As I entered high school, my parents each threatened (separately) to kick me out of the house for one thing. Dad picked riding a motorcycle, a fairly logical rule. No questions asked—I’d prefer having a seatbelt and airbag over picking pebbles and asphalt out of my skin if I ever got in an accident! However, Mom chose drinking coffee.
Yes, drinking coffee.
You see, my dad brews a couple of cups every morning and completely depends on those drinks to avoid painful caffeine headaches. We learned that the hard way the summer I turned 12 in France… Upon arriving at our quaint hotel up near Normandy, Dad discovered that each room lacked a coffee maker and the kitchen catering the overpriced breakfast diluted theirs so much that it almost tasted like tap water.
Because of his blinding headache, we ventured out in the pouring rain and careened about the town, peering through the foggy car windows desperately trying to find a restaurant—any restaurant—that was open and served coffee.
We finally stopped at a McDonalds.
So with that in mind, Mom’s request made sense too.
Then along came last month’s East Coast baseball trip. Where I tossed and turned the night before we left, only sleeping for 4 hours and stumbling through airport security with my eyes propped open by toothpicks. Where we cheered on the Phillies at their epic 18-inning night game, followed by waking up at 6:30 am the next day to drive to Camden Yards in Baltimore. Where it drizzled on me as I ran around the Capitol Mall on our last morning in DC, right after it showered all afternoon as I soaked in the 50th anniversary celebrations of MLK Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
And each time, a warm comforting cup of coffee just sounded good.
I ordered a “fru-fru” drink, in Dad’s terms: a tall skinny caramel latte. (Well, actually a grande before Baltimore.) I despised coffee-flavored lollipops and jelly beans as a kid—too bitter for me!—so I chose an option with milk and sweetness to mask that taste.
Of course I was hooked (on the flavor). Of course I swore Dad to secrecy.
As soon as I unpacked my suitcase, I hopped on my computer and started researching coffee makers, grinders, and beans. After long email exchanges with Daddy, I finally settled on a model and stocked up on some sugar-free Torani caramel syrup to make my own “faux” lattes.
At the grocery store, I started at every single coffee option before buying a bag of decaf. Sad but true: I hoped Mom wouldn’t actually disown me if I stuck to the caffeine-free stuff! Despite being really close to my mom, I still spent two weeks building up the courage to tell her, and after a long, drawn-out pause on the phone, she said she still loved me.
So to celebrate, I made my own copycat of Starbucks’ Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte! It’s warm and comforting, packed full of fall flavors. And for just a fraction of the price, you’ll love sipping on this homemade Skinny PSL all autumn long too!