Sunday, September 5, 2010

Food and Libation

As the heading suggests, I am going to discuss food and drink.
More specifically teas, and food that I want to eat when I CAN EAT AGAIN.

I think I'll go with the food first. I seriously have been thinking about one food after another that I have a "craving for", and couldn't even eat if I wanted to.
So, when I'm healthy enough to actually consume solid foods again, I want to eat the following over the course of the next few months:

  1. STEAK
  2. Sweet Potatoes
  3. Basil and Tomato Focaccia bread
  4. Chicken salad with walnuts, grapes, and celery. Nom nom ^_^
  5. My mum's amazing Guacamole, with just enough spice to make me think "Oh-momma!"
  6. Bronco Bob's Roasted Mango Chipotle Sauce with a smidgen of plain cream cheese and imported English Water Crackers. *grin* Specific much?
  7. One white chocolate covered pretzel
  8. A handful of dark chocolate covered raisins
  9. A spinach and summer greens salad with baby tomatoes and raspberry viniagrette
  10. My Grandma A's deviled eggs
  11. My Grandma H's old family recipe chicken and dumplings
  12. Yogurt
  13. Mixed nuts
  14. Peanut butter and Celery!
  15. Humus and pita
  16. Chinese
  17. McCallister's Deli flat pizza with basil and tomato (Yes. I love that combination =D)
  18. Italian Ice
  19. Irish Stew
  20. Family recipe Clam Chowder (I helped develop it *smile* It's gooood)
  21. Smoked barbeque boneless chicken wings
  22. Grilled Portabella mushrooms
  23. Chicken Marsala
  24. Shrimp/seafood alfredo
  25. Ethiopian
  26. Tea and crumpets with fresh strawberries and cream from the little Tea house on main in Crawfordsville, IN (First time having English tea ever was in that tea house, and it was with my Grandma from the country XD, NOT my world traveler grandma!)

So on that note, I will head down to my tea section. :)
Since I've not been able to eat, I've been ingesting copious amounts of water, V8 fusion (fruit and veggie juice), 01 Prime and 02 Performance Gatorade, and tea.
I love my tea.
I have imported loose leaf teas from Asia. I have organic and non-organic teas. I have fruity teas. White teas. Red teas. Black teas.
I have a small black pewter tea pot, and even a mate (Ma-tay) gourd most often used in South America. My favorite bottled tea, Honest Tea, brews their tea in Mate gourds. It's good!
So, yeah.
I. Love. My. Teas.

There is a tea shop in downtown Indianapolis where the owner, Mrs. Yarema, creates her own tea blends for different occasions, and different needs. Her daughter, Shirley, a fellow writing tutor, and my friend Amber (also a fellow writing tutor), both work there. I. So. Need. To. Visit. They actually have teas designed to help increase energy, increase immune system function, provide energy without a buzz or a crash, help calm neuroligical side effects of diseases, etc...
I'm getting excited already *smile*

[you may ignore the orange *chuckle*]
My favorite tea right now is Earl Grey. It's essentially just black tea leaves soaked in bergamot oil. You can make it at home, if you like. But I get mine prepackaged *grin*.
The unique thing about MY Earl Grey teas, at least the ones I brew at home, are that I add a healthy dose of Cinnamon to on tea bag (I use two). You see, one, I like Cinnamon. Childhood memories of rolling snickerdoodle cookie dough in sugar and cinnamon (probably one of my first "baking" memories), always come to mind when I smell the delightful powder. But, two, it also has healing and health benefits as well. You see,Cinnamon prevents nervous tension, improves complexion and memory, is an effective remedy for the common cold, and even helps sore throats and malaria. It keeps in check nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It stimulates digestion, is a good mouth freshener, and has even been proven effective in the treatment of headaches, acne, asthma, and even spasmodic afflictions (which I have =/). So, all in all, Cinnamon is an amazing natural remedy and bodily stimulant for a more healthy and refreshing drink!

Here are my steps to an amazing Earl Grey and Cinnamon tea:
Step 1: Boil water
Step 2: Stir sugar in if desired
Step 3: Steep 2 bags Earl Grey for 5 minutes, one with an added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon*
Step 4: Remove unmodified bag and steep cinnamon/Earl Grey mix for another 3 to 5 minutes
The result? Perfection!

*Note: I tear most of the top off of a prepackaged tea back, so that the string is still attached to the top, and the left side seam is still in tact. Then I take the cinnamon and add it to the top of the tea. Pinch opening, twist, and wrap top seam and string around, finally slipping the tag/string up through one of the loops and tightening. Now the tea and cinnamon won't go flying into the water during the steeping. You could of course just go loose leaf, or metal mesh and skip the re-closing of the tea bag altogether. *shrug* It's up to you.

So there you have it! My list of foods to eat in the coming months when actual food is a viable option! AND, you have my cinnamon-Earl Grey tea mix. Try it. The cinnamon is definitely not overpowering. It just adds a subtle hint to the taste, adds a pleasant aroma to the already lovely smell of Earl Grey, and is quite good for you. You can't get much better than that! *smile*

I'll end with a quote I saw from Eleanor Roosevelt. She said "Women are like tea bags. They don't know how strong they are until they get into hot water." She was one smart lady. I kind of feel like that, at times.
Do you know what one of the best ways to wind down after a grueling day in "hot water" is? Curling up with the Bible, a good novel, a blanket, and a cup of hot tea.
It's bliss that you won't soon forget, and will never regret.

Be Well!

PS: Have you ever tried Blueberry tea? You should. It's very light and refreshing :)


Casey Elizabeth Ruble said...

