What If The Bread Is A Cake?

A loaf of banana bread.

It’s Bastille Day. And it’s too hot to cook, let alone turn on the oven. Regardless, I baked a banana bread to go with a cup of hot coffee.

And then I wondered why banana bread should be regarded as a bread when, in fact, its texture and taste is closer to cake than bread. If anything, it’s a cake in the shape of a loaf.

Dinner was another heatwave-y affair: a spatchcocked chicken, roasted with potatoes.


The Little Coffeemaker That Could

We resumed brewing coffee at home after a long gap of about 19 months. I see it as a good omen and the herald of better days to come.

For the purpose, we bought a new coffeemaker, though a much smaller one than we had earlier. Everything about Mr. Coffee’s 4-cup coffeemaker is, well, small, from the size of the decanter to the paper filter to the gadget itself.

It’s an astoundingly simple analog machine that has only one button. The only challenge it presents is in the area of measurements. As Starbucks’ 16-ounce bags of ground blends are made for standard, 12-cup coffeemakers, I had to do a little math to nip and tuck the recommended proportion to fit our dollhouse-size pot.

To make 6 ounces of coffee, you need 2 tablespoons of grounds.
To make 1 ounce of coffee, you need 1/3 tablespoon of grounds.
Therefore, to make 15 ounces of coffee, you need 1/3 x 15 tablespoons of grounds = 5 tablespoons = 0.3 cups.
In Mr. Coffee’s coffeemaker, 1 cup equals 5 ounces of coffee. So, 3 cups equal 15 ounces.

The Question That Made Milk Famous

A well-known logo from the early days of the web: AOL’s “running man.”

Once in a blue moon, comes along a slogan that encapsulates the truth of an entire era.

Throughout the 1990s, AOL would cheerfully announce the arrival of each new electronic message with the greeting: “You’ve got mail.” Back in the early days of the web, one looked forward to receiving such communication. For one, the technology was a novelty. For another, it meant that the sender was a secret online lover or a chum or a family member—that is, people you wanted to hear from.

Today, Google celebrates the converse with the blunt text: “No new mail.” Activity in the inbox can mean either more work or more junk, neither of which is welcome. The e-mail has, over time, devolved into a tool of oppression. It’s a way for the boss to stay in touch with you after work hours. And in the hands of marketers, it’s an avenue to sell.

When people talk socially today, they connect over text, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, not e-mail.

“Got Milk?” It was this little question, which after its appearance in 1993, turned a piece of advertising into a cultural phenomenon. By the way, it also made milk famous.