Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Still Cold!

I've been wearing wintery clothes all week and no wonder - the daytime high has been 12 C! It's definitely hot tea weather although we're in the middle of iced tea season. I still haven't planted my plants since it's been raining for days - with the exception of one or two nice days, and of course, I was too busy on those days to garden. My tea these past few days has been Earl Grey by Tea of Life (so-so - nice tin though) and tangerine white by Bigelow. So-so teas for so-so days, I'm afraid. Hopefully better weather will be ahead.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday was hot and steamy and today is cold and foggy. 13 C - that's about 55 F. I had to wear a fleece jacket when I went to the local car show today since most of it was outside. And there will be no planting today since it's now pouring rain. Pouring into my tea cup today was Harney's Caribe. I bought a bunch of Harney teas at Christmas time and gave them away as presents. I remember trying Caribe at the time and not being overly impressed with it. Well, now I am impressed. It's a fruity green tea with hints of guava, mango and coconut. Perfect for hot summer days - if we get anymore.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is there anything sweeter ....

than a summer weekend? The house is hot and the outdoors is hotter but when warm weather only strikes for a few weeks of the year, you really don't mind the extra warmth, especially when you have the day off and can relax. The concert went well - a smaller than hoped-for-audience but really appreciative and that's what's really important. This is my first long weekend in a long time and I am planning to do next to nothing - you have to do that every so often!
I've been drinking summery fruity-flavored teas. Strawberry black yesterday and blood orange today. There may also be a jug of Harney's Tropical green tea in my very near future - a delicious iced pineapple tea would go down quite nicely, I think.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Busy time

It doesn't take much to get out of the habit of writing everyday. In truth, it's been a busy week - worked through the weekend, all week, wrote some book reviews and I've been practising each day for between two to four hours for tonight's concert - so tomorrow I plan to rest! And drink lots of tea. My choices have been a tad boring this week - mostly Earl Grey and some apple-flavored white today which was a treat. I did try the Tim Horton's Iced Coffee - it's OK but I prefer the Iced Cap. Today would be perfect for an Iced Cap - it's about 26 C here and sunny - the nicest day yet this week. Hope the good weather inspires people to come to the concert tonight!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gorging right along ....

A couple of days each year, I allow myself to eat whatever I want and as much as I want. For the most part, I eat pretty healthy and I try to make sure I eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day - not always easy when you live in a northern area and fresh products are not always available at a good price. But today - my birthday - was one of those eat what you want days and I celebrated with French toast, Chinese food, and of course, chocolate! I tried a British Galaxie bar for the first time today - oh my! Now I know why people rave about them - very rich and delicious.
And now, it's time for birthday cake - yum!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Today's the day

It was simply the nicest day of the year - warm with a cooling breeze and a clear blue sky. It even smelled good - everywhere. It was the the perfect summer day and we don't get that many of them around here. Seemed as good as any day to open up my stash of Spring Pouchong.
And it was worth the wait. When I made this glorious tea, the most heavenly scent of lilacs arose from the teapot - if a tea ever smelled like summer, this was it. And it tasted wonderful as well - smooth, sweet with a hint of buttery richness. Yeah, I blew a bunch but this stuff is worth every penny. As someone or some book once said, life is too short to drink bad tea.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Busy, busy

Yes, I have been, working since Sunday and feeling pretty tired tonight. It didn't stop me though from buying eight packages of plants from the grocery story for the garden - two tomato, two cucumber, one spanish onion, one leek, one spooktacular pumpkin (I confess, it was the pun that made me buy it) and one broccoli. Should make for an interesting garden, along with 90 garlic plants (I'm not kidding), peppers, lettuce and some herbs. Maybe we'll start planting tomorrow night.
Not much new in the tea tasting - been mainly drinking old favorites plus some Nestea - good during the day for hydration. I really must try something new tomorrow though - I've got a hankering to try some East Freisan tea and I may not be spelling that correctly so don't get antsy - hope it's good since I've heard a lot of good things about it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sometimes new not so good

