Monday, March 14, 2011

Old Friends and Great Food

Twice a year we have the great fortune to be able to travel and spend some quality time with our closest friends and family. Each trip is always overscheduled with outings, events and activities, but consistently many of my fondest memories are of the moments centered around friends and food. It is around food that we all come together. Time catching up with our friends, hearing the stories of their growing children, their work and their lives is spent around the table with great food and drink at hand. The times that I value the most are those that evolve organically where friends bring their favorite dishes and we are free to move about and the kids are free to disappear into a play room for a while. Or, even better are the times when the act of sharing food with friends is a closer, more connected act of two people gathered around great bread, cheeses, summer sausage and lots of wine (or maybe an improvised Hot Toddy).

Sometimes the experience goes far beyond the act of simply eating and becomes a short immersion in a different way of eating, a different mode of preparation, a different set of culinary traditions. This past trip I had the great fortune to spent time with my longtime friend Jeff who never fails to amaze me with not only his hospitality, but his deep passion for food. Jeff is not the type to wear his food passions on his sleeve, rather his is a natural organic mental and physical appetite for great food, its growth and its production. This last trip I walked around his new home in awe, coveting the massive garden and pantry shelves loaded with homemade salsas, pickled vegetables and much more. I also happened to be visiting on a day when Vat, Jeff’s wife was busy preparing hand-cut noodles for a party she was going to later in the day. With amazing speed and grace Vat moved from raw materials to beautifully cut noodles – allowing me to watch and shoot a few images as she worked. It is truly sad that there is half a continent between us these days, but luckily we still have the ability to reconnect, spend time together and share some great food and memories.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Brood of Brioche

A Brood of Brioche, a field full of wild Tart pans - One of the joys of photography is the ability of the photographic image to evoke alternative images far removed from the original. These small brioche always remind me of a brood of young quail all looking for food from the outstretched hand.  Each brioche seems to move and jostle for the best position at the front of the tray. Many thanks to my good friend Jean Jacques for allowing me to spend time in his bakery.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 - A Year In and Out of Food

As a foodie, 2010 was one of the most productive, enjoyable years and one of the most challenging. With the launch of the “Planting Seed for the Future” program, 2010 brought me closer than ever before to the environmentally conscious, food growing, food loving person I have longed to be. Learn more about the “Planting Seeds” project at Each week I have had the opportunity to work with students developing their business knowledge, their gardening skills and their understanding of the complex interrelated world of food, food production and the environment. It has truly been a wonderful year watching students build their garden from the ground up – plant and harvest beautiful produce and grow as informed community members.

As a photographer2010 was perhaps the most productive year to date with what seemed like weekly shoots or post production sessions. With this work load and the intense focus on the Planting Seeds project, personal food related photo shoots became fewer, but all the more enjoyable and concentrated. “wine” was one of Kansas City’s most beautiful and inviting wine store/boutique – now sadly out of business. Set in the wonderful Brookside neighborhood, “wine” was sophisticated, yet unpretentious and was filled with the charm and character of an absolute foodie spot. Thank you to the owners who graciously allowed me to spend time shooting in their beautiful store.

Keith at McCoy’s Public House provided a great photographic experience along with amazing knowledge and enthusiasm – see May 17th post. But perhaps the most focused, intense and productive food shoot this year took place at the annual American Royal National Barbeque Competition. While sounding somewhat cliché the American Royal is something that must be personally experienced to fully appreciate. With over 500 competing Barbeque teams spread over 20 acres, the American Royal in one of the largest Barbeque competitions in the world. The smoke from the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of smokers and barbeque pits is visible for miles. And from the moment you step out of your car or one of the many shuttles, you are overwhelmed, surrounded and saturated with the most powerful and delicious smell of smoked meat. The American Royal is serious business yet there is an true sense of fun and enjoyment in the competitors and the visitor (if only each team offered free tastings).

