when the answers they wanted and needed, did not come and they all died. The Religion of helplessness and hopelessness, was NOT for me, so I kept looking.

I saw and heard the dead eulogized and memorialized. Some were great, near great, just common folk and some were despised. But all of them still had at least a few that sorrowed for them, pretended to cry or were happy at their departure saying, “Good riddance.” And I heard religious leaders proclaim that those embalmed, dead and lifeless before my eyes, were not dead, but alive with God. How cruel I thought and unfair to us that remain. We that are left must continue to bear the slings and arrows of humanity and inhumanity. Even if the dead were hated, they are better off than us poor, pathetic creatures, fragile and miserable. We the left-behind, continued to struggle and even with good intentions, were paving our own roads in hell, in the slim and unverified sliver of hope for, heaven’s door. How much rather better, to go nowhere at all! For to the dead with no coins laid on their eyes (or our eyes), for the ‘Boatman’, without consciousness or conscience, is this not the bliss of ignorance! The Religion of ignorance, favoritism, partiality, inequity was NOT for me and I, I kept looking right there.

Then I looked at the words from the same book these religious leaders read from. I heard them say that the dead which were before me were dead and I could see they were dead. I heard the tears of those left behind. Some were mournful, some pretended and some smiled happily.  And I heard and saw these preachers contradict that the dead were not dead, after they had just read and said they were. And they said they were not dead, but alive and living elsewhere, not needing their shells. And these preachers talked of resurrection and I thought, if these dead were alive, why would God need to return and pick up their dust and bones? Is this not what it means to be raised (resurrected), from the dead? And then I heard my own pastor say, “The whole duty of a minister is to be intellectually informed for their congregation.” I supposed none of this was NOT spoken from some callous hearts; not abject hypocrites, but attempts at empathy, to comfort the mourners? How were we, was I, comforted in knowing the dead were alive and we alive were born to die? And the dead were alive? And the words the leaders read were, the dead were dead and yet they said these were alive! The Religion of stupid and the illogical; false hope and false comfort was NOT for me, so I left, got out and kept looking somewhere, anywhere else!

Then I thought, “Eat, drink and be merry”, cuz’ some tomorrow, I’m gonna’ die anyway, like the ancient Epicureans. But then I thought, surely there is more to life than just feeling and sucking the marrow and all the juice out of life, as much and as fast as I could?! The Religion of burning my candle at both ends, depravity, debauchery, self Indulgence, self-contentedness; total wholly selfishness, was NOT for me, so so I kept looking, but with barely any strength left to continue. It amazes me how fat I can become and yet how weak it makes me so, yes, I kept looking.

Then I discovered people who don’t believe anything (atheists). How mindless, irresponsible, how blissfully ignorant. And I decided that the Religion of nothing, no purpose or reason for the reasons and passions for life or that non-religion was NOT for me, so I kept looking, then nearly crawling, for lack of strength. A mind spent on arguing is one starving, so yes, I kept looking.

Then I discovered the really insane people who can’t decide or even make up their minds as to what they believe or don’t believe (agnostics). And Religion, that Religion or the i-dunno’-religion, the I don’t want to say yes and be wrong and the I don’t want to say no and be wrong either. This without a mind Religion, insanity was NOT for me, so I stayed blind, deaf, and dumb, looking nowhere.

Then I grew really, really grew tired of looking, but more tired of not looking!!!

Then I was found! And my empty hard heart, soul, and mind were pierced and shattered by these words-

“Don’t you know that by his stripes you WERE HEALED?”

Then I came to discover that I already was a Christian; that Christ was already in me, and that the riches of this mystery was, Christ in me, The Hope of glory (future). I found the best of both lifestyles (reason and passion), and the balance of reason and passion for my past, present and future, plus hope for an everlasting life of joy, health and wholeness! I found when I so concentrated on these things- focused, without allowing any distraction in, I was calm and as pure as undiluted and undisturbed water, while the storms of life raged all about me. And my whole life was quickened– physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I have been healed often to the absence of any possibility and without medical explanation. I am alive when I should have died several times that I know of and perhaps more than I know?!

I have been filled according to my appetite. My questions all answered to my satisfaction. I overflow my fullness. I know what and why I believe what I believe and can show the same to anyone that desires to know the hope that is in me. This I can show that they can be filled according to their appetite and their questions answered to their satisfaction and their filling full, can overflow from them too!

I no longer look anymore! Whew, if you only knew how much time, resources and life this saved and saves me!

Then I discovered I have the best possible life going, even if I’ve succumbed to something so foolish and explained away as rapture of the deep and unrealistic euphoria, going nowhere! 🙂

But daily there are proofs and sometimes I prove them to myself and others see them in me too!

Then one day I will discover that I’ve been gathered together– dead, alive; here or there. Then, I’ll one day meet Jesus Christ, in the air!

