Our first storm of the season is starting to roll in — it’s finally cooled down from the 90s for a few days, and now the trees are blowing around in a strong wind and there are some tall clouds off in the West. This has gotten me thinking about the holidays.
Okay, to be fair…it’s not the only thing. A sort of bizarre path has gotten me to where I’m thinking about what I’m going to give out as Christmas/holiday gifts to folks this year. Last year it was homemade hot sauce, for which I bought bottles. This year I can’t do something quite that extravagant because I’m distinctly poorer. I was toying with all sorts of ideas like granola bars and whatnot (which are still a possibility). Anyway, in the past few days I’ve gotten into making my own stomach tonic tea, which I realized is a lot like a version of chai – cardamom, fennel, anise, ginger, cloves, and a little orange peel. It seems to help my stomach a bit, but also got me to thinking: why don’t I make my own tea blends for Christmas?
So then on a procrastination bout from studying, I got to looking around for ideas. It seems pretty simple. I could also make my own reusable tea bags pretty easily. DIY Life has a great article on how all it takes is some muslin, thread, and string. I’m thinking that this is a good possibility — making up a cute little packet for each person and I can just make a big batch and split it between everyone.
I guess I’ll have to experiment with finding the best blends!
What’s been cooking?
This week I decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich using eggplant as bread. I’d like to report that this was absolutely excellent and I recommend you try it if you like eggplant. If it’s a big tough eggplant, you might want to salt it a bit and then use the oven to brown it. Mine was an Italian heirloom variety that isn’t so bitter or tough, so I was able to just brown it in olive oil in a pan and then put the cheese in between it with some sauteed peppers and onions. I think I may make something like this again tonight for dinner…
I also had a vegetable backup going on in my fridge. My CSA deliveries are certainly encouraging me to eat more vegetables, but I still get backlog. I made a huge white people style stirfry (with generic seasonings that are generally deemed “Asian”: oyster sauce, ginger, garlic, soy sauce) and it was seriously one of the most colorful stirfries I’ve ever had. Purple cabbage is awesome in stirfry!
Anyway, until next week unless I cook something post-worthy before then!