What I found surprising and troubling is how little I turned my camera and focus to food we created and consumed at home as a family. As anyone who has followed my writing and art knows, food in the home is truly the center out of which so much of my life evolves. Yet, 2010 represented perhaps one of the most challenging and difficult years for me and my time in the kitchen. One of my great pleasures is actually shopping for wonderful food. I love beautiful markets and can spend far too much time and money in these foodie paradises. However, this year more than any other I was excruciatingly aware of the nearly impossible task of enjoying great, healthy, organic, artisan foods while facing the reality of money and the crappy economy. Rather than being transported in foodie Nirvana, each trip to the store only created frustration and depression – not great ingredients to inspire good food and fun in the kitchen. Add to this the choice of family members to go on extremely restricted diets. For one who revels in the glories of great breads, pastas and the occasional pastry a “no carb diet” presents challenges that frankly create melancholy rather than joy. Don’t get me wrong, as a runner and an admittedly vain person, I love healthy food as much as anyone – but PLEASE can we just go back to healthy food, small portion sizes and moderation rather than uninspiring restrictions?

The truth is 2010 was an amazing year - a year of growth, learning, travel, quality time with my family and friends, and some really wonderful food. A year that started off with the amazing food of my Mother-in-Law’s traditional Japanese New Year’s Day feast, and included great local foods while in Hawaii, wonderful food and hand-crafted beers while spending time in Utah, world-famous barbeque in Kansas City and the truly best meals of all each day with my wife and kids – 2010 was a stellar year.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mc Coys Public House

After so many years in the art world, where pretty much everyone is an arrogant, up-tight competitive asshole, I am continually amazed at the open, genuine, giving and caring nature of pretty much everyone in the food industry. From the very beginning of The Foodie Project I have been welcomed behind the scenes of great restaurants, merchants, artisans, chefs and farmers. Perhaps in the world of food there is a deep understanding between its practitioners that food binds us together, brings us great joy and nourishes our bodies, minds, our souls and our communities. Perhaps this understanding of our interconnectedness breeds a more welcoming mentality and a more authentic joy in the act of sharing (food, time, information, enthusiasm, etc.).

And so it was this past week when I was invited behind the scenes of McCoys Public House in Westport, Kansas City, Missouri with the great brew master Keith. Not only did Keith spend the entire morning guiding me around the brewery and restaurant, he filled the time with great conversation, continual bits of knowledge and information on the process of brewing beer and the physical activity he was engaged in at each step along the way. From the beginning I could sense that this brewery was different than others I had photographed. Small and intimate rather than sprawling and cold, automated by physical effort and a large rowing oar rather than a touch-screen computer panel and rather than a disconnect with the product, Keith physically interacted with the process at every phase from the unloading of the 50lbs bags of various barley to making sure the drains were working out at the bar in the restaurant.

It is this type of connection, this sense of pride in ones offerings to the community and this kind of delicious beer that keeps me motivated to continue with the Foodie Project and continue meeting passionate artisans like Keith – and of course sampling their wares along the way.  Thanks to everyone at McCoys for the great time, great food and amazing beer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Clams - The Aftermath

It is good to be back.  Six months away was simply too long.  Much has changed and will continue to change in my life and these changes will be reflected in the evolution of this blog.  Watch for new images, new directions and new ideas in the Foodie Project.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Connections and the Perfect Farmer's Market

One of the great pleasures of summer is the opportunity to explore the rich treasures of the farmer’s market. Market day and local farmer’s markets have been central to communities large and small around the world for generations. These markets provide income and support for local farmers and artisans while simultaneously providing the freshest produce and food products to the community. The past few years have provided the opportunity to explore a wider and more diverse selection of local and regional farmer’s markets, and I am continually struck by the widely varied experiences of each, and I am led to ponder the factors that make up the best farmer’s markets. While the “Big Picture” elements are vitally important (income going directly to support local farmer’s and producers, healthy organic produce, supporting the perpetuation of rare and heirloom varieties, humanely treated livestock, etc.) it seems that what makes one market experience great and one mediocre or perhaps infuriating is all about connection – connections to the food and to the community.

Beyond the physical items to be found at each farmer’s market it is the connections that these markets provide that make all the difference. In a world increasing dominated by fast food restaurants, shrink-wrapped, and highly processed foods, we have become further and further detached from the sources of our food and frighteningly detached from the food itself. The farmer’s market provides the opportunity to become reconnected with our food, to meet the growers, farmers, ranchers and artisans – hold the food, smell it, sample it, discuss it and understand its peculiarities, seasonality, flavor profiles.

