Tea with Ainee
Teatime with ainee shares news from the Daily Tea; a New York Times Magazine article title: Going Postal; how to pick up a package in Istanbul, in many uneasy steps.
“Tea is all about enjoyment, relaxation, and taking the time to refresh your spirit.”—
The Daily Tea101 http://www.thedailytea.com/
The Daily Tea offers us some ideas for cooking with tea (using Camellia sinensis tea plant as part of the ingredients) for this holiday season.
If you are planning to use a canned cranberry sauce, then you MUST take a look at the cranberry and apple conserve made with black tea. It is quick and easy to make, and can be made days in advance, an ideal trait for holiday entertaining! If you enjoy eggnog during the holidays, then you will certainly enjoy our Pumpkin Chai Martini, which can be made with or without alcohol and blends in your favorite holiday flavors.
A classic English Trifle is rife for variation, so why not consider a Jasmine Pastry cream instead of the more traditional vanilla. It goes beautifully with berries, whipped cream and all of your trifle favorites. For me, this brings back wonderful memories, as the very first ‘Tea Cuisine’ recipe I dabbled with 15 years ago was a jasmine pastry cream. I used it in fresh fruit tarts at the time, but it is perfect for a classic, or not so classic, holiday trifle.
Cranberry Apple Preserves
This preserve is equally at home on the breakfast table or with your afternoon scones as it is on your Thanksgiving dinner table. It can also be made with pears in place of apples or a combination of apples and pears. For the black tea, Darjeeling, Ceylon and Keemun are excellent choices, but any black tea should give you a very good result. This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily, so make plenty to use and to share.
Yield: 4 cups preserves
- 4 cups peeled and diced apples
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, washed
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 limes
- 3/4 cup triple strength black tea
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger root
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Add all ingredients except the lime and ginger to a heavy pan. Bring to a boil over high heat and turn down to medium. Simmer, skimming the foam after about 5 minutes. Let simmer until the cranberries have burst and the apples or pears are tender, roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Add lime juice, zest and grated ginger. Simmer until thickened and remove from heat. Let cool. Process in a canner, or store covered in the refrigerator.
Darjeeling Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This easy recipe with intriguing, savory flavors is from the book “Culinary Tea” by Running Press/Perseus Books, which I wrote with Lise Stern. It incorporates two ingredients, which can be difficult to find without a convenient Asian market, so there are simple substitutions supplied. Amchoor is dried, powdered green mango, and black salt, or kala namak is a pinkish brown salt with high sulfur content.
Yield: 8 servings
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into .5 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoons amchoor or grated lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoons black salt, tea-smoked salt or any sea salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons loose-leaf Darjeeling tea leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the oil and stir to coat. Add the amchoor (or lime zest) and salt. Crumble the tea leaves with your fingers, crushing them as you sprinkle them over the potatoes and stir well to distribute the tea and spices evenly.
Spread the potatoes in the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, then continue to bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes. Potatoes will be done when they are just slightly firm in the center. Serve warm or at room temperature.
There is always something new to discover with The Daily Tea and I encourage others to read some more by visiting this site at: http://www.thedailytea.com/recipes/gifts-from-the-kitchen and
I am a New York Times weekend subscriber and their magazine has this article that I wish to share. It is title Going Postal: How to pick up a package in Istanbul, in many uneasy steps.
“You have a package at the karakoy post office.” The card that was in his mailbox read, but there was no address for the post office; just his name and the message in Turkish. He, is a film teacher, living in Istanbul and learning to speak Turkish and to help with his studies had asked his mother (who lives in the U.S.) to mail him some three-by-five note cards so he could use them as flash cards for improving his Turkish. Anyhow, the individual leaves work one afternoon to go and try to retrieve this parcel. He had to travel to this ‘dense, crazy neighborhood in the Karakoy district, an industrial area with people welding stuff, chains and workshops with ship anchors and people repairing fishnets.’ He, who did not know where he was going, passed it twice and after nearly an hour, found it shortly before they were to close for the day. ‘The post office was a dusty 19th century building between two chain-stores, with a tiny plaque on it.’ Before this young man reaches the counter, a guard said: “No, no, You are here for a package, but the package room is closed.”
So, he returns home and goes about his work and life and returns a few days later to try and retrieve the package and he goes earlier in the afternoon this time. He went upstairs and through a long hallway with stacked buckets and pikes on the walls, some type of firefighter exhibit. He reaches an area that resembled a cage with a guy inside it and hundreds of packages from floor to ceiling. He hands the guy in the cage the slip and presumes to wait. “O.K. O.K.” said the guy in the cage, who took out a piece of paper from a shoe box on the counter and handed it to him; then he sat back and drank his tea. The note handed to the young man read: “you have a package at the Davutpasa post office.”
The young man was stunned. ‘Why send me here and not to Davutpasa?’ Not knowing where Davutpasa was; the young man had to search for it online and decided to go there at a different time, the following week perhaps. This journey was described as a ‘postapocalyptic hellscape’ with dump trucks thundering by, power lines hanging down and no sidewalks. After travelling for about an hour, our young man finds the Davutpasa Postal Center. Inside he went to one counter and was given several forms to fill out and he had to go to another building to get them stamped, then go back to stand in line and present them again. By this time he had about an inch of paperwork and he was sent to yet another package cage. ‘The guy took my slip and disappeared. When he returned, he had the box from my mom. He put it on the counter, took out a knife and opened it in front of me. Then he put a seal around it and put it back on the shelf. He said I had to pay 25 million lira, about $15 at the time. “Import tax,” he said.’
The young man had to return to the other building and wait in another line, paid the tax and was given a stamp, he then had to walk back to the package room which by then was closing because of the jingling sound he heard and all the workers were locking their doors, sitting down, and starting to have tea.
He yelled out… “No, No, No!” sprinting through the hallway as he approached the package cage, the guy was locking it from the outside. He showed him his receipt and all he got was “tomorrow,” come back then.
By now, this guy had had it. Outside, surrounded by factories, with dump trucks passing by, he exploded. He turned round and just gave the post office the finger and he shouted it out loud as well…and returned home, thinking to try this again another time. On this last attempt, he had all the receipts and went directly to the cage and the guy asked him for his passport as an ID; the young man gave it to him. He said, “O.K.” The young man stood there waiting; he was approached by an officer who demanded that he apologize to the guy in the cage who had now returned with his package and he could not have it unless he apologize for his outburst when he was there the previous day. The young man would not apologize since he felt that it is he who should be said sorry to for all the trouble he went through to get this package from his mother. “I just kept refusing to apologize and repeating: ‘give me my passport.’”
The office threw his passport on the ground and signaled to the guy in the cage to give him his package and he was told never to return there again.
After this incident; the young man went to meet with his Turkish teacher for a lesson; as he was shaken up, he told him about what took place at the post office and his teacher asked him “what is in the package?” He told him it was a bunch of three-by-five note-cards. And his teacher replied: “I know where to get those,” he said. “You should have just asked me.”
Teawithainee is wishful for all to have a wonderful of holidays with friends and loved ones. I am not one to be in keeping with company because I enjoy being with myself. I am that hermit, who at times want to commune with another and yet not really. Life throws punches and hurdles at us and we are to bend unlike the fork in the road, but similar to the wind or the tree’s bent with the changes in the seasons. I am drinking more of this Bigelow’s Green Tea and I implore others to take heed and to enjoy their cup of tea as they like it.
Happy teas to all and thank you for reading!