Monday, May 23, 2011


Just a brief message because I have a lot of things to finish....

This afternoon I will be leaving on a flight to Istanbul, Turkey. I will be staying there until June 2nd and then will be going to Florence, Italy until the 11th.


Friday, May 20, 2011


Charlie apparently likes pu-erh tea a lot...
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

White Peony

Late last night, I began brewing it some of the White Peony tea that I now have, this time being careful to remember to heat the gaiwan and the cup first (I forget a lot). After the rinse, the leaves had a very strong scent. Vegetal, but also with some notes of flowers (orchids or roses?) The water used had recently been boiled, but had been given a few minutes to cool.

With the first steep, it began to smell of oats. I didn't reheat the kettle, so the water has been continuously cooling. With the second steep, it began to smell nuttier and was steeped with even cooler water, for 5-7 seconds. The 3rd steep I let the water become even cooler, but steeped it for less time, so it came out a little weak.

After that, I filled the gaiwan and let it sit overnight. This morning, the tea still has a surprisingly strong scent and while the flavor is oat-y, it does still retain floral undertones.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sheep and Wool Festival

This past weekend was the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and as luck would have it, it was also Mother's Day weekend! Consequently, early Saturday morning, I took the bus back to Maryland. My mom picked me up and we went to the festival. As always, it was a lot of fun and this year we managed to not buy out the entire festival's selection of fiber. I spent more time looking at pottery this year, than fiber, but I did still manage to buy some natural wool which was in the grease from a buyer that I've purchased from before.

I also went a little crazy with buying jams and preserves...Jams, jellies and preserves are a bit of a weakness of mine. I love buying homemade (or, artisanal, as I like to call it) specialty jams. I ended up taking home 12 cans...keep in mind however, that 3 were jams my mom had made a while back (I'm helping her to take them off her hands) and 3 were some we made this weekend (Strawberry Jalepeno Jam). That being said, however, I did buy 3 from The Lion Potter- Old Timey Apple Butter, Hot Pepper Jelly and Raspberry Amaretto Jam (so far I've only tried the Raspberry, which is amazing). I also ended up buying a Juice Sweetened Peach Jam at a stand at the side of the road along with a Honey French Salad Dressing.

As mentioned previously, we made Strawberry Jalepeno Jam this weekend. I've never done canning before and figured it would be best to attempt it with my mom first. While my mom isn't so hot on the jalepenos, I think it's awesome- just the right amount of kick for a sweet strawberry jam. The canning went well without any issues and it turned out outstanding (in my opinion).

After lugging a huge, heavy piece of luggage home (after a bus that was supposed to arrive at 9pm showed up at 9:55), all jars arrived safely, and now it's just a matter of finding places to store them! Time to do some apartment cleaning/reorganizing...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Portfolio Review and a recipe!

Last Friday was my portfolio review for the semester.  Now, my last review didn't go so well, so I really tried to "up the anny" on this one and it went so well!!  I was very happy with the response and feedback I got on my work for the semester.  Here are some pictures of my setup:

Real estate classes have been going swimmingly, and work has been going fairly well.  Tea time, however, has been lacking.  Right now is still an adjustment period to my new schedule and I'm starting to get it figured out thankfully.  Once real estate classes end I'm hoping to start going to the tea gallery in the morning so that I can work at my job in the afternoon/evening.

I also wanted to post another meal recipe.  I just made it tonight and it is an adaptation of a recipe from a blog entitled "Food for Todd" (Sorry, I don't have the link anymore)

Please keep in mind that these are not exact measurements and you should adjust according to taste.

Creamy Pesto Fettucine with Asparagus, Peas, and Tuna
Serves 2
(Adapted from Pink of Perfection)

3-4 asparagus spears cut into 1-inch segments
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
1/4 cup pesto
2 heaping tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 cups egg fettucine
1/4-1/2 can of tuna (drained)
1-2 TBSP Roasted Pepper Tapenade 
Pinch salt/pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta, and cook until al dente.  Dump in asparagus, and steam for three minutes. Lower heat and stir in peas, until heated through and then drain.  Return pasta and veggies to its cooking pot, and toss with pesto and Greek yogurt.  Stir in tuna, roasted red pepper tapenade and sprinkle with salt and pepper.