Prior to isolation at home, it was always a treat to meet a friend or two at MH Bread and Butter in San Anselmo. We’d have a visit and order a Josie, an iced coffee drink they make there. This friend date often happened on Babysitting Tuesdays when Baby Viv would join us. Sigh.
is was always packed. MH has an outdoor seating area. It feels so cosmopolitan to hang out at a table under a sun umbrella drinking a Josie and telling stories.
Hanging out with girlfriends still happens. Now it’s on Fridays over Zoom. It’s actually much easier to get us all together to share developing stories, laugh, cry, whatever the moment calls for. It’s become more intimate as we navigate the sea of white caps that is the unknown.
Lusting for a Josie
Often times my friend, Debra is perched on her porch during the Zoom call sipping on a Josie. Where did you get that Josie? I wanted to know the first time I spotted it.
“I made it myself,” she said.
Debra is a maker of many things. She made me some cookies a few weeks back. Here’s a fun fact: You know the baker in London who made the royal wedding cake for then Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? That baker is Claire Ptak, and when Claire was seventeen-years-old, she worked in Debra’s bakery, Bovine Bakery, in Inverness, CA.
Claire told Debra during the flurry of press she was getting for the royal cake, “You believed in me and it helped me on my way immeasurably.” What a sweet story!
Claire’s bakery in London is called Violet.
Earlier in the lockdown, I was so desperate for a homemade cookie that Debra took pity on me and made a care package that she dropped off for me. The chocolate chip cookie recipe came from Violet Bakery, yup, the famous bakery in London. Every single one of these cookies was delish. You can tell Debra’s a pro! And look at her presentation! Top-notch.
The Josie recipe
Debra was sure I could make a Josie right here in lockdown at my own house without waiting to watch her make one at her house. The ingredient list is short: Honey, oat milk, ice cubes, espresso.
The honey in my cabinet is a gift from a client of mine. She and her sister have a family business to run in Kingsburg, CA. They make frequent trips there from the Bay Area. I’m a lucky recipient of honey from Kingsburg at Christmas time. Sue knows the family that has the bees. I love how connected this all is.
And I love that jar. I’ve gone through one or two of these jars of honey and once the honey is gone, it makes a great flower vase.
Pulling the honey from the cabinet makes me think of Sue, her sister Sara and Michael, Sue’s son–all family members working in the family business. I can’t wait to see them again to catch up on those wardrobing appointments made weeks ago. And see their faces and enjoy the smiles. How wondrous that will be.
Ordering up the oat milk
This isn’t the brand of oat milk that Debra swears by. Once we’re out of isolation I may hunt down her brand. In the meantime, another client of mine here in Sonoma who offered to do some grocery shopping for us picked up this one for me, and I’ve been totally happy with it. (Thanks, Judy!) Funny, I’d have never thought of making these at home! But now it was within reach.
Easy to follow steps
So here’s how I’m making the Josie at my house. Until I get to watch Debra make hers, I’ve been satisfied doing it this way.
Step one: Add some honey to your cocktail glass. Any glass will do, but during this time it tastes extra special to me when it’s in this heavy-bottomed glass.
I probably use half a teaspoon of honey. You might like more or less honey for yours.
We have a boiling hot water faucet on our sink, and I put a little hot water in the glass to melt the honey a bit. Otherwise, the honey will stick to the bottom.
Step two: Make a shot or two of espresso. I’m always a double espresso gal, but since the stay-at-home orders, I’ve switched to single shots. It wasn’t a decision I pondered, it just feels right.
This is the single shot of espresso that I’m adding to the melted honey. Debra uses double shots. Did I say that already? Maybe after this period of isolation, I’ll go full-throttle again.
Step three: Add ice. I cup my hands under the ice machine on the fridge and then move to the glass of espresso and gingerly drop the ice cubes into the drink. Before I was dumping ice from a water glass and espresso splashed everywhere. I don’t want to waste any of that Peet’s Major Dickenson’s espresso so I switched to this more gentle technique.
Step four: Now I add the oat milk. I do this by feel, but the other day I decided to measure it so I could tell you. I’m only using a half cup or less of milk.
I stir slightly, and it looks like this, kind of tan in color.
My Josie coffee break comes in the afternoon
On this particular day, I took my Josie drink out into the rose garden. It was chilly but the sun was out.
Switching now to fashion
I have to say, I really enjoyed wearing this nearly all-black outfit.
