What’s in My Cup: Laughter & Lemonade

Tags

, , , ,


Hot tea? Always! Iced Tea? Sure thing! Ice pop? Right on!

I recently shopped for Christmas  gifts with David’s Tea…and I bought an early “Christmas present” for me. (psst…it was on sale!) I have memories of making kool-aid pop in the plastic molds of the ’70s…and memories of madly licking those purple pops on the back porch steps, while it trickled down my arms and chin. I’m sure my mother is having laundry flashbacks right about now… Good times!

Iced tea box 2

These molds are really easy to use. Made from silicone, the cover pops right off and the mold can be manipulated to release the frozen treat, without fuss. Flat on the top, the molds stack easily in the freezer, which is a bonus if your freezer is an orderly mess like mine.

“I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert – Jason Love

Who says you can’t have both? So I made my ice pops with iced tea, or course.

I started with Laughter and Lemonade Iced tea from Steeped Tea. It’s green tea-based, and includes mango, pineapple, apple, orange and papaya pieces, as well as sunflower, hibiscus, marigold, and  cornflower blossoms.

While it has a grassy note from the green tea, the combination of fruit and flower is well-balanced, making this a surprisingly refreshing icy treat…that melts just as fast as when I was a kid! But I’m better equipped to stay ahead of the dribbles…and it’s not purple!

Iced tea box 1

Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s all right. —The Beatles

Happy Monday!

What’s in my Cup: Caribbean Crush

Tags

, , , , ,


Just because I messed up my first week of summer vacation, didn’t mean that I couldn’t still enjoy summer. Instead of palm trees and sandy beaches, I relaxed on the back porch with a tropical caffeine-free, herbal tea from David’s Tea – Caribbean Crush.

‘Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is about. – Author Unknown

Carib-crush2_ed.JPG

This German fruit infusion is comprised of apple, pineapple, papaya, hibiscus, and cranberry.  The rosy hue reminded me of my pink apple jelly. It was sweet and delicate, a fruity punch with a gentle flavour of strawberry or peach, which is odd because it doesn’t contain either fruit. I really liked that it wasn’t sickly sweet or it didn’t have an acidic aftertaste. I find that a number of fruit infusions can have an artificial flavour aftertaste to them, or they are so sickly sweet they remind me of hot kool-aid. I don’t want hot kool-aid even on a cold, cold day! This tea can be served hot or cold.

Carib-crush_ed

This package of tea came as a sample in a large online order from David’s Tea. I started my Christmas shopping early, which disgusts me as much as it does you. This is one tea  I will happily pick up on another occasion.

How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
– Dr. Seuss

Happy Monday!

In a Jam


“Make apple jelly,” she said. “It’ll be easy,” she said.

Only my Mom forgot one key component – me!

I love the apple tree in our yard. In the Spring, it blesses me with pink blossoms that remind me of sweet, marshmallow-y confections. Its perfume scenting the evening breeze. But, like my Christmas cactus that blooms at Easter, come mid-July until well into September, my tree’s harvest is early. It makes my back yard not enjoyable. Instead it’s littered with the rotting corpses of apples, which attracts wasps and pooping raccoons.

I don’t now if the heat got to me this year, but I decided I was going to make something with some these apples before they hit the ground! I grabbed my metal bucket and donned a pair of sneakers, even though I was wearing a sundress. I tiptoed carefully to pluck a few apples from low-lying branches, and yes, even the ground. I felt like a pioneer gleaning from the bounty of her labour, although I’ve never laboured with this tree and Hubby only whacks the branches that make mowing a near-death experience.

Apples_ed

My bounty

Initially I just peeled and cored and sliced apples, rolling them in lemon juice and popping them in the freezer for apple pie when it’s not insanely hot & sticky outside. But it’s tedious work, what with all the bruises, wonky spots, and worm bore holes. This is not a job for the squeamish!

For jelly, I only had to wash them, chop them up and throw them in a pot with water – core, skin, seeds, worms and all! I engaged in practical cooking by straining the pulp through a pair of pantyhose (legs removed and tied at the crotch) over a juice pitcher. Then I enjoyed long face steams while I sterilized my jars, and then did a hot water bath to seal the goods inside them.

After an eternity and a few near misses removing said jars with rubber tongs, I made apple…syrup.

So the next night, I decided to persevere and fix my syrup jelly. After a lengthy struggle to remove the lids (obviously I did the bath part right), wherein I nearly cried and Little Guy came to help, I re-sterilized my jars. I re-boiled my syrup with pectin. By bedtime, I had ragged nails and an extra jar of apple…liquid!


I followed the instructions to make jelly very carefully. Then I followed the “fix it” instructions very carefully too.

Sorry, Mom! This pioneer woman failed.

If Plan A fails, remember….there are 25 letters left.

My apple pies better be smashing, or I may do a bit of apple tree smashing with birthday throwing axe!

Happy Weekend!

Wilderness Wednesday: Perception

Tags

, ,


Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you. – Langston Hughes

We finally received some much needed rain, but it just made it more humid outside. As if that was possible. I got caught in it, twice. But I wasn’t the only one…Someone was singing in the rain and taking a shower…

He sounded like a cardinal, but he looked like a wet rooster.

Bathing 1

Some people feel the rain. Some people just get wet. – Bob Marley

It’s all about perception! 

Happy Wednesday!

 

Tea with Maud

Tags

, , , , ,


Have you ever planned to try a new recipe? Spent the day savouring the aromas and the texture of that dish? And then you open the fridge and realize you’re missing ingredients?. What’s a girl to do?

