Friday, August 19, 2011

Tea and Clover, With Shortbread on the Side.

This is a house sided with stones.  It is in a tiny remote village in the
Palatine region of Germany, from which some of my ancestors

Hooray, hooray! My clover is sprouting. This is the fastest that has happened. I guess the old tea really helped, in spite of a huge downpour. Thanks, Alex! Another use for tea is to compost it directly on your garden and house plants. I water the latter in the winter with leftover tea quite often and they seem to enjoy it. Most plants like things a bit on the acid side. It’s not tea, but roses love coffee grounds and ground up banana peel. I knew a man with wonderful roses who made the rounds of our town’s restaurants to collect coffee grounds for them.

It’s a beautiful morning, all misty and golden. A perfect morning for Golden Monkey from Teas Etc. This is a black organic tea from China. There are lots of gold buds and dust around these long, twisted leaves. They smell of tobacco, with a sharp, spice and fruit component. I brewed it for 4 minutes with boiling water. The golden amber liquid gave off an aroma of fresh wash, with a really zingy spicy, floral edge.

After all this, I was really expecting something super. Alas, it was not to be. The tea did not live up to its heralding and was quite bland, with nothing in the way of nuances. However, all was not lost. I did not finish it and when I sipped some of the cold tea it had a pleasant, woodsy, sweet taste. So perhaps this is one that is better served iced.

If you like shortbread with your tea, you might want to try McDuffie’s, from central New York. It is at least as good as Walkers and about ½ the price. (9 ounces is $3.99) Go to for stores or ordering on line. The owners are shirttail relatives of mine. If they were named McTaggert, I’d still recommend them, the shortbread is excellent.

Oh dear, one of our fur persons is too smart and demanding. (Of course he's not spoiled.) He has figured out where I keep the catnip and that the cupboard door won’t quite close and so he gets it open and drags out the container, crying piteously for me to give him some. He now tries that twice a day. But I am mean and nasty and concerned for his health, so he only gets it a few times a week.

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