Today I took a Mental Health Day. You may know a Mental Health Day by it’s adolescent names: skipping school, ditching, playing hookey. You take Mental Health Days when you’re over 30, have leave time (or someone who loves you enough to babysit should you have mini yous), feel like you’re brain is being squeezed in a vice and your shoulders have permanently scrunched up around your ears.
Mental Health Days must be taken Monday thru Friday. Saturday and Sunday are the weekend and are already recognized for their goof off potential. But weekdays, taking those days to play, that’s super rocking bad girl. In a good way.
On Mental Health Days there are key things you must do to unleash the straight jacket from your brain:
1. You must do something that makes you feel naughty. Eat sugar. Take a nap. Burp the alphabet. Eat chocolate for breakfast.
2. You must stand outside and sniff: the dirt, the air, laundry on the line.
3. Ramp up your endorphins: go for a run, do a cartwheel, climb a tree.
4. Make yourself pretty just for you: wear a dress (could really add a boost to #1 and #3), shave your armpits, sit at Starbucks and pretend you’re French.
5. Have a pen and paper ready for when that throbbing in your head finally breaks loose and all kinds of lovely, relaxed thoughts come pouring out.
I don’t think my shaved armpits will thrill you so instead I shall share my something naughty. I made iced coffee. Not skinny coffee. Not fat free. Not sugar free. Not semi-decaf. Real coffee. With ice. I found the recipe at The Pioneer Woman. If you’ve never visited there before. You should go… immediately. Her pictures are as yummy as her recipes. And she’s funny.
Here’s my cliff note version of iced coffee (you can click on the link above and The Pioneer Woman has a pretty printable one).
First, you’re going to make a supersonic coffee concentrate.
Start with a pound of coffee. The kind I used is made for espresso. Be warned, if you drink 2 glasses of this you will start to feel your cells replicate. Put it in a big big bowl. Pour water in it.
Put it in the fridge for at least 8 hours. After 8 hours, or sooner if you’re just standing around staring at the fridge waiting for something magical to happen, take out your big bowl of coffee. Get you a strainer. Lay some cheesecloth in it. Pour your coffee concoction through the cheesecloth, into a pitcher, a vase, some sort of vessel meant to hold liquids.
The cheesecloth will catch all the coffee grounds. Blech, you don’t want to drink grounds. Chuck your coffee ground cheesecloth. Or throw it in your composter. It would make an interesting potpourri bag for your “lovelies” drawer if you’re into smelling like a barista. I only had one small pitcher. This makes a bunch of coffee. In my fridge, I now have a little pitcher of coffee, a pasta pot of coffee and a yellow Pyrex bowl of coffee.
Once you have made the coffee concentrate, you are ready to partake of your beverage.
Take a glass (You’re smart. You don’t really need me to tell you that do you?). Throw in ice. Fill the glass halfway with your fabulous coffee. Toss in some milk ( I used skim), half and half… whatever floats your boat. I tossed in sugar for a touch of sweetness. And then, this is where I felt naughty (in an I don’t give a damn about my wobbly bits way)….. I threw in 3 teaspoons of fat free sweetened condensed milk. I don’t know who they think they’re fooling…. it’s still sweetened condensed milk.. 120 calories instead of 130. Give it all a whirl, with a spoon, with your fingers….. just stir it up good. And suck that goodness down your gullet. Be dainty if you want too but nobody’s looking so you can gulp, slurp or shoot it through your nose. This is your Mental Health Day after all.
If you’re like me and feel compelled to memorialize all of your culinary escapades – remodel your kitchen first and put in lots of big windows so you don’t have to run everything outside to snap pictures and then you’re neighbors look at you trying to figure out what drugs you’re taking cause your cooking, again, in the front yard.
Go make you some now. I’ll wait. Then we can sit here on the front porch and slurp our caffeine together.
What’s your perfect Mental Health Day look like?