Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tea & Shortbread

ince the name of this blog is "ArtWordsTea" and it is full into winter, I thought I should write a bit about tea. I drink a lot of it- mostly iced. I know- iced tea in winter? Well, (too many but that is another post) many people drink sodapop during the winter but you don't expect them to drink it hot do you? But I digress...
This time of year, I also drink a lot of hot tea. It used to be Earl Grey but nowadays it is more likely to be Lady Grey which is more fragrant with bergamot yet also not so strident. I also commit blasphemy by drinking it with milk- and sometimes a splash of caramel syrup. This is my version of the what the Hudson Valley Coffee Traders cafe- just down the street from me- serves. They use vanilla syrup and call it a Fog and it is delicious. I didn't have any vanilla syrup but I did have a dusty bottle of caramel syrup left over from something I can't recall and gave it a (pardon the pun) shot. I'm calling it a Cashmere and I'm sticking with it. But most of the time my tea is milky but unsweetened.
Since we are hurtling towards Christmas there have been invitations to potlucks. If the event is in the afternoon, i usually make Lemon & Rosemary Shortbread. I use a recipe from Melissa Clark's delightful column for the NYTimes and it is a hit every time I make it. I use a battered food processor- a benefit of my older brother's brief flirtation with cooking. (I also scored a stand mixer from the aftermath of his quixotic attentions.) On the low-tech end of the tool spectrum, I use a mezzaluna to finely chop the rosemary. This tool has two parallel arced blades and you use it by rocking it back and forth over the herbage. It never leaves the surface of the cutting board and chops much finer, in less time, and uses less effort than a knife.
I have an ivitation for this afternoon and the shortbread is in the oven, the fragrance of the rosemary and lemon with the hint of sugar fills the air.
Time for some tea...

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