Ladies’ Coffee

“I’m going to Mrs. So-and-So’s for coffee.” was the response to my not yet uttered question.

6a00d8345157b369e200e5505df4148833-800wi1My mother was busily baking and the rich cinnamon scent coming from the oven had begun to make my mouth water. My question was answered even before I asked it. Coffee with the ladies meant one thing: she was baking coffee cake. The coffee cake was usually the Bisquick variety and the coffee was the red Folger’s canned coffee (the can was always saved for various craft projects, or storing odd’s and end’s in the garage). This was not the freshly roasted and ground beans from the modern, trendy Star-brothers, Cari-bucks or Dunn-bo down the street.

“Can I have a teeny-tiny piece?”

The ladies would gather at someone’s home and inevitably they would eat all the coffee cake. To my recollection, there were never any left-overs.  I’m not sure I even tasted coffee cake until I was officially an adult. Coffee was perked not brewed for these affairs, and the ladies would talk and talk and talk.  “How boring.” – I always thought never quite grasping the attraction of sitting around with a bunch of women for hours at a time.

“It’s for the moms.”

My Mom

Naturally, when I grew up, I expected my own weekly coffees with the ladies. These get-togethers of my childhood were not special occasions, but part of the culture – part of the landscape. I took it for granted that when I was a mommy I would have my own group of ladies and my own percolator and my own Bisquick coffee cake (not really – I prefer the scratch variety).

“Do they need the whole thing?”

Now, instead of the weekly coffees, we check our i-calendars for available blocks of time and schedule coffee dates months ahead of time. We don’t meet in each other’s homes, but in stylish coffee houses. We don’t eat warm coffee cake that Mrs. So-and-So made, but factory/bakery made treats from nameless workers. We don’t talk and talk and talk, but we have purpose and agendas.  When that meeting is over, we promptly cross it off our to-do list and consult our faithful electronic calendars for our next task.

“Will you make me some coffee cake for us, too? Pleeeeease!”

A friend recently invited me to her home for coffee, and you would have thought the Queen of England had invited me to High Tea at Windsor Castle. I felt so honored and blessed. What a rare treat it was. The coffee wasn’t Folgers (thankfully – okay, I do have a wee bit of coffee snob in me), but we talked and talked and talked. She shared some of those delicious little ginger crisps like they sell at IKEA – yummy! It was simple! It was simply wonderful!

“Mommy, can you teach me how to make coffee cake?”

The visit made me nostalgic. I know I can’t go back in time and relive those moments in a simpler age, but food has a special quality in that it can take us on a journey through time and space. So guess what I did – I made coffee cake.

“When are the ladies coming to our house, Mommy?”

7 Comments to “Ladies’ Coffee”

  1. I heard a rumor that the coffee cake receipe is no longer on the Tfor the lovely memories and photograph.!

  2. That is Bisquick Box.
    AND Thanks for the lovely memories and the photograph!

  3. Wonderful post! Now I feel like making coffee cake – do you have a good recipe? Beautiful picture of Mom!

  4. The gal in the photo…she looks very familiar. I’m trying to place her…the Mayor of…no, that’s not it.

    Wait —- the author of “My Garden, My Bisquick?” Hmmm…maybe not.

    WAIT ——– is she on TV?

  5. what a beautiful recolaction of childhood simplicities. bosom friends that warm your heart, tea that brightens your spirit by it’s vast flovors…i simply LOVE this post!

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