Posts Tagged ‘tea’
We were quite blessed recently. Our unique…sweet…little…one of a kind…teapot bank…was featured in a blog….
Saving Your Pennies For Tea….
When we were kids, many of us had little “banks” (often shaped like little pigs) that we would put our coins in (mostly pennies). When enough had gathered up, we would take those coins to the local store for a sweet treat. Now, as an adult and tea lover, I save my pennies for tea.
Read the rest of the story at the…. English Tea Store Blog
A huge bin filled with smooth skinned Meyer Lemons triggered a drooling response. Wiping my mouth, and stuffing a plastic bag with yellow fruit, I dreamed of our Oregon St. Tea Company signature Cranberry-Meyer Lemon Scones.
Rushing in the door, I plopped the groceries down….put away all items requiring refrigeration….washed the lemons and proceeded to stir up a batch of scones.
Add a little clotted cream…(which I found in our local market!)……
…..and enjoy those delicious scones….
Cranberry-Meyer Lemon Scones (an Oregon Street Tea Room Signature Recipe)
3 cups Self Rising Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
Zest of 1 small Meyer lemon
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Add zest of Meyer lemon.
Mix in ¾ cup buttermilk, adding more if necessary to form dough. Do not over mix.
Turn onto floured work space and knead until easy to handle. (About 4-5 turns)
Pat gently to 1 inch thick.
Cut with small biscuit cutter.
Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. (Vegetable oil spray works great too)
Brush with egg wash (1 egg combined with 1 tablespoon milk)
Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Glaze with powdered sugar thinned to glazing consistency with Meyer lemon juice.
It has been my tradition since I was in high school to list my goals and resolutions every January first.
During the next year, on occasion, I sneak a peek at The List. Pulling it from an obscure hiding place, tucked haphazardly in a drawer, incorporated with miscellaneous receipts, business cards, notes to self, and outdated coupons, I steal a glance at the numbered contents.
Still working on this….
Yikes….what made me think this was something I wanted to do?
Oops, forgot about that one.
Should I revise this one?
I stuff The List back in the drawer and forget it, but in a few months I retrieve it again for another review.
At the end of the year, I fetch The List for the final assessment. With pen in hand, I judiciously, and joyfully cross off those goals and resolutions accomplished.
I study the unmarked enumerated intentions.
Sometimes I experience remorse. Regret. Wishing I’d had more resolve to complete a task or commit more fully to a resolution.
Sometimes I chuckle. I am amused at my own naïveté.
I evaluate whether to add the unfulfilled ones to The New List, or trash them.
And, on January first, early in the morning, I find a lovely piece of paper, a nice pen, pour myself a cup of tea, and sit down to meditate on the coming year and write out The List.
I have repeated this process for over fifty years.
However, on occasion, Once in a Blue Moon (meaning “rarely”)…..but enough times in my life to recognize it now….I experience a “paradigm shift” creeping, crawling into my mind. Infiltrating my thinking when I am agitated or reflective.
Perhaps, because I am in the habit of striving and brawling like a thug to change my circumstances, I am not responsive to a knock upside the head, or a slap in the face.
Explosive revelation doesn’t seem to be part of my journey. No burning bushes, or parting of the sea.
A “paradigm shift” disclosure that I am able to embrace has come like a caterpillar….in an unhurried, nonchalant but determined forward stride.
I realize, in time, but reluctantly, that I must admit my attitude and my thinking need to adjust to a reality I had previously been unwilling to identify as unchangeable.
I was not raised to believe “it is what it is.” I was raised to believe that what “is” can be changed with prayer and hard work. And, while I wholeheartedly subscribe to this view, I have experienced circumstances that are NOT alterable:
The responsibility of caring for someone 24/7.
The death of an unborn baby.
The death of a son.
The theft of a trust.
The betrayal of a friend.
The ravishes of a disease.
Once I capitulate, once I surrender, once I yield to the understanding of “it is what it is” I am free to let go of the fight to change something outside my ability to alter.
2012 is a Once in a Blue Moon kind of year for me.
The List is ready. I’ve written down my goals and resolutions, but on this New Years Day, I have no strategies, no plans, no ideas of how to accomplish what I want to do.
The List is ready to be superimposed on the “it is what it is” reality page.
I will have to adjust, tweak, and rearrange this overlay to accommodate pursuing my intentions on The List.
Of course, the process doesn’t happen in a day. It may take the first six months of a New Year…..but, just as the caterpillar emerges from the cocoon a butterfly, I believe my adjusted reality will allow me to achieve my goals and resolutions.
Do you have a List of goals and resolutions for the New Year? Have you experienced a “paradigm shift” recently?
Wishing all of you a blessed, joyful, prosperous New Year!
Planning a fall tea party? A Book Club gathering? Or maybe you want to be ready when a friend drops by to share a cup of tea. These delicious mini muffins are full of healthy ingredients…. pumpkin, raisins and pecans. I found this recipe in my wonderful “old” Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm Cookbook (http://www.bishopspumpkinfarm.com/index.htm).
Happy Infusions and enjoy!
