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I was supposed to be starting on our garlic noodle dinner, but somewhere between the wok and the chopping board, I got trapped under an ever-loving cat who is grateful she got a treat. Now, with my laptop perched precariously on my knee and a fuzzy chin resting on my wrist, I need to find something to do until the cat gets distracted and walks about twelve inches to my left. I finally cracked open the big baumkuchen Seth got me and had it with some strong milk tea for tea. When watched with some soothing Natsume (episode 9 of season 4 -- I am going to run out pretty soon), teatime is marvelous and calming. It is also essential to watch anime featuring plump, hamster-like cats with a suitably plump, hamster-like creature. In this case, the aforementioned fuzzy cat is excellently huggable for the occasion.

The big baumkuchen was so much better than the small baumkuchen. It was moist and dense, yet deceptively light. Not too sweet, just a hint of toastedness from browning the different layers. Richly eggy. Mmm. I thought I gave myself a generous slice (it was meant for two of us, but Seth declined), and I still feel like I've just had enough of a sweet treat to go with my tea. Nevermind that I had about two bowls of cream nabe on rice for lunch. I am nonetheless on the verge of hungry into starvation.

Someday, I will make gratin rice. I don't know what sort of gratin rice though. I am deeply partial to fishes baked in cheese sauce. Presumably, since the spouse rarely says no to cheese sauce, he will not turn down gratin rice. Right before we went on holiday, I decided to try on my wedding dress to take to our anniversary dinner. It was once a much larger dress that got trimmed down to size to fit my then 24-inch waist. We managed to get me into the dress, but I realised I couldn't sit or bend in it anymore. I am now officially too fat to fit my wedding dress, worn precisely once four years ago. The spouse thinks I am lady-like and likes me the way I am, so I think I am still okay. But still! Four years on and I can neither fit into my old jeans or wedding dress. With my luck, I'll hopefully last another ten years before I go up another jeans size. That's ten more years with a glorious love of pastries and cake, and an unholy affection for butter and cream sauce.

In a rare Cyber Monday splurge, I went ahead and bought some six different teas between The English Tea Store and Coffee & Tea Exchange. I got a Mim Estate Darjeeling 2nd flush, Vanilla Chai, Scottish Breakfast and Buckingham Garden blend from the former. The English Tea Store seems to use a lot of Kambaa estate tea in their blends, which is remarkably astringent on its own. I am slightly warry of what might come in the mail as a result, but was keen to try more of their teas before I passed judgment on what I had previously ordered. The Scottish Breakfast was described by a commenter as "peaty". Mayhaps I have finally found a tea the spouse will like that reminds him of his favourite pickled swamp waters. The Vanilla Chai, which I bought merely a sampler for, just sounded too delicious to pass up on. Since trying Numi's (freakishly expensive) vanilla tea, I have developed quite a taste for this stuff. Hopefully, my instinct was right and ETS's vanilla chai will not be naturally flavoured, as I am trying to expand my profile of unflavoured (chemically flavoured) teas.

From Coffee & Tea Exchange, also a Vanilla Tea and a blend they called Russian Caravan. My sister-in-law got me a Russian blend from them one Christmas which I utterly adored. It was a slightly unusual blend too: black teas and greens, with possibly some oolong thrown in. Their Vanilla Tea seems to be just tea and vanilla bean bits, and at a reasonable price ($26 for a pound vs. Numi's $85). The only downside to C&TE is the postage cost, which is $10 for what seems like the initial pound of product, then iterations of a dollar or so for every few ounces. So it's really a place one should consider buying in bulk, I think.

mokie informed me that Eastern Shore teas are now available from Baltimore Coffee and Tea. They represent some of the best flavoured teas I have ever had, namely, their Black Raven Tea. Oh, yes, it is Poe distilled as a fine blackberry tea, not too tart, not too overwhelmingly berry-flavoured on the palate, but smooth and dark. Unfortunately, I feel like I have spent all my tea karma for the rest of the year today. I would like to drink all tea, but it may just be impossible.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
resonant
Nov. 27th, 2012 05:19 am (UTC)
Once again, I feel quite fortunate that I had prepared a cup of tea just prior to seeing your post.

Now I think that I must borrow a cat (or two) from the neighbors to properly put myself in the mood to read your updates.
vampyrichamster
Nov. 27th, 2012 06:48 am (UTC)
Well, most are usually not that hard to bribe...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )