Category Archives: Uncategorized

Officially pretty much dead.

I’ve been thinking about returning to the blog for a while. By that I mean months of occasionally saying to myself, “Maybe I should look back into that blog, or maybe not.”

Anyway, I’ve been rather consumed by bread making the last several months and have been more faithful to documenting my process and progress in it by hand-written notes and photos. Perhaps I should look into blogging that. Or maybe not. I’ll let you know if the few of you here should hop over to a new blog if it happens.

In the meantime, sing a little requiem or something in memory of this blog that’s pretty much dead.

Advertisements

I’ll be back soon.

I know it’s been a little while since I posted anything. There are just some times when I feel extra quiet. This has been one of those times. I’ve been a little bit up and down for a handful of weeks, but I feel like I’m starting to come out of it. So bear with me, and know that I haven’t been doing nothing in the background. I do have some posts and tea reviews hanging back here with me.

My New Favorite Website: Steepster

I joined Steepster a couple of months ago, but only this week really started getting involved. It’s like a giant online tea party in a vast library–a library just about tea–where you don’t have to keep quiet: you mustn’t keep quiet, or you’ll never hear yourself over all the slurping and chattering. Steepster claims to be the “largest community-edited tea database on the Web.” I really don’t know what kind of competition there is for that title, but I do know there are a number of other lively online tea communities. But Steepster provides these numbers that would seem to support the claim: 29,183 teas listed; 3482 tea companies; 77,887 ratings; and 117,088 tasting notes!

So this is to give you warning: I’ll be posting even more about teas here. Sometimes it’ll be direct crossposting from tealogging I put up on Steepster. Other times I’ll do a shorter review there and post a more complete review here, or it’ll be vice versa. Just depends on my mood, I guess. In any case, come check out the site. And if you think you’ll enjoy it over there, follow me through my tealog.

Sweet Dreams and Rugburn

20120813-215945.jpg
Charlotte didn’t manage to stay in bed tonight after getting quiet.

Baking With My Baby

20120720-212527.jpgFor a treat on my birthday, I decided that Charlotte and I would make some sugar cookies. We would both appreciate doing something different and it was sure to be an enjoyable mother-daughter activity, right?

First of all, my mom must be a saint. I certainly don’t remember seeing her grit her teeth or hear any anguished pleas for wisdom on how to get her child to understand simple instructions. She was even a professional cake decorating instructor; I must have been so frustrating to her in the kitchen! But perhaps Charlotte just won’t remember my gritting teeth.

We used the sugar cookie recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Let me say, I have never had a dud from this book, and I’ve made at least half the recipes in it. (Their blueberry muffin recipe is the best I’ve ever come across.)

In the end, Charlotte was excited about her creations, I was relieved, and the kitchen not too much worse off. I’m sure to be finding sprinkles and colored sugar under my feet for a while no matter how many times I think I’ve got it with the vacuum, but that little girl’s smile will more than make up for it.

 

It’s a tool, not a toy.

20120717-092239.jpg

A very necessary tool, I’m finding. It’s our new Breville One-Touch Tea Maker. I got it for us (yes, us) for our anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Now that I’ve had some time with it I can tell you, without a doubt, this thing is awesome. It means that Hubby can go to work in the cold, dark mornings with something to keep him both warm and awake. It’s so easy to use that he only needs to press two buttons and can have tea while still in half-asleep. Or to make it even easier for him (as any wife will tell you is important), I can set it to automatically start for him before I go to bed! And because it can keep the steeped tea warm for an hour, I don’t have to reheat my tea during my nonstop mornings while wrangling a baby and toddler. This is practically life-changing!

Those are the everyday helps, but here are more of the details. It has a 500mL (2 cups) minimum, but you get this machine because you’re a big tea drinker, so one little cup won’t do for you anyway. You put the loose tea into the basket and put the basket lid on that, then the basket is placed on the jug post and held there magnetically. Select one of five preset steeping temperatures (for green, black, white, herbal or oolong tea) or set a custom temperature. Then choose your preferred strength or go custom again! It gets the water to the right temperature and then lowers the tea basket into the water, steeps for the set time, and then raises the basket again, giving a good loud beep to let you know your cup of serenity is ready! What’s more important is this makes really good tea. I get more flavors coming out of each sip. Even a couple of teas that I hadn’t been so keen on before are really enjoyable now.

This of course means that I drink even more tea now, but that’s no bad thing. This morning’s treat: Terrific Toffee from T2 with just a spot of milk. But I remind you, it really is for both of us.

Checking In

I know it’s been almost a week since my last post. Had a couple rough days this week and I’m also starting to really feel the lack of sleep from watching the Tour de France. On that note, the Tour’s just come on for tonight. Look, if not Cadel, then please, anybody but Wiggins!

Happy Fourth!

Callum says "Happy Fourth of July!"

As American as baseball!

A Couple of Gifts to Myself

Look what I just got for myself! I saw this range in Myer called “Vivacious” by Maxwell & Williams. I decided I really wanted a new teacup, a normal-sized one this time (my regular cup has been a “breakfast cup”–about twice the size). And since the range had such nice colors, it seemed only fitting to get a couple different sized plates as well. So now I can have tea with a snack (the pink plate) or tea with lunch (the blue plate) and feel like I’m treating myself a little bit. I love that it’s a fresh, fun take on a more traditional design. I’ll be christening it with a sample of White Rose tea I got from T2.

And the goodies don’t stop there. I received my order for The Tea Drinker’s Handbook from Book Depository. I know others who own it have said that it’s a good-sized book, and I even saw the dimensions listed on its Amazon page. But this really is quite a large book! It’s in a very attractive tall format, and is so chockfull of information and gorgeous glossy pages that it’s really rather heavy. I’m looking forward to diving into it and not only learning more about how to enjoy the teas I currently brew, but also what are some new teas to try!

It’s begun…

Started my Tour de France viewing with SBS’s great doco about Cadel’s win last year, “One Sunday in Paris.” Now the time trial is on, and I’m already loving it. Great seeing those same great riders year after year, and finding new up-and-comers as well. I’ve got it recording to see Cadel’s turn just in case I don’t make it to the end tonight.