Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Myriad of Tastes

What a disappointment!  I added pineapple sage to my ice tea, I even muddled it a bit and poured boiling water on it so it would give flavor to the tea.  I used more than I thought necessary and what did I get?  Zippedy doo dah.  No flavor, no nothing.  Rats.  Guess I'll just use it as decor.

However, on the plus side, I needed  to trim back my scented geraniums and used the rose scented leaves in some other ice tea and YUM! a lovely addition.  I used about 6 big leaves to about a quart of tea, muddling and adding a bit of boiling water.  Worked a treat..  That was with black tea.  With green, I would probably only use 3-4.  Scented geraniums, aka pelargoniums, come in many, many scents and if you really want to branch out in flavoring your tea, this might be a way to go.  On the whole, I have found the lemon. orange and rose the strongest scented of the ones I would add to tea.  The little leafed "Lemon Crispum" has the cutest leaves in the world.  Tiny little bright green crinkles you can add to tea or ice cubes.  They aren't too big on flowers, but they sure smell good.  In the north, they need to come inside for the winter.  (What else is new, sigh?)

By the way, I have been finding that a cup or so of boiling water is a good start to refrigerator ice tea.  For some reason, it seems to work better.

I made a discovery.  My new favorite black tea - S.D.Bell's - calls for a 6 (SIX!!!???) minute steep.  Gulp.  I liked it at my standard 3.5 minutes.  However, in the interest of tea science  I did it, following their recommendations to also stir it at 3 minutes.  Huh, it was actually just fine, with a  greater depth of flavor and surprisingly, no tannin.  Since this is an Irish Breakfast type, crafted to go with milk and sugar, that's really not any great surprise. Himself loved it. Guess I'll keep that up.

I came up with a new Asian style chicken salad dressing.  It came about when I bought a packet of those crisp Chinese noodles that homemade chow mien dishes always used to sport on top.  There was a recipe for Asian chicken salad on the back which looked good, but when I tasted the dressing I thought it was simply awful.  So I made my own.

Enough mayonnaise for the amount of chicken you're using.
about 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons of toasted, i.e. dark, sesame oil
about 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice
A little sugar or some Mirin 

Mix well and pour over your chicken - I had chopped water chestnuts, green onions and mandarin oranges in mine.  Taste first and make any adjustments according to how you like it.

Just before serving, top with the crunchy Chinese noodles, adding a lot or a little according to taste.  Since this was for a small tea luncheon, I put the salad in lettuce cups and just added a few on top, but I passed a dish of them just in case. Instead of scones, we had pot stickers - there are frozen ones that cook up quickly and are very tasty, served with Goyusa sauce, aka pot sticker sauce.  I served rice crackers on the side and some lovely Long Jing ice tea.  Dessert was mango sorbet.

Amalfi, my husband's ancestral home.

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