I love trying new things - if possible, I want to try a new tea every day. Somedays, it means you discover a new taste treat. And other days, it's more like - "what was I thinking?"
I'm afraid today's tea falls under the second category.
This tea is called Buckingham Palace Garden Party, from theteatable.com. The sample is described as a "blend of black and green teas from Kenya, China, Sri Lanka and India (Assam), scented with jasmine and cornflower petals," which sounds harmless enough. Except I'm not a big fan of blends that use black and green teas, I tend not to like Kenyan nor Assam teas and I really don't care for jasmine. But sometimes the sum is greater than the parts and my first taste didn't seem so bad - sort of a high falutin' Earl Grey. But then the perfumy jasmine aftertaste starting taking hold and I had trouble finishing my second cup - actually I threw half of it down the sink. The tea itself was fine - if you like that sort of thing - but if you're not a fan of jasmine, it's best to stay away from this one.
On to the next cup!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Comforting Cup

I'm having an Organic decaf black tea from the Korakundah Estate that I got from theteatable.com - I ordered a sample and I'll probably order this one again. It's a plain black tea that has an interesting almost chicken broth flavor to it - odd but tasty. Great for those days when you're feeling lousy and just want something without caffeine but warm and flavorful.
It's still cold here but it's suppose to warm up on the weekend. It will be a short weekend - have to work Sunday since we're a person short so I plan to take it pretty easy. Have to be in for work on Sunday at 6:30 am - Ye Gods! I am not a morning person. It will be Tim Horton's strong Earl Grey for that hour - nice strong Earl Grey that's not perfumey but definitely Earl Grey. Let's just put it this way - it's an Earl Grey you can drink first thing in the morning and not feel sick to your stomach.
Another new candy shop opened in town with lots of interesting goodies. One bar I bought was marshmallow and cashews in milk chocolate - I think I'll be buying another one of those real soon. Can't remember the name though. They also had Bristows Clotted Cream fudge and Walkers toffee. Could be dangerous!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another cold day

The temp has been hovering around 11 C here today - you'd never know summer was a little over a week away. Still good weather for hot tea though. But then again, I drink hot tea when it's 31 C, although it's more likely to be a peach or a blackcurrent flavored one, rather than the fallish spicey teas that I'm drinking now. Yes, it's still orange spice and/or Christmas tea weather although I may break out and have some Upton's New England Harvest blend later - another cold weather favorite. It's funny - May was much warmer than June.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Election Day, Part 2

The election is over and everything went according to predictions. I often wish these things weren't predictable or, even more importantly, that others wouldn't try to predict these things ahead of time. The element of surprise would at least make it interesting.
But hopefully, we'll be election free for a while anyway. There's been far too many during the past few months.
My tea choices today have been predictable as well. My favorite bagged tea is Stash's Orange Spice, which I have to order from the US since it isn't carried in this province. I've been drinking that all day, which is nice and easy, and rather comforting. Loose orange spice tea is even better - maybe even my favorite, depending on the time of year. But it is closing into mid-June, which is actually time to get into more summery teas, but the weather today felt more like a day in November. Hopefully the orange spice weather won't be around for too much longer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Election Day

It's election day here in Nova Scotia and it promises to be a close one. The best part is that once this one is over, we should be election-free for a while - we've had three, municipal, federal and provincial in the past nine months - so no more elections for a while will be a relief. Now it's time for everyone to start governing and stop arguing!
I am pondering what to do with my garden. In February, I took a nasty fall and ever since, kneeling has been out of the question since my shins are far too sensitive. Even the material from my pants can hurt at times. Yet, I really wanted to put out a vegetable garden this year. In fact, the week before I fell, I ordered tons of vegetable seeds, which I probably wouldn't have done if I had known about my shin problems then. I have planted some seeds in pots inside but they're growing as well as can be expected inside a house that doesn't have the greatest natural lighting, thanks to the incredible amount of shade trees outside. I even ordered tea seeds but only grew white fuzzy stuff that I ended up throwing out - no tea crop this year. Anyway, on this cold spring day, I have to decide at some point whether I want to go ahead with the garden or just plant the rest of my garlic bulbs and call it a day. It is looking as though it will be a garlic sort of year with maybe just a tomato plant or two to keep them company.
I'm drinking a Christmas blend of tea today - it's my own blend and a pretty good one too - it has lots of apple and cinnamon flavor in it, with a black tea base. Nice on a cold, political day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nougat memories