And now I hope, to see you there! To the some I KNOW. I’ll be gathered together with you!! To all the rest, I hope to see you there!!! Until then, The Gathering Place (our home), is purposed to be like a miniature or mini-gathering together, until the real one or the big one occurs. 🙂

What’s in a Name?

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:25 KJV

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

I Thessalonians 4:16,17 KJV

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

II Thessalonians 2:1,2 KJV

Don’t stop looking, you’ll be found if you want to be!

Oh, and what and where is real comfort?

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

I Thessalonians 4:18 KJV

The Gathering Place,


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By Dahni
© 2017, all rights reserved


Stuffed? Stuffed with stuffing? Why yes, but so much the more! 🙂

Stuffed with information about how we came to celebrate Thanksgiving, what the first one was really like hundreds of years ago or what is really wasn’t like.

Stuffed with customs and traditions.

Stuffed with a measure of tired to you and they, depending on how far the distance traveled, the manner of transport and how long it takes to arrive.

Stuffed with the excitement and anticipation of, “Can’t wait for this day to come,” “Can’t wait to get there,” or “Can’t wait, for them to get here!”

Stuffed with the real possibility that you, “Can’t wait to go home,” or “You can’t wait, for everyone to leave!” 🙂

Stuffed with ‘catch-up’ since the last time together.

Stuffed with so much to stuff in and so little time, celebrating ‘long time no see,’ fall, Thanksgiving, birthdays and even Christmas too, early.

Stuffed with joy and perhaps, some trepidation from meeting new folks or some concern over how they find you and will remember you from the first impression you make.

Stuffed with nasal blockage, upper respiratory breathing restraints, colds, headaches, pains, strains, prescriptions and the need for perhaps more.

Stuffed with care and concern, empathy and sorrow over those that cannot be with you.

Stuffed with care and concern with all the things left behind that need to be resolved.

Stuffed with stuffing and all manner of culinary delights.

Stuffed with so much work and hours to make such a feast and preparations and accommodations that are devoured and messed up in mere minutes, and forgotten in even less time.

Stuffed with wonder at conversations from: “Where’s the gravy,” “Pass the potatoes,” “What time is the game on,” to all but total disengagement, nap time (The tryptophan effect), and texting one another from device to device while sitting right next to each other.

Stuffed with wonder at, “Why do we do this,” (all this work and effort), when there is a Denny’s, open 24/7, somewhere down the street or close by, with no dishes to wash or mess to clean up.

Stuffed with Thanksgiving, ThanksLiving and thankfulness.

Stuffed with even more wonder at being thankful to any degree for all one has to midnight of the new Friday, where so many rush and pull and push and knock down each other for all they perceive they do not have and must have before it’s too late.

Stuffed with despite it all and because of it all, thanks, for my favorite holiday and with anticipation and hope, for, “Can’t wait to do it all again!”

Stuffed with long or short goodbye, farewell until next time!

Stuffed with so much stuff, I’m just stuffed!

Stuffed with tired and into some easy chair of comfort wrapped snug in a blanket of love and joy and thanks.

Stuffed with peace and reflection at the afterglow of hearth fire and heart fire of memories, awaiting all these calories of a full and grateful life, for when I can get stuffed again!

Happy ThanksLiving, One and All!

Afterglow. A nice fire for your Thanksgiving! Gather yall’  🙂

The Gathering Place,


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Civil Discourse

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By Dahni

© 2017, all rights reserved

Good Morning!☀️

The Story of ‘Civil Discourse’

Summer is drawing to a close, but it is NOT over just yet! One of the great things about summer is real socializing when people get together and enjoy one another’s company. If together for any length of time, this usually leads to the engagement of conversation more than just the weather, sale day finds and the results of some sporting event. We are after all, social creatures. We like to get together and have a good time. And we like to converse with others especially if we agree with them, but even more importantly, if, they agree with us! 😂

It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere 🙂

There is both a science and an art to civility, to agree to even disagree, to discuss. I call this, ‘civil discourse.’ To discourse is much more than to just converse and discuss. It is an elevation of intellect or simply put, putting our best foot (our best selves), forward, out there, for the mutual benefit of all involved.

What more of an enhancement to this end than to frame it around food 🥘 and drink! 🍹We like to eat and drink 🍹 and to be together, to hang out together and talk about things of most importance to us, things and people who really and truly matter in this life, in this wonderful, but albeit, truly short lifespan. Moments are precious and we do try or should aspire to, getting the most out of it, “milking the moment,” deeply breathing in every breath available and sucking the marrow out of every piece of meat this life has to offer; second and every moment of life we have!

