Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lilacs in the snow

It is a cold, nasty, blowy, wet day and I was in the mood for something that would take me somewhere else. Having just bought some samples from Simpson and Vail, I thought I would try their Lilac Bouquet. Lilacs are the essence of Spring, right? Some kind soul planted a lot of them around the house and in April and May I leave my doors and windows open so that the whole house smells of them. Blessings on the person who planted them!

At first I wondered what I had done to myself with the tea, as it smelled a little bit like lilac soap, which to me is not pleasant. However, I brewed up the small leaves at 212 for about 3 minutes. As it brewed, the scent modified and darned if it didn't become more like the real deal. Now for the big test – how does it taste? Like lilacs! It is very lilac without being cloying or overdone and it is not sweet. Really a delightful tea. I would serve this only on a special occasion and with something mildly spicy to set off the very floral character of the tea. I have to say I was very happily surprised by the tea and will get more.

There is a contest going on about tea moments. You can go here to find out about it. I don't want to enter the contest, but it has started me thinking. I guess a defining moment for me was about a month or two ago when I actually saw in the wet leaves from a cup of tea, the two small leaves and a leaf bud that indicates at least the beginning of good tea. It suddenly made real what I've read about plucking tea and then processing it. To have these leaves and buds, whole in front of me showed the care with which they had been handled. I could see the hands of the women carefully getting just these small bits of a tea bush and sense the love and pride that went into bringing them to my cup.

Last night we watched Julie and Julia. What a neat movie! I really miss seeing her on TV. She was so funny and such a superb cook. Her recipe for pound cake is the only one I ever use and it always works. Martha Stewart doesn't even come close and she was rude to her on Julia's show. A pox on all her houses!

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