Tea & sympathy.

It strikes me that this is the grimmest holiday season I have yet seen. All of my friends & loved ones have been touched in some way by the economy & the related fallout. It’s a fine line (& getting finer) between ‘doing ok’ & ‘in trouble’. I think you can relate – we all know someone who fits this description. So, I’ve spent the last week running around trying to make preparations for the upcoming visitors who will soon be here, trying to create a day of normalcy for everyone – where we don’t have to think about the mortgage, or the job, or the shrinking stock portfolio, or any of the other unpleasantness that seems to be welling up on us from all angles. An old fashioned sort of day┬áspent cooking together, playing board games with the kids, bringing gifts of food to elderly neighbors, laughing, smiling & sharing what we have & being thankful to have it.

Today I went into Chinatown to pick up the remaining ingredients for the holiday table. We are having a vegetarian Thanksgiving (as always) using some of our favorite recipes. I picked up the soy chicken today for the main dish from a store called May Wah.

They specialize in all ┬ákinds of vegetarian ‘meats’ & other soy products. We discovered them a few years ago & recommend them highly. We’ve done the tofu turkey from the health food store – you know the one I mean – and it’s just not…good. The incentive to the non-vegetarians in our group dissolves when the promise of good-tasting food is removed from the equation, so we decided to change the menu to free us from the typical fare of turkey & stuffing. Thanksgiving has become a much more festive event ever since!

It was an afterthought to stop off at Ten Ren on Lafayette to pick up a little pick-me-up for myself. I got a small bag of rose black tea.

I used to buy Twinings rose pouchong tea up in Canada when I used to travel there frequently, and I’d always enjoyed the way the subtle scent of rose would reveal itself only after taking a sip of the hot tea.

This was a typical looking China tea – long leaf & bold, with a slightly earthy scent that usually accompanies Chinese teas of mid-level quality, but the brewing told another story.

The resulting brew had a beautiful reddish-copper color that I usually associate with Indian teas. The flavor was distinctly Chinese, and the rose aspect was perhaps a bit too subtle to be perceived over the strong tea flavor, but it was a nice treat all the same.

I have also managed to start the next knitted gift project – a red cabled hat for my little nephew. It’s simple – 5 cables total, with repeats on the 5th row.

I’m using Cascade 220 superwash for this hat & a matching scarf. It’s quite cold where he lives, so I feel he’d benefit from the warmth of the wool over the softer feel of the acrylics he’s used to, and I’m sure his parents will appreciate the easy washing instructions. I should be done with the hat by tomorrow & I haven’t yet decided how to make the scarf. I picked up the winter issue of Interweave Knits today & there was a nice article in there by Lily Chin on reversible cables that I thought night be an interesting technique to try out on the scarf. I’ll swatch it up & photograph it by Friday, hopefully.

I probably won’t be able to post again until after Thanksgiving, so I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate the things that are good in your life & share them with those who are special to you.