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My Favourite Things: Travel Treasures

by on November 19, 2013
 
Its past noon and the skies are pounding
Pounding hard with rain
Yet it was just this morning that I
Welcomed the Harmattan
Crisp, dry, foggy too
The promise of warmth….
…..only underneath thick blankets and cardigans
Best had with books and tea
Our Nigerian winter
But it never rains
Never rains in Harmattan season
Never
So the time is not yet come

—–00000—–

My mind is cast to times and places and memories of warmth. Brought by travel and wander and wonder.

Matcha Whisk

I remember when I first discovered Matcha in Paris. Fascinated by its green colour, I salted, macaroned, baked. All in a fit to bring some Japan to me. And so, when passing time at the airport in Geneva in late September, I happened upon a teashop where I made it my personal business to leave with a Matcha whisk. Spurred on by the beautiful feature in Cereal magazine on  Matcha, Japan and tea ceremonies. Perfect for a light, frothy cup of green tea.

Japanese Matcha Whick

The Japanese tea whisk, or 茶筅 chasen, is used to whip up finely milled green tea powder into a frothing hot cup of matcha, and is usually made out of one of three types of bamboo: dried bamboo, fresh bamboo or smoked bamboo. Traditionally, the tea whisk is made out of bamboo harvested in winter and then dried for over a year. The chasen is always made out of one piece of bamboo, from which the craftsman hand carves the tips. A knife is then used to tease off the tips into an elegant form, and often, the whisks vary in size and shape. Source: Cereal blog

Someday I’ll whisk a Matcha latte, and curl up on the sofa. I’ll dream of blossoms and rice.

Chili Sauce, Mooncake Paddles & Gorgeous Saucers

A wonderful visit to my dearest friend M in Brighton, back in September where she spoiled me silly with authentic Chinese food, learned and loved in her year of travels. She served this amazing chili sauce that’s crunch, and heat and bite, rolled in one.

Chinese Chilli Sauce, mooncake paddles and small bowls

She took me to Yum Yum on Sydney Street – one of her favourite oriental stores and I got these mooncake paddles….pray tell me when I’ll make a mooncake. But I got 2 anyways.

Lotus flower and fish mooncake paddle

I got these beautiful, tiny bowls/saucers….cause I love every sort of deep blue from indigo to cobalt and beyond.

Tiny chinese bowls with fish

 

Singaporean Delights

And though I can’t get over the fact that I haven’t been to Asia yet, I am thankful my little sister has. She spent 10 days in Singapore and brought me back a few of her favourite things. Passionfruit tea,  cookbooks….

Gifts from Singapore

and chocolate. Some eaten. Some not. Some rolled into chocolate chip cookies. Some waiting….

Chocolates

Clipper Tea. Finest sort of Black Tea

Back in July, I spent a delightful weekend in Welwyn Garden City in the south of the UK, with friends of my Dad’s. They spoiled me silly with cup after cup of this fine tea, which nursed me back to health considering the nasty hay fever I had.

I’ve since made it a point of duty to stock up on it. For obvious reason.

English Clipper Tea

 

All things Maple

You know we love our maple in these parts.

These were gifts from my boss who lives in Canada part of the year and brings me 3 or 4 bottles of maple syrup every year , and my BFF, B who just moved there…and sent me a taste of her new home.

Making me pine. And pout. And despair.

I miss you B.

Canadian Maple goodies

Greek Treasures of the finest sort: Salt, Honey and Olive Oil

The trio of Greek gifts comes from my friend and former neighbour in The Netherlands.

Borne home with wonderful memories. Thank you C.

Greek honey, salt and olive oil

The rains continue, as I write, and reminisce on summer times and warmer climes.

Wishing I could go back, hurry forward, make the memories last. Somehow. Forever.