When I first saw Pioneer Woman’s recipe for iced coffee, my thoughts were as follows:
- Wow! That looks really good!
- Wow! That looks like a lot of work.
- Wow! That makes a LOT of coffee!
- Ooh, I should ask JaNahn to go out for Vietnamese coffee again.
Then my friend Sara showed up to my house with an odd little container of something. I felt confused. She said, “I made that coffee you were telling me about!” And I got very excited. It was delicious, and she said it wasn’t too much work. (Although, Sara is a domestic goddess, so I wasn’t too sure if I should believe her).
Fast forward to me drinking the coffee a few days later, and I had a genius idea – I should bring make it for the lake! Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!
Pioneer Woman gives really great directions here. So I will not try to replicate that. I will, as usual, just share some of the decisions I made that may or may not have contributed to the success or potential failure of my kitchen efforts. We all need to play to our strengths. Pioneer Woman’s strength is making delicious things, and photographing it step by step along the way and explaining her recipes in a way that makes it seem like you too can whip up amazingness in the kitchen. My strength? Living on the edge – walking that fine line between delicious kitchen success and epic kitchen failures.
Tip Number One: Make sure you get ground coffee. I thought I accidentally had purchased coffee beans, and was not looking forward to the prospect of grinding it all in tiny batches. My sister suggested just using the beans and assured me it would taste the same. I did not fall for it, and I bought another pound of coffee next time I was at the store. Then I saw that I originally had bought ground coffee. I should have had more faith in myself.
Tip Number Two: Make sure your container is actually big enough to meet your needs. I got out the biggest bowl I had, sure that it would be more than sufficient. Then I began to get worried. I took out half of my coffee grounds just in case I needed to make this concoction in more than one container. As you can see, I decided not to play it safe, and filled this bowl as much as I could. I was still not able to add all 8 quarts of water, but I had just a tiny bit left in my measuring cup. I figured it would just be a little stronger coffee.
Tip Number Three: Plan ahead. For once I did do this – but make sure that you note you need to let your coffee grounds and water hang out and become friends for at least 8 hours. This is key. Otherwise you will have slightly flavored water, rather than iced coffee at the end.
Tip Number Four: Call your mom while you are at the store so that she can help you find the cheesecloth. I never did find it at Target (although I was in a rush so I didn’t bother to ask anyone). But when I had to go back to Rainbow for my cake flour on Speed Baking Day, I found it right where my mom said, in the baking aisle, next to the disposable aluminum pans. The only experience I had with cheesecloth before this day was when I used it to clean my piccolo.
Tip Number Six: Make friends, or make a half-batch. This makes a lot of iced coffee. Pioneer Woman promises it stays good for quite a while, 3-4 weeks sealed up tight, but unless you are sharing it like me and my roommate plan to do in the future, consider not making an entire pound of coffee.
Tip Number Seven: If you have left over whipped cream from your cupcakes for your grandma’s birthday/friend’s baby shower, you could put it on top of your coffee to make it seem like you are fancier than you really are. However, if you are just plopping it on top, you will probably want to decorate it with chocolate chips for the sake of the photo. Then after you have a picture of your finished product, you can go back to drinking it like you normally would: in glass with ice and a splash of caramel creamer, sans whipped topping.