Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

89

Starting off the morning with this lovely tea. It’s rainy and grey outside and I can finally start wearing fall sweaters on days like today, so Double Knit Blend fits the mood haha. Malty, delicious, lightly smoky, I’ve reviewed this tea before in much greater detail lol, but it’s still really good. One of my favorite black teas – the perfect ‘old standby’ when I don’t want anything too honeyed, too sugary tasting..just straight up good black tea. See previous notes!

Oh, and I still have this horrible cough. I think my asthma is back from the forest fire smoke this summer, other family members are also having the same issues..ughh will probably need to go back on daily meds for it. :( will find out tomo at my yearly doctor appointment..ah well at least I won’t be coughing continually then hopefully! It’s been a bad summer for allergies/lungs. At least tea seems to help my throat a bit!

Cheri

I’m so sorry to hear about your asthma. It’s better to get something to help than to keep coughing and risk more damage or potential infections from the constant inflammation.

MissLena

Thanks Cheri, the doctor didn’t seem too concerned but she did prescribe a new inhaler for me that is longer lasting so I will be trying that out and hoping it helps!

Cheri

I hope it helps. Asthma is AWFUL!

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Stephanie sent this as a bonus sample in our swap. Thanks, Stephanie! Not one, but two A&D teas to try!

This tea is what you would expect from a blend of Indian teas…malty, bright, with some citrus notes. It’s a great tea to pair with breakfast. Recently, though, I think my tastes have moved away from Indian black teas and more towards Chinese black teas, but it was nice to try it!

Tealizzy

Oh, that was my 500th tasting note! Woo!

Sil

woohoo! grats!

KiwiDelight

Congrats on 500!

Stephanie

Yay! 500!

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97

You know when you drink a tea a lot, then you have it one day and it is totally and completely different then what it was before. So weird…

Today I am getting almost a cherry like sweetness on top of the bold and malty assam. There is no astringency. And I almost hate to say it, no tiger… It is light and bold at the same time. A lot more sweetness then I usually recognize in this tea. I just finished eating some Harvest Crunch cereal, but I can’t see why that would make this tea taste so much different.

Either way, it is still super delicious!

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

heh weird :)

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82

Sipdown (103)! I sadly cold brewed the rest of this one. I’ve really enjoyed this tea, and surprisingly, I think I prefer the cold brew over the hot version of this tea. The cold brew just brings out a sweetness that rounds out the battling blacks. And like before, I keep feeling like there is a Chinese green tea in this one, particularly gunpowder, even though I know there is not. Anyway, I’m happy with my introduction to Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea, and hopefully I can try many more in the future!

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This was my morning cup, thanks to Stephanie! :) I’ve been curious about this company for awhile now, but wasn’t willing to go all out and buy multiple ounces without trying them first. Swaps are awesome for that! So, the verdict? I think I’m in love with Keemun! Every one I’ve tried, I’ve enjoyed. This one was similar to TeaVivre’s organic superfine fragrant Keemun, which I recently discovered. It tastes like dark chocolate, apricots, and a little smoke. I think I’ve seen dark chocolate covered dried apricots before….that might be what this tea tastes like, except the smoke rounds out the sweetness. Absolutely the perfect morning cup! So, first tea tried from A&D is a winner. And, as far as price, it’s actually 17 cents cheaper than the TeaVivre one I mentioned; however, TeaVivre’s is organic, so makes sense. Anyway, I’m looking forward to trying more Keemuns in the future and would not mind it if this one landed in my cupboard!

boychik

I like this tea a lot. I’m not sure but I think they sold out this tea

Stephanie

Oh did they? I better hoard the rest of what I’ve got ;)

Glad you liked it Tealizzy! Boychik introduced me to it.

Tealizzy

It’s still on their website under limited editions. :)

boychik

excellent. i think i need a tin. i have maybe tbsp left,maybe even less.

boychik

its the New Year Horse tea is sold out.

