1812 Tasting Notes
We waited until the idiots—er, combat shoppers—went home, then cautiously hit the local retail zone to pick a couple of very modest mom-and-mema-in-law gifts. Kohl’s looks like a war zone. But as we were looking for oven mitts that didn’t cost the price of a robotic arm, we discovered a small assortment of Boston Tea Co. gift teas at Bath and Body Works.
…which prompted me to promptly dig through the stash at home to see what Boston Tea stuff I still have. Their varieties are consistently good. And since it was in my hand, I made a pre-dinner cuppa of this really nice dragonwell. It is what good, plain green tea is supposed to taste and behave like: a teeny bit of citrus sharpness without being bitter, not finicky about time or temp as long as you don’t deliberately boil or stew it. The green tea equivalent of a perfectly comfortably fitting pair of jeans, all broken in.
Today we suspended the “no-decorating-till-December” rule, and so I am sitting next to a homey Christmas tree: a hodgepodge of faded and salvaged ornaments from House That Was, unfamiliar but lovely gift ornaments from friends that helped us rebuild, and a few precious handmade felt-and-sequin fat-belled Christmas birds my mom made and my sister passed along.
Nothing else would do but Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. Cinnamon stick included; accentuates it beautifully.
Chilly sunshine streaming, cat napping, husband puttering, turkey breast cooking, me sipping. Thank You, Lord, for a slow morning not driven by a checklist.
My mug was a little too big for three pearls, so this cuppa came out lighter than ideal, but it is still pleasant—-noticing the stewed apple flavor mentioned in the vendor description, which is perfect for the day and occasion.
Be sure to close your eyes sometime today and count the blessings you can’t see or touch.
In keeping with our traditional nontraditional Thanksgiving habits, my guys and I just had our early T-Day dinner at Big R’s Barbecue: pork tenderloin sandwiches closer to the size of the plate than the buns and huge loaves of Suzie-Q’s that come out steaming hot in the same shape as the fry basket.
Dessert, as a result, needs to be light and pleasant. This is. A nice blend of cinna-mint with cute little sugar snowflakes that don’t affect the flavor a lot, but they do make you smile. Another review says you get mostly mint when you sip; mostly cinnamon when you gulp. Sure enough!
The Junkyard Tea jar is getting full, and the temps cold enough that “it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s warm” is the rule o’ the day. This morning’s kaleid-o-tea has a few last leaves of Laoshan Black, a little Ceylon, a little Keemun, a lot of whatever else was already in there, and a surprise in every sip.
Getting a little more sugar sweetness and scent from a short second steep, but we’ll probably have to start from scratch to test time and temp differences. I’m not a frequent multiple steeper, but to my bumbling taste buds, once green or oolong tea has “set,” the second steep doesn’t seem to change it a great deal.
Oolongs get overlooked at my house a lot; chiefly because in my lopsided and ragged classification system, it rates as an afternoon tea and there aren’t a lot of spare tea-drinkin’ afternoons around here.
Couldn’t quite place what I was tasting until I read the tea description. Nutmeg and orange peel. Yep. Exactly. This appears to have multiple personalities based on the water temp—I went hotter and longer which resulted in the spicy vibe. Enough left in the little sample packet to try one slower and lower to see if I can hunt down the malt sugar.
As my mom’s condition declines more and more steeply, my dad is wisely starting to downsize and he’s asked my sister and me to begin sorting and saving what’s worthwhile from Mom’s sewing room, where she spent decades stitching quilts for friends and family and scores of little shirts and dresses that were packed in mission boxes for Honduran children who may have kids of their own by now. As I drink this tea, I’m pawing through a fruitcake tin of orphan buttons and a stack of paper needle packets from the 1950’s thinking how nice it would be to hear the whir of the sewing machine and the little metallic snip of her scissors.