Monday, September 26, 2011

How Sweet It Is

A very typical Swiss Chalet

Fall is really hustling right along and I have noticed some beautiful things. Just down the road from us is a about a ½ mile long hill of nothing but golden rod, along yellow sweep of color, glistening in the sun. The swamp maples are flaming red, redder than I’ve seen them in a long while. Redder even than the poison ivy or the more maroon of the sumac. Color is creeping around on the hills, but all of it is still pretty pale. Hopefully we will have a hard frost that will deepen the colors.

Our deceitful river has its moments of beauty also. Sometimes it is so still, we see those upside down reflections, so beloved of photographers. It is too soon for most people around here to view the river with anything but fear and distaste. The aid stations are still going strong, with many people coming for help. We are reminded that winter is not very far away.

I have a new product to tell you about, tea sugars. These are hand made by Elayne Crain at Austin Sugar Works . They come in a number of shapes and flavors and I bought some to try. I got mint, ginger and lime and Elaine gave me some samples of rose and others I’ve not tried yet. The lime looks like a lime slice, the ginger is a lion, the rose is a rose and the mint looks likes snow flakes. I tried them with plain teas, so I could see how they affected the tea. They are all delicate flavors and could easily go in almost any cup of tea, although I think they would be wasted on a strong one. For me, I like the fact they add the gentlest amount of flavor to your tea, just a small, elusive hint, which is just perfect. I was afraid they would overwhelm the taste of the tea, but they don’t.

The sugars are all natural and hand made, as I said. They dissolve very quickly and they are pretty. They are much too expensive for everyday, but if you want to add a “sweet” touch to a special tea party, these could be the very thing. Elayne also suggests using them as decorations on cupcakes or cookies. Visit her site and check them out.

PS, I am still not a sugar in tea person, but  I would use these at my tea parties to please my guests..

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