Fitting the occasion, I found my last few teabags from a Tea Tin I purchased while visiting Buckingham Palace in August 2011, found one of my favorite tea and sandwich china set appropriately called Windsor, it shows a lovely Windsor tartan with white and red heather flowers. Found a sweet scone in the freezer, quickly spread out my Canada silk scarve and the American flag bow that travels with Priscilla and voila, we are enjoying a cuppa and cheering on the athletes walking into the Olympic stadium. Oh and I used for the first time the teaspoon, one of 2 I received from Lucille.
Originally my next little visit was going to be at the Richmond Hill Country Club for the Breakfast Farewell that a very good friend organized for me, part party/fundraiser for my upcoming pilgrimage on the Camino in Spain.... I was packing all the techi stuff, like labtop, projector etc, because I was giving a little talk and video presentation for the guests.... and guess who got left behind in all the flurry... our sweet Priscilla.
I had to make it up to her for sure and so on July 30, we were on the road again, this time about 2 hours north of Toronto, to Lake Couchiching to visit a very dear friend of mine Sue Kenney, author of "My Camino" and "Confession of a Pilgrim" multiple documentaries etc... the person who first planted the seed in me to take on the challenge of the Camino myself. It was a gorgeous day, one of those lazy hazy Summer days, best spend at a cottage on the water. I packed some of my chinese ceremonial tea ware and some French Macarons and I had a few of my lavender/lemon matcha cookies and off we went. 2/3 of the way, there is a town called Orillia, famous for it's Casino and also known for some interesting shops. I decided to take a break and check out 2. Both occupy the same building, and are interconnected inside but purchases are made at seperate tills.
is where I bought blueberry and apple fritters to bring home with me. They also had lovely scones and loaves and tons of james, cakes, cookies, icecream and also serve lunches and breakfast. They are always very very busy.
Can you say YUMMY!
Lake Couchiching is a beautiful lake in a portion of Ontario called the Land in between, because it divides Canadian rock formations and right at Sue's cottage, where you see the stones in the water, is the end of the shale rocks.
Do you notice we are all wearing purple! That was not planned, but how appropriate. Karen as you can see is on full oxigen, she is waiting for her lung transplant. She is a very positive person and tried to be with us all afternoon. She even was able to come down to the water and be part of a little tea ceremony. She was the one taking those pictures and so you are able to celebrate with us too. Since I wanted Priscilla to be part of it, I used her as a water vessel.
This was not any specific ceremony, but it was a blessing and sharing of 3 teas. I started with one of my favorite teas, Anji Bai Cha, this years Spring Harvest and it is a beautiful tea, gentle and soothing with a hint of flowers and very invigorating. The scent of the dry leaves is that of freshly cut grass, but when you steep, the aroma is such a pleasure and the scent lingers around you.
Next, I steeped White Moon Puerh Tea. This tea is very special to me, it was a gift by my friend Tao, who yearly goes to Fujian and Yunnan. This particular tea came in a smaller version of the puerh cakes, and it was espcially pressed for him as celebration gift for his 1st year of having opened his Tea room in Toronto (that was 3 years ago). The Yunnan Assam leaves are white... still with all the pekoe intact and when you steep the leaves, they release a gently toasty charcoal aroma and flavour. The liquor is clear not muddy. Very special, very rare because it is a tea made of buds only.
Our third tea was a Yunnan Golden Tip, again an exceptional tea. Golden curly leaves that already in the dry stage give off the most pleasant sweet apricot scent, that translates into a beautifully golden amber coloured liquor, repeating the flavour of apricotes more pronounced and lingering in your mouth, a perfect china red or black tea, signalling a perfect cup. I love this tea, it is very forgiving, even when steeped english style, for 4- 5 minutes.. it does get stronger, but never bitter. Also, if one wishes, one could add milk and sugar.
Before I left, we resteeped all 3 leaves together(and it made for a very unique tea) in Priscilla for a farewell cuppa, since the sun was setting (picture taken on the road) and it was time to head back home.
Thus ended Priscilla's Canadian sojourn.
The next day, I packed her up, this time with a new travelling companion, Woddy the Canadian Beaver... I think she really likes her pet.
It was a pleasure and joy to have taking care of our Travelling Tea pot.