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Sugar with a Hint of Tea

In an effort to reduce the sugar in my diet, I now generally take my first cup of tea with the requisite half teaspoon of sugar, and every cup thereafter sugarless. This is anathema to my inner Malaysian. Short of life-threatening diabetes, any Malaysian old enough to drink a caffeinated beverage prefers their tea sugared and condensed milk with a generous serving of evap on top. We drink this thick, tea slurry at least twice a day, or as many times a day we can sneak in a trip to the local mamak stall. We drink our tea while watching live, horrifically late English Premier League matches on satellite televisions at mamak stalls. We drink our tea when we have important discussions, and when we have nothing else to do but gather around a coffeeshop table and complain about the government. Oh, hell, we drink our tea on those rare occasions when we have nice things to say about our government. Tea without at minimum condensed milk, according to my mother, just tastes flat and wrong.

Since moving to SF, I've done my little bit for heart disease by rationing my sugar to half a teaspoon per cup. I drink about two cups of tea on average per day. Because it takes me the course of many hours to get through a cup of tea, and I prefer caffeinated (now lack of caffeine, there's a recipe for flat and wrong), this is honestly not so bad. Some days, like when I am writing, I try to resteep my tea as much as possible, resulting in lots of weak, vaguely tea-flavoured milk. Again, this is not so bad. I have terrible sleeping habits, so the less caffeine I imbibe, and given the opportunity, I can imbibe a lot, theoretically, the better I sleep. You will excuse me if I generally disbelieve this caffeine causing insomnia argument. I like to think that my sleep is no better or wose regardless of my caffeine intake. But I have found that I sleep better after a cup of coffee at dessert than I do with tea. Coffee does wake me up, but in very short bursts. Tea, by comparison, is the champion night owl's drink.

Of course, I try to right the wrongs of my tea and sugar intake, and I crave and crave delicious sweet cakey objects to take with my tea every single day of the week. Oh, cake, you say? Cake goes with tea, every single Malaysian knows that. From the simplest steamed sweet potato coated in sugared coconut shavings to springy, jellyish, coconut milk-infused layer cakes, to deep fried and battered bananas to fluffy European sponges slathered in cream, to any hundreds of colourful, sugary, coconut milk-infused, pandan leaf-flavoured, rose water-tinted, gooey and glorious delights, we are a nation of sugar-maddened cake eaters to go with our tea. Now, the good thing about this is that I don't live in Malaysia and can't haunt the local cake stalls like some custard tart vampire. Also, barring the rare and precious doughy beignet, everyone out here seems to like cakey donuts. Also also, I am mostly agoraphobic, which prevents me from haunting Knead like some custard tart vampire. Do you sense a theme? I sense a theme. Be thankful SF has not yet discovered how Southeast Asian cakes are made primarily from sugar, coconut milk and artificial colours. We'd have some shockingly fat hipsters wandering around in their skinny jeans. We took your candy and we made it 1000% more delicious, that's how wrong we are.

I should stock up on custard tarts and orange madeleines on the morrow. That way, I can have tarts and madeleines all week, oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear.


Nov. 13th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
I have a sudden urge to visit you and make you cookies. XD
Nov. 13th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
I don't blame you. I have the sudden urge to make cookies. XD

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