Saturday, August 27, 2011

I've been busy doing stuff.

Ok, I haven't really been so busy that I couldn't update ever, and I haven't actually been keeping track of what I've had to drink every day.  Here are, however, a few notable experiences I've had lately with tea:

Russian Potatoes.  I've been saying I wanted to try them for a while, but I only just got to trying them now.
Oh, and my ability to write a recipe down is pretty shit too, so forgive my vague instructions.

First try went...alright.  I used some of my Russian Caravan from World Tea House.  The idea was to brew it  strong, but got impatient and didn't really wait long enough.  Plus, I was using my friend's IngenuiTea Teapot and for those who don't know, the tea comes out of the bottom when you press it up against your cup (or in my case, pot of mashed potatoes).  I accidentally pressed it up against the side of the pot while trying to put it away and splashed way more tea than I actually wanted.  I ended up with rather watery potatoes.

So I made it a stew instead.

Russian Stew!

I'm staying at said friend's place for a bit, so I didn't have as much food to choose from as I would like.  I just threw in the few veggies I had around, and some leftover chicken mom had given me.  The veggies were all steamed ahead of time and then thrown together rather than actually cooked in the stew because I had never actually intended to make a stew in the first place.

So, my recipe for this looks a bit like this:

Cook Potatoes.
Make tea
Get impatient with tea and add it too early
Mess up and add too much tea
Give up and throw everything in one pot

It was actually pretty delicious.  It made my chicken taste smokey. <3

Oh, note to anyone considering this, do not brew Russian Caravan (or anything else with a Lapsang Souchong base) in a plastic pot without immediately rinsing it out. I had to give it a looong bath.  Live and learn I guess.

Second attempt went much better.  Basically I didn't mess up on all the things I messed up on last time:

Brew tea ahead of time.
Start mashing potatoes first.
Only add enough tea to make them more mashable
Do whatever the heck you want with your veggies.
Serve with other things.  And corn.  Always with corn.

Up next, cookies!

So, I decided yesterday that I would make cookies.  I was going to bake something, and it was going to be delicious.  Nothing would stop me from baking something, nothing.

Also, I haven't baked anything besides apple crumble in forever and I basically have no idea what the fuck I'm doing.

Yesterday was vanilla almond cookies with a bit of Earl Grey. which eventually just turned into one giant cookie while baking. Live and learn....

So, next time I want to try making a chai-spiced cookie (possibly with some black tea added, but probably mostly just cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cardamom).

I also just picked up some matcha powder for baking.  A quick google search brought me to This Blog where I found a recipe for neat looking matcha cookies.

The matcha cookies are next on my list of things that I will bake.  Nothing will stop me.  Except maybe work.  And wedding showers.  And cleaning.  And more work.

But once I have some free time, I promise you, there will be more cookies. >:|

And in the future: Cupcakes.  I will make adorable cupcakes someday, just you watch me.

That's it for now.  I will share more news on my tea-cooking when I have more news to share.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Victory will be mine!

But before I talk about my inevitable victory that is one free cup of tea, I will share the tea I've had for the past little while:

Aug 6
Started off with masala chai (in the McGuyver'd mug that I posted about last time)
Had a cup of Rooibos Vanilla for lunch
I didnt' write it down, but I'm pretty sure I had a re-steep at some point of the chai.  Or not, maybe I'm just remembering wrong.  That happens a lot.

Aug 7
Surprise! Guess who didn't get a lunch break with not notice! Again!  If you guessed me, YOU GUESSED RIGHT.
So I went to get a pot of Ginger Tea after work to get un-cranky before heading home.  It is never a good idea to face my mother while cranky.  No matter how cranky, how pissed off, how totally bitchy you are--even if it's totally justifiable bitchyness-- She will beat you.  She will out cranky-you and she will utterly destroy you.

So yeah, tea was a good idea.  I got a little bit more writing done.  Writing the past few days has been really frustrating; A little while ago I sat down to write and two children's stories popped out of my head.  They're cute little stories, but I have no idea where they came from.  I don't even know any young children that I would write it for.  Weird.
Anyway, since then it's always seemed like a let down when an entire story doesn't magically manifest itself.

On to other more tea-related things:  VICTORY! My adventure card at World Tea House is full, so Imma get me a free cuppa today.  Assuming I get a lunch break that is.

