Monday, February 27, 2012

First Prize For Me

The wind is doing its howly thing again, so it is another excuse for tea.  You have to take them where you find them, right?  I think a chai would be perfect for today, with it's sweet warm spices.  I just happen to have some of Yogic Chai's Original Masala Chai, which won first prize at the 2011 North American Tea Championship.  Yogic chai makes nothing but chai, from all the sorts of tea, including kombucha and from a number of herbals as well.

This one is made from all organics - Assam tea, green cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger.  I made it with boiling water, steeping it for 5 minutes.  I added cream and sugar as that is the traditional way of serving it.  It is an excellent mixture, with the spices very well blended, although sometimes one and then another would come to the fore.  The cloves behaved themselves and let the others go first, in stead of shouting "taste me, taste me!"  I appreciate this.  This is a mild chai and I would prefer one a bit spicier, but that is just personal taste.  I think I also prefer white cardamom, whcih gives a hint of lemon.    Whatever, it is a very pleasant warmth on a cold, blustery day.

There are 2 little downy woodpeckers on the suet and neither is pleased that the other is there.  But they are eating and no longer fighting, so I guess all is well.  Our squirrels are back!  Oh yeah, they are back and at the bird feeders to make up for lost time.  They are annoying, but they are also funny and cute, so I am glad they are here.  After the tornado and the noisy clean up, they diappeared.

Another German river town.  The big tower in the left center was used both as a lookout and as a wine storage facility until it coud be loaded on the river barges.

This is an example of the many grape fields on the Rhine, which would be converted to wine and stored in the tower above.  It is still a great wine making area.  Obviously, there is a lot of hand work involved, as the steep slopes would preclude the use of much mechanization.  This is also true of many of the wine producing areas in NY's FingerLakes region, where I live.

1 comment:

Steph said...

I hope you're warmed up with the spices! It's sunny but cold here today.