There’s no explaining outfit building during COVID, but that particular morning I woke up and decided to wear my Eileen Fisher leather pull-on pants. They’re leather in the front and knit in the back.
Can a woman wear leather pants on a Wednesday just because? Yup! Who’s going to tell me not to; I’m not leaving the yard! Russ actually complimented me on them.
I found my black Tippi 3/4 sleeve sweater which had been lost for a week or two. Where did I find it? Hanging in the sweater section all along. Another COVID mystery. How can I look and look and not find it and then wake up one day and it’s right where it’s supposed to be? It seems like this has been happening more often these last few weeks.
I had a white cotton T-shirt layered under the sweater. I like that there’s just that little bit of white peeking out so casually.
To go with my chic black combo, I wore my black Chelsea boots. I grabbed my black satin slouchy work jacket. I felt tough in a casual feminine way. Who am I kidding? I’m not that tough! Besides, the back says Thank you, Have a Nice Day. Not too threatening. But it was fun to feel kind of androgy and sleek like this.
I put myself into a fantasy of hanging out with the likes of Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. But I doubt they’d accept a fashion blogger into their writer’s circle. Besides not being intellectual enough, I couldn’t handle the cigarette smoke and all the drinking.
Here in real life, I’m in Sonoma, still, enjoying the roses in the garden. Just another afternoon sipping a Josie in isolation.
How’s it going in your yard? Have any recipes to share? What’s cooking? Please share!
Ramona PuckettMay 7, 2020 at 4:55 am
Oh goodness! Josie sounds delicious, my sister and I love expresso! I need to make her one of these, thank you and your outfit is beautiful!
AllisonMay 7, 2020 at 5:32 am
Brenda you are very blessed to be in such a wonderful place at this time…I understand your longing though for kinship with friends, family and your beautiful granddaughter. So many of us ‘grands’ are feeling the same. You are so lucky to have that lovely garden to enjoy your coffee in…too cold here and snow predicted over the next 72 hours I would be wearing a parka in my garden! Your out fit ideas always inspire as do your thoughtfully written posts. Stay safe!
DeanneMay 7, 2020 at 7:08 am
Thank you Brenda for a new beverage to try! I drink dairy milk so will use that. For me this odd time feels different but it’s not terribly uncomfortable. Yes, I miss being able to go certain places and to give and get hugs from friends, but we’ve hosted two backyard birthday parties this past month that were really fun!
I try to stay focused on all the good: my health is intact, I have a comfortable home that’s had two nice upgrades this spring (new kitchen floor and painting the LR and DR) and a beautiful garden that’s coming to life. Any complaints about what I can’t do would be really selfish when the news is so full of painful stories and snapshots of all that healthcare workers are doing to save lives. With each passing day there’s something else to be grateful for. Today, I am marveling at giant orange tulips from a friend last fall. They have taken center stage in the spring bulbs parade! Keep on keeping on, we will get through this and being creative helps.
Diana HMay 7, 2020 at 7:40 am
Thank you for the recipe for the Josie. After reading your post I immediately got up and made one for myself. Mmmmm, what a delicious treat. I’m sipping it now in between typing. Thank you for continuing to post. I live in Florida so I am able to get out and walk with a girlfriend and my hubby and I enjoy a dip in the pool most afternoons. I’m hoping that most of our country gets back to a new normal even though my hubby and I will continue to self quarantine. My house is getting decluttered and better organized day by day. I’m thankful for zoom and FaceTime with the grands and other family members. Blessings to you dear Brenda. Someday this will all be part of our history.
SandiMay 7, 2020 at 10:29 am
Sending you a huge hug from chilly Fargo. I love seeing your beautiful outdoor posts & I pretend Paul & I are there with you, Russ & Brent.
MargaretMay 7, 2020 at 7:26 pm
My beloved sister is named Josie. I’ll have to tell her about this drink. Thanks for your down-to-earth posts.
Trinnie qMay 10, 2020 at 3:17 am
What a lovely post ..Thank you for your cheery musings ! How gorgeous is Debra! I love the kindness that has been pouring out during these awful times ! Here in Oz , it is turning much cooler,so my go to treat is Homemade Chai, with real herbs and black tea and milk ohhh lovely..I have also got my wool jumpers out from storage ,and button up shirts and am having fun, re mixing all of these.. I am also remote schooling our 11 year old,and gardening….this is pretty much my days sorted! Terrible times, but also quite beautiful….Stay safe darlings ……Sending love from. Oz xxxx