Sunday, December 12, 2010

I See the Heather Bloomin"

Now that's a lovely sight - flowers in mid-winter, wonderful on an ugly day. Actually it is the
picture closest to heather that I happen to have .

I'm doing that because my tea today, which comes from the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company is Heather Tea, a blend of African and Assam tea with a lot of dried heather blossoms. Heather is a beautiful sight in full bloom and I have often had a plant or two, just to keep in touch with that side of my family heritage. My husband often teases me about being a "mutt", but every army in Africa, the Middle East and Europe marched through southern Italy. I mean, how many blond, blue-eyed southern Italians do you know who also have a red beard? A touch Norse perhaps? Descended from Eric the Red?

Back to the tea. It is very pretty in the can, with all those flowers and smells just very faintly flowery. Mostly it is just very fresh tea. I brewed it for 3.5 minutes with boiling water and I must say, it is a hearty color. There is still that faint flowery scent, with just a touch of citrus. The taste is very "British" or should I say "Scottish"? A nice full, Assam/ African taste, somewhat milder than most, again with the citrus/flower teasers. It takes milk well, but I don't do sugar, so I don't know how that will affect it.

I made a very nice Asian style soup last night that I will probably use as a first course for Christmas. It is about half and half chicken and beef broth, about 1 quart total, with a lot of chopped ginger and a good slug of garlic. One thinly sliced onion that was cut in half, a handful of thin sliced shitake mushrooms, two julienned carrots, 3 inches of julienned daikon radish, some practically embryonic bok choy and left over shredded pork. Cook until the veggies are done. Add soy sauce or mirin to taste. Or both. For Christmas, I won't put any meat in it. If the veggies were a bit smaller, I might use it for a tea party. It takes only as long as you need to cut up the veggies and have them cook, maybe 30 minutes, if you're a medium speed cutter. If you can't find baby bok choy at an Asian market, use spinach or julienned pea pods.

I'm sorry I can't give more specific directions, but unless something is new or a particularly good recipe, that is mostly how I cook. It's a bit risky, but then I feel very smart when something really works.

1 comment:

Bernideen said...

It looks so green there - I could send you some snow from Colorado - Rocky Mountain Snow!