Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fondue and a Fancy Cup of Tea

Clementine Clove, Genmaicha, and Lavender loose teas.

It's my birthday on Friday. And, it just so happens I'm friends with two of the luckiest people in the world. Oh, not 'cause I'm their friend - Good Lord, No! - that could be a con, not a pro.

They're lucky because they enter contests and they win! Quite often! Very foreign territory for me. Back in high school, I won a pair of false eyelashes at Louie's Lift a Gift ~ our nickname for the local drug store. [Mom wouldn't even let me wear them.] And, that's it. My less than 15 minutes of fame.

In spite of entering writing contests, pure luck sweepstakes, lottos, horse races, blogging battles and photo essays... I come up short each and every time.

Fortunately for me, they don't. They recently won dinner for 8 at a fondue restaurant ~ which prompted them to throw a birthday party for moi!

Steeping loose leaves in your own special mug makes for a truly civilized spot of tea.

If that wasn't marvelous enough I was gifted with a little somethin' I'd wanted for quite some time: a top o' the cup tea infuser and 3 oh so fragrant blends of loose tea.

Wisconsin Trio Cheese Fondue

Start with:
6 oz. shredded Gouda Cheese
6 oz. shredded Fontina Cheese
3 Tbsp flour
* Toss shredded cheese and flour together for better fondue texture.

Stir in:
3/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tsp chopped shallots
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 Tbsp chopped scallions

We finished off the night with chocolate fondue. I won't provide that recipe because it's so tasty it might make you weep.

Grow A Tea Garden:
Camellia sinensis: The 'Real' Deal

Plenty of herbs blossom happily in your garden, from which you can make herbal tea. 'Real Tea' comes from a pretty flowering shrub called Camellia sinensis. Ms. Camellia's leaves and leaf buds make black, green and oolong teas. Great for container gardening. USDA zone 7.

Oh! And, by the way...
I've been swilling tea for decades because it's loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants. Chances are you do, too.

I recently learned... drinking tea matters not unless you steep it with lemons. Yep, lemons. Apparently without the lemon juice your body can't absorb those ultra-amazing antioxidants. Let's file this one under "Now ya tell me."


KC said...

The birthday party sounds grand and well deserved. And the friendship thing, definitely a pro. The tea thing...really, lemons? I've been wasting my time for sure but enjoyed the tea just the same.

Kate said...

We should try to grow tea plants next summer. :)

jan said...

I hope you have a great birthday and a fabulous year ahead!

I like tea with lemon, but rarely take the time or trouble to add it. I guess I better, from now on!

Kate said...

I'm with you, Jan. Plus, I hardly ever have fresh lemons in the house. Rotten ones, yes, all the time. I buy 'em fresh, they roll to the back of the frig and I discover them months later.... :D

Rosey Pollen said...

Have a very great birthday celebration.
Thanks for the tip about the lemons. NEver never that.