Thursday, July 21, 2011

Keeping Cool

More Swiss flowers - at Spiez Castle on Lake Thun.

Are y'all hot enough today? We're expecting temperatures in the upper 90's and maybe hitting 100. I am very thankful for air conditioning. For once, even the cats think it is a "cool" idea. What are you doing to keep cool? One trick I learned, when I was in NYC in my first job, was to take cold baths. As cold as you could stand them. Now I might amend that to cool baths. Drink lots of liquids.

It is very easy to get dehydrated in such hot weather and one way you can tell if that is beginning to happen is to pinch up the skin on the back of your hand. If it goes back quickly, you're fine. If it goes slowly, drink a large glass of water (or ice tea).

Speaking of tea I was trying some Mark T. Wendell's Russian Caravan. It smelled good in the tin, slightly smokey, slightly sweet. It was very dark and seemed to be a very mixed bag of leaves and dust. Because of the dust, I only brewed it for 3 minutes, using 1 teaspoon per cup.

It was not a success, it was far too strong and not very tasty. Adding cream didn't improve it. However, I rebrewed the leaves and turned the whole thing into ice tea. It is still too strong and I like strong tea! I can see I have to play with this one - I'll let you know the results. I have to say I am disappointed, as I have had others of their teas and they have been quite good, especially the Hu Kwa, their marvelous Lapsang Souchong.

Did you know that Teavana is offering its stock for sale? At about $15 a share, some of you may want to invest in this tea company that is apparently doing quite well.

Kitchen TLC at has a wonderful selection of tea infused products - jams and jellies, scones, chocolate. How can a tea person go wrong? From what I can see on their site, their prices are reasonable. They even have a black bear creamy jasmine. Do you suppose if I set some out for the bears, they would leave my suet alone? Maybe I should get some.

Another company that has wonderful jams and jellies is Marmalady's Tea at She has a nice selection of books, aprons, apron patterns and tea cosy patterns as well.

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