I live in an area of the country that experiences four traditional seasons. Of those four, my favorites are Spring and Fall. I love everything about these transitional seasons—the mild weather, the changing light, the start of garden season on one end and the height of its bounty at the other. (Even if they do only seem to last for about a week here in eastern North Carolina.)
That is, I love these seasons, but my sinuses do not. I've got horrendous seasonal allergies that flood my head with histamines twice a year, to the point where I really should invest in a giant hypoallergenic vinyl bubble to seal myself off in from April to July. Also, the change of seasons seems to kick the butts of everyone's immune systems, and I always inevitably catch what everyone's passing around.
Are you in the same club? I got something for what ails you, and it goes by the name of Head Tea.
If you were to ask an American to picture drinking a cup of tea, it's safe to assume that the mental image wouldn't include work boots, hardhats, bricks, and lumber. But while coffee is standard in the U.S., for thousands of construction workers in Great Britain and Ireland, as well as numerous tradesmen like electricians, welders, and plumbers, a strong cup of tea is the preferred fuel for a day filled with labor.
Here's a basic rundown of how to fortify your work day with the strength of a bricklayer.
The power of fermentation: instead of fighting off microbes, you invite the right kind to your party. It doesn't take a lot of culinary know-how to acknowledge that certain fermented foods get better the longer they ferment, like wines and cheeses. The more sourdough starter ages, the more complex its flavors become. Then you've got your fermentation standards like pickles, dairy products like kefir, soy-based miso and natto, and even Russia's beet-based kvass.
But did you know that occasionally tea gets invited to the bacillus party? Welcome to the world of pu-ehr!
Looking for a warm drink that will give you energy without the jitters? You need to try this brewed South American tea.
For years, coffee has been my go-to AM brew, and I've been dedicated to grabbing a cuppa joe to get me through the morning. Sure, I mix it up with an espresso drink every now and then, but for the most part it's a few milligrams of caffeine that powers me through the mid-morning slump.
Most mornings call for an early jolt of java to get me going. Black coffee warms me up, and I've grown to love the bitter-sweet taste. But on the slower days when I just don't feel like a bitter cuppa joe I turn to something a bit smoother - The Foglifter.
Ice tea is a summer classic, perfect for those sweltering days where another glass of water just won't do, but you definitely don't want to go thick and carbonated, like soft drinks, or move into cocktail territory just yet.
And the classic method for making it happen when it's hot? Why, the sun, which,
Hit Chicago-based chef and restauranteur Grant Achatz had an interesting weekend dabbling in a bit of molecular mixology.
"Achatz tweeted... that he and [Chef de Tournant] Schoettler were "playing with sensation and texture in a gin and tonic," with a link to the above video (h/t Grub Street Chicago). "Playing with sensation and texture" seems to be an understatement. The gin and tonic Achatz is sampling in the video contains Anchor Junipero gin, yellow chartreuse and "cucumber alginate encapsulation."
When I was a kid, my parents always made iced tea in this vintage sun tea jar, complete with big 70s yellow poppies and a broken spigot. I never really realized what they were doing by sitting that thing on the back porch...besides making us chase extra fast to grab missed catches and tags during our neighborhood kickball game.
It's a pretty clever idea, the sun tea...when its this hot outside, the last thing you want to do is boil a big kettle of water and cool it down for hours to make a cold drink. But know what's even awesome-r, and quicker? Simply making great ice tea in your refrigerator overnight.
Some things are just plain fun.
"Sharky is a floating tea-infuser that looks like a shark fin marauding through the dangerous waters of your tea mug that simultaneously releases streamers of steeped tea that look suspiciously like the detritus after a nasty shark attack."