Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuesday, Nov 9

A pleasant vista at Ballenberg Museum in Switzerland.

I was making biscotti yesterday, using a recipe from my husband's aunt, ZiZi [Auntie in Italian]. While doing it I had such fond memories of sitting in her kitchen, visiting, of having "coffee and" which meant some espresso with a dollop of anisette liquor and some cookies. I don't remember the almond biscotti so much as I remember the little round frosted oil cookies. Maybe I'll make those next. A lot of my cooking uses recipes from friends and relatives and it's a happy way to keep good memories or stir them up!

I've been noticing trees in my travels around. The latest to spark my interest has been a small grove at the bank. Most of the trees are singles, but there are two sets that have grown together. It is fascinating to trace the growth of the individuals and see where they began to touch and where they finally just grew the same bark to cover both of them. If they are ever cut down, I'd love to have a slab from where they began to grow together. We have one on our road that has a huge diameter. Since it is an oak, a slow grower, it must be pretty old, certainly past 50. It has beautiful, well defined branches.

I have not much brain today for tea - I've been sleepy since I got up! So I am having and undemanding tea - Windsor Castle, from Culinary Teas. It is an English-style blend of Darjeeling, Assam and Kenya. I am brewing it for 3.33 minutes with boiling water. Dry, the leaves smell like fresh silage, with some roasted, toasted notes thrown in. Most of the leaves are pretty small and dark, with an occasional gold one. As it brews, it just smells like fresh tea.
And that is pretty much what it is - a pleasant, unremarkable cuppa that most Brits would recognize as decent tea. And so say I. I shall dunk my biscotti in it.

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