Thursday, December 8, 2016
Inside the bag are 12 little plastic "ornaments" …
And as you can see, each "ornament" holds a tea bag. Now is that clever or what!
I started with the Citrus Spice Herbal Tea, and the set also includes a nice variety of other flavors, ranging from English Breakfast Black Tea to Tangerine White Tea and Honeybush Caramel Herbal Tea. How did I not know about this? I would *had* to have acquired this set, but I am so blessed that my friend thought of me with this lovely gift!
And yes, that Citrus Spice Herbal Tea was just as good as I knew it would be!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
This week I came across a new image on the Library of Congress website, a stereograph card from 1906 titled "The Christmas tea party."
The image is a little dark (and I lightened it!), but I think you can make out the seven children around the table enjoying tea.
And I will share with you what a tea-loving reader shared with me a while back, that if you stare into the distance and relax your eyes, the two photos will become one and you can see the depth. I have almost but not quite got the hang of it, but even in its current state, what a charming Christmas image!
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
When I stopped by a new organic grocery store last week, I was pleased to find several new varieties of bottled tea. I had a hard time choosing, but I finally selected the peach-flavored Moonshine Sweet Tea (don't worry; it has no moonshine) and the Citrus Mint Green Tea from Tea of a Kind. You'll note that the tea on the right appears clear because the tea is actually in the cap and hasn't been "brewed" in the water yet!
First I sampled the Moonshine Sweet Tea in the Sweet Peach flavor. Perhaps I should have been clued in by the fact that the word "sweet" appears on the label twice, and the bottle has 30 grams of sugar. I didn't detect a peach flavor, but I most certainly did detect the sugar, and as someone who grew up drinking plenty of sweet tea, even *I* found this tea too sweet. I diluted it with water and then it was drinkable, but still not enjoyable, so I quit.
Then I tried that clear bottle of Citrus Mint Green Tea from Tea of a Kind. I was fascinated by this product! It says on the bottle that the tea is stored in "the patented Gizmo cap, which prevents degradation of key ingredients. By simply twisting the pressurized Gizmo cap, you transform this bottle of purified water into delicious real brewed tea with the full benefit of antioxidant Vitamin C, refreshing tea taste, zero calories."
This tea wasn't any more expensive than many other bottled teas (two dollars and some change, I believe), and I marveled at the design that went into this. Unfortunately, I also marveled at what a medicinal-tasting tea this was! I can usually choke down an ounce or two of anything, but this tea tasted like the aftertaste from some kind of clear cough medicine, certainly not like "citrus" or "mint" or "green tea." I was intrigued with this bottle, but my goodness, why didn't they put more effort into simply making the tea taste good? Did they think we would overlook the bad taste? I'm so scarred by this week's tea-tasting experiment that it's time to go sip a cup of (unsweetened!) Candy Cane Lane tea to cleanse my palate!
Monday, December 5, 2016
The piece was machine quilted by Gail Lane, and Nancy shared how the eye is drawn to the "light" at the center of some of the quilt blocks. She also let me read a line that someone shared with her following Linda's passing: "She has taken her bright candle / And has gone into a room I cannot find / But anyone can tell where she has been / By all the little lights she left behind." Isn't that lovely? And how fitting that Nancy herself continues to "share the light" left by her sister as she helps raise funds for such a worthy cause. So local friends, if you or a group you are involved with would like to borrow some snack sets and make a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, please visit facebook.com/LunchWithLindaRentals or email LunchWithLindaRentals@gmail.com. I'm so excited for Nancy and can't wait to see her snack sets turn up at different events around town!
Saturday, December 3, 2016
West Virginia is known as coal country, but could it also be known as tea country? Hmm…
• West Virginia was home to a number of glass companies during the glass boom of 1900-1940, including the West Virginia Glass Specialty Company, maker of this tea pitcher and glass set with an iridescent rose design. Most of us own a tea pitcher or two, and if you're interested in looking up some info on the great glass makers of yesteryear, a good site to visit is here, the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia.
• Yes, you can grow camellia sinensis in West Virginia. I learned that from this 2013 article in the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail. I was happy to read that, like me, the author doesn't baby his plant at all, and it has proved quite hardy.
• In 1920, a West Virginia man became the new general manager of Thomas J. Lipton, Inc. in the US. According to the book "Coffee and Tea Industries and the Flavor Field, Volume 43," Frederick W. Nash, who became the general manager on Sept. 1, was a man who, "becoming self-supporting at 17 … paid his own way through Wesleyan College, West Virginia, by teaching and secretarial work in school terms, and by selling subscription books and life insurance during vacations. Going to New York, soon after leaving school in 1897, he got his first position with B. Fischer & Co. as salesman of coffee, tea and spices to the grocery trade of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia." Nash had also served in the Philippines with the Fourth U.S. Cavalry and helped organize the American public school system there.
Friday, December 2, 2016
When I was at that new Sprouts Farmers Market earlier this week, I spotted a flavor of Celestial Seasonings tea I hadn't tried before, this Fireside Vanilla Spice. The very name lured me right in, because what sounds cozier than a "fireside" with "vanilla" and "spice" scents?