In addition to the wonderful food in most farmer’s markets, there is a truly profound community connection to be found in many of the best of these markets. Market days have always been as much a social event as a shopping trip. Friends, neighbors, community leaders and social butterflies mingle amongst the vendors. The best farmer’s markets understand this community aspect and do everything in their power to promote it and nourish it. These markets offer live music, offer space and support to local artists, they bring in a wide variety of local bakeries, cafes and restaurants to provide additional food stuffs with emphasis given to ethnic diversity. And the best farmer’s markets are places where one can linger, talk, look and of course eat. Too many markets are crammed into spaces much too small, crowds of visitors are funneled into one narrow space between two rows of vendors with no space or ability to stop, much less really look at the food and perhaps talk about it with the grower. Far too many markets are placed in uninviting, uncomfortable parking lots with no space or thought given to those who might wish to simply linger and enjoy the outing, the food, the music, the art and the community. Farmer’s markets, their organizers and the community in general are much better served by markets which are open, comfortable and inviting. With the growing popularity of these weekly markets and the obvious restrictions of the urban environment this can be a difficult type of market to create. The most successful markets have dealt with these and other issues by utilizing community green space and parks. Like the markets themselves, parks have always been a gathering place for communities – the connection seems obvious. Parks allow for greater space, wider lanes of foot traffic for crowds of excited visitors, increased areas for music, arts and crafts. And perhaps most importantly the green space, the physical grass, provides a much more comfortable and inviting environment and allows one to sit down with friend and family and enjoy the great weather, the great food and the much needed sense of belonging to a positive, safe and engaged community.
What makes the perfect Farmer's Market for you?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Overland Park Farmer's Market

After spending time in the small, laid-back, community vibe of the Brookside Farmer's Market, I was unprepared for the crowds and chaos of the Overland Park Farmer's Market. Located in the center of historic downtown Overland Park (Kansas City, Kansas), the OP Farmer's Market seems to posses both the good and bad in the growing popularity of weekend farmer's markets. The energy of the market was wonderful, the live jazz music was fantastic, my son loved the green apple shaved ice and the market looked to have a large selection of high quality local produce, food vendors and goods. However, it was difficult to really see any of the offerings due to the huge crush of people crammed into the narrow space between the two lines of vendors. While I am thrilled with the popularity of these markets, it is disheartening to go looking for great farmer's market produce and be so frustrated with the crowds and rudeness of a few, that it is easier to just go have lunch and skip the market completely. Given an early start, before the crowds gather, I could see the Overland Park Farmer's Market becoming a favorite and a treasured addition to the Farmer's Market offerings of the region.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brookside Farmers Market

Simply one of the nicest, cleanest and friendliest small organic farmer's markets in the nation. It is a true pleasure to be able to visit this market and chat with the dedicated and knowledgeable farmers, vendors and organizers. The Brookside Organic Farmer's Market echos the feel of the entire Brookside area; community focused, ecologically minded, intellectually driven, charming and friendly. Each Saturday morning the Brookside Organic Farmer's Market fills a small parking lot of the Border star Montessori School at the corner of 63rd and Wornall (Kansas City, Missouri) with not only the most beautiful selection of local produce and goods, but also with the most friendly and intelligent growers and vendors I have met in the region. With the amazing produce, small crowds and great community vibe, there really in no reason to go to any other farmer's market in the city.
Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn. ~Garrison Keillor

Friday, May 29, 2009

Foodie Project at the Boulevard Brewery

He was a wise man who invented beer. - Plato
Read my full Boulevard Brewery blog on the Friday, March 27th post here on the Foodie Project.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


A complex as life is, my life can really be distilled down to four great passions; 1- time with my wife and kids, 2- art/photography, and two seemingly contradictory passions of 3- food/eating and 4- running. While the first three have managed to seamlessly integrate themselves into each other creating a truly rich and charmed life, my deep love of food and the demands of running seem to be locked in a precarious balance. While most serious runners adhere to a strict diet, I on the other hand live for the next great meal or the next opportunity to create and taste a new dessert, the next Red Velvet cupcake or bowl of homemade ice cream. This balance between eating and running is a constant push and pull of knowing that tonight’s big meal must be compensated for with X number of miles the next morning. A push and pull between my desire for great food and my vanity and need to maintain an athletic and youthful appearance.

