Terri's Airy Fairie World

Musings on Music, Tea, Gardening & my Paleo Life…


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The Traveling Tea Box Has Arrived!

IMG_1055IMG_1056 I love tea! My most favorite cups are rich, mouthy, malty, full-leaf bold black teas, but I also love Oolongs, especially of the roasted Wuyi type, & a variety of Puerhs. I also drink green & white teas, herbals, etc. Really I’ll try anything once. I’ve loved tea for a long, long time, & have a pretty ridiculous collection of teas. I try to drink a cup of each one of them once a month. I rarely succeed, but I enjoy trying. Today (Labor Day) marks a year since I stumbled upon Steepster.com. I love Steepster. It’s a 24 hour a day tea party. It’s my favorite online community. I know that I have one thing in common with everybody there: I love Tea!

That's a lot of Tea

The Here’s Hoping TTB. That’s a lot of Tea!

One of the best things about Steepster is the tea swaps I’ve been involved in. I’ve had some pretty awesome trades with tea drinkers from all over the world! It’s like having a pen pal, only even better! I’ve also been involved in a couple of Traveling Tea Boxes (TTB). This one, the “Here’s Hoping TTB” arrived on Friday, just in time for the 3 day weekend! It holds a total of 98 tea samples of varying sizes & varieties, from 59 companies

As if that wasn’t enough tea, the BBBB arrived on Saturday! That’s a smaller TTB that includes myself & 3 other friends. We wanted a TTB that was mostly black & puerh teas, especially from companies none of us had ever tried before. Each of us adds an oz of tea (or 2 half oz) to the box for each of the other 3 persons. When the box comes back to you, you get 3 ozs of tea, plus occasional extra surprises. We started the box a month ago, & it just came back to me! Here’s what I got:

My bag in the BBBB! It's like a Birthday present!

My bag in the BBBB! It’s like a Birthday present!

What to drink with breakfast?

What to drink with breakfast?Here’s what I got in this box:

Ying De Black No. 9 – Canton Tea Co

Rizhao Black – Ali Express

Antarctic Expedition – Silk Road

Queen of the Hill – Sloan

Cherry Pu’erh – Nature’s Leaf

Tiramisu Puerh – International House of Tea

Scottish Breakfast – Int. House of Tea

Good tea requires good food! For breakfast I made gluten free mixed berry crepes with coconut whipped cream & a drizzle of maple syrup, & home made breakfast sausage patties. Healthy decadence!

Breakfast!

Breakfast!


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Haiku & Peaches!

A few weeks ago Stacy Lim, the owner of Butiki Teas,Image http://www.butikiteas.com, celebrated her birthday with a special sale & a couple of fun contests, including a Haiku contest. I have always loved the art of Haiku, so I spent the day honoring Stacy by drinking only Butiki teas & writing Haiku about them!  I think I submitted 6 or 7 Haiku, & I won!  Yeah!

My winning Haiku was written for  Khongea Tippy Golden Assam.  This is a rich & potent Assam, grown in the Brahmputra river valley of the Assam region in India, on the Khongea Estate, a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, which focuses on sustainability and living and working conditions of those working at that tea estate. I love the mouth filling maltiness, the slightly tannic oakiness, & the boldness of this brew. It has a deep cacao bass, a hint of cloves & cinnamon in the middle, & a citrus brightness at the top, all combining to produce a nicely balanced cup that is perfect with breakfast & also really nice with those rare occasions when I treat myself to dessert. Here’s my Haiku:

Life can be bitter,
and yet bitter reveals sweet.
Life is bittersweet.

On the same day that I won the Haiku contest, we picked the last peaches of summer. Peaches are among my most favorite of fruits, & homegrown peaches are worth waiting all year for. We washed, sliced, & trimmed peaches all afternoon. I wanted to have a special treat to celebrate my success, & to end the Peach season with a bang!

What I wanted was Peach Cobbler, how I love Peach Cobbler!!  I’ve been gluten/grain free for almost 2 years now,  & after searching the internet, I found an enticing recipe that was amazing & delicious on Oven Love’s blog: http://www.ovenloveblog.com/grain-free-peach-cobbler-paleo-gaps/

The cobbler was cooked in individual ramekins. I substituted Maple Syrup for the honey in the original recipe.

