Monday, September 29, 2014

Meatless Monday: Purple Potatoes and Quinoa Oatmeal

Purple Potatoes

The DH grew these potatoes.  We didn't know they were purple until he pulled them out of the ground.  They were a volunteer plant that he rescued.  What a great surprise!  They remain purple when cooked, the color a little softer.  And I just LOVE this photo from a style perspective, the color and detail of the potato, his hand, the fabric texture.  Love it.

Oatmeal with quinoa and huckleberries

And here is a recent breakfast - oatmeal blended with quinoa and topped with huckleberries.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sending Off Summer

I drink tea by my mood and by the season, and I currently find myself sending off my"summer greens" in a farewell (above) and moving into oolongs that are a little darker.

And I'm appreciating this tea set with the little dudes on it drinking tea.  :-)

To Autumn
William Blake (from Poetical Sketches, 1783)

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

“The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sharing My Passion

What I love doing - talking about (and drinking) tea!

On Sunday, I had the privilege of sharing tea information and stories with guests of the Tea's Me tearoom in Hillsboro, OR.  Such a fun afternoon!  The biggest compliment was when one kind woman said, "I loved hearing you talk about your passion."  Yes,  tea is my passion!  

Teapots ready to steep loose-leaf tea

Special thanks to the kind attendee who took some of these photos for me!

Then pivoting into yesterday, my work team joined me at the Japanese Garden for a team building event.  We enjoyed a garden tour and my sensei from Issoan Tea School provided a demonstration tea ceremony.  We then served each guest a handmade sweet and a bowl of tea.  I think my team had a fun time.

Kikyo - Balloon flower sweet

Can you guess which one is me?  ;-)

Two really fun-filled and diverse tea days!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Blooming Succulent and Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Snap for winning my Giveaway of a Global Tea Hut package!  It will be on its way soon!  Woohoo!

These images are of a succulent (hen and chick) that's been blooming for a long time this summer. It's happy on the front balcony.  Such a cool plant with amazing flowers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meatless Monday: A Late Summer Picnic

All packed up and ready to go!

The weather has been so nice lately, and with our abundance of garden tomatoes...a picnic was in order!

Our neighborhood has several lovely places to sit and snack. I liked this one for the view of the roses and the large grass lawn. The angled sunlight of this time of year is beautiful and golden.

Garden tomato and basil with fresh mozzarella on baguette, one of my favorites

Lemonade with huckleberries

How are you making the most of these late summer/early autumn hours?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

GIVEAWAY and Wu-Wo Video

Hi, Everyone!  I'm so pleased to share with you a video of my beloved Wu-Wo tea ceremony.  My friends are in the video and I'm the narrator.  Enjoy!  To celebrate, I'm also hosting a giveaway.  See below.

Click here to watch the video!

GIVEAWAY!  The folks at Global Tea Hut have generously provided me with an extra package to share as a blog giveaway.  (Tea Sage Hut, which I've visited in Taiwan, is the home base for GTH.) The package includes the color magazine, a tea sample and a gift.  It's a very exciting and generous offer!

To be entered into the drawing, leave a comment in this post + one other on my blog. Your pick!  I will announce the winner on Thursday, September 18th.  Good luck!  

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Otsukimi, Moon Viewing

Otsukimi is the annual moon viewing festival, celebrated generally on the full moon in September (it's based on a very old calendar system, so this can occasionally fall in October).  I am so lucky to live near the Japanese Garden in Portland!  The Garden hosts a special moon viewing event for three nights.  It's a rare opportunity to be in the garden after dark.

I was honored to be able to help my senpai (Sr. Students) with the tea ceremony demonstrations last evening at the tea house in the garden. We did three rounds.  During the first round, I was a guest and got to enjoy a delicious bowl of tea and the sweet shown below.  During the second round, I made tea.  Here are some photos from the garden and the tea house.

The tea garden, lanterns lit

Special seasonal sweet, named kikuyu, a fall grass that many of us know as balloon flower

Tokonoma with scroll that invites us to stop and listen to the wind in the pine



Saturday, September 06, 2014

Join Me at Tea's Me - Hillsboro, Oregon

My family at Tea's Me

Please Join Us! 
Sunday, September 21st
Tea's Me in Hillsboro, Oregon
2 pm

Afternoon Tea
Tea 101 Class
$25 (cash or check)
RSVP to (503) 547-8617

I'm delighted to be partnering with Julie of the Tea's Me to offer a Tea 101 class. Julie will provide a delicious afternoon tea menu and of course a pot of tea! I will discuss the history of tea (fascinating and scandalous!), types of tea and photos from around the world, tips for brewing, a bit of etiquette and my forecast for tea's future. Please join me!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Bat Brew

I was brewing some tea with friends in a park last evening, in a quiet clearing circled by tall pine trees.  It was dusk and the light was fading. (The mosquitoes were making themselves known.)  My fellow tea fanatics and I heard this rustling noise above us and spotted bats flying overhead.  Soon, we could hear their clicking sounds (they were using "echo location") and an occasional squeak. It was so cool!  After about 5-10 minutes of this other-worldly show, they disappeared.  As my DH recently said, "Nature participates."  Yes, and in very cool ways!

The photo above is of the brewing session.  We're drinking a tea from Global Tea Hut.  It's a "Kingfisher Jade" - Tsiu Yu - hybrid that was developed in Taiwan, one of the "Three Daughters of Taiwan." I liked it very much. It's a lighter oolong, on the greener side but not without some depth.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Chai Blossom - Really Good Tea Mocktail

This tea mockatil is really, really good!  It's perfectly refreshing on a hot day, and the warming spices will help it transfer well into the fall and winter, too.  The recipe comes from Bon Appetit.  I made the following variations:

  • I used loose leaf tea with chai spices
  • I used fresh lemon juice (because I had it from the lemon twist), but I think lime juice would be great 
  • I used 1/4 cup sugar instead of 1/2 cup; I like tart drinks and I found it to be the perfect amount for me
I can think of so many variations!  I think grapefruit or blood orange would be interesting near the winter solstice.  If you like citrus and you like chai, you'll love this!