Ginger, lemon, nectar, cacao, toast, woods… ahhhh TEAS!!! I travel everywhere(locally speaking of course)for a great cup of tea and atmosphere. There is often a story behind every first cup in a new place. When I’m taking a meeting, want some down time, hanging with friends or blogging I always have a cup of tea. Tonight I’m enjoying hibiscus tea w/fresh cinnamon. I selected this tea because I’m catering a Trinidadian party this weekend so it deemed appropriate. The floral notes from the hibiscus and aromatics from the cinnamon give an almost holiday like feel… Much like food and music, tea has a certain nostalgic effect on me.
When I was fairly new to this region(still new)I was introduced to this tea house in San Francisco called the Center SF. Most of their teas are imported from mountains in China, that info was new to me. The Center is an underground spot, that has live music, yoga, vinyl records on deck…I mean it is perfection. For a while they had a WuTang Wednesday night that I just fell in love with. The DJ would play a little WuTang…but he’d throw in some GAP Band, Rakim, Switch and Prince, PRINCE!! We’d dance, write, soar and dream. I had found my forever tea house. I was enamored with the atmosphere of this particular ‘pub’. So much so that I began going on Monday nights to talk to the carpenter who ran it and on Fridays to hang with the French Chef to pick his brain on food. Every time I went I would try something different, but I’d end the night with the same tea, Toasted Rice Green Tea or Popcorn Tea…GENMAICHA. It was and still is a favorite of mine. It’s been almost one year since I first stepped into that magical place that looks like it was made just for me.
They’re having their one year anniversary coming up and I plan to be there. I consider myself a sommelier of tea, not certified but a mini expert nonetheless.
Tea…our relationship has gotten more intimate and purposeful. Tea, like food is medicinal. Upon restoring my inner peace taking care of my mind, body & soul its calming effects, the refreshers, the instant gratification…the soothing effectiveness of the smells, the tastes and how the leaves of Africa, Japan and India steeping~~ it’s therapy in an infuser. I guess this is how wine connoisseurs feel without the hangover.
Mee Chewy Ginger Babies
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup candied ginger(grated ginger cooked in simple syrup)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup golden brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup light molasses
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
sugar(to roll the cookies in)
Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Preheat oven to 350. Put the first four ingredients in one bowl-Put the next 3 in another bowl mix it well. Add the next 6 to butter/sugar bowl. Add the mixture to the flour. Put sugar into 3rd bowl and set aside. Use a tablespoon to scoop out cookie mix. Roll into a ball and toss it into the sugar bowl. Remove it and press it gently onto the cookie sheet. Keep doing this until the mixture is gone. Put into the oven 8-10 minutes or until center of cookie begins to crack. Remove from the oven place cookies on cooling racks. If you want a not so chewy cookie keep in oven until the rim of the cookie cracks, an extra 2-4 minutes. Really simple, really fast…really good, with tea.