Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cranberry Saturday

That vague moutain peak in the distance is Vesuvius. The water
is Naples Bay.

News from the bird world. Most of the woodpecker young have gotten eating and flying down pretty well. Stopping, short hops, and good aim are still on the to-do list. They use their wings in amazing ways to kind of grasp the pole the suet feeder is on so they don't fall off or slide down it.

Yesterday morning my neighbor saw a mama black bear and three! cubs cross the road and go into the woods on the other side. I wish I had seen them and I am glad to know I am not crazy when I think we have been "beared". It is unusual for a bear to have more than two cubs.

Today I am having some of the tea I got on vacation. This one is a special blend called Dunbar Tea, from the shop of the same name in Sandwich, MA. It was blended by Harney's and consists of black tea, cranberry and essence of almond. This is not the same as their Cranberry Autumn, which has orange and other things in it. The mostly black leaves have a soft sheen and smell very fruity. I could not distinguish the almond, but it may be there, rounding off the edges of the sharp cranberry. I brewed it for the usual 3.5 minutes with boiling water, about a teaspoon per cup. As soon as the water hit the tea, the aroma of almond came out and persisted, giving a very pleasant floral note to the fruit.

This is a rather sweet tea all on its own, so you sweetener adders best check it out before doing so. When it is quite hot, the almond is to the fore. As it cools, the cranberry comes more into play. The almond really does take the sharp edge that carnberries have and softens it remarkably well. Adding milk is not tasty. For myself, I think this would make an excellent ice tea, but it is not one I would like very often hot. That is just me, as I am not a fan of fruit and sweet in my tea. Having said that, I think this is a well-made, well-balanced tea.

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