Thursday, 26 November 2009

Smooth Chamomile

I was intrigued by this recipe for a chamomile, peach and ginger smoothie from the moment I saw it on - I know I have written about using good ol' C. sinensis in various smoothies but chamomile? Hmm.

But peaches are in season (yay!) so earlier this week I decided to brew up a strong pot of my Chamomile Sunburst blend and use that (instead of the plain chamomile and the ginger) to make a version of this smoothie. (I thought that the Chamomile Sunburst blend would go well in this because of the dried apricots it contains, complementing the peachy flavour). I also used some homemade (very runny) yoghurt instead of the milk, and added a tablespoon of chia seeds instead of the optional wheatgerm.

Verdict = YUM! Definitely give this one a try, either in the original or the revised version ( the Chamomile Sunburst is available in my Etsy shop...) ;)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Library tea book haul

The other day I collected a bumper stash of tea books from my local library - I was most impressed with the selection that a search for 'tea' on the catalogue brought up. I'm working my way through them gradually. I read some of Tea: East and West, which was published as a follow up to an exhibition of tea art and wares at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2000, to Pippin (he slept through it, but I found it all very interesting; and it's full of beautiful images, I wish I could have seen the original exhibition).

I'm currently part-way through The Chinese Art of Tea by John Blofeld, which is more irritating than anything else, particularly for the author's chronic overuse of exclamation marks (never a signifier of scholarly merit) and (to my mind anyway) many patronising references to 'simple peasants'. I'm also not well-versed enough in Chinese history of any sort to be able to judge for myself whether the representation of Chinese tea cultures throughout the ages is historically accurate, and have no idea whether the translations offered by the author of various classic Chinese tea texts are good ones. Some footnotes would be reassuring; alas, there are none. Still I will persevere.

I was also pleased to find a copy of The Tea Ceremony at the library - I saw it for sale in the cookbook section of a large gourmet foods store a few months ago, but it was relatively expensive and I didn't have the time to peruse it properly to determine if it were worth the investment. I'll be able to make a decision about that shortly, though.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...

... things are currently a little disrupted (in the happiest way possible) by the arrival of our beautiful son Peregrin Ambrose (Pippin for short) who was born on 3 November.

Isn't he gorgeous? And of course, this particular outfit includes a handy reminder, just in case I forget to have a cup of two of tea (or more, preferably) throughout the day... I'm sipping on some very welcome infusion of chamomile, peppermint and lemon balm at the moment. Nice strong Assam with milk and a little sugar has also been making a regular appearance in my cup lately... and I just finished off my tin of Mao Feng from Oriental Tea House the other day as well.

(I will also confess that on some of the more difficult, sleep-deprived days I have been known to respond to my sister's kind offer of 'Can I make you some tea? What kind?' with 'Whatever'... a sorry state of affairs that will hopefully not continue too long...)


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