Sometimes you can tell a good friend by how much they listen to you and remember. I got a surprise in the mail the other day. It was the kind of gift that only someone who really knows me would send:a can of Ricoré. For those of you who don't know, Ricoré is a French instant coffee, and I suppose I like it because it is French and because it helps me relive fond, fond memories of days in France. My friend who sent it to me thinks of it kind of like French Sanka, the kind of coffee kids drink when they are just starting to like coffee--kind of like what a Frappuccino is to our teenagers today. For me, though, it is very different.
I heat up some skim milk in my favorite little sauce pan. Add two Tablespoons of the fine, fine Ricoré powder to my special cafe au lait bowl along with one knobby sugar cube. Pour and stir in the hot milk. Then I read the New York Times on line or work the crossword puzzle as the coffee helps me wake up.
Ricoré, as far as I'm concerned, is only for the morning. And since you have to work really hard to get it in the U.S. (Nestle, who makes it, refuses to sell it here) it is a rare and beautiful thing.
Thanks, C., for sending it to me. I promise a more personal expression of gratitude très bientôt.