Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Snow fell all night and into this morning. Now the sun plays with shadows on the fresh inches. What a winter - gentle persistent snows of three to five inches - for winter lovers. I can't imagine any winter without tea. Beside me is a cup of White Peony Tea brewed from loose leaves. Last month on a bitter cold day, I purchased several teas and a small ceramic teapot with a strainer from The Green Leaf Company, a local tea shop. I understand how tea becomes a ceremony. The process of scooping dry leaves, boiling water, and steeping tea in a ceramic pot isn't to be rushed. Steam rising from the spout carries the faint aroma of green from a warmer season. This little pot requires slow pouring so as not to spill over the edge of the lid. Time to watch snow fall and consider the hands that picked these leaves as well as the rain and sun present in my mug.
According to Google, White Peony Tea is a sweet mild Chinese tea made from unopened tea buds and the first two leaves of the plant. White tea is less processed than green tea so it contains more antioxidants and caffeine. The owner of the tea shop told me that loose leaf tea can be steeped in a small amount of boiling water for 30 seconds to remove most of the caffeine. After draining that first bit of liquid, the same leaves can be steeped for the required time. The tea that remains has a good flavor with less caffeine. Shopping local has many rewards.
fingerless mitts from a favorite pattern. This seems to be a winter of smaller knitting projects but then, it's all knitting, even the re-knitting.
I am listening to Louise Penny's, The Kingdom of the Blind. I enjoy visiting Three Pines and the familiar characters. What is not to like about a bistro, cafe au lait, croissants, and Merna and her bookstore? The storyline that once again has Gamache being investigated by the Surete du Quebec begins to feel like a rerun from previous novels. Penny weaves a theme through her novels so I may think differently after I come to the end. I am reading The Year of the Deer by Helen Hoover. Bonny of the Highly Reasonable Blog posted previously about this story of a couple living in the Northwoods of Minnesota. Thank you Bonny for this suggestion. Nature writing accompanied by illustration is my favorite in this genre. I am also familiar with these woods. Even though the book was published in 1966, Hoover's insights into nature ring true. Interestingly, I have read this author in several anthologies including a favorite, Sister Earth, but never picked up one of her books.
Back to refresh my private tea party with some truly decaf herbal tea. Later I plan to pull on my boots and walk a short distance in the fresh snow. Stay warm and dry. If you are looking for inspiration, go see what Kat and the Unravelers are up to this Wednesday. If all else fails, make a cup of tea.
P.S. The rocks in the top photo come from the Atlantic, Long Island Sound, Minnesota, Montana, and Nebraska because as one rock said to another, "Peace Rocks."