Monday, April 23, 2012

Coffee and Cookies, by Cynthia Hampton

Today’s post is from a guest – Cynthia is not a member of our class, but she has written the story of a memory from her childhood that continues to affect her daily routine. Although I rarely eat cookies, I’m an avid coffee fan, so I can appreciate this story and the beauty that some simple rituals add to our days. Do you have a coffee story to share?

I was very nervous about starting school for the first time, because I had heard many stories about trips to the principal's office for a spanking. I was also told that I was never to talk in school, so I was afraid that any word I said would result in going to the Principal’s office. I was not happy about the prospect of having to go to school because it sounded like a place of torture where every infraction would land a child in the principal's office for a spanking.

Since early childhood, if I ever felt anxious about something, I would lose my appetite.  My mother was just not good at fixing breakfast. She would fry an egg for me and it would be crispy on the edges and runny on the inside. I still cannot stand eggs that are made "over easy" and are runny on the inside. Neither did I like hard, chunky butter on dry, hard toast.  Nothing my mother made or gave me was appetizing.  

So I would go to school hungry. I wouldn't even eat my lunch because I had so much anxiety. The teacher began to notice that I was suffering from weakness and reported to my mother that I was not eating my lunch either.

One day I saw my mother eating cookies with her morning coffee. I asked if I could have coffee and cookies too. At that point she was willing to try anything to get me to eat something before school. My mother always had milk and sugar in her coffee and I asked if I could have my coffee the same way. I thought the coffee was delicious and with some Nabisco Vanilla Wafers, I thought it was the best breakfast in the world. I was thankful I could find something to eat that would actually make me feel good.

One day the teacher noticed that I didn't eat my lunch again. She really was worried about me. She asked me in front of the class if I had eaten anything that day. I very proudly said that yes, I had eaten breakfast. Then she asked me what I had eaten and I told her that I had a cup of coffee and some cookies. The whole class laughed at me because I drank coffee. I didn't understand what the problem was. What was wrong with drinking coffee? You would have thought that I had said I drank beer and ate pretzels for breakfast.

I continued drinking coffee and I didn't care that other children weren't drinking coffee. Today, my day just does not start well if I don't have my morning coffee. I may not be having a cookie with my coffee, but many times if I have freshly baked cookies on hand, I will have coffee and cookies for breakfast. With coffee and freshly baked cookies for breakfast, how can life go wrong?

If you enjoyed Cynthia’s story, please take time to write a comment for her. You also might enjoy my earlier story about tea and short bread: here.


  1. As a child I liked having a little coffee with lots of milk and sugar the same as you. But now I'm not a coffee drinker, tea is my favorite. Tea and cookies or a little something sweet in the afternoon is so pleasurable. The tea tastes better with a sweet treat and so does the treat.

  2. I savor a cup of Java every morning. I can drink it with anything...but especially my Coach's Oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries and sweetened with just a touch of blue agave syrup and spiced with a touch of Saigon cinnamon.

  3. You are right, many times we bring in to adulthood foods that remind us of our childhood that pleases us. In the Book: I Remember Mama, a child is allowed to drink coffee as a sign of passage. It makes her feel grown up, and different from those children around her. Have you ever seen the movie or read I Remember Mama?