Life Is Like a Cup of Coffee


A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

1 a cuppa 2Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee.

Savor the coffee, not the cup!

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.


Parable by Unknown


Featured Recipe        Deviled Pork Chops


This is such a delicious recipe for so little work. And it is just perfect for cool fall days or cold winter days since you use the broiler to cook the chops. It really warms up the house.

As an alternative you can broil the chops in a toaster oven that has a broiler element.

This recipe is from Fine Cooking magazine, Issue 84.

This is also a pretty dish to either serve on a week night or for company’s coming.

Cooked under the broiler you get a nice charred effect that is pretty and tasty.

Not only is this a savory taste treat it is  also quick and easy to make. And even better, I generally have all of the ingredients in my pantry or fridge already, meaning I do not have to make a trip to the grocery store.  Simple! Right?

The recipe is for 4 chops. I only made 2 today so I have left over sauce, which I serve on the side. I also omitted the cayenne pepper and used a sprinkling regular pepper instead.

I also spray the broiler pan with PAM, as it helps to keep the chops from sticking to the broiler pan.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

¼ cup Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon cayenne

4 – 1 inch center cut loin pork chops

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Here is what you do:

Stir together the mustard, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and pepper in a small bowl.



Position an oven rack 3-4 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler to high. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and replace the perforated top part of the pan.

NOTE: I have a very old oven, so my broiler pan is at the bottom of the oven, not in the oven as modern stoves do.

IMG_6383NOTE: This is where I spray PAM on the perforated top part of the pan. It helps prevent the chop from sticking to the pan.


Arrange the pork chops on the broiler pan and season generously on both sides with salt.


Brush about half of the mustard mixture over the top of the chops.


Broil until chops are deeply browned in spots, 6-8 minutes.


Coarsely chop the parsley.


Turn the chops over with tongs and brush with the remaining mustard mixture.


Continue to broil until the pork is browned and just cooked through (an instant read thermometer in the center of a chop should register 145 degrees F) about 5 minutes more.


Let rest a few minutes before serving.


Sprinkle the better-looking side of the chops with the parsley.


Place on a plate and serve with roasted tomatoes and a salad or another  vegetable.


Bon appétit!!!


¼ cup Dijon mustard                       $0.60

1 tbspn dark brown sugar                $0.09

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice         $0.12

2 tspns Worcestershire sauce          $0.13

¼ teaspoon cayenne                      $0.03

4 – center cut loin pork chops          $11.32

Kosher salt                                     $0.02

1 tablespoon chopped parsley          $0.12

Total cost = $12.43

Cost per person = $3.11

Quote of the Day

Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.

Mary Wortley Montagu


Print Friendly

7 comments to Life Is Like a Cup of Coffee

  • I loved the parable and I hope I don’t forget its wisdom.

    I wonder how these chops would do on the grill? I think it’s worth an experiment.

    • Roberta

      Oh!!! I so agree, Maureen. Let us know how it turns out. Maybe you would be gracious enough to do another guest post with it. Yes?

  • That is a very good parable and an excellent reminder of what is important in life. When all your cups have been taken away from you, even the aroma of coffee is wonderful, and a plain paper cup of mediocre coffee like the fruits of paradise.

    Thank you Roberta, with this message, you have inspired another post for my blog. One less to have to think up this week!

    • Roberta

      Glad you liked and found today’s post/parable worth while. And you are so right – once so much has been taken from you the REALLY important things in life reveal themselves. And that lessons stays with you and enriches the rest of your life.

      Glad today’s post also inspired another of your blog posts. I look forward to reading it. After all you have done for me and MTTD I am glad I can give a little back. 🙂

  • Interesting parable and a great recipe– another pork chop recipe! Yay!

  • […] I read a post by my good twitter friend Roberta on her More Thyme Than Dough blog about the ” life as the coffee, things as the cup” parable as told by a wise […]