The mall was… actually kind of awesome. I’d forgotten that Fifties shopping centers could be bright, colorful destinations, not just dreary rows of nearly-identical shops. I think we were a little early for the sort that were fully enclosed, but it was a nice day, and the light breeze carried off the worst of the cigarette smoke. The place was pretty upscale, with covered walkways, landscaping and fountains, and plenty of kids off the leash inventing their own fun. All clean-cut and wholesome, but I suspected the teens had some quiet spots for stolen kisses and quick hand-jobs. If they didn’t, I’d be happy to point out a few.
Kit knew the place inside-out and pulled me along by the hand, which pulled Sally along by my hand. I found myself laughing with them, which was a new experience for me. We were quickly loaded down with brightly-colored shopping bags and excess calories; I feared Sally’s cooking had ruined my tastes forever.
Interdimensional sophisticate that I was, I hadn’t noticed that our happy laughing mall crowd was exclusively white until Kit practically ran over a well-turned-out black woman as she rounded a corner.
Or was it “colored”, still? Honestly, it wasn’t something I’d kept much track of; there were plenty of worlds where pale redheads were hated and feared, after all, which was not my fault, but I was spared further introspection by Kit’s sudden retreat behind me.
Apparently dealing with the unknown was my job. “I’m sorry, miss, we weren’t looking where we were going. Are you all right?”
“Oh, just fine, thank you, dear. I’m sure I was at least as much at fault.” She was young, with a strikingly pretty face, a warm smile, and well-polished manners that pretended Kit’s discomfort didn’t exist. She was also, it turned out, an acquaintance of Dear Aunt Sally’s.
Gevalia has updated the branding of the core ingredient in my daily liquid pie. Hopefully this means Amazon and others will start stocking it at non-scalper prices again soon. Fortunately I have time to find out, after a recent stop at Target increased my stash to 102 days worth.
I’ve also been tinkering with using the Barista Recipe Maker froth-as-a-service device to replicate the Gevalia froth packets, and tentatively, 17 grams of dry whole milk plus 4 grams of dutch-process cocoa provides a decent approximation, and mixed with half the coffee can be whipped into a nice hot lather using the FAAS’ “latte macchiato” or “hot chocolate” settings.
Speaking of chocolate flavor, I have to say that this 0-calorie syrup is surprisingly good, and mixes well in the FAAS.
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