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90

I wish I had bought a second tin!

Okay, so I’m at work (10pm to 7am) and I forgot my infusers… No bags also…

So, just floated this bad boy and spooned it out. I really don’t mind doing it this way often (I feel it gives the leaves a chance to really unfurl and fully infuse) and they usually settle to the bottom anyway.

Boiling water in my hot pot in the break room.
About 1 to 1.5 tsp on a 8 oz cup.

Sit for 3 min. First sip was WOWZA! Honey notes, malty, bread, yeasty note. (I work in an ER, saying yeasty didn’t seem quite fitting, but co-workers got a good laugh.) I was apprehensive about liking yunnan. This is my first. Let’s just say I’m hooked!

After about 10 minutes now, there’s a nice bold earthy flavor, still some honey. Not as much honey undertones as golden monkey has.

Now its probably been 2 hours, and its still great cold. Its a bit bitter, but not so much that its not like a good cup of black coffee.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Honey, Hops, Yeasty

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90

This sample came from Stephanie (thanks dear). I don’t have a lot of experience with Keemuns in general, but this one seemed to get rave reviews and I liked the other tea that I tried from Andrew & Dunham. The leaves are very dark and slender, and they’re formed into little curls. I don’t really get a dry scent from them, but I’ve noticed that seems to be common for some black teas. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees, as per usual for black tea.

The brewed aroma is very malty with some graininess. I can smell a little bit of spice (cinnamon maybe?) along with a touch of fruit. Holy smokes, this is a bready tea! It tastes like delicious whole-wheat bread with honey butter slathered over the top. Yums! There’s a little bit of a raisiny note, but it’s extremely mild and hides in the background. I also get a touch of floral near the end, but it’s not enough to make me like this any less. :P Thanks, Stephanie!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Floral, Honey, Malt, Raisins

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Kind of reminds me of the black teas from Shang with it’s grainy yumminess. :D

boychik

Don’t be afraid of 5 min steep ;)

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83

Queued post, written June 18th 2014

A random grab in the box this time. Here’s one that Auggy sent me this year. Yunnan is the type where our tastes part company a little bit. She seems to appreciate them a little more than I do, but it’s still close enough I think. It depends on how hay-like they are.

This one doesn’t strike me as very hay-like. I think it’s the sweetness in them that sometimes comes across as a haystack to me. In this one it’s more just sort of sweet-sweet with a bit of hay on the side.

I don’t really know what else to say about it… I try to analyse it a bit, but the words aren’t coming. It won’t show me its secrets. Maybe there’s a little honey note in there? I think so. Perhaps with a bit of grain? Yes, maybe. Only when I try to think about it more, all that comes to mind is that it’s a very long time since I baked a honey bread…

I think what I’m trying to get at is that this tea reminds me of my honey bread recipe.

Difficult to decipher as it may be for me, it’s still a quite good tea, even with the hay-y notes. They could have been worse, a LOT worse. I don’t really like them stronger than this, but at this level it’s nice. It’s a bit like herbs and spices in food. Too much is awful, too little is meh and bland, but just right is lovely.

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This was in the sample bowl and there was enough for one cup, thanks Stephanie!

There is a lot of value in finding both what you like, and what you don’t like. Unfortunately, this one fell into the latter category. The leaf smelled ok, so I went through with it. But then as I was carrying the mug down the stairs, I kept smelling smoke and I kept thinking that I should have known better. With a name like “Caravan” it was bound to be smoky.

Then I started sipping and to drink it wasn’t as bad as to smell it, so I kept at it for a while. But around the halfway point I just had to dump it. If you like smoke though, this is probably great!

mj

I also fear and hate the smokebeast

boychik

Maple syrup, just tiny bit. It brings smoky tea to the next level.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I do love the smoky teas!

