Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This dream of an Asian tea tour during sabbatical has been shaken. The work mothership calls me home, so to speak; it wants me to move. The song refrain, "Should I stay or should I go?" plays daily through my head. Weighing pros/cons, balancing heart/logic, squelching fears/negativity, cultivating gratitude/trust...these are where I'm spending much of my free time in thought. Even progress on my tea book has come to a halt as I figure out next steps for my future.
Fortunately, the DH and I are working through this together, much like two cyclists on a tandem, pedaling in rhythm, standing and sitting together, working our way through the hilly tea plantation. It's not easy, but if I take a deep breath and look around to where I am right now, this very moment, all that I have, it is beautiful.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
The tea, by Steaz, was sweet and lemony. If I closed my eyes and concentrated, I noticed a light green tea taste. That's not to say it wasn't pleasant, just not heavy on the tea flavor. Still, a nice beverage. I like that it's organic, sweetened with cane sugar (instead of corn syrup), and is fair-trade certified.
I wonder if I could make my own sparkling tea with the soda siphon and plain tea, sans sugar. What do you think? That might be another post! And speaking of celebrations - I'm off to party down with a 2-year-old.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Do you change your tea with the seasons? Take the poll on the right, and happy autumn!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Read the full article. And as a friend of mine says "Hey, isn't it a good thing they have universal health care?!" ;-)
*Biscuit = Cookie
Monday, September 21, 2009
Check it out! I have a posting up today.
The Poplar Grove Muse is a group blog for a community of women writers. I've been taking classes through this community. "Class" isn't the correct word, as it doesn't nearly describe what happens. First, we don't critique the writing. We are free to write about whatever we want, and the range is very diverse - from journal entries to poetry to memoir to fiction. It's a writing circle, where we lift up and encourage the words of the other writers. For more info, see Women Writing for a Change.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
To prepare, I use a sharp knife to cut a slit into the leathery shell, then roast in my toaster oven for about 15 minutes. Peel and enjoy. It's almost like eating a cookie, they are so sweet. They also freeze well for later roasting. They're the only nut that contains vitamin C.
Do you have a secret stash of wild nuts or fruit? Please tell us about it (but not where, of course!).
Monday, September 14, 2009
Answer to the riddle: Big Yellow Taxi, originally by Joni Mitchell. I love the song!
Are you seeing signs of autumn?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Mighty Leaf teas has been mighty kind to me by sending me occasional tea samples. This week, I got a box in the mail (prompting a little happy dance from me). Inside was this double-ply stainless steel thermos. Mighty Leaf asked me to review the thermos, and they're offering another one as a blog giveaway! Yippee! These sell for $12.95, so it's a nice giveaway.
The thermos has a clever design. A tea bag string fits through the hole in the top, allowing the drinker to pull up the bag and snug it in this little recessed area in the top. No longer do you have to deal with over-steeped tea in your thermos because your commute is a few minutes too long. It works well; I like it.
The only thing I could find to pick on about this thermos is that it doesn't close. The sip hole is always open, so be careful as you carry it into work. But even that has an advantage...sometimes the tea in a thermos is too hot for me to sip immediately, and this hole will help it cool just a wee bit faster.
I'll be on a work trip next week, and you can bet a pound of tea this thermos will be with me.
More info about the thermos is here.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
This is the second pairing of white teas in the Harney & Sons Guide to tea. This pairing concludes the four teas of the white tea chapter. (See the other two here.)
I tasted Ceylon Silver Tips (from H&S) and Bai Mu Dan (Pai Mu Tan, from Upton). Silver Tips are on the left and Bai Mu Dan on the right in both photos. As you can see, these teas look very different. That carries through to the taste.
For the tasting, I brewed both at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 minutes.
The Silver Tips aren't actually leaves, but rather the tender buds. These are a little less fuzy than other "silver" teas. The flavor is fresh, light and lightly sweet. I got a bit of spicyness in the finish. The tea left my mouth feeling clean. An interesting tidbit about this tea is that it comes from Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Most white teas of any quality come from China, so this is a lovely exception.
The Bai Mu Dan (called Pai Mu Tan from Upton) is a mixed bag, literally. Some tips and some green leaves. The brew is darker and the flavor very different than the Silver Tips. The DH described the flavor, "like chewing foxtail grass stems." The aroma, for me, had a definite roasted smell. This is likely due to being dried in an oven or over charcoal. This is a nice hybrid tea; it holds the white sweetness but leans into the essence of a green grassy flavor. According to Harney, the Bai Mu Dan is a much more common tea than the other three.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Yesterday, the DH and I went on a bike ride through the country and saw lots of fall wildflowers. I'll try to get some pictures soon. They're so lovely!
Saturday, September 05, 2009
The cake mold came from Amazon. Here is Martha's recipe. It's a spice cake that you drizzle in a butter-honey glaze and then finish with a powdered sugar glaze. It's very tasty and lovely. We enjoyed it last night on the outdoor patio of a restaurant, looking over a lake and watching a fat, orange moon rise. Mother Nature always outdoes our feeble human efforts. :-)
Thursday, September 03, 2009
I've had cause to assess my hometown in a new context lately. What this has done is made me appreciate the place even more than before, if that were possible. One of the things I've noticed is the prevalence of public art. We have a lot of it here! I love public art because it's accessible to everyone, regardless of socio-economic standing. It amazes us, provokes us, challenges us, soothes us, enlightens us. It reflects us.
Metal artwork with a background of sheet music
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
More details on the scholarship contest. The deadline for submission is past, but I looking forward to seeing the winner!