While all of this sounds like an eating disorder waiting to happen – I truly enjoy this sense of balance and movement in my life. I am able to watch what I eat and also indulge when the time is right. I am able to be active and enjoy the physicality and effort of running and enjoy the fresh air and green of the city. Yes there are moments when the balance tips too far in one direction or the other (often to the food side), but there is great reassurance in the knowledge that I can once again regain equilibrium quickly and enjoyably. And, as contradictory as they may seem, for me there is a deep connection between the world of food and that of running. Of course there is the obvious factor of needing the fuel that food provides to perform at ones best. But, there is also less obvious connections for me. I cook and eat for many of the same reasons that I run. Both are enjoyable physical activities – I love the actual movement and effort of the creation of food and I so deeply love the physicality of running – pushing up a steep hill or sprinting at the end of a log run. Both food and running play to the senses - the sights, smells, sounds, textures and tastes of the kitchen/dinning room and the outdoors are fascinating. Both shape my body, fill my spirit, and ultimately both define who I am at this moment in my life. While I know that my life is “not for everyone” I truly feel that if more people stopped looking for the magic weight loss pill and embraced the wonderful balance of thoughtful eating and physical activity we would all be a lot healthier and happier. So, yes, I run for food, and I feel fortunate everyday that I get to participate in both exciting and fulfilling worlds.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Em's Lemon Spaghetti

Getting my kids into the kitchen and cooking with me is always a challenge. So imagine my pleasure and surprise when, while picking up a new deep fryer, my daughter selected a cookbook saying that she wanted it and wanted to try to make somethings out of it. Wow, talk about feeding two birds with one hand. I not only got my daughter showing some interest and initiative with cooking, but I also got another cookbook to add to my collection - too cool. After looking through a few additional books with her, she selected Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian, which was a great choice for both of us. It was the one book of hers that I didn't have and really wanted and for my daughter it presented a strong, beautiful woman at the top of the culinary world.

We sat down together and went through the recipes, talking about ingredients and levels of difficulty. The recipe that she selected for her first ever "take charge of everything" meal was De Laurentiis' "Lemon Spaghetti." The recipe is straightforward and incredibly easy, and I must say delicious. Em had fun making the pasta, we all had fun eating it and I truly think that my daughter gained some invaluable knowledge about her own abilities, her interest in food, the responsibilities of creating daily meals and how much her family values her efforts. I am including Giada De Laurentiis' recipe with the hopes that it's ease and great taste will inspire more first timers and seasoned foodies alike.

Lemon Spaghetti
from Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian

4 Main course servings or 6 Side dish servings.

2/3 cup Olive oil
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
3/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 pound dried spaghetti
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, 3/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper to blend. Set lemon sauce aside. (This sauce can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook. stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bit, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce and toss with the basil and lemon zest. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls and serve.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo

One of the greatest aspects of food is its ability to express the traditions and heritage from which it comes. Food helps define distinct cultures, it educates us about diverse cultures and perhaps most importantly food helps us in establishing our own unique cultural identity. The culinary traditions of our cultural heritage strengthen us, give us a sense of pride and in times of crisis and celebration become our comfort foods. Today we celebrate the rich traditions and history of Mexico. For many in the U.S. this means gathering with friends and family to consume the great foods and beverages from Mexico. As Foodies, I hope we all seek out deeper understanding of the culinary history of Mexico and seek out truly authentic Mexican cuisine and celebrate all those of Mexican heritage who work so hard to bring this great food to us everyday.

In 2007 my wife, kids and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo in Old Town, San Diego - a truly great day. Today, on the other side of the country, the Cinco de Mayo adventure is yet unplanned. All I know is that it will be great. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Fountains Are On - Spring Is Here!

