Monday, October 10, 2005

Morning Rituals

I have resumed my fall and winter morning ritual. I keep an electric tea kettle at my desk. After filling it with fresh cold water (the kettle, not the desk,) I turn it on in eager anticipation of the burbling sound soon to emerge. I prepare my large bowl-ish mug with three to four heaping spoonfuls of Pero. Add boiling water. Sometimes I vary the ritual at this point by pouring hot water first and then adding the Pero. The second way is more fanciful and fun-loving; you can watch the Pero dissolve into the water with a whoosh!
Next you must open a can of evaporated milk (or use your open can from yesterday.) Fill your hot Pero with about 1/4c. of milk. The Pero looks lovely with great clouds of milk roiling through the mug. Most days I use a packet and a half of Splenda. Once or twice a year I’ll use real sugar. The best ratio is 4 heaping teaspoons of Pero to a slightly rounded teaspoon of sugar. Stir. Repeat for the next 183 days.

At this point you can gulp the Pero down in a rushed attempt to make your first morning meeting although you might scald yourself. I suggest a more time consuming method: a few quick sips, followed by a three to five minute rest, then gulp as much as you can while the temperature is very warm. MMmmm your belly feels full and you might even have to shed a layer of clothing.

At night may I suggest spiking your Pero with cinnamon? The cassia is far too indulgent and sensual for day time imbibing; cinnamon is most definitely for evenings.

Last night while preparing a cup of Pero for ingestion while laundry-folding, I thought about my old friend Emmie. Emmelyn just wrote about her allergies to the staff of life. Whenever I have a friend who can’t eat something I always think about them when I eat a forbidden food. I worried that Emmie might not be able to enjoy Pero, since it’s a cereal drink. So I checked the back of the can: malted barley, barley, chicory, rye. Home free!
I also think of Melanee, to whom I introduced Pero oh so many moons ago. We’d share a cup at B&N and then at Borders. I even smuggled some Pero into Arizona for her two years ago. Now she’s in chilly Seattle and will probably need the fortitude of Pero ever so much more.

So, enough of old friends and warm drinks, do you have any morning rituals?


~j. said...

This particular morning involved me waking up on the couch next to a 1 & 1/2 year old, then rolling off onto the floor, remembering that 6 year old still had 4 pages of homework to do, and only 25 minutes to do it (in addition to getting up, eating breakfast, cleaning, grooming, and dressing). I have vowed to NEVER have this be a routine AGAIN.

We're big fans of the cocoamotion machine. While it warms milk to JUST the right temperature and mixes in the cocoa perfectly, we find a more delectable treat in using water, cocoa mix, pero, and then, after it's all "cooked up", adding cinnamon-hazelnut creamer. mmmmm...winter...

Azúcar said...

You have a cocomotion machine? That is too cool!

For the past week I've been making a weak cocoa for William in the mornings. The problem is that he loves it TOO much. I had to clean vomit up twice last week from his little over-indulgence. So this morning I pretended not to understand him when he asked for "cocoa? Cocoa?COCOACOCOA?"

I said "Tus uvas estan aqui en tu plato y tu jugo esta arriba dela mesa"

Emmie said...

Hooray! I will try the evening cinnamon Pero this weekend!

My morning ritual is never eating breakfast because I'm always running late.

Azúcar said...

I often hear tell of people who prefer Postum to Pero. They are lunatics and you should have nothing to do with them. I checked at Day's Market today and Postum has not one but TWO derivatives of wheat. Stick to Pero, I'm begging you.
I'm also most distressed about you not getting any breakfast. Not even a banana or an apple to eat in the car?

Last night I shared an evening cup of Pero with my friend Autumn (I'm not personifying fall or anything, there really is a person named Autumn with whom I am friends.) A long ago ritual revitalized in small white cups across a kitchen counter.

My verification is xbluegmy.

BustiBetsy said...

Can you only buy Pero in Utah?

Azúcar said...

No, it's available most places. Call your local health food store if it's not at your grocery. It's usually in the coffee aisle near Postum or Kaf-Free. They will probably special order it as well if you really want it.

I couldn't find it in Arizona or Florida. Maybe the store buyers thought it's too hot for a warm drink?

Rachel said...

yum! is this going to be disappointing like all of my herbal tea attempts? i love the romance of the kettle and the nightly ritual, but i'm stuck in cocoa heaven. this has me almost convinced!

c jane said...

Hey Mrs. Jet Set,
Doesn't pero mean "but" in Spanish?
I.E. !Tengo leche, pero mi gusta leche con Pero! Es Bueno!
Please respond,
Apprendiendo Espaniol Hoy
P.S. No me gusta leche. Leche es ca-ca.

Azúcar said...

¡Si! Pero does mean "but" in Spanish. Perhaps that's why the original name of Pero is Caro. In fact in Europe you can only buy Caro, not Pero (Istanbul/Constantinople?) Si no le gustas ala leche, no necesitas ponerlo en tu vaso de Pero. Repite por favor: If you do not like milk you need not add it to your Pero mug.

