The technological gremlins are back! But just lightly, you know, to tell me about the classic block, which we know about, WordPress, because it is the thing preserving our sanity as we try to cobble together this ongoing series of blogs.
It’s not just there, no! Back for a daring encore, the music is still being activated by the tv remote, and no, we don’t know why, either. We gave the headset very specific instructions about shunning the thing that is AirPlay, but apparently there was a loophole we missed. Tonight’s instalment has upped the security protocols on the laptop. Up next; we find out tomorrow if this was successful. We know you’re all on tenterhooks.
In all seriousness, it’s been a full day, and having the Advent teas at the weekend is always a bit tricky because Sunday afternoons are for familial tea and they don’t like tea as much as we do. We know, we know. You’re shocked. Quite a few relatives have this perennial refrain that ‘[They] don’t want anything too weird.’ So we keep the Advent stuff for us and stick to Yorkshire with them. There’s the one aunt that goes in for herbals, so we make those up for her but it’s covid so we’re not exactly meeting up routinely.
Consequently, to prove that multitasking was still alive and well we had today’s German tea while chatting with our academic sister over Skype. Simultaneously we made Christmas socks for the Dachshunds.
To say we were drinking tea, sewing and chatting, these have turned out quite well. You almost wouldn’t guess we were new to working with felt, or that stockings are, as it turns out – and forgive us but there’s no better descriptor – really bloody awkward to sew pieces to. We sort of anticipated that, what with them being long and narrow, but anticipation had nothing on practice. In the end we stuck a bit of an ex-box down the middle to stop the thing sewing itself to itself.
But you came here for the tea, not the stocks. The German tea involved a bit of time-travel back to yesterday, since those of you keeping up will recall we got our numbers all back-to-front on Friday. So the tea for the 18th of December was Gwendelina’s Baked Apple. It’s supposed to taste of piping hot apple pie and it does not disappoint. Now, our favourite permutation of this is currently conjured by Tealish, but this is a seriously close runner-up. It’s a blend of black and green teas with apple and cinnamon thrown in, proving once again that simple is best. And notice the green tea in there? As we said yesterday, if you want a good, fruit-flavoured tea that doesn’t cloy, you use green tea for a base. The black tea gives it a bit of extra heartiness and absorbs some of the cinnamon spice, and the result is a really excellent tea. We just wished we’d thought to ration this sample. Ah, well. It was a lovely accompaniment to sewing. And because Crumble Tea was a staple of our St Andrews teas, drinking this while talking with academic family was unwittingly nostalgic.
We only got around to the DavidsTea offering late. This one almost justifies the poor familial cry of ‘Nothing too weird!’ because it really is an odd duck. It’s called Peanut Butter Cup but in an effort to be peanut-allergy friendly it has…no peanuts in it. Instead it’s a blend of almonds, chocolate, apple, and peanut flavour. Aside from anything else though, why go to this bizarre length? It’s still not nut friendly, and nuts take several hundred years to infuse a tea anyway. We’ve had this discussion before, usually around Forever Nuts. Add to which that while we love a good peanut butter cup as much as anyone, we’d never have one hot.
And that’s really what this is. It’s as if someone has heated up and liquified peanut butter. The apple does come through subtly, but the chocolate not at all and the almonds in the ingredients list were a revelation. It’s a perfectly nice tea, in fact we quite like it. But we enjoy it the way we enjoy Jabberwocky or mirror-writing or the nuances of parallel universes. You sort of drink it a little, squint sideways at it, drink more, contemplate how truly strange and bizarre this tea is, and drink still more. The fact that it tastes of an ingredient that isn’t even present only heightens the through-the-looking-glass sensation.
So in the spirit of the strange and whimsical, here’s an equally strange and whimsical poem.