For anyone who has not been to Kansas City, it may seem like a tiny matter, but on this Easter morning while out for my run I saw the first true sign of Spring in Kansas City - the fountains were on. In this city with the highest number of fountains in North America, it is a big deal when the fountains are turned back on after the long cold winter. The city fountains add a deep sense of pride to the community and add a truly beautiful element to this really beautiful city. With the fountains on and yesterdays start of the Farmer's Market - it seems that finally Spring is here!
Happy Easter!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Foodie Project at Boulevard Brewery

This week I had the amazing opportunity to shoot for two days behind the scenes at the Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City, Missouri. Thank you to Payton Kelly and the entire staff for your incredible graciousness and support. The Boulevard Brewery has been at the top of my Foodie Project/photo shoot list since I moved to Kansas City 19 months ago and I am so glad that I finally made it in to photograph this incredible facility and organization. Founded in 1989 by John Mc Donald, Boulevard Brewery produces six year round beers, five seasonal beers and their "Smokestack" series of four high end artisan beers. A week or so before I started shooting images in the brewery I invited a close friend to take the brewery tour with me. Seated in the beautiful tasting room/gift shop we sampled a wide range of beers. Our stand-out favorite was the "Single Wide" IPA, a beautiful India Pale Ale - crisp and dry with aggressive hops. The IPA is a great beer, but inevitably it is the Bully Porter that I buy each week from the grocery store. The Bully Porter is full bodied, with strong hops and a roasted/chocolate finish. I love to use this porter in my rich beef stew. I brown the beef, saute the onion and garlic then deglaze the pan with the porter and reduce the beer down before adding in the stock and vegetables. This adds a depth to the stew and more importantly provides an excuse to open a second beer to drink while cooking. We also enjoyed the unfiltered Wheat Beer, but were both a touch confused by the popularity of the Lunar Ale - an unfiltered brown ale with extremely powerful anise and clove notes. The Brewery gives free tours Wednesdays through Saturdays. The tours seem to fill up fast, so I would suggest planning and scheduling in advance.

Beyond the great beer that they produce, the Boulevard Brewery organization is a true model of successfully balancing on the fine line between modern technology and old-world artisan traditions. The new brew house is a beautiful, cutting edge, "green", architectural gem who's high tech brewery fuses with the care and craft of skilled brew masters to create truly exceptional beers. I find it truly amazing when I happen upon people/organizations that I see as visionaries - as this is one of the only applicable terms to use for a collection of individuals such as those at Boulevard Brewery who set out to craft an exception food/beverage product, build an environmentally friendly and beautiful facility to produce it and then treat both their employees and their customers with great care and friendship. In today's economy with concerns around cost, cleanliness, competitors, etc, it would be far easier to hide production away in dark and security protected factories. Instead the visionaries at Boulevard Brewery chose light, open, friendly, clean and green facilities.

From my very first contact with the staff at the brewery, I was greeted with a huge amount of support and enthusiasm for the foodie project. I could not be happier with the images I able to shoot and with the entire experience at the brewery. More images from the Boulavard Brewery are at Thanks again to everyone at Boulevard Brewery. CHEERS!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Em!

Today is my daughter's 9th birthday. Nine - I truly cannot believe it. Nine years of fun, play, creativity, a few fits (from both of us), and nine years of companionship in the kitchen. Never in my life have I had someone continually around me that seems equally fascinated with cooking, equally eager to share ideas about food and even at times equally enthralled with recipes and creative possibilities. It seems that she has always been there at my side in the kitchen. Her favorite kitchen activity as a toddler was the morning ritual of grinding the coffee - pouring the shiny beans into the grinder, the manual dexterity of fitting on the lid, the excitingly loud noise of the grinder and best of all, the smell. Every morning, we would pull the top off the grinder and take a moment for both of us to take a deep smell of the rich coffee. I would invariably say "ah, that is my favorite smell" to which she would always agree. Such a small thing - to smell the coffee with my child, but really it was so important because she was excited about being in the kitchen, she was taking charge of the task and she was learning to stop and take a moment to reflect on the joy that these moments produce. Today the coffee grinding is a task taken over by her younger brother and he is equally enthusiastic.

