There is one thing that has been with me throughout motherhood every step of the way, standing the test of time. It has been with me through all the sleepless nights. It has helped me survive ear infections, hospital stays and ambulance rides. It's been with me through many airplane trips with a lap child and grocery store crying episodes. It never left me when I discovered a Costco-sized box of 1,000 Q-tips strewn all over the floor of the house.
It's been with me throughout the endless cycles of Elmo and The Wiggles albums in the car on long road trips. It's been with me as I've entertained little ones through power outages in central California in the middle of summer at 115 degrees and more power outages in Alaska in the dead of winter. It's been at my side through marathon birthdays of cake baking and present wrapping and party throwing. I could always count on it to help me through mountains of laundry and piles of homework. It's with me still through band concerts, track meets, soccer games and late-night pick-ups from middle school dances.
I will be relying on it heavily through this next chapter of having teenage boys in the house. It's been my trusty, tried and true pal through all of the joys and pains of motherhood.
That one thing is coffee.
Gallons and gallons of coffee.
So, in preparation for Mother's Day this next Sunday, I'm offering you a special coffee treat to make for all the moms in your life. Because we need it. Because we survive on it. Because we deserve it. One sip of this homemade toasted coconut iced coffee and Mom will be momentarily transported to a far-flung island with sand and waves and coconut trees, enjoying sweet, highly caffeinated bliss.
Toasted coconut iced coffee
For the toasted coconut syrup:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup water
For the iced coffee:
12 ounces coffee, thoroughly chilled (cold brew recommended)
coconut milk or whole milk, for serving
To toast the coconut:
To a small frying pan over medium heat, add the coconut. Cook, stirring often, until the coconut begins to become fragrant and golden, about 2-3 minutes.
To make the toasted coconut syrup:
Transfer the toasted coconut to a small saucepan, along with the sugar, honey, and water. Turn on heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a simmer, making sure the sugar is melted. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve. The syrup can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To assemble the iced coffee:
Fill two glasses with ice. Pour 6 ounces of cold coffee into each glass. Stir in 1-2 tablespoons (to taste) of toasted coconut syrup into each glass. Add coconut milk or whole milk as desired. Serve promptly.
Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email email@example.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.