Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Days

After visits from Hurricanes Earl and Igor, albeit brief, glancing ones, the weather here has cooled down considerably in this area. The days are now in the mid-teens, or mid 50s, depending on what temperature gauge you use. It definitely feels like fall and for the first time in months, I've actually wanted to do some baking. Today, I made an apple pie using Nova Scotia Macintosh apples, with loads of cinnamon and nutmeg and it turned out pretty good. I also made a lasagna and a pasta salad for later in the week.
Timmy's has pumpkin spice tea again - hurray! I bought a box while out for a walk downtown and enjoyed a cup while strolling. It will go into my work tea stash when I head in tomorrow.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yes, I drink tea(bags)

There now, my secret is out. I do drink teabags. I prefer loose, of course, but most of my tea these days is drunk at work and frankly, since I work around a lot of electronic equipment, it's preferred to keep tea and other drinks as far away as possible. A mug is bad enough but a mug and a teapot with lots of boiling water and leaves really isn't a good idea. So, I use teabags at work and loose at home. So this week, I broke down and ordered from Bigelow since their seasonal teas are exceptionally good - even if their shipping is overpriced compared to other companies. I ordered a case each (six boxes of 20 bags each) of peach green tea, Eggnoggin' and Apple Cider blend. I also ordered a box of six seasonal teas which included a pumpkin spice, one flavored with white chocolate, Gingersnappish and a cinnamon herb tea. Six boxes will end up in Christmas gift baskets while another two will go to a friend. That leaves me with 16 boxes - still more than I like but these teas are good until 2013 so I'll no doubt use them by then. So far I've tried the pumpkin spice - which is a surprisingly good black tea with spicy overtones - it would be nice with a touch of milk and sugar. I tried the white chocolate black tea today and immediately regretted not ordering a whole case - it's creamy, tasty and sweet even black. The apple cidre is a herbal blend - quite nice. Of course, Eggnoggin' is delish and for those who can't stomach green tea, give the peach green a try - it's pretty good.
I do live in an area where you can't buy these teas so even with the shipping and exchange, the prices averaged $4 a box or 20 cents a cup so it's still not a bad deal.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tea, tea, tea!

T'was a day for tea - lots of it! I've managed to try three new teas today and even more shocking, they were all good!
I visited my tea loving friend today and she gave me a bag of three teas to try and made me a pot of Tahitian Limeade Rooibos Tea by Teavana. This was interesting since it's a rooibos and I normally can't stand rooibos. This was really good with a subtle lime flavor that was really refreshing. Often lime can be quite overpowering so it was nice to have something was more laid back. I bet it would make a great iced tea.
When I got home, I tried one of my new teas, Teavana's Strawberry Slender Pu-Erh Tea. She gave it to me since it came to her as a gift and she's not a fan of strawberry teas - well, I am. I had it hot but it would also be nice iced. Suffice to say it's a strong black tea with loads of strawberry flavor - I thought it was absolutely delicious. What's even better is that she gave me a big bag of it so I'll have some for a while. She gave me a considerably smaller amount of Teaopia's Amaretto Cherry but I'll try to forgive her. That too was tasty - a black tea with cherry and almond flavoring. Not something I'd drink everyday but nice once in a while.
We also tried some of the Nestle's Intense dark chocolate, which was surprisingly good. It reminded me of the Dove promises that I used to pick up when travelling in the US - you couldn't and still can't get Dove chocolate around here. I went and bought a bar for myself afterwards. I also bought a piece of apple pie fudge - sounds disgusting but it's really good. Rich, creamy with chunks of apples and cinnamon. Good fall food, y'know!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Storm Season

Tropical Storm Earl left on the weekend but last night, a yet-unnamed cousin dropped by and entertained us for 12 hours with plenty of thunder and lightning. You know, the kind that shakes the house and makes you wonder if the roof is going to cave in since the rain is so heavy. I didn't even think thunder storms could last that long. And why do they always arrive in the middle of the night?
I don't know what's up with all this rotten weather but at least it's cooled down a bit around here. The temperatures are now in the low 20s, which is much nicer than the mid-30s we were having in late August, early September.
Even with the more fallish weather, we haven't delved fully into the fall teas yet. There's still plenty of time to enjoy the peaches and cream flavored black, the strawberry black decaf and the lavender green. I just had a cup of lemon herbal and this afternoon, I had a cup of Harney's Tropical Blend, a green tea flavored with pineapple - always a good choice.
However, last weekend, I did buy my first pears and apples of the season. I can't remember what kind they were, but the pears were divine and the apples, Jersey Macs, weren't bad either. And yes, I am starting to crave apple cider and spicy teas, like cinnamon apple. Today, I had a package of Mott's Apple Pie Cider in the mid-afternoon and it was a pleasant drink for a rainy, damp day.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stormy days

I haven't posted in a while; no particular reason - just didn't get around to it in the normal course of life. Yesterday was stormy here. Hurricane Earl dropped by. When he arrived, he came in the form of a tropical storm to this area, which was a huge relief. While tropical storms can be bad, this one was no worse than any of our usual storms. Lots of rain and wind but nothing truly out of the ordinary. Of course, other areas were much more affected but we got off lucky and for that I am grateful! Wind storms do worry me since I am surrounded by large trees but I may even want to rethink that concern. Yesterday, in the midst of it all when the winds were around 64 kph, a flicker sat on a branch in the corner of my backyard and looked decidedly unperturbed. Trees also serve as a windbreak and if this bird felt safe there, who am I to argue? When the winds died down, he flew away. However, we were lucky and even my neighbours and most of the people in the small city where I live lost their power. We didn't.
When a storm is coming, I make the usual preparation but there is one I never forget. I always boil a big thermos of boiling water - sometimes several. That way, if the power does go out, I can still make tea. Yesterday's cup was Winter Blend from It's black tea with almond, spices and maybe some orange - something like an orange spice but with more of an almond smoothness. A nice, comforting cup for a nasty, dark stormy day.