Cooking with my daughter has always been larger than the food itself, it has been a new route to learning math and measurements, sequencing, memory, problem solving, creativity and even self confidence. I still remember the day when she was two and in a creative dance class. The dance movements mimicked the stirring of a cookie dough and each child was asked for their addition to the dough. Chocolate chips, candy, peanut butter, sprinkles were some of the children's suggestions - my daughter's was "baking powder." What I find most gratifying about this moment is that even as a 2 year old, she saw what others brought to the dough and knew what else was really necessary. When she was a bit older she spent about an entire year thinking of how fun it would be to open a healthy, "No Sugar" bakery. And still today I am continually amazed at the ideas she comes up with, her rich knowledge and her flair for the creative.

Even though the television and computer often pull her away, and her younger brother is now deep in the mix, she is always willing and often eager to help in the kitchen. Most importantly, beyond being an infuriatingly picky eater, my daughter is growing up to be a wonderfully kind, thoughtful, amazingly intelligent and beautiful human being. I truly value the time that we can spend together both in and out of the kitchen and I can't wait to tell her how proud I am of her and perhaps let us both stop and smell the coffee. Happy Birthday Em!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Foodie Project at Gates BBQ

Recently I had the great pleasure of continuing my work on the Foodie Project by photographic behind the scenes at one of the Mid-West's greatest culinary institutions - Gates Barbeque. When we recently moved to Kansas City, we quickly learned of the huge cultural importance of barbeque in this city, and deep personal convictions on Barbeque that seemingly everyone holds. In Kansas City, barbeque is more philosophy, perhaps even religion, than merely something to eat. Kansas City Barbeque, its unique flavors, methods and culture was new to me, coming from a culinary tradition where Barbeque was synonymous with grilling, and (so I would learn) worlds away from true barbeque.

Long before I began shooting images at Gates, I was keenly aware of what I would soon discover was a family and business philosophy - true, sincere kindness and graciousness. Gates family member, Charles Oakley has treated me like a best friend from the day I met him while he was a student in one of my classes. This graciousness was present at every moment of my time shooting at the restaurant. The "Hi, May I Help You?" that every customer receives upon entering the restaurant, was extended to me as a visitor, curious foodie, artist and human being. Before I could even unload my camera, I was given tour filled with history, stories, philosophy and rich technical information.
I have photographed (and for that matter, worked) in many restaurants and seen the full range of behind the scenes behaviors and activities, but I had yet to experience the Gates work style. Quiet, focused, well dressed, polite, cheerful and CLEAN! While this could apply to several restaurants - I have never experienced these qualities expressed at this high level. It may seem odd that I am writing at length about the experience of this photo shoot rather than the food served there, but like most restaurant experiences, the atmosphere, character, staff and service deeply influence our perceptions of the food - so it was with Gates, and I found myself a passionate devotee to their unique barbeque.

Needless to say, the food was incredible. The mixed plate that I had was huge, filled with wonderful beef, ham, amazing ribs and truly crisp fries. Far too much for one person, but the left-overs make a beautiful late night snack. Their signature "spicy" sauce had just the right heat to make it completely addictive. And, the peach tea - Perfect! There is a true sense of family at Gates. This is particularly strong within the actual Gates family, but I could literally sense it within the management and staff. Since 1946 Gates has been serving up this great food and positive community vibe, and I am truly glad that I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with this organization and their mixed plate.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rain and a Cup of Tea

It is a rainy spring morning here with the air full of mist, fog and moisture, yet just warm enough to be comfortable. While everyday is a beautiful day for a pot of tea; cool, rainy days seem perfectly suited to the warmth and comfort of a great tea. While out for my run this morning, the weather seemed to cry out for a smokey or toasted tea. The smokey aroma and hint of pine in a rich Lapsang Souchong is perfect for just such a day. Peet's sells a wonderful "Scottish Breakfast" blend that adds just the right kick of smoke and pine. A toasty cup of Japanese Genmaicha would also be perfect. Genmaicha is distinctive in its appearance, with bright green leaves mixed with flecks of toasted rice, some of which has popped into miniature "popcorn" white blossoms. This visually stunning tea produces a wonderfully aromatic yet light green beverage. So, next time its cool, raining, or you just want a great cup of tea - find a cosy place to park yourself for while, brew up a pot of fine tea and take just a moment to enjoy one of the great and ancient pleasures. Cheers.