Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I'm a fortunate person. I can have an occasional drink, I've been known to puff on a cigar with Mark after mowing the lawn, and I'm not at all tempted by drugs or gambling. Lent is even tricky for me, because while at times during my life I've religiously drank a diet coke, or eaten pretzels everyday, it's not a big deal to give it up.

At this point in my life, there's just one thing. Only one thing, really. But it's big. And, it's two-fold. First off, it's coffee. Not just any coffee, but good coffee. Fresh ground from whole beans, gold-filtered, and in a thermal pot. I'm spoiled. Every. Single. Morning.

The second part of it is a little more ridiculous. I love Coffee Mate. Love, Love, Love it. I spend more on Coffee Mate in a week than on milk. In fact, I buy it by the half gallon and often travel with it if I'm bound to wake up in a place where the French Vanilla Coffee Mate has gone dry. No other flavor nor brand will do.

No exaggeration, it's quite the addiction. I've even talked to a friend priest of ours if something so enjoyable and necessary to my day would be something that I should be giving up for Lent one of these years. He thought about it for a minute, explained that he himself had been in the same predicament, when a wise priest had told him that giving up something like that up would have such a effect on the functionality of the person (i.e. me) that it would put others in the near occasion of sin. Of course, it was kinda a joke, but for the time being, I'm off the hook.

Last weekend we traveled back to our hometown to visit our families, and along with the dogs, children, and other required packing, the Coffee Mate sat in the front seat with me. At the end of the weekend while we were packing to head north, little Paulie was sick, and while I normally would never let such a travesty befall, I forgot the Coffee Mate in the midst of distraction.


For the last three days I've been choking down my closest alternative: half and half with sugar. I'm trying. Trying! To enjoy it as much as my French Vanilla, but it's still falling a distant second. The truth is that Coffee Mate is not only high in calories, it also has trans fat and is totally non-dairy. It's made from soybean oil, sugar, and trans fat. I know it's not healthy, but like most addiction, I just don't care. Today is be my third day on my organic half and half and unbleached organic sugar in my coffee. Bleh!

I want this to work. I'll let you know if an intervention is necessary.


Theresa said...

I understand. I too am a bit of a coffee snob. I will NOT buy anything other than 2 select brands of coffee beans. I won't even set our grind-n-brew the night before because it just doesn't taste the same as when you scoop the beans from a sealed container and brew them right away. Silly, I know. As for creamer?...well, I prefer it and used to be picky. But as I write this comment, I sip on a cup of coffee with sugar and milk. It isn't bad and I don't mind really. You see, our grocery budget is just about gone for the week and so is my creamer. I promised John I'd stay within budget and thus I can't justify running to the store for creamer when we might need milk, eggs, or cheese between now and Sunday. I promised. *sigh*

I get the coffee thing. Hang in there. I hear the next step from where you are at is black coffee. ;-)

Theresa S. said...

Hey Mal: Well, you know how I love to "copykat" recipes. So I looked up a recipe for Coffeemate French Vanilla. This one got high reviews. Maybe you could try it and let me know how it is:)

3/4 c. cream
3/4 c. powdered sugar

Heat and stir constantly, but do not boil, until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/2 teas. of real vanilla. Store in airtight container...

You must be having such a tough time. I know how much you love your coffee and I do always get a "kick" out of your 1/2 gallon coffee mate...I promise I will just have it in big supply when you come next time. (You may have to remind me though)

Love you, Mom S. xoxo

Theresa S. said...

Mal: This is another...(Actually looks yummier:)

French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

1 (300 ml) can low fat sweetened condensed milk (or regular... but I use low fat)
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

1Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well (or in a mason jar and stir up sweetened condensed milk as it will settle at the bottom, and then put lid on it and shake like crazy!). Store in the fridge. Will keep for approximately two weeks.

Anonymous said...

I went cold turkey off of creamer last summer as I realized how much money we were spending on it and the fat calories I was packing in every day. I literally couldn't drink coffee without it! How I do wish you wouldn't have gotten me started on it in the first place, dear heart, and how I wish even more that you wouldn't have left that quart of Coffee Mate in the fridge to tempt me each morning! (Shall I try to bring it up to you on Saturday?)
Yo' Mama

Anonymous said...

And I forgot to say, I FEEL YOUR PAIN!

Anonymous said...

just make the conversion, already! I was a creamer addict at one point, but can only drink it black now. The creamer takes away from tasting the bean as it truly ought to be; in it's natural form with no fake liquids. I'll never go back...


Catie Hb said...

Ha ha, that last one made me laugh! Looking at the copycat recipes makes me rethink my creamer addiction! Cream or sweetened condensed milk as an alternative? I never knew it was as bad as all that!

I LOVE CoffeeMate. But 2 years ago when I realized it had the trans fat stuff, I forced the switch to International Delight, a brand I consistently turned my nose up for years because it was "too thin." I miss CoffeeMate for awhile... it really was hard. But then I got used to it and now I enjoy my cup of coffee just as much. Maybe start off with one of the small "gourmet" flavors to help the transition if you go this route?

Good luck!

Mallory said...

Your suggestions are all great, thank you! I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one out there who loves coffee mate. It's probably my biggest food weakness (next to Sour Cream and Onion Lays), so this week has been hard.

Slowly, slowly, maybe I'll be a creamer convert ;-) .

You all are too cute. I love the coffee comradery.

Catie H said...

Hey Mallory!

I was looking at a whole wheat tortilla recipe on this website and saw this on the side banner... thought of you!