So today I’m reading a slew of things: finishing the last chapter of Maine (sigh, I don’t want it to end); this month’s magazine subscriptions that have pile up; my Thursday El Paso Times newspaper; the Super Puppy Training Manual; and Lisa Lillien’s Hungry Girl cookbook. I’m going to focus on the last one in the list since “what’s for dinner tonight” is currently occupying my mind. It’s quite a different story when you’re living alone as I have been for the past three months. You don’t mind eating randomly. Say, a chicken breast slathered in ketchup or cheese fried in a skillet. Weird stuff in odd combinations. It never dawns on you that having peanut butter and chocolate followed by egg salad is just plain gross. It’s what you’re craving, so it tastes good. And when you’re alone, you don’t fuss with the dishware either. A plastic cup and a spoon just need a quick rinse between foods. Forget the table too. You eat standing up over the stovetop or at your desk or clicking through channels on the couch. All of that feels completely natural until you add another person into the mix (that person usually being your spouse). Then suddenly you’re having an Emperor’s New Clothes moment. You can’t very well give your husband a cup of blueberries followed by a microwaved soy dog with a side of parmesan-coated butter-fried asparagus to eat with his fingers. That simply won’t do. Even if you, personally, think it sounds like the perfect dinner (which I do). No, the unknown Martha Stewart awakens within and you feel the need to make “a meal.” It’s odd because as much as I enjoy being able to graze on a potpourri of junk food, I very much enjoy the process of cooking a legitimate dinner. When my parents visited this past spring, we picked up Lisa Lillian’s cookbook, specifically for Chapter 12: “Crock-Pot Fun.” I love the slow cooker. Pop the ingredients in. Turn it on low. Come supper, you have a gourmet meal without the hassle. That’s my kind of cooking! So at this very moment, I’m flipping through Hungry Girl, trying to decide between the Crock-Pot pulled pork or the chicken chili. Mm…
I have a cup of Trader Joe’s Jasmine Green Tea. (I realize this is two postings in a row devoted to the TJ brand, but I simply can’t help that I’m stocked to the gills with this stuff.) I picked up a box a few months back but was going through a savory tea phase. This brews up so fragrant and sweet, you don’t need to add a thing to the cup. It’s like sucking down a honeysuckle vine. Here’s the word from our TJ sponsor:
Trader Joe’s Jasmine Tea is blended with fragrant jasmine blossoms to create a subtle floral aroma combined with the goodness of green tea. This natural beverage is ideal by itself or with meals. Serve hot or over ice. Let water cool 5 to 7 minutes after boiling. Pour 8 fl.oz. of water over one tea bag and brew 1 to 2 minutes.
I let the teabag steep for 3—almost 4 minutes. I figure if I’m going jasmine, I want some serious jasmine. Unlike other green teas that can go bitter if steeped too long, the jasmine keeps it sweet no matter how long it brews. I also let me my cup cool completely. It’s July in El Paso. Hot tea is for the sadist.
Sarah’s Sipping Summary:
I suppose any tea would fit a cookbook reading. They’re both of the culinary realm. Since I’m hunting for a recipe that won’t have me anywhere near a hot stove, I think this is a nice accompaniment. Light, sweet and refreshing, it tastes like summertime.