There was a special Nolan idea about the coffee. It was their one great luxury. Mama made a big potful each morning and reheated it for dinner and supper and it got stronger as the day wore on. It was an awful lot of water and very little coffee but mama put a lump of chicory in it which made it taste strong and bitter. Each one was allowed three cups a day with milk. Other times you could help yourself to a cup of black coffee anytime you felt like it. Sometimes when you had nothing at all and it was raining and you were alone in the flat, it was wonderful to know that you could have something even though it was only a cup of black and bitter coffee.”
“Francie is entitled to one cup each meal like the rest. If it makes her feel better to throw it way rather than to drink it, all right. I think it’s good that people like us can waste something once in a while and get the feeling of how it would be to have lots of money and not have to worry about scrounging.
Betty Smith A tree grows in Brooklyn
|Sunday afternoon treat: coffee with a scoop of vanilla ice cream|
I remember reading A tree grows in Brooklyn while I was still in highscool (seems like a lifetime ago) and this passage of the book affected me in a most profound way. Despite of the fact that we are forever scrounging and saving and whining about it, I am keenly aware that I live in a society of incredibly privileged people where certain commodities are taken for granted. Like clean running water, electricity, the ability to go on vacation, ... Imagine living in a world where your one and only luxury is to be able to afford to waste a cup of coffee