There is a reason for the phrase, “Happy Hour.” As many are familiar, Happy Hour is often thought of as, starting somewhere around 5 PM. Another saying that may be familiar to you is, “That it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” 😂 I even have a photograph taken of an old clock that used to set inside a bar. All other numbers were removed and replaced with only 5’s so yes, it does show that no matter what time it is where you are, it is, 5 o’clock somewhere, meaning, it’s always time, for Happy Hour! 😊

Along with getting together, conversing, having food 🥘 and drink 🍹 and well, just having a good time, a Happy Time socially, there is also something “social” about, making and serving drinks! 🍹

I like mixing drinks 🍹and trying new things and yes, even making them up! My brother-in-law, Kevin, recently sent me a link to a website offering many different new foods 🥘 and drinks, to explore and try.

Now I am not a professional (I am neither employed or tipped as a),  bartender or mixologist, but I profess, I am certainly (if an amateur), highly enthusiastic!

In searching the aforementioned website that Kevin provided me with, there was one particular drink 🍹 which caught my attention. I knew I wanted to try it, but also, I did not have all the ingredients it called for. So, I improvised. Now, I figure that if not following their recipe, then I am making it up and I should be able to, can and I did make it up, make it my own?! So I did. In so doing, I should be allowed to name it and I did name it! I call it-— ‘Civil Discourse’ 😊

Now, before I share with you the recipe, I want to first share with you what’s in it (the ingredients), and WHY.


‘Civil Discourse’ (Why)


Bergamot 🍊- similar to combining lemon, 🍋 lime,🍋 orange, 🍊 and grapefruit, all in one fruit. It has calming and uplifting effects (it induces one to just “feel good” 😊)
Cucumber 🥒 – soothing and cooling, good for joints and the heart (a good heart ❤️)
Mint 🍃- refreshing (the herb of hospitality)
Earl Grey Tea ☕️ – considered as “posh” or upper class, but I like to think of its effects and affects, resulting in the art of civility. Black tea ☕️ a little caffeine to ‘keep you and your ‘Civil Discourse’ going’ 😂
Lime 🍋 – citrus 🍊 vitamin C refreshing and ‘sunny’ 🌞
Tito’s Vodka – smooth while not adding to or taking from the overall taste and it lessons the distinct flavor of Gin
Bombay’s Sapphire Gin – very smooth and distinct with botanical and aromatics, but it is mixed with vodka (Tito’s made in the USA 🇺🇸), to retain its characteristics and alcohol % while not overpowering the drink 🍹

It should be noted, the main ingredient to ‘Civil Discourse’ implied, recommended, and absolutely necessary is, You and I!! 🙂

‘Civil Discourse’

‘Civil Discourse’(How)



Tito’s Vodka – 2 1/2 ounces
Bombay Sapphire Gin – 1 1/2 ounces
Fresh squeezed Lime juice – about a whole small lime or 1/2 of a large one
8-10 fresh rinsed mint leaves + 2 for garnish
3-4 slices of cucumber + 2 for garnish
3/4 ounce of fluid sugar (simple syrup)
3/4 fluid ounce of Earl Grey Tea


Note: It’s nice to have some simple syrup always on hand. 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Heat to dissolve. Store in refrigerator to have on hand when needed. Stores for a long time.

1. Boil about 1 ounce of water and pour into a heat-resistant container. Place 1 bag of Earl Grey tea into container and let seep for about 3 minutes. By the time it is ready, the boiling of the water, evaporation and the bag will have taken about 1/4 ounce of the water leaving, about 3/4 of an ounce of fluid tea. Remove tea bag
2. Muddle all but 2 leaves of mint and all but 2 cucumber slices with a mortar and pestle or some other means to get the most possible juice from these two items.
3. Juice from about 1 small lime or 1/2 of a large lime
4. Measure out 2 1/2 ounces of vodka
5. Measure out 1 1/2 ounces of gin
6. Pour vodka, gin, 3/4 ounce of fluid Earl Grey tea, 3/4 ounce of simple syrup, lime juice (=about 4 tablespoons), into muddled cucumber and mint
7. Add ice to a shaker
8. Pour drink mixture into shaker and shake
9. Strain mixture TWICE
10. Pour strained mixture into a highball glass, half filled with cubed ice
11. Add 1 slice of cucumber and one mint leaf to garnish

Note: This recipe yields 2 drinks. Multiply for more drinks 👍 bon appétit & Salute La Familia (salute my family) which includes: all those I get to choose as family 🙂 and strangers, folks I haven’t met yet! 🙂

And on this day, August 28, 2017, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, on August 28th, 1963, delivered from the steps of The Lincoln Memorial, in our nation’s capitol, in the presence of 200,000 + peaceful protesters and the world looking on, which led to- ‘The Civil Rights Act’, being signed into law…


‘Civil Discourse’! 😃



Cheers🍹 from: The Gathering Place,



Amateur Bar Tender and Mixologist, but a Professional Enthusiast! 😂


Coming Soon: The Grilled Veggies’ we had with ‘Civil Discourse’

Categories: Beverages, Cooking, DREAM, Family & Friends, Food, Inspiration, Pursuit of Happiness, Recipes, Tea, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Toast this Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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