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91

Good morning caffeine..you are required today. I didn’t sleep well – whatever is up with my throat made me wake up around 4 coughing uncontrollably..needed my asthma puffer, etc..so yeah, we are going to change the cat’s litter back to the old variety as I think it’s the new one that’s triggering all this coughing. Blargh. So not 100% awake at all at work today. This tea should rectify that though, with it’s malty, rich flavor and rather large amount of caffeine haha.

Also was staying up late watching Jumanji…I am so saddened to hear of Robin Williams passing. He was a superb actor with an amazing sense of humour, and any one of his movies would brighten your day. My thoughts go out to his family during this time :( depression and mental illness are difficult things to deal with, so please, if anyone is suffering from them, please seek out help! Also if anyone here on Steepster needs someone to talk to, my inbox is always open and I’m willing to listen :)

Here’s to a great man and actor all around, who made my day more than once, and had a classic sense of humour that could make anyone laugh. I raise my teacup to you, Robin Williams, you will be missed. :(

mj

Lovely toast clinks teacups. I feel the same way about him!

Nxtdoor

Yes. Well said. I am so saddened by the news. It is a heartbreaking loss but also hard is knowing how many more are out there struggling. It is deep and dark and to not see the way out must be terrifying.

mrmopar

My kids grew up watching him and I as well. A great loss all the way around.

MissLena

Yeah I just couldn’t believe it :( at least his legacy will live on, and it’s a very positive one!

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The funny thing is, Earl Grey is what got me into a different level of tea (post teabag). I realized when I picked this up out of the sample bowl that I haven’t had one in months.

I liked it, although I’m not sure I like EG as much as I used to. I didn’t dislike it, but it didn’t elicit any MMMMM feelings from me. It was more of a utilitarian cup. And I don’t think it’s the tea, I think it’s me and my changing tastes. Interesting!

So yesterday we went to another board game thing. It’s an every Sunday afternoon thing, and we have met some nice people there. The people who run it are a married couple and very likable. Not the weird unwashed gamer stereotype. But, there is this other couple that is just weird. At our first interaction, the guy sat down and burped super loudly, and then he spent the whole game making inappropriate noises and doing gross things. Fine to see a couple of hours a week, but not really our preferred game partners at these events.

Yesterday we had 9 people, and had to split up into 4 and 5, and we ended up playing with the weird couple. Turns out the girl isn’t that weird. But the guy was sitting next to me and my skin was just crawling the whole time. ESPECIALLY when he took his fingernail, scratched inside of his ear (the ear next to me), and then scraped that nail off on one of his lower teeth. I. Just. About. Died. So there you go.

Cheri

It is interesting how our tastes change. It’s also a-okay to break up with Earl Grey if he’s not floating your boat anymore.

And UGH! Creepy weird guy sounds awful. My skin would be crawling, too, and I’ve hung out with a lot of those weird creepy people and have a high tolerance for it.

Cameron B.

EEEEEEEEK! That made me shudder… And I know exactly what you mean by the “weird unwashed gamer stereotype”, ick. I used to work at a used game store and that was definitely part of our customer base.

I had a bergamot tea for the first time in a couple months on Saturday, and it made me remember that I do actually like some bergamot teas. I guess I just got a little overloaded on bergamot after I ordered the Kusmi Russian Blends pack. :P

Marzipan

I have nothing against gamers, don’t get me wrong – my husband and I met due to a video game. But this guy is really lacking in even basic social skills.

Stephanie

Oh man, yeah that sort of behavior is pretty hard to stomach. Ugh. Also I agree with you on EG…kinda bores me nowadays. Was this at the place on 1st Avenue?

Marzipan

Yes, same place. We have gone three weeks in a row but there isn’t one next weekend.

boychik

I think EG is for cooler weather. I have no cravings but I love EG in general

boychik

Ewwww, the guy is gross.

mj

The ear story was disgusting. Basic hygiene is a must, gamer or not!

