With great expectations yesterday afternoon, C and I met our realtor, a home inspector and a man who scopes sewers with a video camera at a house in the Hale neighborhood of Denver. As of this morning, we were under contract for a pretty little Tudor-esque piece of Mile High real estate, built in 1939. We loved the looks, but knew it needed to be checked out by experts before we went any further.
C and I made a decision not to get attached to a property in case things didn’t work out in our favor after the results of the inspection were read. The truth of it was I was planning a backyard housewarming this summer and raised beds for a vegetable garden. I was looking forward to making new friends out of neighbors. In my head the walls in the kitchen were painted and I could see C and I fresh squeezing oranges for juice on Saturday mornings.
And so it was a good thing I didn’t get attached. After we got the inspection report…even kind of before then, as we were standing outside on the sidewalk admiring the sweet lines of the roof and front patio, I knew there was a very good possibility of this one not working out. We found out the house has been neglected for years and years (and years). The roof was shoddily replaced. The furnace is in dire need of cleaning and maintenance. The sewer line is clogged with roots and there is a break at the street – which is something that could easily lead to a sinkhole on the block. More disturbing, aluminum wiring mixed in with other sorts of wiring were found to be a reality. The guts of the house are a mess. The garage desperately needs a new roof. The windows are original. We were looking at tens of thousand of dollars in repairs, just to bring the house up to code. And unfortunately, C and I don’t have the cash to fix all these things, even if the price of the house was lowered. Honestly, we don’t want to have to fix any of these things. We’d much rather save our money for the fun stuff.
It was a very good lesson in preparation and foresight and we’re grateful for an honest look at the house.
So my mood is reflective this morning here in Cheesman. I’m still in sweats at 11 a.m. and wandering around the apartment. I have laundry in down the hall and have last night’s Project Runway on TV. I’m thinking about cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming.
I got distracted by the 1946 copy of Joy of Cooking I picked up a few weeks back at Outlet World. Under the chapter on Beverages, one of the first recipes is for coffee in a percolator. I’ve had a percolator for years and have never quite gotten a good cup of coffee out of it–too weak, too strong, too yuck. Lately, we’ve been peppered with gifts of coffee beans. Neighbors have gone to Portland and family has been to Hawaii–we have lots of lovely smells in our cupboard. I picked up a grinder a few weeks ago and started working on getting the perfect cup out of our French Press.
But today, I dusted off the stainless percolator and followed the recipe in Joy. This recipe is different from the recipe for Percolated Coffee in the newer versions of this cookbook. I would like to think it’s somehow better because of its age. More old-timey. More what someone who lived in the 1939 Tudor-esque home in Hale would have made in her kitchen on a Friday morning many years ago.
Percolated Coffee (from Joy of Cooking, 1946, p.749)
Allow: 2 Tablespoons ground coffee for 1 cup of water.
Place the water, hot or cold, in the bottom of the coffeepot, place the coffee in the strainer and boil the water. Permit it to boil and percolate the coffee grounds for 5 minutes or until the desired strength of coffee is obtained. Permit the coffee to stand for 5 minutes before serving it.
You will love it. It’s absolutely delish. I drank five cups.