The Ladies' Tea Guild

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Myths about tea and mold.

Tea bags.  Wikipedia Commons.
Mold allergy sufferers are under constant attack from allergens that can be lethal for highly sensitive folks. The study of allergies is a relatively new area, and mold is one of the newer allergens to appear in scientific studies. Mold contamination in tea is an even newer topic of research, and scientists have not yet performed many studies specifically on mold and yeast spores in tea, so conclusive information is lacking.

Yeast expert Sidney M. Baker advises that allergy sufferers avoid brewing tea with tap water, which may carry mold spores, as well as chemical contaminants, and drink only bottled or filtered water. While many allergy sufferers have been advised to avoid all cheese, bread and other sources of yeast and mold spores, Baker has also said, "individual tolerances have to be determined on a trial and error basis by each person.” As with most new areas of study, the available information is often a combination of facts and myths.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Bengal Spice tisane by Celestial Seasonings  Used with permission.
According to “Dish, the Food and Wine Blog” from Food +Wine magazine, January is Hot Tea Month.  Few things are more comforting on a cold, windy day than a hot cup of tea!  Bengal Spice, by Celestial Seasonings, is one of the popular tisanes available in local grocery stores.  Basically a caffeine-free chai substitute, the tisane is spicy with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, and none of the tangy hibiscus or rosehips that make up most other tisane blends.  It is delicious plain, but when you add a small spoonful of local honey and a splash of milk, it really comes into its own.  It’s a little lighter in body than a regular chai with Indian black tea, but the spices are so bold that you don’t notice the absence of the tea.  With the slight sweetness of the honey and creaminess of the milk, it will warm you all the way down, and since there’s no caffeine, you can drink this chai as late in the day as you want without disturbing your sleep at night. 

For more information: Bengal Spice tea product page
Celestial Seasonings company page
Slideshow of tea recipes from Food+Wine magazine website 
“Virus, Infections, and Colds, Oh My!”  from the Tea Association of the USA
“Flu Season is Tea Time” from the Tea Council of the U.S.A., Inc.
“National Hot Tea Month” by Beth Johnston of Teas, Etc.
“It’s National Hot Tea Month” and January 2011 Sweepstakes info from Bigelow Tea
“How to Celebrate Hot Tea Month”

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Time to pick some Meyer lemons!

Meyer lemon tree.
I love having a Meyer lemon tree in the backyard!  I love lemon anything, but Meyer lemons are a whole other kind of wonderful!  I will definitely be making some Meyer lemon curd (using the Gourmet magazine recipe), and anything else I can think of.  Here are some interesting Meyer lemon recipes:

Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake
Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pudding Cake with Fresh Berries
Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie 
Meyer Lemon and Orange Flower Yogurt Cake
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)