You know what's really, really awesome?  Lunch breaks at the times you're told you'll get them.  Not that I'm still cranky or anything.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Like a warm blanket

I realized this morning that I had forgotten my travel mug at work.

So I just grabbed another travel mug.

When I opened it up to make sure it was clean, I was hit with the smell of Masala Chai, and I thought "Hey, it's been a while, Chai.  I'll choose you today."

I forgot how comforting Chai is in the morning for me.  It's like a warm fuzzy blanket.  Only, you know, liquid form, and a lot less comfortable to actually cuddle (although my mugs do often double up as hot water bottles when I am stiff or cramping.).

There was just one problem.  The basket wouldn't stay up out of the water.  (DUN DUN DUUUUUN)

This isn't hugely surprising, I think this was the first mug I got out of my small collection, and it didn't really stay up all that well when I first got it.  Add a few drops on to cement and I'm kind of surprised this thing even closes properly.  The real problem was mostly that I didn't notice this until I was on my way out of the apartment and didn't have time to transfer to another mug.

But then, out of the corner of my eye, I see this bright pink paperclip, and then...

Now I can enjoy my comforting tea.  I just need to make sure I don't poke myself in the face with a paperclip while I do it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tea and Moneyz

K, this was supposed to be part of the last post, but I think it could be it's own.

I R Broke. I need to buy less tea, because I need to buy less everything.  So, to help cut down on my spending, I'm switching to cups instead of pots when I go out for tea, and no more after work tea unless I a)already plan to meet someone there or b)didn't get a lunch break.

Sigh.  Why can't my hangout spot be my livingroom? The food and tea there is free(ish. Not really.)  I've even got a couch. It's a nice couch. You know what's great about couches? People can sit on them. Comfortably.

Anyway, another fun thing Phil just came up with is a card for the tea house:

Now, this isn't really going to save me oodles of money, but it'll get me a free cup every now and then, and remind me to try different types of teas more often. :3

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go update my pretty spreadsheets. :D

Tea...well, tea.

It's a quiet day today, so I'm going to get caught up with my tea journal now:

July 24
-Cup of Hot Rod
-Iced pot of Chocolate Monkey

I wasn't sure how the Chocolate Monkey would be iced, but it's nice.  I don't think I like it quite as much iced as hot, but it's still a great option on a hot day.

July 25
I forgot my mug at home. Again. :/
I eventually got a pot of iced Vanilla Berry Truffle. Very, very nice iced. :D

July 26
I don't think I did anything on the 26th.  I sat around and played Disgaea all day.  It was glorious.
For supper mom had "Regular" (Tetley) tea and I had a pot of ginger/mint.  It's good for upset tummies, but it's also just really nice to taste. :3

July 27
My last day of belly dance classes for the next little while, so I knew I'd be in Halifax anyway.  I decided to head over early and have some Silverneedle.  I really, really like it, and it resteeps so well, but I don't usually get it because it's a bit more expensive than the regular teas there.  I feel like it's a waste if I don't have enough time to go through a few re-steeps.
I did happen to get a pots out of it this time, and when I ran out of time, I gave the rest to 42 (the tea pirate, remember?)

July 28
...I actually can't remember.  I'm pretty sure it was a pot of Earl Grey.  I think that was the day a friend came in afterward and also got a pot of Earl Grey, which I found amusing.  I could be wrong though, that could have been another day.

July 29
-Cup of hot rod in the morning
-Pot of iced temple chai for my lunch break.
-Probably a re-steep on the hot rod, but I forgot to write it down if I did.

July 30
-Cup of Hot Rod in the morning
-Pot of Assam in the afternoon
Didn't finish the pot in time, so I put the rest in my mug. :3

July 31
-Cup of Hot Rod in the morning
I usually forget about the tins of Zhena's Gypsy Tea also available at World Tea House, but one particular Tea Pirate  recommended the Peach Ginger. I had a pot of it, iced.  Uh, yum! Super peachy!
Word of advice though, be careful when smelling it, especially if you've just opened a new tin.  Little bits of it will fly up your nose and burn a bit, in that special gingery way.
-Re-steep of the Hot Rod for the road.

That's all for now. :3