Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My most important tea lesson

Now, I've been learning about tea for a while, but I'd say today I learned my most important lesson, which can basically be concluded as- learning to chill the fuck out. Being able to to relax, go with the flow and respond to the tea is key in making a good cup. Now, I have known this for a while, but today was the day that it really started to make sense- you could even say, it "clicked"z. I get so stressed out and panicked in life that I am anxious most of the time and it affects the way my tea tastes. Making tea is a practice in meditation and I hope to work harder in it when making tea, but also, to let it affect me in daily life.

Secondly (which again, I already knew, but it's starting to become more and more apparent)- water. Water is key. Tap water will make all your tea echo the same flavor- being from nyc, tap water is perfectly safe to drink and considered some of the best tap water in the US, however because of the pipes, it can still taste like copper. Now it seems that all my tea at home tastes like copper. Time to get a water filter...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


One of newest prints of The Virgin Mary and The Annunciation.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Lion King

My mom came to visit this weekend and yesterday we went to see The Lion King on Broadway. Now I know, I know, everyone in New York has seen this at some point in their lives but this was my first time and wow, it was amazing! The costume and set design was so amazingly astounding that, as pathetic as it may be, I began crying when I watched. The mechanics were perfect in every way and so creative in the way that they attached to the body and moved. I apologize for this not being the most useful of "reviews" but let's just say that I highly, highly recommend it.

We also canned tomatoes (which I have been looking forward to doing for a while) and this morning made Tropical Muffins. The muffins turned out wonderfully, nice and fluffy and moist!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Evil Eye Bra and Panties Set or Your New Superhero Costume

Ta daaa!! Kelsey is back in action! Here is a picture of one of my newest piece, entitled "Evil Eye Bra and Panties Set or Your New Superhero Costume". I don't want to say too much on it because it is part of a series to come, but enjoy~

Let today mark the day....

Let today mark the day that I FINALLY made my first set of perfect, unburnt, unbroken and un-distorted pancakes! I have always had trouble making pancakes and end up with a sloppy mess of charcoal pieces and batter- BUT NOT THIS TIME! I'm not sure how much of this is common knowledge (I may have just been missing out on general known facts, but I'll pass it on anyway, just in case there are other people like me that struggle when making pancakes) but first of all, I was out of butter today. Instead of butter, I used Pam Baking Spray on the pan, and instead of using a large pan, and trying to make several pancakes at once, I used a small one, only doing one at a time. And of course, I kept the stove at medium-low.

Good luck pancake makers!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fiber time!

Here is a picture of some fiber I spun up a few days ago. It was only around 4 oz or so, so it was a mini project between spinning other things but ta daaaa- here it is! I believe it was some sort of a wool/merino blend.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spring 2011 Red Yunnan Kung, Fu Tea

Alas, it has been farrr to long since I have made a tea post!!

It's only halfway through the week and I must admit, it's been a little tough. I won't go into too much detail, but we can start with Labor Day. For all of you who live in New York, this probably won't be news to you, but for those who haven't heard, the West Indian Labor Day Parade in Crown Heights ended in tragedy with gunfire, leaving several people dead and injured. I happen to live 2 blocks from here and if I had made the earlier train, would have been walking out right when the shooting occurred. I have heard a few similar situations from others who live in the area.

And then there is the rain...and rain and rain. It's been raining nonstop since Tuesday (it rained a little on Monday as well). I look forward to fall I think mainly because I remember (probably falsely) fondly when I lived in California and Maryland and cheerful blustery winds (back when I didn't have to carry art supplies and pieces that would be ripped out my hands, causing me to hate wind with a severe passion) and falling leaves with clear blue skies. Right now, however, I have rain, and lots of it. Hopefully it will go away soon but I think it is supposed to continue for the rest of the week. (I'm so glad I bought new, hole-less rain boots right before the "hurricane").

And so, I decided, that a dreary day like this would be perfect for tea! And now, time for my analysis!!

This is a tea that I got from The Mandarin's Tea Room and since I have played with it before, I do have a slightly better idea about it than when I did the first time.

The dry aroma smells almost like spiced roses and orange peels, while the wet aroma brings out more of an oily walnut scent. The tea takes heat well (near boiling doesn't seem to phase it), but is also good at being pushed, in fact, it doesn't seem to get overly astringent ever, really. I tried with extremely high heat, as well as a lower heat, for longer periods of time. I personally found the flavor to be fuller with the lower heat over a longer time (i.e. 5 minutes) It has a soothing effect, but the flavor is slightly tart/bitter, but only slightly. In some ways, while it is a young roasted tea, it reminds me of an un-roasted, aged pu-erh I had a while back...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hearty Raspberry Pancakes

I finally made this recipe this morning (I needed a bit of a break from all the waffles and pancakes I've been making as of late).

I wanted to follow the recipe exactly, but seeing as I didn't have all the specified ingredients, I improvised a little, and thankfully, the pancakes still turned out wonderfully!!

Without further adieu, here is my adapted version of Saavy Eats Hearty Raspberry Pancakes!

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup crushed pecans
3/4 cup raspberries

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, flax seed, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the almond extract, canola oil and milk, stirring until completely mixed together. Fold in the raspberries and pecans.

Heat a pan with salted butter and scoop out pancakes. Flip them when the edges begin to firm.