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86

Ehhh this is a little bit astringent this morning unfortunately, I think I brewed it a tad too long with a bit too hot water. Ah well, it still is bold and bright and is serving the purpose of kicking me awake, well, the tea and the classic rock blaring from my computer at work lol. I made myself get up early and come to work at 7 so I can get off at 1, so my brain is a bit blarggghhhh right now haha. Ah well, only 5 more hours! See previous notes on this tea :)

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82

I’m having this one because though it is summer, I have this one in my sipdown drawer to work on before the end of the month. So this time around, I cold brewed about 2 teaspoons in my travel mug, but only for a few hours because I was impatient. The tea is a nice light, amber color. It turned out much sweeter than I expected or remembered from the hot version. The sweetness transitions quickly into a light smokiness that reminds me a lot of gunpowder, even though it says that there are only black teas in this blend. I’m actually kind of glad I was too impatient to let it sit for longer because I feel like it’s on the brink of being bitter/astringent. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise that the cold brew turned out so naturally sweet.

Stephanie

Nice, Andrews and Dunham teas are very good.

Jennkay

So far this is my first and only tea from them, but I really want to try more!

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Another sample from Stephanie. I liked this one! I had it yesterday and today. The resteep was a little wimpy but the first cup was great.

So paychecks went out this morning and now I have writer’s cramp. Yes, I still hand write them. I don’t know why exactly, I just think it keeps me more in track with it somehow.

Yesterday we went to another board game thing and played Puerto Rico (ours) and Takenoko (someone else’s). We already know we liked PR but Takenoko was very cute and fun too. The basic premise is that if you move the panda (adorable), he eats bamboo. If you move the gardener, he grows bamboo. There are other things you can do as well, and it’s a pretty strategic game. It’s good that we liked it since we already had it on the way this week.

Stephanie

Glad you enjoyed :D

That Takenoko game sounds cute. I suck at strategic games though…haha.

Cameron B.

That sounds so fun! I used to go to tabletop gaming conventions and they had lots of interesting board game-type stuff too. I remember a lot of them being fun. :D

Cheri

We haven’t played board games in a while, but we used to all the time. I miss it.

Marzipan

I clearly need more caffeine today. I was scrolling through the most recent reviews and came to this one and thought, “Oh funny, someone else got some of this from Steph and reviewed it.”

Cheri

Too funny

mj

Oooh, Takenoko sounds like fun!

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Queued post, written May 28th 2014

The first cup of tea after having descaled the kettle is always a bit dodgy. Not taste-wise, mind. But oh-gosh-have-I-poisoned-myself-now?-wise. I’m always a very thorough rinser after that process, but even so.

I’m hazarding a cup, though. This is actually a resteep that I’m writing about here, since the first steep of these leaves that Auggy shared with me recently was consumed as part of a courage-gathering process before having to ring our former landlord to ask where the rest of our deposit had got to. I hate talking on the phone even when it’s about pleasant things and avoid it whenever possible, so you can probably imagine the amount of courage-gathering is necessary before ringing someone to quibble. So, yeah. Tea? Lovely, but didn’t pay attention.

So the second steep smells relatively grainy and quite malty. I do actually remember that I thought ‘malty and honey’ with the first steep. I’m not getting anything in the way of floral and/or smoky notes though.

The flavour is quite grainy, though, and VERY floral. It really lives up to the ‘spring’ part of the name. It’s like drinking a flowershop. When it cools down the flowers calm down a bit too, becoming a bit less overwhelming, but it’s still not the sort of keemun that I like best. I prefer them with a rougher, more smoky note.

This might, however, have something to do with it being the second steep. I really didn’t pay attention to the first one at all. I will do so next time I have this and add to the post.

If I remember. Also, no unforeseen poisonings of self, so I think the kettle is safe. The lid is still wonky, though.

Additional notes at the time of posting
I can report that the deposit issue has still not been sorted. We have been very very patient, but enough is enough. At some point during the next week we shall be contacting our solicitor.

In happier news, Husband worked out why the kettle lid had gone wonky and repaired it good as new.

