I drink the spectrum of teas daily. It's usually a bit of something green to start and then, by afternoon, a good strong cup of black. A tasty oolong is often in order, especially if someone stops by the tea studio or house that will share some infusions with me. If it's a rough week, I go straight to black first thing in the morning and steep a pot of green later in the day. Herbal tea is my go to for after meals for digestion and before bedtime for calming effects. I wonder what your tea schedule looks like. Email me and let me know.
Recently, a writer colleague and friend, Sara Dickerman, mentioned T Project's smoky tea called Smoke On the Water. She was referring to this being one of her favorite morning brews. However, since she's on her cleanse and blogging about it, she is avoiding all teas but herbal. I'm not opposed to a bit of green tea on a cleanse, as they are so high in anti-oxidants and other good components for our body. Here's Sara's post which could inspire you to join her fabulous Bon Appetit Cleanse for Food Lovers, or try out my Smoky tea in the meantime:
If you have friends that are afraid to branch out into green teas, but their doctors and health advisors have been urging them to try - I have a lovely green tea blend just for them. It's called White Light White Heat. The base is organic white peony tea and Maofeng green tea combined with cranberries, rosehips, hibiscus, orange and a hint of cinnamon. Unlike so many "holiday" blends, this one is light and clean and not over-flavored with fruits and spices. The delicate flavors of the tea leaves are the first notes you taste, followed by a light fruitiness and a very subtle taste of cinnamon. It's refined in flavor and will convert your friends trying to get on the green tea bandwagon. More and more studies are proving the benefits of this magical plant. Get your holiday orders in by 12.19.14 so they arrive on time.
Clear, clean and pure green tea. I started my T Project tea day with this lovely Anji Bai Cha tea I found on a trip this summer. Long silver needles that are sweet in the mouth and long on the finish. Made in a lovely glass gaiwan, available at the T Project webshop, it holds a concentrated amount of tea leaves for a quick infusion, over and over again. If you don't have a gaiwan, you are missing out in this lovely experience of tasting your tea leaves in a concentrated manner. I always feel so revived after sipping green teas. Heaven!
Impromptu Apple Galette Saves the Day!
If I stumble upon a great easy recipe, I like to share it with friends. Recently, I was very behind preparing a dinner party for friends. I had to think fast on my feet. The savory portion of the meal seemed doable but dessert was flailing around in my mind as a last minute must-do. I had just purchased a beautiful assortment of heirloom apples from the farmers market and there's always butter, sugar and flour in the pantry. An apple tart would be the perfect fall dessert with a pint of store-bought Strauss Vanilla ice cream. Quickly, I pulled out my Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook and found a favorite galette dough recipe. It called for 2 cups unbleached white flour so I opened my flour canister to find a teaspoon of flour at the bottom. Hmm, with 2 hours left until my guests arrived, my heart started to race. I went into the pantry and found a jar of white spelt flour. I put about 1/4 cup less flour than called for and hoped for the best. Whizzing it around in my Cusinart, I thought, "well, better a tough crust than no dessert at all." When you're that rushed, you don't have time to worry. I assembled the galette over my cocktail with friends, outdoors on a warm fall night, slicing the apples and creating a pinwheel of half moon slices over the suspect dough. After baking for 45 minutes it looked pretty good, especially with the pink pearl apples peeking through. When guests sat down to dessert, they all said how light and delicious the crust was. They loved it. I too was admittedly surprised and pleased. As we sipped Waterloo Sunset tea while fire lanterns floated far above our heads, I realized that finding perfection always takes me by surprise.
Here's the recipe for Impromptu Apple Galette
1 3/4 cups white spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks and frozen for 5 minutes until very cold
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
7 Tablespoons ice water
About 2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and quartered and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (pink apples look stunning here)
5 tablespoons organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
In a food processor, blend the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter pieces and blend until small pea size piers of butter appear, about 10 seconds. Add the ice water and the dough should come together after a few pulses. DO NOT over process or the dough will become tough. Scrape onto a piece of wax paper and pat into a disc. Fold the paper over to cover and chill for one hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the apples and sprinkle the sugar over the slices. Squeeze the lemon half over and toss well. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
To assemble: Roll the dough out to a circle about 14 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Chill on the baking sheet for another 15 minutes. Remove from the fridge and begin: About 3 inches in from the edge, start placing the slices slightly overlapping into a spiral shape, until all apples are gone, working your way toward the center. You can go back and stack on top since you will have more apples. The apple stack might look high but they will cook down and become flatter as it bakes. Pour a little of the melted butter over apples and sprinkle another tablespoon of sugar over. Now fold the dough over into a stop sign shape and press gently to glue the folds down a little. Now paint the crust with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle over the remaining sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes and rotate. Bake another 20-25 minutes, until crust is light golden brown and apples are bubbling.
Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and Waterloo Sunset Tea.
I was thrilled to have T Project included in the recent food issue of Portland Monthly. I'm in good company with many other talented artisan makers... and who doesn't love a print inclusion these days? The sad part is that Alder & Co. is down to just a few cans of T Project and other shops around town will be stocking up for holidays, but, until that happens, you can order my entire line from this website. And if you're in Oregon, it's free shipping for the month of October. Thanks for the love Portland Monthly.