Today here at Hodgdon Island Inn, it is a stay-inside-and-drink-plenty-of-warm-beverages kind of day so I am using it to do some more research on one of my very favorite subjects: recipe development! As I sit here sipping a cup of Red Rooibos tea infused with blackcurrant extract I am in seventh heaven. Surrounded by cookbooks, magazines, and my dog-eared notebooks, my head is swimming with the possibilities for new breakfast starters, entrees and desserts. Just think poor Richard will have to suffer through yet another round of “taste testing”.
In between reading up on the latest cooking trends, healthy ingredients, the importance of shopping locally and thinking about which recipe(s) we will try this week, I have been riveted to P.D. James’s new mystery novel, Death Comes to Pemberly. It is every bit an exciting sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice as it is one of James’s very British murder mysteries (I keep waiting for Commander Adam Dalgliesh to appear)!
But I digress … I digress because I came across an interesting fact on the Internet today – January is National Hot Tea Month – which caused my mind to begin to wander and connect the dots between my delicious cup of Red Rooibos tea (infused with blackcurrant extract – yum) with the cure-all cup of tea in Regency England with what the so-called hottest trend in hot teas is at the moment.
According to the experts, this year’s hottest trend is “flowering teas”. It is amazing to watch as hand-sewn sachets of tea and dried flowers bloom! If you have a few seconds to spare, check out this video link: http://www.whas11.com/video/yahoo-video/January-is-National-Tea-Month-13 and once you get there you may have to type in “January is National Hot Tea Month” in the video search section …
Now we know there are wonderful coffee shops and bookshop/cafes around the Boothbay Harbor Region where we have the occasional fresh-brewed cup of coffee and the calorie-busting frappucino, but I have to admit, under normal circumstances, to being a dyed-in-the-wool tea drinker. In fact, legend has it, that my mother (being fromIreland), used to put milk with tea in my baby bottle. And I am afraid I am not just a tea drinker, but I am a discerning tea drinker which means that I require water that is at a rolling boil, the appropriate steeping time, coffee-free vessels, and whenever possible, china cups or mugs.
So Richard and I have set out in search of local tea purveyors and found a gem right here in Boothbay: McNab’s Tea Room up the road from the inn off Back River Road. http://www.mcnabsteatoom.com/
Well, I’m off to put the kettle on and make dinner. A possible new breakfast entrée is on taps for tonight: baked eggs in bread bowls with Panko-crusted baked tomatoes. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out – you know if it is thumbs up or thumbs down from Richard. Be sure to stay tuned …