Cheri

I hope you get the deposit issue sorted out soon. That’s been a LONG TIME. And yay for un-wonkying the kettle!!

TeaKlutz

I’d just like to say that I understand your dislike of talking on the phone. I’m much better than I used to be because I get forced to do quasi-cold calls for work, but I still make every excuse I can to avoid them!

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Last night I did my monthly tea count, re-organized my shelves a bit, etc.
I’m starting the month at 362 Teas, which is down from 389 last month, so progress, not perfection, right?

My first cup of the month, although my sense of taste & smell is coming back, it’s still not where I want it to be, and I’ve been avoiding all of my favorite teas (all 277 of them, LOL), because…well because! Although there is a lot to be said for mouth-feel, tea buzz, etc, I hate to miss those subtle flavors. I just remembered that Sheng sometimes seems to help with allergies, so maybe I should quit messing around & bust out a brick!

All I’m getting from this tea today is a nice milky mouth, some baked bread, maybe a little chocolate (Which I’m probably imagining, not actually tasting), & cannibis. Yeah, you heard me. It’s been over 30 years since I toked up, but you never forget that taste.
:)

Sil

yay for getting through some of your teas last month! :) i have a SMALL totally unflavoured box here that you’ll get eventually..but i’m trying to give you time to drink more heh

Terri HarpLady

I have a box of awesomeness that I’m still working on for you. It was suppose to be your birthday box, & includes the teas we ordered from YS, but it’s gonna be a late birthday…

Sil

it’s ok… it wil give me something to look forward to in september when i’m nowhere and everywhere all at once.

oh..and Nicole wanted to come to st louis if she can arrange it when i’m there so that all three of us can meet…once i get final date confirmation i will let you both know

mrmopar

Weed, what weed….

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This might be my favourite Andrews and Dunham tea so far. It is a nice moderately smoked tea where the smoke is strong enough to leave a slight tingle at the back of the throat but not enough to overwhelm the rest of the flavours of the tea. Instead it contributes a certain spiciness to the tea as well as a certain depth to the flavour ranging from roasted smoke notes, pine and pine tar. It is not as smooth as you would find in a straight Lapsang Souchong. The base tea is slightly tart from red fruits and has a bready note and texture. There is a hint of molasses heading towards a maple note, and a bit of cocoa. There is a bit of sharpness and astringency to the tea.

I did two steeps of this tea at around 95°C at 3 and 4 minutes. The resteeps was flavourful, and was slightly sweeter and fruitier. This makes for a nice cozy and flavourful tea. Thanks boychik for the opportunity to try this tea!

boychik

yay! happy you enjoyed it. i bought a second tin of it.

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86

Good morning steepsters! I had an amazing weekend in the mountains, hiked like crazy (probably ~20km total), drove, and enjoyed life. We lucked out with great weather again this year and it was a wonderful trip with the guy! But now it is Monday, he is back off to work for 2 weeks, and I am also at work and sooooo tired. Eyes do not want to stay open…going to be a long day.

I made this tea this morning in the hopes the caffeine would keep me alert, but it’s just making me relaxed and content haha. This tea is soo darn tasty! I like that it is a lighter A&D blend, yet still ridiculously flavorful. Bright and rich. Still that creaminess in there. A lovely cup to start the week, just hoping I wake up a bit more as the day progresses lol. See previous notes!

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80

So I’m technically self-employed which has many benefits/drawbacks that I’m not used to. One that I haven’t had to deal with before is that sometimes on Monday, you might get only 4 hours sleep, and then you might just forget the power cord for your laptop and not realize it until you’re halfway to work… And then you have to be VERY careful about how much time you spend working on your laptop before you run out of power, and you remember that this normally wouldn’t be an issue becuase your company would typically provide a computer for you….

WHOOPS! But I had to potentially waste power so I could log this tea. This sweet, slightly smoky, delicious tea. SO GOOD.