I also made a batch of quick & easy peach ice cream using my own recipe.

3 cups fresh peachesPeach Cobbler1 – fresh or frozen
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/4 c Maple SyruIMG_0992p (opt)
Vanilla – 1 tsp or more

blend in the blender, dump in the ice cream machine, & let it go! Once the ice cream was ready, I scooped it into silicone muffin cups in a muffin pan, putting them in the freezer to firm up a little more.

A perfect end to Peach season, & an awesome celebration of my Haiku, the combination of the bold Assam & the delicious cobbler & ice cream was YUMMY! Special thanks to Natalie, for her awesome peach cobbler recipe. Additional thanks to Stacy as always for her wonderful teas!

A Tour of My Garden

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I love gardening! I love crawling around in the dirt with my clippers,  conquering weeds.  I love squatting next to a Tomato or Pepper plant & peeking into green bean & cucumber vines, like I’m on an easter egg hunt. I love clipping greens & herbs, making weird little hammocks for my big fat tomatoes, & pulling beets, turnips, & other roots from the earth. I love witnessing the emergence of freshly sprouted seedlings & recognizing volunteers that grew from last year’s plants that were allowed to flower & go to seed. I love being followed around the garden by robins who know me because they grew up in my yard. I love the sounds of all the birds that like to hang around, especially the Gold Finches, with their crazy canary calls & even crazier flying style. I love it when the sky is almost dark & the bats fly overhead.

The Earth is amazing! Every experiment in planting is like a miracle. Sometimes seeds don’t sprout. Sometimes cucumber beetles & squash bugs ruin everything. Sometimes we have a horrible hot droughty summer, like last year. Other times the weather is ideal & my garden is abundant, like this year. It’s awesome to walk out back with a couple of empty baskets & a pair of clippers, wander up & down the rows, visiting each bed to see what looks good today. I love bringing in baskets full of produce, & turning it into meals. I would be perfectly content to spend every day out there, breathing in the moment, witnessing the birds, insects, & other creatures, clipping weeds, talking to turtles, building trellises, & eating sugar snap peas off the vine. Here are some pictures that I took in my Garden this week. I hope you enjoy them!

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IMG_0948  IMG_1169 IMG_0082 IMG_0878 IMG_0881 IMG_0880 IMG_0882 IMG_0885 IMG_0934IMG_0940 IMG_0942  IMG_0939 IMG_0960 IMG_0964

This gallery contains 30 photos


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Hello? Is there anybody out there?

Welcome to my Blog!  Welcome to my first actual post.

I have talked myself in & out of blogging for years. I’d be gardening, cooking, playing my harp, sipping tea, or some other thing, & a great idea for a blog post would enter my mind. I’d narrate the whole thing in my head, it would seem brilliant! I’d promise myself I’d write it, but it never happened. I’d get sidetracked by life & the fleeting inspiration would be gone.

There was also that ever present element of doubt.
Who would read my blog?
Family, friends, & fans? Clients & students? Total strangers? Nobody?

What would I write about & would it be interesting to anyone?
Could I maintain some kind of continuity, or would this become another addition to my long list of unfinished projects, a reminder of my personal inadequacies?
I went into an avoidance pattern. More than once.
Then I realized it didn’t matter who read it, or if anybody read it. It didn’t even matter if it was interesting or lame. I just needed to do it.

On New Year’s day 2013,  I set up the blog page that you are currently looking at.
I was excited about writing my first post. It was the beginning of the year. I was going to document this year’s garden from start to finish. I was going to share some awesome food. I was going to upload a video of my music once a month. I was going to review teas that I love.

I didn’t write anything. Why?
Fear of not being good enough?
Fear of commitment?
Or just plain laziness?
Who knows, who cares.

Today, nearly 7 months later, I’m finally writing. It’s time.
In an effort to keep it simple, I’m going to aim for one post per week, alternating through my favorite things: food, tea, music, & gardening.

If you are reading this, welcome to my blog.

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