That’s kind of how I felt about my vacation last week.

I had planned and savoured, and then found out I made a big boo-boo with my dates. I had to head home the day after I arrived. So I did what any cook would do…I did the best with what I had. I kidnapped my Mom for 4 days, and we made plans. And of course, those plans included tea.

On day 1, we spent the evening reading on the back porch, with a pot of tea.

On day 2, we went shopping at a mall we’ve never explored. The trip ended at David’s tea, with Blueberry muffin iced tea. It was a beautiful balance of black tea and sweet  blueberries. I asked Mom to pick something for her birthday, so that evening we sampled her Pink Lemonade tea. It’s a retiring rooibos tea of tangy lemon and a delicate whisper of hibiscus, perfect for sipping with a great movie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Lemonade_ed

Day 3 – Mom missed the Maud Lewis exhibit when she was on the East coast last Summer, but she was in luck. A nearby art gallery had a display of her work and it was worth the trip! Maud Lewis was a tiny, spunky woman, who felt compelled to paint. She  painted on anything she could get her hands on because they were so poor, including wood, glass, and metal bakeware. She lived in rural Nova Scotia in a tiny house with her husband, and achieved national recognition in the mid-60s. Her tiny home is on display in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax.

Kitties_ed

Maud Lewis’ Kitties

Day 4 – We spent the morning watching a movie based on Maud’s life, but not without a box of tissue and a pot of pear blossom tea. You wouldn’t expect me to visit David’s tea during a sale and not purchasing something too? This caffeine-free and retiring tea has a delicate flavour of pear combined with the tartness of papaya and pineapple.

Pear 1_ed

As long as I’ve got a brush in front of me, I’m alright. -Maud Lewis

That afternoon, Dad “stole” Mom and took her home again.  I wasn’t ready for the holiday to end, so I spent the remaining afternoon on the back porch, savouring another pot of pear tea, with Maud.

What’s in you cup today?

To Short Mondays

Tags

, , , ,


Last night, at 9 o’clock, I had big plans for the week. I had traveled through heavy rain and heavy traffic to spend a week with Little Guy at my parents’. We were going to shop, and eat ice cream, and lounge around the pool. We talked about going on a Ghost Walk tour one evening, and playing board games as the shadows grew long.

We were going to keep this pot hot and drink our fill. But…White tea pot ed

…last night around 9:30, I discovered that Little’s Guy’s Leadership-in-Training Camp started in the morning.

What a short vacation!

He had already spent 2 weeks with my parents, camping, travelling, playing games, and lounging around the pool. Now I’m really looking forward to time at the cottage we rented.

So today, we’re packing my Mom up with us and heading back to the city, where we are making plans to play games, go shopping, and yes, keep the tea pot filled.

May your tea be strong and your Monday be short.

Hello Gorgeous

Tags

, , , ,


They say blondes have more fun, and I’m going to have to take them at their word because I’m happy being blue.

People in whose circle I don’t usually run, make the same statement: “still blue, huh?”

It’s been just over 2 months since I decided to rebel and I have no regrets. I also have no intention of changing any time soon. Get used to it!

But just in case you’re considering rebelling too, there are a few things you might want to know first.

  1. Wash it in cold water. Hot water lifts the outer cuticle layer of your hair, releasing the colour faster. There’s nothing more refreshing than soaking your head under the tap with ice cold water first thing in the morning. So I usually have a hot shower with a shower cap…and wash my hair later in the day once the caffeine from my first pot of tea has kicked in.
  2. Be committed to your colour. Get used to blue fingernails, blue hair brushes, and blue towels. Like most home dyes, the colour comes out…and not just under the tap. Oh, it often washes out with a bit of scrubbing when it’s fresh, but if you want pretty nails, I suggest getting a manicure and invest in nail polish.
  3. Speaking of things turning blue…rain is not your friend. Neither are night sweats. Wet hair can sometimes run, especially if you’ve just refreshed the colour. The first time I refreshed my colour at home, I remembered to put a towel on my pillows. Imagine my horror when I woke up with a blue neck. What can I say? It was a sultry, summer night and I am still wrestling with the raging inferno of my dying youth.  It washed off, but it was a terrific way to kickstart my day. Right up there with ice cold water, baby!
  4. Pay attention. Just like the seasons, colours change. Or rather, like my motivation, they fade. Which isn’t so bad until it’s bad. One day, you’re sporting electric blue…the next, you’re sporting a gross shade of algae-covered pool water. Just like those pesky extra pounds that keep coming back (and bringing friends), you have to be vigilant and refresh before little kids refer to your haircolour as “cotton candy”.

Invest in your hair. It is the crown you never take off.

  1. Make time. Make time to refresh it, and maybe plan a relaxing activity for the 20-30 minutes you’re waiting for the dye to work its magic! Hair dyes have improved a lot, even from the days that I started experimenting. They have cream dyes now. Less mess…but still a mess. Wear old gloves. Wear old clothes (or none at all). And keep assorted old towels, face cloths, and plastic hair clips handy. Blue ears are only cute on a smurf. And no one wants to explain the blue hand prints on your porcelain sink 5 years from now.

It will never look as good as the moment you step from the salon feeling like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

And it doesn’t matter. Whatever the style. Whatever the length. Whatever the colour.

 Be your own kind of beautiful!

 

Blue hair

Happy Weekend!