Also the benefit of working from my own laptop is that it’s MY laptop and if I have a billion saved tabs on my browser to non-work related sites, well… that’s my business. :)

OMGsrsly

That’s the one reason I like having my own computer for my job as well. I’m debating buying a new laptop (mine is about 8, and needs an external monitor), but I use a desktop at home and I can’t justify buying a new computer just for work…

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80

Sample from hapatite! Thanks hun!

This is the second time I’ve tried this tea. The first time I was too busy to write any notes and I wanted to give it a proper review. So! I brewed some of this up tonight. I was craving a bready, malty Yunnan. When I set my mug aside to cool, an ant somehow found its way into my cup. I deliberated for a moment…and then just picked him out. I’m gross. ): But I didn’t want to sacrifice the entire cup when I only had a few teaspoons of leaf left.

Usual method for blacks without instruction: 1.5tsp/10oz, pre-boil, 2 min. Subsequent steep times vary, but this time it was 3min.

It’s a little brisk at the beginning of each sip—especially when it’s hot. Notes of citrus, cocoa, bread, and a maltiness that coats the tongue. It has a smooth texture and it’s surprisingly light-bodied. Maybe medium. Towards the end of each sip you get stone fruits. Red fruits. It has me thinking of plums, then it has me thinking of raisins. There are notes of sweet potato: rich and thick, with a lingering sweetness. There is a bit of honey there as well. The sweet potato, grain, and fruit notes are more prominent as the liquid cools.

Well, this is a decent tea. It doesn’t wow my pants off like I hoped it would. It’s not overly complex. It stays consistent through steeps and it could probably hold up to milk and sugar. No muss, no fuss. For those reasons I would make it an everyday tea…maybe an everyday morning tea. The cost makes it less desirable, though. There are other teas with similar flavor profiles that are of higher quality and more affordable. Plus I think they just sold their last tin!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Cocoa, Fruity, Grain, Honey, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes

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88

Sipdown!

I finished this one off this morning using the new method that I got from yyz! It’s a 1 minute steep, then a 2 minute steep, followed by a 4 minute steep. I am really liking this method. I guess it’s somewhere between gong fu and western-style? I tend to love the lighter/more golden Yunnan teas and this kind of emulates that flavor even with a darker Yunnan. I will definitely be trying this with a lot of my other black teas. Thanks so much, yyz!

As for this tea, it’s a good one. But there are other Yunnan teas that I like as much or more that are cheaper (and more accessible, there is only one tin of this left and then it’s gone forever). Thanks again Nicole for letting me try this one! :)

My stomach is sloshing from all this tea!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
yyz

Your welcome!

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One of the pleasures of having adult children who live with you (if you’ve raised them right) is getting them to cook breakfast, & knowing that it will be tasty! In my house, everybody knows how to cook! So while I’ve been balancing checkbooks, cleaning off my desk, printing out my boarding pass, paying bills, etc, my 2 sons have been fixing breakfast.
Pretty sweet deal, eh?
Now I’m enjoying a short break, with brekkie & a pot of Tiger, which is a tasty go-to for when I want something robust, and don’t want to fuss with things. Quick, easy, & satisfying. That’s my mode right now. I’d like to spend the day in gongfu sessions, but there’s too much to do. Next stop: The boys (they are actually men, at this point) & I are heading out into the garden for the pop-quiz: making sure they know what to pick, where & how to water, & some weeding would be nice to, eh?

Christina

What did they make for breakfast? I’m partial to omelets myself, when I have the time.

MzPriss

LOL @ giving them a pop quiz. <3

Terri HarpLady

They cooked crispy potato cubes (I don’t eat white potatoes often, but when I do, they’d better be crispy!), sausage crumbles (ground locally raised pork, they added the spices). Layer in a bowl & top with eggs. :)

Dag Wedin

^^ american breakfast sounds good!

Terri HarpLady

Dag, it’s the way I roll!

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