This is my new Bialetti cappuccino maker. A stove-top cappuccino maker, you say? Does it really work? Is it any good? Abso-f**ing-lutely. Just look at that foam. That's the kind of foam you can't get from an affordable (read: cheap-ass) cappuccino maker. Trust me, I know. And the fact that it works on the stove-top as opposed to plugging in would be a definite benefit if, say, you were moving to another country where the voltage is different.
And, hey, the Italians invented espresso. If this is how they do it, that's good enough for me.
Add in the knowledge that getting a machine that can make cappuccino of this quality would usually cost you, oh, four or five times what this one cost...
This thing is the Holy Freaking Grail.
For a while I was worried about the "coffee grinder problem"; blade grinders don't produce an even enough grind for espresso, and burr grinders are just a wee bit too expensive for me...then I remembered that they sell bulk coffee beans at the Commissary, with an industrial strength coffee grinder right there in the coffee aisle. I can buy whichever beans I want (like a decaf dark roasted Kona blend, for instance) and grind it to a fine powder perfect for espresso just by turning a dial. Okay, so it won't be as fresh as if I ground the beans right before I brewed each pot, but since I'm buying in bulk, I can buy as much - or as little - as I want. Grinding once a week is good enough for me. Especially if it means not spending $100-200 on a grinder.
In other (related) news, my kitchen stuff started coming yesterday. The Fed-Ex man brought my cookware set, and the UPS man brought my enameled cast-iron skillet. That mofo is HEAVY. And pretty. And I saved a buttload by buying Lodge instead of Le Creuset. Sorry, I just don't see the point of spending $100 on a single frying pan. I can't afford to be label-conscious. I bought Lodge instead of Le Creuset; Cuisinart instead of All-Clad; Cuisipro instead of Microplane; Exopat instead of Silpat...and saved a bunch of money in the process.
Enough to buy my Bialetti. The exception that proves the rule.
I believe that women's lib means I can live however I choose - even if that means staying at home, baking cookies from scratch and knitting baby booties all the livelong day. I believe that discriminating against anyone based on their color is racism - even if they're white. I believe that the bad auditions on American Idol are the end result of twenty years of focusing on self esteem - "you are perfect no matter what" - piled on top of a century of growing up consuming music rather than making it together as a family. I believe the children are our future. I believe in miracles. I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.