Tea is Hot

teacup

The January issue of Bon Appetite cited tea as one of the top 25 food trends for 2013. How cool is that?  If you watch Downton Abbey, you know that sitting down to tea is part of life for the residents upstairs and downstairs. A refined drink for all social classes.

Several Fearless Cooking Club (FCC) members have been on some tea adventures the past few months.We started out with a day trip to Boulder at Celestial Seasonings.

Sleepytime tea bears

We donned our hair nets and went through the production rooms for the free tour.  We learned about black, green and white teas and many herbs and spices that are hand-picked from all over the world. They have a chief taster who has been in the job since the start of the company.

The Mint Room is quite the experience. Our tour guide directed us in and closed the door. Sinuses opened immediately, eyes watered, slight throat burn. You can mark your survival with a postcard or cup in the gift shop.

I survived the mint room

Following our tea tasting and scooping up great deals from the gift shop, we headed to downtown Boulder for lunch at the Dushanbe Tea House. The house is a gift to Boulder from the country of Tajikistan. Dushanbe is the capital and Sister City to Boulder. We had a lovely lunch along with three different pots of loose tea.

Dushanbe Tea House

Tree of Life panel by ceramic artist Victor Zabolotnikov.
outer panel

Then I hosted a pajama tea party on the Season 3 Finale of Downton Abbey. It was a tea potluck as we munched on scones, breads and desserts to enjoy with our tea. Don’t you just love the tiara?

Slumber Tea Party

The last adventure was high tea at the Brown Palace Hotel. My daughter and her three girlfriends came home for Spring Break. They got gussied up in hats, pashminas and furs to fully enjoy a proper English tea.

Spring Break Quartet

The scones, sandwiches and desserts were sumptuous.

plates of sandwiches

Tea makes one feel civilized and refined. Oh, to take a break and enjoy the moment.

Patty’s Points of learning on the Tea Tasting Trail:

1. The origin of tea dates back to 2737 BC by Shen Nung Emperor of China. A leaf fell into a cup and it brought a pleasing and therapeutic flavor to water.

2. Sleepy Time tea is Celestial Seasonings most popular tea and it really isn’t tea. It’s an herbal infusion. That is also why it is caffeine-free.

3. Many pieces of the Dushanbe Tea House were assembled in Tajikistan and shipped to the US; the Teahouse was built by hand.

4.  According to Afternoon Tea the drinking of tea not only became a social event for the upper classes, it altered the time and manner in which they took tea. Afternoon Tea became the bridge between meals because many wouldn’t eat their evening meal until maybe 8pm. As such, Afternoon Tea became a ‘mini meal’ in itself. High tea is taken at a table; afternoon tea is taken at a low comfortable chair or sofa. The upper classes developed their own variation of high tea as a meal that could be eaten when their servants were away or not available, as it was so easy to prepare.

I will be posting again on tea….I am still sipping and sampling.

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Another Award

liebster-award

I am the slowest person on the planet at replying to award nominations from other bloggers.

From My Kitchen To Yours nominated me six weeks ago for a Liebster Award. How sweet!

“The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers…

Nominees of the Liebster Award must…

  1. Post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the questions that the tagger/nominator has posted for them.
  3. Create 11 questions and choose (nominate) 11 blogs of 200 followers or less and link them in the post.
  4. Go to their page and tell them.

My 11 questions to you all

What is your favorite food to cook?

Lately it has been veggies.

What is your favorite food to eat?

Jelly or Jam, and specifically Ginger Jelly (I know really?)

What was your favorite childhood book?

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by E. L Konigsburg

Why did you start your blog?

I turned 50 years old and I felt that I had no significance in the world. I have been told that I am funny,  have a talent with writing and good ideas. I thought the blog would help me express my feelings formally.

How do you decide what to cook?

My cooking is intuitional based. I grew up loving beets, green beans, cucumbers and corn because we grew them in our garden. I was in 4-H sewing, knitting, baking, and learning to cook anything with hamburgers or pork. I was raised on the outskirts of a small town with a state university, my Dad was a country boy and my Mom was a small city girl. I am a combo of city and country  - loving both.

How often do you go to the grocery store?

Anywhere from weekly to two to three times a week. Because I work full-time my “play time” in the kitchen varies from none to several times during the week.

What is your biggest dream?

I like living in a balance and I must have a creative outlet. I have this blog for my creative outlet but I also am a healthcare professional relishing in both worlds.

Recipes or no recipes?

If I get into a groove I can be inspired and throw ingredients together easily. When I’m stressed I have to look at the cookbook or recipe literally.

What is your favorite color?

Blue. It always has been and always be.

What do you hope comes out of your blogging?

I’m a late bloomer to writing and blogging. But, I have been told that I have an interesting point of view.

What is your favorite holiday?

St Patrick’s Day. My mother is Irish and her loves were a big influence in my life. I celebrated St Patrick’s Day this year in New Orleans. That was interesting. There were a total of four different St. Patrick’s Day parades in the city over the weekend. People throw cabbage as well as bead necklaces.

I nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Blog award:

Here are the following eleven questions to answer:

1. What is you go-to comfort food?

2. What recipe or food are you afraid to cook?

3. What is your favorite movie?

4. Are you a cat or dog person?

5. If you had a dinner party, which three  people would you invite (dead or alive) ?

6. If you won the lottery, how would you spend your money?

7. Who is your favorite TV chef?

8. What is your favorite candy?

9. What is your favorite childhood memory?

10. What was your favorite song?

11. What inspires you?

Happy Spring everyone!