Don’t get me wrong. I drink two cups of coffee every day, sometimes more – coffee, not days.
But when I start drooping at 5 pm and need a boost, it’s tea time. Tea doesn’t jangle nerves often already jangled by surly cashiers and rude drivers.
My generous and well-meaning friends give me teas made with herbs, fruits and nuts, spinach and licorice. OK, I made the spinach part up.
But here’s what I have found. A simple, paper-wrapped Lipton tea bag does the trick Monday-Friday. It’s the character actor of teas. Doesn’t steal the spotlight, but is necessary for the plot to continue.
I still cave in and buy intriguing teas for the weekend. I got suckered into purchasing a very expensive fruit tea at one of those mall super tea stores. It has dried cherries in it – which I love. What I didn’t love was that the cherries curdled the milk I added to the tea. Yep, I drink it the English way, with milk. My sister does too. Don’t know how we started – it wasn’t the way our parents drank it. But we are one-eighth British, so maybe genes…
The one exception is a blend my friend Alicia brought me from Stockholm. It really is intriguing, with aromas I just can’t place. And even though it’s flowery, it takes to milk very well. Until recently, it was impossible to find this one-of-a-kind blend outside its tea center in Stockholm. (the name translates roughly to “southside blend”) My latest search turned up several sources. So if you’re looking for a new flavor visit www.ingebretsens.com or www.thenordicshop.net
Melt a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler. Dip Ritz crackers into chocolate with tongs and place on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. You can add crushed peppermint or toffee candies on top. Put cookie sheet in refrigerator for about five minutes, until chocolate hardens. Store in a container with waxed paper between layers. Keep dipped crackers in the fridge during hotter months.