five fun things

As a rule, I’m not a tea drinker, BUT THAT IS CHANGING. (It’s not taking the place of coffee, though. NEVER.)

Once a day, maybe twice, I fix myself a giant mug of tea, or sometimes a whole teapot worth. I fill my electric kettle with water, drizzle a hefty dose of honey into the bottom of a mug, pour in a couple glugs of raw milk, and unwrap a tea bag. When the water’s hot, I fill the mug to the top, give it a stir, and that’s it. Yummy, sweet, milky tea.

I purchased a selection of teas for the wedding celebration, so right now I have all the best to choose from. I’m partial to the Twinings brand: English Breakfast might be my all-time fave, but I also like Earl Gray and Irish Breakfast. While still delicious, herbal teas don’t pair with milk and honey quite as well, so if I have to go decaf, I tend to reach for a basic decaffeinated green tea. (For herbals, I like them all, but I really like Tazo’s flavors, especially the wild sweet orange.)

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Have you seen Don’t Look Up yet? Everyone’s raving about it, it seems. Some people are even calling it a “documentary.” They’re not wrong, really. (The critiques aren’t wrong, either.)

My husband and I watched it a couple weeks ago, and it sent me spiraling into a lowgrade depression. It wasn’t a bad depression, per say. Just my typical “world is ending” vibe but with the added realization that by ignoring the imending doom (my coping method of choice), I’m just like those dumb joe shmoes in the movie not looking UP.

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I just finished reading The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. Though not a thriller, it was still a page-turner. I read it lickety-split.

It has a similar feel to A Man Called Ove (I kept double checking to make sure it wasn’t set in a Scandinavian country). The story is simple, but not simplistic. It’s a kind story, a true story. About love. Truluv.

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My husband, younger son, and I just watched season 7 of Alone (the only season available for streaming on Netflix, though it looks like all the seasons might be available for streaming on the History channel) and I can not stop thinking about it.

It’s slower paced and much less sensational than most reality shows, though the producers do try their darndest to jack up the suspense by cutting away right when someone loses their gill net or discovers an animal has gotten into their food cache. Without the hype, I relaxed into the story, marveling over the grueling cold, the diet, the isolation, the raw beauty, and the participants’ mental, emotional, and physical struggles and growth. (At the ending of each episode is a white-toothed guy in a clean garage doing a zoom call chat with participants — skip it.)

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This video tour of a Canadian family’s cheese cave(s) makes me ridiculously happy. Maybe I need to upgrade my cheese cave to CocaCola fridge out in the barn? My husband isn’t too keen on that idea. The other option, I said, is to dig out under the house. Would he like that better, hmm?

This same time, years previous: homemade lard, the quotidian (1.11.16), spinach lemon orzo soup, kiddling shenanigans, grilled cheese sandwich with pesto and oven-roasted tomatoes.

11 Comments

  • Hattie

    In the winter, I drink coffee when I wake up and then, later in the morning, switch to hot tea. I like Earl Grey too and have recently discovered Lady Grey, which I think is even better. Also black tea, it has a distinct citrus flavor to it. Twinings makes it, but the Lady is sometimes harder to find than the Earl.
    P.S. I like your little wooly container for tea bags.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Black tea has citrus notes: yes! I think that’s why I like it so much. And I have Lady Grey, too, which I’ve been enjoying. (One of my girlfriends made that little wooly container for me years ago — I love it!)

  • Thrift at Home

    My husband watched Don’t Look Up by himself and thinks it’s hopeful. He wants the rest of us (minus Phoebe) to watch it and I am dragging my feet because I’m afraid I will have the same reaction as you :/
    I’m like Hattie – morning coffee drinker, afternoon tea drinker. My current fave is lapsang souchong which is smoky, with milk and sugar, which is like a major no-no but pfffft. My favorite herbal of all time is rooibos, but also I love fennel or licorice root too.
    Thanks for the book rec! I’m still working through your last book list and have so many good things to read right now.

  • hillaryljackson

    Jennifer have you checked out Station Eleven? Curious to see your take on that mini-series. I am loving it but it is not for the faint of heart….I am also reading “Crying in H-Mart” and loving that as well!

    • Jennifer Jo

      I’ve read Station Eleven (and thought about it all during this pandemic) but I don’t think I’m ready to watch it just yet. Thanks for the reminder about “Crying in H-Mart”! I’ve been meaning to add that to my list.

  • Hattie

    For those who liked H-Mart, another memoir I can recommend is What We Carry by Maya Shanbhag Lang. It is also about a mother/daughter relationship, where the mother is also an immigrant (this time from India). I found it very absorbing and written in a more mature writing style than H-Mart.

  • Ramona

    I have coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon. My favorite for several years now is Jasmine Blossom green tea, Stash brand. I put a spoon of honey and canned evaporated milk in mine. I know evaporated milk may sound strange. My Aunt always put it in her black tea so when with her I did too, so I have just kept using it. I’ve tried regular milk but prefer the can milk.

  • Liz Lockhart

    Nooo! Always milk in AFTER it’s brewed. Otherwise (A) the hot water scalds the milk and alters the flavour and (b) the milk instantly cools the water and it does not brew properly!!!

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