Thursday, February 17, 2011

I did not know tea could do that

video

(If the video above is not functioning, go to HERE to see it on the web.)

I don't know how I stumbled upon blooming teas, but once I saw a picture of tea "blooming" inside a clear glass tea pot I was hooked.
Naturally I wanted to give flowering tea a try before investing in a clear tea pot and the various teas available in the flowering option.
I happened to see a Numi flowering tea box at our local market and decided to make a test run using their teas.



I discovered the tea comes shaped in a ball which are awfully pretty even before they are allowed to flower.
Since I didn't have a clear tea pot, I rustled up a clear vase to use for my trial run.
I heated the vase with some hot water, poured that water out, ran more hot water (just below boiling) into the vase and dropped in a tea ball.
Family was visiting after a ski outing, so we all sat around the table to see what would happen.



In about five minutes the tea ball had unfurled and the water had steeped to a pale golden tone.
But...how would the stuff taste?
Turns out it tasted AMAZING!
Usually I put a dab of honey in my tea, and Bernie uses a splash of milk in his.
This brew was delicious served straight up.
I used a tea strainer just to catch a dreg or two, but I could have skipped that and still had a cup good enough to enjoy without dodging stray tea leaves.
We drank up, and refilled the vase with more hot water, just to see if the product's claim that multiple steeps were possible from one flower.
By the time we had refilled it four times the flavor had grown a bit weak so we figured we had gotten sixteen cups of tea out of the one ball. 
Clean up was a snap: I pulled dumped the flower out in one piece.
So much nicer than rinsing and rinsing to get rid of all the tea leaves that usually stick to the inside of a tea pot.

So how do they make flowering tea?
Workers tie the tea leaves and flowers together in a design using very fine thread.
A bit of peeking around revealed to me that there were as many "flower arrangements" as there were tea companies.  Of course I immediately wanted to order each and every single kind, just for the sheer pleasure of watching them bloom.

I might just start collecting...sharing...trading with friends....

But first I need to get serious and order a proper glass tea pot to do the flowers justice.
Bernie and I will have to put our heads together to decide which tea pot style suits our fancy.
Decisions, decisions.
We've got a happy kind of decision to make.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Early Spring Madness



So I was just heading down the hallway when I happened to glance into the bathroom.
Apparently wee Tate had decided to take a bath all by himself.



He tried to look away...pretend I didn't see him.



Of course I had to check to see what really was going on.
He had that look that all of us veteran mothers recognized:

Shall I tell her or make something up?

I still haven't decided if I got a straight answer.

What he said was:



"I'm in here because my tail needs catching!"


And with that he began to chase his tail!



Round and round he raced...


First going one way...




And then the other!



Sometimes that sneaky tail would hide and it took a moment to spot it again.



At one point a bit of fuzzy fur looked a bit like his tail.
But he didn't stop there for long.
He chased and chased and chased that tail until....



Until at last that tail was caught!


"See Mom?  Look!  It's my tail.  I caught it!"



"I am such a good tail catcher!  Nobody is a better tail catcher than me!"



(Oops.  I didn't know Auntie Frenchie was watching.  Oh gee....)




Frenchie:  What do you think you are doing young catkin?
Tate:  Um...catching my tail. 
Frenchie: You are in a BATH tub.  That means you have to take a bath.  You know...wash up!



Tate: OK, fine.  There.  I washed my paw.  You satisfied now?



Frenchie: Get out of the tub and let me see.
Bitsy: What'cha all doing in the bath room?  Can I use the tub too?  I want to get in the tub with my jingle ball and make it roll round and round.

Jill: Let's find something else for you kitties to do.  Go take a nap or something.  We don't need cats playing in the bath room



(This post was made possible by a touch of spring madness...this was the thermometer on our deck on Sunday.  Crazy, huh?  It made all of us more than just a little bit frisky!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hatty Valentine's Day!

My Hysterectomy Hat...you may read about why it has that particular name HERE.


And bright and early at work on Valentine's morning, wearing my Electric Chocolate cocktail hat.
Have to wear my glasses to keep the Librarian look going.
You can see Electric Chocolate as a work in progress.HERE

Would you believe that the office of 34 people are exchanging Valentine's?
We each had to make a box, and wow, some people got really creative.

(thank goodness I had a kitty gift box which I could spiff up in a hurry.  I am long past my paste and glitter years.)
Seeing decorated Valentine's day boxes on desks: I feel like I am back in second grade.
Oh and there are cookies and candy everywhere.
It is going to be difficult to concentrate today with a sugar high.

My Beloved Mr. B. took me to Log Haven in Mill Creek Canyon last night.

It was lovely.

He is in the air this morning, flying off to points east and I miss him already.

Hope you are having a Happy Valentine's Day.