I've never tried Pero with soy milk or a true non dairy creamer, so if anyone wants to report back, sería muy amable.

Dear Rachel,
I'm sorry to hear about your failed herbal tea attempts. May I suggest it's because of an inferior brand of tea? I would like to recommend Pompadour's Hibiscus Tea: Add a bit of honey, a squeeze of lemon and you will be in heaven.

DO NOT buy herbal tea from your local grocery store; they will be weak and lacking in character leaving you tragically disappointed.

In the meantime, you will love Pero and if you don't, add more milk/milk substitute and/or sugar/sugar substitute.

Azúcar said...

OH! I almost forgot. Once while staying at my in-laws, they did not have any evaporated milk so I used non-dairy creamer with Pero. Do not make the same mistake I did: apparently non-dairy creamer often comes sweetened. Since I prefer my Pero with only a hint of sweet, the day that I put both sugar AND sweetened creamer in my cup was a rueful day filled with much grimacing.

My mother actually puts Pero straight into her milk. So, if you'd like a totally different experience devoid of kettle, go with milk or soy milk instead of water.

Emmie said...

I want you to know that I ate an apple on the way to work today. My husband wishes to thank you for your encouragement - he's always telling me I need to have breakfast. You're his hero.

Azúcar said...

I want you to make sure you tell him that it is NOT because of anything he's said, rather, the idea of an apple sounded slightly appealing.
We don't need any more husbands with big heads wandering around because we suddenly started following their directions. It would be pandimonium, pandimonium I say.

BowlerGirl said...

You are killing me smalls! It is true, do not encourage the husband's ego. Now, if you all had perfect husbands like my Hubby this would not be an issue for any of us. Ah....the blessed few.

On to other matters of more importance. I like Postum so I will be shortly trying Pero,if I can locate it in these damn New Jersey stores.

My current favorite morning treat is Farina. Hubby sprinkles the bottom of the bowl with brown sugar and pours the cereal on top. Yummy sweet treat if you finish it all!

Bek said...


I am so glad that you said the Pero was the same as Caro. In Englad we had that ALL the time. Why do they change the names here? I saw a BOOTS section in my Target this week (Boots is the Walgreens of England) and was so excited to see things like "Oil or Ulay" again. Nope, they changed it back to plain old "Oil of Olay" BOOOOORRRRRRINNNNGGGGGG. Now I know of what you speak.

I also miss the electric kettle. That is the first thing someone would say when we walked in their door "I'll go put on the kettle for a cuppa". They always had cups and saucers and biscuts (always with chocolate). This is just when we were tracting and no one knew we were coming. After about 13 cups of Caro or coco we were done tracting for the day

Rachel--I too have always liked the idea of a cup of tea. My good friend drinks them on cold days and gives it to her kids when they are sick. The times I have tried it, it tastes pretty much like boiled water. Have I missed the tea boat? Is this comething I have to have had as a child to apprecite it? Also, I know your sister Susannah--she is in my ward and was at my house for a party a few weeks ago. She is very cool and I look forward to getting to know her better--small world.

My morning ritual ususally means filling a big cup of ice and cracking open a diet coke. I am allowed to have one in the morning and one at night (but only if I have been good about doing the dishes, and generally doing what I am supposed to). I am also the mom that is running behind. I never manage to get all of Lulu's reading and homework done at night and always think I will have time in the morning. I don't. Her school doesn't even start until 10 and I STILL can't get it pulled together. I am pretty sure I know why though, I am lazy!!

christopher clark said...

Seriously, one of my favorite memories of B&N is morning time. We would all have a little Pero and those big muffins. And the store was quiet and life was good. And then that b*&ch Linda would show up.

Azúcar said...

Bookstore mornings were wonderful.

Bek, as I told Rachel, if the only herbal tea you've ever had came from the grocery store and was called Celestial Seasonings or Bigelow, you've been sorely underexposed to teas.
You need to find a brand called Pompadour and get their Hibiscus tea. Squeeze of lemon, drop of honey and you'll be good to go. Colds and flus require steeping Hibiscus AND Peppermint tea (remove peppermint after 1-2 minutes of steeping,) lemon, and honey.
You can order Pompadour online, which is better because you don't have to leave the house to find it.

p.s. I'm a lazy mom too! It's the best!

Abby said...

I must refer you to a kindred spirit in the warm drink department:

Azúcar said...

Thanks for the link Abby (and welcome!) Bek swears that Carrie Ann and I were separated at birth although we've never met.

After reading that entry I'm sure of it. I, too, have a weakness for coffee flavoring and rum flavoring.

I will have to part ways from Carrie Ann though, because Pero is so much better than Postum. You can make Pero stronger than Postum, and there is even an "extra dark roast" Pero on the market. I have tried Pero with cocoa and it is tas-tee.