The duck and my last attempt at writing about some food we made and a thing that our friends recommended to us was pretty messy, so messy, in fact, that we decided to try again. Now that we have Coco, our beloved coffee maker, we decided to try and come up with our own little fall coffee drink that is not pumpkin spice related (because our morning oats tend to be – a lot! – these days). Oh, how we have missed fall themed foods (Germany, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be as big on them as Japan is)!
Fall is a season the duck and I connect with sitting at home, reading a good book and drinking a nice cup of tea or: an apple maple latte macchiato! In our imagination, however, the duck and I like to spend the perfect fall afternoon with a walk, collecting colorful leaves and enjoying the warm golden sunlight on our faces as the day slowly turns into evening. This feeling reminds us of one of our absolute favorite book chapters, the one that describes Karigan’s time at Seven Chimneys, the Berry sister residence, in Kristen Britain’s Green Rider, one of the many amazing books that our amazing friend R has recommended to us:
Beautiful light and a curious library
Not only has R recommended this book to us, she also lent us her copy, as she always does, even though we never know when we’ll see each other again (the last time it took me more than three years to return a book she had given me to read). Green Rider tells the story of Karigan G’ladheon who, upon trying to get home quickly after being expelled from school, is assigned with delivering an important message. It’s the first book in a series that revolves around Karigan and her adventures as a Green Rider. When we started reading the book, the duck and I were captivated right away, but it was not until we had reached the chapters set in Seven Chimneys that we realized that this would become one of our favorite books.
There’s not much that goes better with a book in fall than a warm blanket and a delicious hot drink! We only had a general idea of what we’d like to put in our maple apple latte macchiato, so we collected some ingredients that we thought sounded good – Coco and coffee beans being the most important ones – and started experimenting.I don’t know what exactly it is about the Berry sisters and Seven Chimneys that created this intense adoration; it might be a combination of Britain’s evocative writing style, the cozy atmosphere that these chapters create and the fact that we read this part of the book in a comfy arm chair as the setting sun cast a warm yellow light over the beautifully worn pages of R’s copy of Green Rider. I just know that I had such an intense mental image of this place that even now, more than a year after I first read the Seven Chimneys chapters, I tell people how much I love this book for them.
Another thing that the duck and I love is maple syrup! We’re not huge fans of apple juice, the duck and I, but just making a maple coffee sounded too simple and unfiltered apple juice in combination with maple syrup does have a nice autumnal ring to it. So we started off concocting our special fall drink by adding a layer of syrup and apple juice to our glass. Since we weren’t using apple syrup or flavored extract, we thought that we’d add quite a bit of juice for the desired apple taste.While the duck and I love everything about the Berry sister residence, Professor Berry’s library might be our favorite. As we read about Karigan exploring this cozy room that is filled with curious objects, the duck and I were so immersed that we felt as if we were looking at the little scene taking place around the ship in a bottle, listening to the beautiful sounds of the enchanted harp and examining the prescient telescope ourselves. These moments feel like real memories of an adventure that we’ve never physically gone on (which might be due to the way these chapters connect with the different senses? As you might be aware by now – the duck and I have no clue about how good writing works; we just appreciate it when we see it).
Talking about senses: Together with a good espresso, frothy milk at just the right temperature is the most important part of a latte macchiato and its characteristic layering. So, that’s (somewhat) what we added: warm and frothy oat milk.While we do love the Seven Chimneys chapters in Green Rider, they would not be enough for us to like this book; it’s Kristen Britain’s writing style that made us appreciate Green Rider so much. It’s expressive (no, I’m not going to mention our favorite chapters again) and has a certain flow that works well with the way the duck and I read. It’s not tiring, like, for instance, the Lord of the Rings books were for us back when it took us years to read them all because we’d always fall asleep only a few pages into a chapter so that we had to read and re-read a lot. With this book this has not once happened to the duck and me – even though we love to sleep!
What we also love (the thought of) is, as you might already know, coffee! So that was what we added next to our autumn beverage concoction. And – lucky us! – the milk still had the right temperature(s) for the coffee to form this nice little dark layer that we like so much. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and you have a happy duck!The duck and I are also happy that R has introduced us to so many amazing fantasy books with female leads; there yet has to be one that we don’t like. With this one we didn’t quite know what to expect so that we were constantly surprised. We love how, even though we follow Karigan most of the time, there are individual chapters that focus on other characters, some of whom we’ve already learned about and others whose identity and actions are more mysterious. If fantasy is your genre, the duck and I highly recommend Green Rider (especially if you decide to visit Ravensburg and are still looking for the perfect novel to read there). In fact, we liked the book so much that, right after finishing it, we bought a used copy of the next book in the series: First Rider’s Call. That one we liked, as well, but not as much as the first one, only because it was missing a chapter that can compare to our enthusiasm for Seven Chimneys. I wonder if that much adoration is healthy?
The health benefits of our coffee-concoction were also questionable; in the taste-department it definitely bombed! Remember how we thought that it made sense to add more apple juice because it’s not as concentrated as syrup? Well, that was a mistake! We had wanted a hint of apple, but, instead we got lots of apple and sweetness (from too much maple syrup, as well). We still drank the maple apple latte macchiato monster that we had created, because, unlike that soy milk we tried years ago, the taste was still bearable for us. But, if you ever want to create an apple-maple fall drink, look at the third photo on here, laugh about our stupidity, and add way less apple juice (and also slightly less maple syrup) than the duck and I did.At least it looked pretty good! And, if we’re lucky, our taste buds will soon have forgiven us for this apple-madness we’ve put them through.
We hope that you’re having a nice and healthy fall and look forward to hearing about your favorite books and beverage-experimentation-fails!