TECH-ADDICTED – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I didn’t realize how dependent we are on technology, or more precisely, our household machines. Then our Keurig coffee maker had a glitch and wouldn’t work.

How were we going to make coffee??

!!XX??

We’ve always had a French Press and a regular drip coffee maker in the house. So I dug them out from the back of a bottom shelf in the pantry cabinet.

The only problem was, we had no real coffee to go into the real coffee makers. We only had Keurig pods. I used to always keep fresh ground coffee on hand. When we actually used it. But that hasn’t been for two years — since we got our Keurig.

We’re obviously not coffee aficionados. We buy our coffee, even our real coffee, at the supermarket. Not a gourmet store or a coffee specialty shop. We don’t know the difference (or care) between coffee from different countries, or different blends from the same country. We don’t need notes of fruits or nuts or wood or chicory in our coffee.

We know we like light roast, not medium or dark. That’s our only requirement.

I used to like flavored coffees and I tried endless different ones. I landed on a few that I liked. But after a while, I stopped liking them. Now I like plain coffee, with my own home flavoring. I add vanilla extract, cinnamon and/or nutmeg, or some combination of these flavors to my regular coffee. I like it much better than the artificial tasting flavored coffees.

Sometimes I’ll add orange extract to black coffee. Or if I want to go wild, I’ll throw in some flavored, sweet liqueur, like Kahlua,  Amaretto, or hazelnut.

I panicked when the Keurig wouldn’t make my morning cup of coffee. Tom stayed calm. He’s dealt with a lot of finicky machines in his life. He knows what to do. He had read the manual. He ran a mixture of vinegar and water through the system. He poked a toothpick into the part of the machinery that might be clogged. He puttered around while I paced and asked if it was fixed every five minutes.

Finally, it was working again!

Victory! Crisis averted!

Thank you, Tom!

Our hour without coffee-making capabilities reminded us that we are too dependent on our machines. Like when the power goes out and we lose phone and internet service.

But that’s another blog!

18 thoughts on “TECH-ADDICTED – BY ELLIN CURLEY

  1. I actually have (but never use because I’m too lazy) a manual coffee bean grinder. You can make coffee with any kind of fire. You can “cook” the beans in a frying pan over the same fire. And you can make coffee in a non-electric pot because a percolator works fine over, yup, a fire. As for your boat, the other “low tech” devices on your boat are the engine and all that stuff Tom uses to keep from hitting shoals or a sandbar or whatever. He’s got more devices to run that ship than I have names for.

    Now, CAN you run a boat without that stuff? Sure. How are you with sails? Or … oars? We really ARE dependent on so many things. I can’t even count how many. The only things in our house that aren’t run by power (battery or DC) are the chiming clocks Owen has spread out all over the house. There are 13 or 14 of them and every hour, it sounds like the inside of a cathedral. But none of them need electricity. Or a computer.

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  2. Interesting post as I do believe the machines talk to each other. Our or I should say my (my wife doesn’t drink much coffee) Keurig has been acting up lately too. But I purchased an inexpensive 5 cup drip coffee maker recently and look forward to brewing my cup every morning. And I’m not saying this to “suck up” but, your choices of flavoring when wanting a change of pace are just what the doctor ordered. Love each of your choices. Keep your posts coming as I do enjoy reading them.

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    • It wouldn’t be frightening if our entire world had not 100% converted to power-driven devices of every kind. Even when my mother was growing up, there were as many horses and carriages as cars — more, actually. So “going without power” wasn’t the issue by even the 1940s. By the 1950s, almost everyone had electricity and no one (mostly) remembers how we did things before there was power. We can’t go back. We don’t know how. I certainly don’t know how to plant a field or harvest a crop … or even keep a house warm without a boiler. Or use a wood-fired stove.

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  3. I don’t have a coffee machine. I have a percolator, what you refer to as French Press. I hadn’t heard the term before. I believe that the coffee pod machines are a lot cheaper now than when they came out but I’ve never felt tempted to buy one because the cost of the pods seemed so much more than buying ground coffee.
    I would be lost without power though especially at night. What could be more boring than no light to read by and no power so you can’t even make a cuppa?

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    • I think the quality of the coffee in pods is inferior too, so if you really love coffee, you’re better off starting with fresh beans.

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  4. When the power goes out here, nothing at all works. Bad enough when the cable goes out and we lose the telephone, TV, and even our (new) echo Dot, much less coffee. If the power is out — which it very rarely is for longer than a few minutes — we don’t have heat or water or lights. This morning, our washing machine died. Oh no, not again! I was still asleep and Owen was doing his laundry. By the time I got up around 10:30, he had bought and had installed a new washing machine. And it was Sunday morning. I didn’t know it was possible to buy and install a washing machine on Sunday morning.

    By the time Garry got up, I told him he had missed a few things.

    I don’t think we could live without any of our devices. We depend on them. Have any of us washed laundry — and dried it — without machines? Ever? Even my mother had a washing machine when I was a baby. True they’ve developed since then, but they were still electric. We’ve been depending on our machines for a very long time … like close to 100 years. We’ve got MORE of them now, but it’s not like if the car doesn’t work we can saddle up the buckboard.

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    • Of course we’re dependent on technology for almost everything. But we’re also dependant on low tech contraptions. You can’t make coffee from beans without the grinder and the drip or press coffee machine and the filters that go with them. Our most valuable ‘technology’ on our boat is a small electric ice maker, that keeps us supplied with ice at all times, day or night.

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