I always hope that one day, I'll peek into a box of Celestial Seasonings and find that they've packaged the tea bags individually. But here they are again in a stack of twos. (Why are they in twos, friends? Why? I always wonder.) Such yummy teas, though.
This herbal tea definitely gets a thumbs-up. In addition to the vanilla and cinnamon (which I expected), it has a nice warm kick from ginger and cardamom. I often find cinnamon-flavored teas so naturally sweet that they almost taste as if they have sugar in them, and that was the case with this one. Are any of you fans of this tea as well?
Thursday, December 1, 2016
For those of you who live outside of Coweta County and have asked to read it, here is my latest column in The Coweta Shopper.
I hope you enjoy it!
Note: In case you're not familiar with the Issuu platform (and I am only because I'm a publications geek who has read a lot of things online), if you go to the bottom right of the image with the column, click on the icon that looks like four old-fashioned photo corners. That sends you to full screen in the "Issuu" platform, and then you click the similar icon (again at lower right) to exit.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
a trip to Peachtree City the other day, I noticed a new natural and organic grocery store, Sprouts Farmers Market, has opened since I last drove that route. Of course I had to stop by and check it out since such stores often have great new teas and tea products. This time, it was a store brand of Green Tea Mandarin Lip Balm that caught my eye along with several new teas. I don't know about you, but I can never have too many lip balms at this time of year. I keep them in my desk, purse, all coat pockets, the car … you get the idea.
So when I saw a new one in a tea flavor, that was a must-have item.
So when I saw a new one in a tea flavor, that was a must-have item.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
It is always fun to me when I receive as a gift something that I had wanted but resisted buying for myself. Do you ever find that happening? I can't tell you how many times I've picked up this New Country Roses pink mug at T.J. Maxx over the last year or so, but I always thought no, it's too expensive and you don't need one more tea mug. But when my stepdaughter and family visited for Thanksgiving and handed me a bag containing Christmas gifts, I was delighted to find this among the goodies inside!
I love all these "New Country Roses" variations on the classic Old Country Roses pattern. Old Country Roses was my mother's china pattern, and there's a reason it's the best-selling dinnerware pattern in the world. Oh, those lush roses!
Since it was a Christmas gift, I plopped a bag of Twinings Christmas Tea inside and enjoyed a mug full of this yummy tea, which of course tasted even better in such a pretty new mug!
Monday, November 28, 2016
I don't shop on Black Friday, but my aunt and I went shopping on Saturday, and I was pleasantly surprised at how very uncrowded it was at the shopping centers in Rome, Georgia. I have been looking and looking for new Christmasy tea things — teawares, tea infusers, tea giftwrap, ANYTHING — but I've come up short. Have you? But I did find two practical and inexpensive items that you might like to know about.
First, I had read on the Afternoon Tea Across America Facebook group about these 2-for-1 calendars at Dollar Tree.
Yes, they're flimsy things, but hey, even a flimsy teacup calendar for $1 is still a bargain in my book. Besides, I like to hang one of these small-size calendars on my refrigerator using magnets, so the lighter the weight, the better.
And at T.J. Maxx, I found some of the cutest heavier-weight tea towels I've seen in a while. These aren't terry cloth, but they're thicker and heavier than the flour-sack type of towels. And one thing I discovered while preparing my Thanksgiving meal this year was that I can never have too many good, thick tea towels, since I go through a ton of them while rinsing off the turkey plates, cooking, and cleaning up the kitchen.
Isn't this design charming? It was $5.99 for the set of two, and I looked through all the towels, thinking I'd nab a second set for a giveaway, but alas, it wasn't to be found. You may want to check your T.J. Maxx, though, if you like these tea towels as much as I do!
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Washington is a state that's famous for its coffeehouses, but happily, it appears that there have long been some tea lovers in Washington as well.
• Judith's Tea Room and Rose Café once was a favorite of tea-goers in Poulsbo, Washington. I learned of the tearoom when I found this cookbook on eBay years ago, and I was inspired to make this soup as a result. It doesn't appear that this tearoom is in operation any more, but I enjoyed finding that another blogger shared her memories of this Washington tearoom (and a delicious-sounding cake recipe) here.
• Are you a fan of women's history? If so, you might enjoy watching the video of Susan Butruille's 2007 (I think) lecture at the Washington State Library, "Tea, True Womanhood, and Uppity Women." I liked this quote of hers at the beginning of the lecture: "Historically, when women have gotten together over tea, radical things happened." (Hint: The lecture, which is divided into four different segments and totals about an hour, is accessible here. If you want to skip all the welcome remarks, start at about the 6:30 point on Part 1.)
Friday, November 25, 2016
Rhonda, Daddy, me
Some of you who have been reading this blog for a while have pretty much watched my nieces and nephew grow up! Here are Madison, Cari, Amelia, and Matthew.
All the kids in our family get a Christmas ornament on Thanksgiving. Matthew got Star Wars.
Amelia has been saying she wants a horse, so I got her one. 😉
Cari requested a Star Wars ornament and a Captain America ornament she found at Walmart, so she got two ornies this year since hers were half the price of everyone else's. (Gotta keep things equal!)