For those of you who do not know, every morning I wake up to music playing outside of my head (no radio on)), which I call a Musical DLG™ (Download from God™). This morning I woke up to the song, "You Don't Own Me" and the first thing I thought of was 'coffee'. There is 2016 version by Grace with featured artist G-Eazy (whoever that is) and then there is the original 1963 version by Lesley Gore. I woke hearing the 2016 version. Both video's are posted below.
I think the reason 'coffee' came to my mind first is because the Scorpion King (my fiance') always tells me that I am addicted to it and I always say, "Nothing owns me, not even coffee!" Then he will correct me and say, "Popcorn owns you!" which I will concede, it does. You see, I want no part of anything that will make me feel bad if I don't have it. Sure, not having water or food can make me feel bad if I don't have it, but that's not what I'm talking about here. What I'm talking about is not allowing myself to be consumed by, obsessed by or controlled by a substance that will make me feel pissy, anxious, angry or on edge if I don't have it. This is why I will jump around from coffee to tea, and from caffeinated to decaffeinated in both products. I will not allow them to own me.
The picture you see above is a small wood cabinet with double doors that I have next to my Keurig Coffee Brewer. This is where I house my assortment of coffee's and tea's. In the metal tins I store various loose herbal teas, my favorites are Jasmine, Orange Peeko, Green and Black tea. What looks like sugar in the bowl, is actually Stevia. I Love coffee, but I have to add Stevia and Half n' Half to make it taste like its not 'too' coffee. I cannot drink straight black coffee. I have tried many times for a period of 40 days. I'm serious when I say "many times". Whenever I make a change in my plans, I always give it my all with a 40-day regimen. God always used the number 40 when He was making a change in His plans, so that's why I always use the number 40. Still I can't stand straight black coffee unless it has a sweetner and creamer added to annihilate the bitterness. I also grow my own Stevia in my raised garden and will typically use fresh picked Stevia leaves in my coffee or tea in the Summertime.
You can use fresh Stevia leaves as your sweetner in your favorite drinks or even sauces. You would use the Stevia leaves just as you would use fresh Mint leaves in your Mint Julips. Mmmmmmmmmm, you can also use Stevia leaves as an edible garnish like parsley or mint. If you want the leaves to become super-sweet, then they will need to be dried. Keep in mind that Stevia is already much sweeter than sugar. If you have never tried Stevia, then you may want to do a little experiment with the tasters-choice before you under or over sweeten your beverage.
You can also use the dry Stevia leaves to make a powder. First you will need to gather and hang upside down the entire Stevia plant or a bundle of stems. This needs to be a dry, warm area for thorough drying. After this process of drying, then you can strip the leaves from the stems. Using a blender, coffee grinder or food processor (I have used all three at some point) grind the leaves on high for several seconds. Once it becomes powder, then store in an airtight container. When I grind coffee beans, I tend to grind until my beans are powder, which of course makes the coffee too dang strong. It's a Good thing I have plenty of Stevia on-hand. You can use this powdered Stevia in any of your recipes that call for sugar. When I make a gallon of sweet tea, I use a 1/2 cup of Stevia if it is fresh out of my garden. When I make a gallon of tea using the powdered store bought (as in the glass dish) then I use 1 cup of Stevia. You will need to play with the measuring to suit yourself. Start with small measurements and then work your way up.
You can also use the dried Stevia leaves to make a syrup. Just add one cup of warm water to 1/4 cup of fresh, finely crushed stevia leaves. I use a mortar and pestel for my crushing. Put the mixture in an airtight container and let it stand for 24 hours before straining the leaves. You can also cook the strained mixture on low heat thereby reducing the mixture to a concentrated syrup. The syrup will last for a long time, several years in fact, if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
Back to the song, it doesn't matter if it is coffee, tea, caffeinated or decaffeinated, "You don't own me." It is 'I' who says - who, what, when, where, why, how long and how much. Funny, I feel the same way about alcohol and sweets (desserts), you don't own me! It's just how I roll. Enjoy the video's.
Dr. Loretta Standley
Owner, Founder and Writer - DrStandley.com
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