In which a non-coffee drinker makes coffee

Friday, February 26, 2010

Today our church had a marriage conference. Since I was in charge of the events, I went to church early and spent almost all day with last minute details and setup. By the time I got home I had already broken 5,000 steps!

I walked around more when I cooked dinner. Threw together a potato, leek and gruyere cheese frittata. (Although I substituted emmentaler cheese for the gruyere.) It was pretty yummy. (Not a bad picture for being taken from my iPhone!)

Then ran back to church in time for the marriage conference.

The check-in people, under the leadership of our executive pastor, Dan Britts, were so well organized and prepared! (Once again, more pictures off of my iPhone. You can definitely see the distinct drop in quality compared to my previous post of the Sacramento Youth Symphony.

It was a pretty easy event as far as conferences went. The main challenge was food. Despite what all my delicious-looking pictures of food I cook might say about my cooking abilities, when it comes down to feeding people I find it quite stressful to think about food. But I wanted to help out.

So Glen went to Costco and bought all the food. He and Keith unloaded the car. I found it was interesting how they unloaded. They just tossed all the food onto the top of the car. Obviously men think very differently than we women. I’m not sure I know any woman who would tossed food on top of the car.

Once unloaded, the main task was to make coffee. This was quite fascinating to me as I have never drunk coffee nor ever made a cup of coffee in my life. And here we were making coffee to feed 150 people.

Glen and Keith are the coffee experts. They got to work. I learned that orange is the universal sign for decaf coffee. Thus there are orange coffee pots. This was flabbergasting. I have gone 42 years of life without ever once noticing that there are orange coffeepots in restaurants. I always thought it was kind of like Chinese restaurants with lime green utensils — a throw-back from the 70s that has become ingrained into American culture.

Learning about orange pots also made me realize I had accidentally mixed two pots of coffee, one caff and one decaff. Fortunately when I ran out it was still there and it turned out I had mixed the decaf into the caffeinated pot. So someone got some watered down caffeine that night.

We  had to make coffee in the large urns and of course the small coffee filters were not going to cut it. After rummaging around, Keith found some coffee filters the size of Alaska…

… which he put into the coffeemaker that was so big I couldn’t even look into it because I was too short. Here’s Glen holding up the normal-sized filters in comparison. I guess it didn’t work so well because Keith was already putting the coffee filter into the coffeemaker.

Here’s Keith loading up on ground coffee. We needed 6 cups of coffee grounds per batch. That’s a lot of coffee.

Saturday February 27, 2010

The next day I brought in my Nikon SLR, which takes far superior pictures than my iPhone. This gives a better scale of how big the filter is, because that is a 4-cup measuring cup in comparison. I tried to stick my head in the coffee filter and I think my head can fit in it. (Um, I did it WITHOUT the coffee grounds in there. And I also did it when no one was watching. Ok, that sounds really gross if you think about the coffee filter getting used. Actually I didn’t stick my head in there. I just tried to put my head by it to imagine if it would fit… never mind.)

We had to bake some cookies. Here are the cute little cubes laid out in cookie trays.

A more close-up look. I love the depth of field which makes the background cookie chunks fade into blurriness.

Voila! Finished cookies. Wow! that sure looks yummy!

And a closeup — almost makes my mouth water looking at them.

After that I didn’t have a chance to take pictures because things got a bit crazy with pizzas and salad and being behind schedule and burning my hand, etc. It looks like all I really cared about was the cookies since half of these photographs look like they are all on cookies. But really, there were other things going on.

But the good news is 144 people attended the conference, well above our 100-person goal. The college students did a totally awesome and amazing job of babysitting the kids for free for the day-and-a-half conference.

The speakers did an amazing job, and Matt Robbins (college/missions pastor) was a great emcee. In fact, it was quite funny that he kicked off the sessions with a “Top 7 problems Ken and Barbie have in their marriage,” for example: “The biggest problem Ken has with Barbie is her lack of bendable elbows.” They were hilarious.

The really funny thing was that Matt gave a prize to the couple who had been married the longest. It turned out to be longtime church members Ken and Barb Paulson, the REAL Ken and Barbie, married over 40 years! I never made that connection!

It is great how our church values and supports marriages to be all that God wants them to be!

And it is also good for me to reaffirm that food ministry is really not my strength…and gives me even greater appreciation for the many volunteers who serve in this area on a regular basis. We are blessed to have people with a passion and gifting in this area!

Another great thing is I discovered that it is really easy to get your 10,000 steps a day in when you are doing conferences! The first day I logged 12,040 steps and the second day I did 12,572 steps (4.76 miles). In fact, by the time I got home from the conference at 4 in the afternoon, I had already logged over 10,000 steps!

Sunday February 28, 2010

I did a paltry 4395 steps (1.66 miles). This was because

1) I didn’t walk much at church and had a meeting,

2) didn’t walk much once I got home because we had to go to Daniel’s piano recital,

3) was very tired from the marriage conference this weekend and ended up falling asleep in the Chair of Doom, and lastly

4) I was thinking about treadmilling but then fell down the stairs and hurt my foot so no treadmilling after all.

But even so, that’s lots of walking this weekend, which I am pretty happy about. I am almost at the Maryland border! Still no Google Street View though…

Also I discovered that there is a treadmill out there that actually does this while you are running! It’s a NordicTrack A2550 Pro Treadmill and you can see your progress from satellite view or street view. Awww, I guess my idea wasn’t so original. But, their machine costs $800. My method costs zip. And blogging about it is a lot more fun and makes me walk more because I don’t want to blog I walked a pathetic 1,000 steps a day and look like a wimp.

A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

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