Happy Birthday to my cousin MaryBeth!
Ahhh, a cup of tea. So simple and yet so powerful. We’ve all heard about the many health benefits of drinking tea, from boosting the immune system to preventing cancer. (Note: to reap these benefits, it turns out you need to sip sans milk, read here for more info.) But there are other less talked-about benefits too – like, tea is delicious, soothing, filling – a real treat! Remember? The reason it’s the second most popular drink in the world? In fact, I would find it mighty difficult to lose/maintain my weight without my daily tea. I have a cup after every lunch and dinner – it feels “dessert-y” and helps me switch gears to, well, not eating. I use it as a calorie-free snack as well; sometimes I just need something warm to soothe my tummy’s late-afternoon rumbles. I drink the decaf version, since I’m a caffeine-free gal (serious tea drinker Rishia Zimmern also gave me this tip to “decaffeinate” regular tea – brew for one minute, discard, then brew again. Supposedly most of the caffeine in tea is released in the first minute of brewing.) I’m not a tea snob – yes, fresh loose-leaf tea, from a shop like the lovely TeaSource in St. Paul (I highly recommend a visit; plus you can shop online), is the best. In fact, it can be as mind-blowing and nuanced as a great glass of wine (witness my recounting of tea time at Liberty in London, ha). But when I’m really just needing a lightly flavored warm drink, I’m OK with a good ol’ tea bag. With all the lovely herbal “teas,” or tisanes, there are to try, the flavor options are basically endless, so it’s worth experimenting to find what’s truly, er, your cup of tea. In the end, as with coffee, I like it best unadorned. A cup of green tea, or Darjeeling, never misses (especialy with a good book and a comfy chair)!
On my own for dinner tonight, so I took advantage and ate super-nutritious things no one else in the family particularly craves, ha… Red adzuki beans, which I can now find canned, made into a savory little salad with garlic, sweet onion, chopped arugula, and a bit of mustard vinaigrette. A steamed artichoke (I selfishly love having the heart all to myself). And a small plate of perfectly sauteed mushrooms…little butter, little salt, little lemon, little heaven. And for dessert? Yep, a cup of tea…