Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oolong Surprise, Indian market teas

Today was another of "those" days which seem to go forever without a lot being accomplished.

We had gone up to Albany to do the doctor specialist thing. Pretty drive, through some of my favorite country - the Upper Susquehanna River Valley.

The only tea I had all day was at lunch at the Capitol Buffet on Wolf Road. It is one of the best Chinese buffets I've ever been to. It even has a Mongolian grill. These were originally Mongol shields turned upide down over a campfire. Now they are huge circular pieces of spun metal heated up to a high temperature over a gas fire. You make a selection of meats, veggies and sauces and the grill master walks around the grill, constantly turning your food over until after 1 circuit, it is finished - very very good.

The tea was a real surprise. It was a lovely oolong, spicey, floral, a touch smokey, nothing like the usual stuff that comes out of those big urns. It didn't stand up to the strong tastes of the excellent food, but I appreciated it several times by just sniffing it and rolling it around my tongue. It was a much appreciated oasis in the day. And wonderful with fortune cookies.
We also hit the Indian store to get my husband his beloved CTC Lipton's tea - he is uninterested in improving his lot, tea wise, but graciously drinks what I offer as long as he can have this stuff most of the time. The blacker and stronger, the better. Here was another surpise. Not only were there many more selections of tea - all ctc - but there were many sorts of teabags and powdered tea, including chai teabags. My friend, the proprietor said that with so many women working, there is not time to always do things slowly. I should not have been surprised - Indian markets have the largest selection of mixes for just about any food they eat. I pride myself on the fact I've never used Hamburger Helper, but I have used a lot of Indian mixes and some of them are very good. Albany has a very large Indian and Pakistani population - enough so that the local JoAnn fabric has a huge section of sari mateial. Such beautiful stuff it is.
The picture today is of a home on the one of the many cliffs on Ischia Island, Italy.

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