Thursday, 1 September 2011

every bit of last summer

Every summer I used to make this ice coffee.
A bowl full of crushed ice and strong coffee with lots of sugar. 
For my mum this was...

Summer was kind of funny months for me. I'd broken up from school and was probably quite excited but perhaps all for the different reasons.

I grew up in the family who worked very hard for what they achieved. My parents had very strong work ethics and were aspired to better themselves all the time.
Trouble was, they perhaps worked little too hard. 
I hardly saw my parents during the months of summer holidays. Although they, particularly my dad, made real efforts to plan short little trips to rural countrysides for some very much needed family time as often as he could every weekends, most of days of my summer months, in my memory, I was left alone in charge of looking after my little sister and brother pretty much every day until late into the evenings.

It may be that I was the responsible eldest that was trust worthy of child care or maybe it was just very usual thing that happened to most households back then at home in Korea.
I must easily would have been about twelve or thirteen and how difficult would it be to be in charge of two tear away kids aged eight and six?
Looking back, thinking of what could possible happened had I not been sensible, does terrify me a bit. Nevertheless, fortunately enough, we are still all in one piece as good siblings, with perhaps, partial memories of few punches and bites and they both turned out to be every inch of respectable adults.

I think I liked being in charge. 
It was the months of being pretend grown up with all the powers of telling and dictating what must be done to those poor siblings of mine. It came with a great authority to enjoy the limitless freedom of doing everything just the way how I like it. And yes, of course, without my parents knowing if I was clever enough.
Then the clever part was done every 5 o'clock or so in the early evenings of hot summer day.
I'd make strong coffee, in with lots of sugar. A bowl full of ice all crushed up together to beat that heat of humid August sunshine, I didn't even use proper milk with it back then. Not because we were so poor couldn't afford fresh milk, I just always saw my mother having hers with coffeemate, and that was the only way I ever knew about how to take coffee.
I loved the smell of strong coffee. Its colour was beautifully rich and earthy. 
Although I never tried it properly, I could always tell by the depth of shade, that it was just how my mum would like it.
I always used to spilt quite a bit while transferring them to the freezer to make sure it was icy cold. But that was also part of fun. Every time I would give myself a little whisper of challenge not to spill a thing but the truth was I was perhaps a little too eager and a little too short.

It was like every bit of naughty things being washed away. 
Now I have done this one good thing, it was all cool. Even if I had not done any home works, and maybe bunked off piano lessons a few times, it was all just fine.

My mum loved it. And I loved it that she did.
She would always drink it from the big bowl, all at once and then, gave me a big smile that made me so happy that I did something good for my mother.
I can't seem to be able to do that often these days sadly.

Iced espresso

1shot of strong espresso
1tsp granulated sugar
pinch of cinnamon
lightly frothed up cold milk
lots of crushed up ice

The original version consists of instant coffee and coffeemate as I mentioned. However I have made some alterations since I have learnt how to take coffee for my liking over the years.
Strong and short espresso is the key to ensure the success of this recipe. 
Make sure to melt the sugar in your coffee before you cool them down slightly. Add cinnamon if you fancy.
Once sugar is completely dissolved, pour them into the glass filled with lots of ice cubes and stir vigorously to make the coffee mixture extra cold.

Now, have your nicest glass out ready for this little beauty. Fill it with lots of crushed ice. Pour the ice cold coffee mixture and top it up with lightly frothed milk.

Take a pick of your favourite seat by the window, have a sip and take a deep breath to soak up the last bit of sunshine wherever you are.

She rang me the other day. But I could not make her smile.
I wish my mum every bit of these memories of so many summers that we shared a loving laughter together.
Hope she gets better.


  1. I hope your uhmmah's hanging in there. I'm sure she appreciated hearing your voice alone. Really.

  2. Nice photos and don't worry your mum will get better. Love your blog.

  3. Thank you, Julia, Tres Delicious and Valeria.

  4. hoping your mum gets better...x shayma

  5. All the way here in the U.S., and I have to say, I can relate to the story about your family work ethics, summers, being the eldest, and finding it harder to smile to make parents smile. Perhaps it is a Korean-thing after all. In any case, I love your blog, and I am glad to have happened upon it.

  6. Thank you, Shayma and Anonymous.
    Those kind words does mean a lot to me. Hope you are all enjoying the every bit of last summer...

    S x

  7. I really like your recipes. There is a new platform where you can upload them and are seen with a design adapted to iPad. You can also link to your blog, get statistics... It is