Yum! You have quite a long list dear. Better get well soon!! You've got some work to do! ;) And I shall have to try this tea concoction. It sounds quite lovely! Maybe you can show me sometime? :D

Rae Hitchings said...

I know, Right?! Lots of work. And I will enjoy every bite of it *happy smile*
And I actually offered you something that you "Can try at home" XD But yes. I can show you sometime *smile* Just pop over some day and I'll brew you fresh cinnamon-earl grey tea.
It would be my please ^_^

So. Did anything on my foodie list interest you?

Robin Payton said...

Rae, are you allowed to eat things like chicken soup broth or milk? Any soft-cooked vegies?

I love teas, too. Peppermint is my favorite, but I used to love Earl Grey until I began having stomach aches each time I drank it. Now, I have it on occasion as a treat. I'm going to try it with cinnamon, as you suggested. Btw, cinnamon helps diabetics with their blood sugars, too.

Why only one white chocolate pretzel?

Rae Hitchings said...

My gall bladder (which allows you to digest fats) isn't working, nor does my liver work very well in helping me digest things. My acid levels are also waaay up, so no meat or milk proteins and fats right now. But chicken, and chicken broth, are good things for me to eat when I CAN eat. That plus the muscular/neurological stimulation (causing spasms, charlie horses around my stomach, nausea, etc...) when food enters my stomach precludes even soft-cooked veggies. I have to take a special anti-nausea medication just to keep liquids down *sigh* =/

I knew I was leaving something out with the cinnamon!! Thank you :)

With your stomach aches and Earl Grey - you may be having a reaction to the caffeine in the black tea leaves, or the bergamot oil. Some people just can't tolerate much of it.

And I put the one chocolate pretzel in there for fun *grin* I'd like to see if I have the self-restraint to eat only one. Plus, they're good, but I can only eat so many before they disinterest me. DARK chocolate covered pretzels are almost addicting though! 0_o haha

Robin Payton said...

I think it's the bergamot oil because I can drink other black teas. It's a shame because I really did like that flavor.

You've probably tried all kinds of things, so please forgive me if you've already done this or something like it. If you put some bouillon or chicken soup broth in a pot, add a -whole- potato and a -whole- onion, so that you get the flavor but no solids, a couple bay leaves, and some celery salt, it will make a very tasty broth that has some nutritional value but no solids. You might get granules of potato, but they'd be so tiny I don't think they'd cause you problems. You could add carrots or other vegies, too, whole. If the oils bother you, this could be cooked, cooled, skimmed, and re-heated.

Also, if you have to cook for yourself, this can be set up and let to boil while you rest, stove-top or microwave.

I, too, hope you are not this ill for very long. Is there an estimate to how long this might last for you?

carlinuxlearner said...

Wow, I never knew Cinnamon had such qualities... I'll have to remember that.

Rae Hitchings said...

I bet you'd be surprised at the medicinal properties of anything, really.
Everyone reading this: Put down your top 3 spices, plants, herbs, or fruits/veggies and I'll put something about it in my next blog post, focusing on how it it beneficial to the body (or not :P)

Rae Hitchings said...

@Robin - I may actually have to try that broth. It may cause problems, and while it could hurt to try in the most literal sense XD, it would definitely be nice if I could handle it.

And there are no definitive estimates with anything i have. There have been cases where a day on the anti-nausea meds will have then sorted out. Or, there's a friend of mine who's dealt with all these issues for 25 years, and sometimes has to endure up to 6 weeks of just the juices and liquids I am currently doing. *shrug*
I've learned to accept unhappy truths like that. But it's still not fun.

Robin Payton said...

cayenne pepper

No, not fun. You definitely learn to value the good days, or any days at all. I don't really understand people who complain about getting older. I'm just happy to be here!

Mizz Ali said...

Cinnamon...hmm , I never knew that!!!!

My dad drinks Earl Grey. I think it tastes OK-ish. :P

we don't put sugar in our tea anymore. We use honey ;)

Rae Hitchings said...

Earl Grey with honey...not my favorite combo ;)
And not really with cinnamon haha But do whatever floats your boat! There are a number of teas that are good with cinnamon, OR, you can even get cinnamon tea prepackaged!

Aoife. said...

I really really REALLY want to like tea...but to me it just tastes like dishwater. :/
I'm completely with you on the chocolate flavoured pretzals..and chocolate flavoured raisins. Well, chocolate flavoured anything, really.

And yeah, my dad has a scanner so I'll be able to post my *artworks* (cough, cough) on my bloggy :D

Rae Hitchings said...

Well, I must admit that a few teas do really really REALLY taste like dishwater...and some SMELL like dirty dishrags XP Blech. I picked up a special asian tea on sale, and I quickly found out why they had to put it on sale to sell it :P It was the most disgusting smelling tea I've ever smelled, and it reminded me in taste of collard greens, something I do NOT enjoy.
But, to make less "weak" tea, try using two to three tea bags and steeping it for a long time (10 minutes or more, or until really dark). And do stronger teas. Earl Grey is a medium strength tea. What have you tried? Milk will sometimes make it much less tasty too, depending on the tea *shrug* I've had to experiment.

(cough cough)Why thank you! And yes. It will be artwork. Maybe not Ansel Adams Artwork, but artwork nonetheless. I've helped teach art, and have taken it since I was 5, and I have to say that everyone is an artist. *smile*
Have fun with the Diana. It's now on my list of possible cameras because of you haha

Chocolate is the food of the gods, in my opinion. AMAZING. Forget about Ambrosia, unless you're calling chocolate ambrosia XD


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