Refuge


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Holy Thursday 2012 Iced Green Tea

An attempt to recreate commercially bought iced green tea. I used a Real Simple Magazine recipe for the rough proportions.

Fresh mint. The recipe called for 1 cup (!) of mint leaves, so good thing I had a lot.

De-stemmed mint leaves.

Plus just a little lemon balm. I only used 1 sprig.

Mint & lemon balm roughly chopped.

This bowl was the only vessel in the kitchen large enough to hold 4 cups of water (and 6 bags of green tea, mint & lemon balm.)

Brewing vessel.

Brewing time (per the recipe.)

Brewing complete, ready to filter out leaves. AKA What's wrong with this picture?

Then I poured hot tea all over the table, myself, and the floor.

Problem solved.

Last ingredient. About 4 heaping tablespoons worth.

The final product. Paper towel under the lid because I was worried the lid still smelled of lavender.

That jar was the only *lidded vessel I could find large enough to hold the tea. I had been using it to store lavender bath salts. Don’t worry, I washed out thoroughly, but between the lavender, tea, mint & lemon balm, the kitchen smelled really good!

A taste test revealed pretty tasty tea concentrate. I think the mint could be a little stronger, but that can be remedied by adding a few leaves along with ice and water prior to serving.


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Thursday, 15 March, 2012 Lent, garden, QTs

1. Regular blogging is just not happening right now, (see #2 – maybe next month I’ll be able get back to it) so most blogging will be Quick Takes and most Quick Takes are likely to be garden related or Lent related.

This week’s  exception: There was meme going around fa.cebook showing how to use make fac.ebook reveal the “name” of your cell phone (based on fa.cebook’s codes for member pages, I’m guessing.) Normally, I ignore that type of thing, but I was bored, so I tried it.

My cell phone’s name is “Doug Quirke,” which, I think, is fitting for a cheap, lime green, plastic brick. I should remember to call it Doug when cursing at it for randomly shutting off.

2. Lent: getting a bit spotty here in the third week. A combination of weakening of the will and ongoing  health issues that bring with them forgetfulness.   I’ve been randomly forgetting to do basic daily tasks, what I’ve said I’d do for Lent, almost anything that’s not built into a routine – one day last week, I arrived at work wearing rain boots and discovered I’d forgotten to bring any change of shoes.

3.  Garden progress! I would like to report that the laws of physics are still true and highly useful. (I bombed high school physics, so doing anything that relies on gravity or laws of motion brings up memories of failed labs and the conviction that something will probably go horribly wrong with my attempts.)

I am pleased to report that  a garden hose can become a working siphon.  I successfully siphoned the standing water in this beast (there was so much in it that I couldn’t move it or tip it over):

into the drain in front of the basement door! After picture:

Viola!

Note the daffodils blooming, as well!

Also, I have begun the project of digging out the bamboo in the very back (not “after” picture worthy, yet.) Some prior tenant knew what he was doing with the bamboo, as I found a very handy root-cutting spade leaning against the garage.

4.  I think these unidentified bulb things that are in the back yard (and along the side of the house) may be liriope. Or maybe “glory-of-the-snow.”

Unidentified bulbs to the left behind snowdrops

I’m leaning “glory-of-the-snow” based on these buds.

5. The very back is still under exploration.  I have found more daffodils.

About to bloom! Makes me ridiculously happy.

And here is a new crop of unidentified bulbs (in the farthest corner of the very back):

About twice as tall as daffodils, but a similar gray-green and with much broader leaves. Thoughts?

6. Here are the missing bits of the back yard not pictured in last week’s before pics:

The slope up to the garage with camellia tree.

And ivy

The stairs leading to the pathway to the very back behind the garage.

7. Last and best: it has been so crazy warm here in DC the past week (the longest stretch of humane weather I have experienced on the east coast thus far) that things are bursting into bloom left and right, most particularly the trees. Many people make a big fuss over the cherry blossoms in DC, but I have noted that the magnolias on my block are going crazy – time to go to the Arboretum to see their magnolia/dogwood collections. (The Arboretum is also much less prone to crowding than the Tidal Basin and there’s not large murky body of water for the tourists to try and jostle you into.)

A little taste from last year:

More Quick Takes at the blog of our gracious hostess.


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Tuesday, 29 November, 2011 Wreath

I’m realizing that I take an awful lot of domestic photos and that if I’m going to post these pictures of my “new” (as of the summer) place, I’m going to need a name for this place, too.

My beloved old apartment is tagged here as “apartamento.” I think I will fully embrace my hobbit tendencies (the old apartamento was in a basement) and term this place “The New Row.”

My Advent wreath in the morning glare