(originally posted June, 2008)
I love summer! As I sit out on my back patio, listening to the birds chirping, a mild breeze lifts and tousles my hair delicately. The sound of a lone cicada in a far-off tree signals that we are well into this fair season – those lazy, hazy days. I admire my garden, which is in full bloom and sip thoughtfully on my frappe.
Frappe is a drink to which I was introduced will in Greece. Its very simple, actually – just whipped coffee with cream or milk. Its absolutely delightful on a hot day. Oh sure, I could grab an “Ice Cap” from Tim’s (Tim Horton’s) or a Frappuccino from Starbucks, but they don’t invoke memories of my time spent in one of the most beautiful countries in the world like a homemade Frappe.
On my first couple of trips to Greece, having a Frappe usually mean walking the narrow streets of Athens or the winding alleys of a village to the local platia, or square. The squares are surrounded with shops and outdoor cafes. You can sit and sip your coffee for hours, all the while watching the comings and goings of the locals and tourists. Sometimes a frappe meant a refreshment break after an afternoon at the seaside. Depending on the beach, you may find one or two tavernas or cafes. You can have your frappe and play backgammon or watch the sea – my preferred pastime.
On my most recent visit with the children, the frappe break became the highlight of my day! Whether I got my frappe at a café or whether my brother-in-law made it, it was always a time for a mental and physical break. We often spent our days at the beach in Kyparissia (in the Peloponnesus). The kids would play for hours near the water’s edge. Nearby, a beautiful, modern restaurant, En Plo, that looked over the sea, provided Frappes – enormous and delicious. They also provided an outdoor playground, surrounded by tables – an absolute heaven for parents!
It is still a special treat, during the day, at my house. I enjoy seeing my husband’s eyes light up when I suddenly plop a glass in front of his face. You should try it too!! But first, put on some Greek music, like Manolis Mitsias!
2 tsp Nescafe Frappe coffee (or instant if you can’t find frappe)
1-2 tsp Sugar or sweetener
¼ cup Cold water
Using a hand blender or coffee frother, whip the mixture until foamy and double-triple in size.
Add to a tall glass, if not in one already (I use a hand blender so I have to whip mine in a measuring cup) Then add ice cubes, milk or cream – to your liking, and a little more water to top it up. Add a “bendy” straw and enjoy!