Ichabod is itchy

January 11, 2007

Fancy a cuppa?

Filed under: food — by ichabodisitchy @ 5:52 pm

All this talk about how milk takes out the ‘goodness’ of tea everywhere (see Milk eliminates cardiovascular health benefits of tea at ScienceDaily for an example) has been making me think of how I make and drink tea. Not that I’ll stop drinking milky tea. But have you noticed how there seem to be endless variations on a cup of tea, depending on how you make it. Do you use a pot? If so, do you warm it? Or (sin of all sins) do you ‘re-fill’ it?

Do you put the milk in first? This is what George Orwell has to say on the subject:

“One should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.”

But I disagree. If I put the tea in first, I always over-fill it and end up with not enough room for the amount of milk I want.

Furthermore, when I make tea (for one or two– i.e. no pot) I find that if I pour the water in first, stir it around, take the tea bag out and then put the milk in, I end up with lots of tea ‘scum’ floating on the top of the mug– stuff that looks like flakes of tea and that stick to the side of the mug each time you take a sip so that by the time it’s empty, there is a decided trail of tea scum all around the inside of the mug.

If, however, you put the milk in first (with the teabag, which I know sounds wrong) and then pour the boiling water in, you end up with a perfect, scum-free delicious cuppa. (one caveat- if you pour the water in before it is completely boiled, you end up with scum of a different nature– sort of white froth that looks like it belongs on a cappuccino).

September 19, 2006

Choco-licious

Filed under: food — by ichabodisitchy @ 5:49 pm

There’s a small cake shop in Soho, called Patisserie Valerie. No doubt there are other PVs, although the one in Soho is the only one I know. Every time I go in there I feel like a kid in the world’s best sweet shop. It has all sorts of deliciousness stacked on it’s shelves, and a warm, cosy feel to it. The cakes come in all shapes and sizes and all flavours– little fruit tarts, almond pastries, strawberry mousse and a whole selection of dainty little chocolate truffles. But it is the chocolate cakes that really make my head spin.

Yesterday was Lewis’ birthday and I went into Patisserie Valerie and bought a chocolate cake. Not just any cake– chocolate sponge, filled with two layers of chocolate filling and encased in a solid layer of semi-dark chocolate, topped off with a superbly decorative flower made of, yep you guessed it– chocolate.

Look at this cake and I think you’ll agree that not only is it a divinely choco-licious cake, but it is also a work of art.

18-09-06_1839.jpg

Needless to say, we all overindulged and spent all evening laying around the living room feeling totally chocolated-out! Mmmmmm– but so worth it!

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