Mini Buttermilk Pumpkin Muffins
- 1/2 c oil
- 1 c sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 c pumpkin, mashed
- 1/3-1/2 c buttermilk
- 2 cs flour
- 1 t soda
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t allspice
- 1/2 c raisins, pecans or walnuts
Beat together oil and sugar. Add eggs and pumpkin: mix well. Stir in buttermilk. Combine dry ingredients and mix into batter, just until all flour is moistened. Stir in raisins and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 16-18 regular sized muffins.
It’s always like Christmas when new tea arrives !
I can’t wait to open the box and then empty the tea into it’s jar and steep a pot …..oh the aroma and the sight of that wonderful tea that has traveled so far to come into my life !
This particular tea, Keemun Mao Feng comes from the Anhui Province in China. It was around 1875 that a young man, She Ganchen, recently dismissed from government service in Fujian, decided to produce black teas in his home town region. Keemun became famous because it was the first black tea in a green tea area. Keemun is also prized because of myrcenal, an essential oil, not found in other tea leaves, which gives this tea its exceptional sweetness. Mao Feng is one of the rarest and best grades of Keemun tea.
Sometimes, unfortunately, this lovely tea is used in blending an “English Breakfast” style tea.
It is superb all by itself and should be enjoyed as such !
These perfect tea leaves produce an amber color, a sweet taste and a divine aroma !
Let it rain or snow…..brew a pot of Keemun Mao Feng and pour a cup….tea time is anytime !
My tea from Russia was almost gone.
I decided to crank up, well, plug in, the Samovar, and make the last of the Russian tea in as traditional a manner as I know how.
A Samovar is a utensil consisting of a boiler with a faucet near the bottom, steam-holes and a teapot which sits on top, and some type of heating device. This is not just an ordinary piece of equipment, but a revered symbol of Russian hospitality.
The evolution of the Samovar is a study in technology and adaptability. Traditionally, a Samovar used charcoal to heat the water in the boiler. Today, nickel-plated electric Samovars reign. Only the Trans-Siberian Railroad has clung to the traditional smoky, charcoal heated Samovar.
I poured water into the base and plugged it in.
I made the concentrated tea for the little teapot on top. This step is very important and cannot be made with tea bags. Only good loose tea is suitable. The tea should be strong; the color of a chestnut. I delighted in the ritual of making tea and thinking of my tea from Russia.
A Mongolian ruler gave Tsar Michael I a gift of about 140 pounds of tea about 1638. Catherine the Great established regular imports of tea around 1736. The tea caravans brought more than 3 million pounds of loose tea and tea bricks by camel along the silk road. This amount of imported tea allowed the price to be lowered and thus in Russia, the lower and middle class could enjoy tea. Today, tea is grown in Georgia, and neighboring Azerbaijan, both countries a part of the former Soviet Union.
“Good tea takes patience and commitment.” ( Daniel Nagy)
First, I added the concentrated tea to my cup…..
The concentrate is very strong, and as one writer said, “Never drink it undiluted, because it has a strong narcotic effect, causing increased heart rate, hallucinations and restlessness.”
Next, hot water from the spout…...….dilutes the concentrate to suit my taste.
And my tea is ready !!! Of course, some like lemon, or milk (but not together), sugar, honey, rum or vodka ! I like my tea straight up ! No additions. I will use my Samovar again, and again.
My Sweet Husband and I were standing in the kitchen, discussing breakfast options. The wind whipped the tree branches back and forth and the rain pounded on the roof. We rattled off several possible choices; an omelet with sausage, waffles with whipped cream, scrambled eggs and toast, Cream of Wheat.
Rainy mornings and Cream of Wheat…a comfort food..stirring happy memories of childhood and those fun-filled years of rushing to have a healthy, yummy breakfast for three lively kids before they bolted out the door to catch the school bus.
I settled on Cream of Wheat. Warm mush ! I like my Cream of Wheat with butter and sorghum. Sorghum is similar to molasses, but much better !
I’ve never been able to find sorghum in grocery stores in California, so I am forced to ship a case home from my favorite supplier, an Amish family in Dunnegan, Missouri.
(This is my sorghum stash !)
Whenever I dip into my sorghum cache, I am instantly transported to Amish country.
It is another world. Quiet country roads…rolling green hills…and signs that remind us to share our space.
And then I begin to reminiscence about My Grandpa’s Farm. A lovely Amish family purchased his farm after he died.
He would be blessed to see how they have loved and cared for his farm.
They expanded the house…(they have 10 children)….and resurrected the outhouse.
(My Grandpa did not have an indoor toilet or shower until 1978. He never did get around to tearing down the old outhouse and it stands today where it stood when we were kids. Showering, before he built the indoor bathroom, meant you filled a 5 gallon bucket, which sat the roof of the cellar, with warm water. You proceeded down the steps into the dark cellar, stripped down, turned on the water using a valve on a hose, soaped up, hurrying and hoping to have enough water to rinse ! We thought it was like camping out !)
They repaired the roof and are still using the beautiful rock barn My Grandpa built…….
Wow..with a bowl of Cream of Wheat and sorghum I had a stroll down memory lane !!
Now it’s time for tea !