There were so many candies that I enjoyed as a child that I wouldn't go near as an adult - and vice versa. When I was a kid, it was honeymoons, spearmint leaves, jelly tots and milk bottles. While I still enjoy the occasional spearmint leaf and jelly tot, I now can't stand honeymoons and I haven't seen a milk bottle since I was 9. Does anyone even remember them?
When I was a kid, I wouldn't have been caught dead eating Turkish delights, marzipan or chocolate gingers. While I'm still on the fence about the gingers, bring on the Turkish delights and the marzipan!
Another candy that's becoming increasingly hard to find around this part of the country is nougat or torrone. And I'm not talking about that soft crap with bits of jelly - I mean real crunchy nougat made of almonds and honey. When I was a kid, my parents use to buy me packages of Callard and Bowsers nougat, which would be devoured within minutes. Unfortunately, that company no longer exist and neither does their nougat. I managed to find a huge piece of Italian nougat at Winners over the Christmas holidays that lasted for weeks but I haven't seen anything since. Three new candy stores have opened in town in the last six month. Of course, none of them sell nougat. Sigh. They don't know what they're missing

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A new tea - yum!

I just tried White Tea Secrets from theteatable.com - and it's delicious. It's a blend of pai mu tan, sencha and lung ching with chunks of apple and cinnamon. It reminds me of a mild apple cider (with hardly any calories - gotta like that!) and would be wonderful in the fall. This would be a great tea for anyone who wants to add green and/or white tea to their diets but they're convinced they hate the stuff - this is one tasty drink and would convert even the most diehard green tea-haters. I just bought a sample but I know I'll be ordering more of this stuff.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday morning

Another week is whizzing by. I'm starting off the day with a Darjeeling Himalayan Blend Second Flush. Didn't like it at first but now it's growing on me - it goes down quite smoothly. There's hints of tobacco in the background - almost Yunnany.
Still didn't get the back lawn done. But I was super-productive at work yesterday - guess it all evens out. Yesterday, I drank mostly a black tea flavored with blackberries which was quite tasty - but then, I love the taste of blackberries. Oh well, it's off to work again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Strawberry tea for breakfast

I'm having strawberry tea for breakfast - this stuff is good and going down fast. I only bought an ounce and I know there won't be any left for iced tea. Didn't try the cheap Earl Grey yet - I'm almost a little afraid to.
I looked at the lawn and it still looks nice - sometimes the next day, everything you mow down pops back up, especially dandelions. I actually like the look of dandelions against green grass but I think some of the neighbors may disagree. Anyway, it looks good for now. Hopefully we'll get the backyard done tonight.
Well, I must get ready for work - here's hoping I'm more productive today!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tired ...

... but satisified. Maybe not the most productive day at work but I did what I could. Got the front lawn done when I got home. And I just finished writing two book reviews for the newspaper - all in all, a productive day. Which is good since I have far too many unproductive ones! Sometime in the next week, I want to get the back yard done and start planting some vegetables and garlic. Lots of garlic - I may have gone a little overboard on it but what I've planted so far is doing very well. And I love the stuff - could eat it all the time.
I wonder if anyone has ever done a garlic tea - could be interesting.
I might plant a few flowers too - saw some pretty Gerbera daisies that would look perfect.
I am pondering the possibility of getting a Tassimo machine. I do like the occasional capuccino, although it would have to be decaf and it seems as though no decaf Tassimo products are sold in this area. I'd probably have to order online and that may mean huge shipping bills. Shipping gets you every time. Still, a decaf capuccino in the morning wouldn't be bad.
I bought some tea today - from the dollar store! It's Earl Grey in a wooden box. OK, it will probably be lousy but I have to find out for myself. Maybe I'll go check that now ....