Perhaps you’ll notice that the title for this post is inspired by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,* which I just finished reading a few weeks ago. While I read, as I pondered the mysteries and suppressed cravings for Ikea meatballs (which I did satisfy this past weekend), I was struck by how often the main characters drink coffee in the book. I literally just flipped through the book and in less than a minute I came upon quite a few coffee references. Here are just a few:
She used the toilet and got a cup of coffee from the espresso machine that Armansky had bought when at long last he recognized that Slander would never make coffee just because it was expected of her (115).
“Could I have just a little more coffee?” Berger asked. Vanger poured her a cup at once (205).
She went and bought a big box of Billy’s Pan Pizza, stuck two of them in the microwave and filled a thermos with coffee. She spent that night on the Internet reading articles and theses on the psychopathy of sadism (253).
They ate breakfast in the garden in silence and without milk in their coffee (399).
I could go on and on. As I read the book, I couldn’t help but notice the mundane details that Larsson explains in the narrative, which include many of the coffee references. I suppose coffee must be a symbol, but I’ve yet to determine it. To me, it just seemed like the descriptions were those extra details editors recommend that writers “trim” to “speed the flow of the plot.” —At least that’s what Melanie and I have deliberated over and over and over again, as we’ve worked to “speed the flow” of the narration in our manuscript.
Ah well. Here’s proof that you can reach the Best seller’s List and still take time telling your tale over a steaming cup of joe.
Since we’re in that holiday party time of year, I thought I’d share one of my twin sister’s favorite entertaining treats, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Drowned in Espresso. The presentation is elegant, yet simple making for an easy-to-do, unique holiday treat.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Drowned in Espresso
½ gallon of vanilla bean ice cream ( serves 8 )
1 cup strong brewed espresso (can be at room temperature or hot)
*chocolate shavings or coffee beans for garnish (optional)
- Scoop ice cream evenly into 8 bowls. (I also like to use glass cafe mugs).
- Place the bowls over a dinner plate.
- Pour espresso into 8 shot glasses, and set the shot glasses beside each bowl.
- Ask your guests to pour the espresso over the ice cream.
- Indulge immediately.
*No, you probably did not get the reference. I know lame. But someone did drown at Hedeby in the text!