Wednesday, October 17, 2007


i am a big fan of comfort foods. among my faves are
grilled cheese & tomato soup
homemade mac & cheese (no Kraft for me!)
warm apple crisp with french vanilla ice cream
Yorkshire pudding

all of these dishes transport me back to my "growing-up" kitchen, with the avacado colored walls, double stacked oven & marble-topped table. a newish favorite comfort food, from my "i'm-a-grown-up-now" kitchen, is tater tot casserole. it's one of those crowd pleasers, and i always seem to have the ingredients on hand.

but when i was thinking about this challenge, trying to picture myself taking a picture of myself with a comfort food, this is the image that i kept seeing:

me and a mug of something. these days, it's usually coffee. i love the smell of roasted coffee grounds. hot coffee reminds me of camping trips, of late nights working in a bagel store in college, of lazy saturday mornings.

in the evenings, it's decaf herbal tea. add a little honey to some lemon tea, and it soothes a scratchy throat and makes the eyelids droop in readiness for a great night's sleep.

in the cooler months, it can be hot cocoa with jack. we've tried to make it from scratch, but found that our palattes were more accustomed to the instant variety. my mug steaming with milk chocolate goodness, jack's cooled with two ice cubes and brimming with miniature marshmallows.

when i was a young girl, i was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with my grandparents, who are big tea drinkers (my grandfather moved from England to America as a young child.) for a time, they lived a few doors down from my piano teacher. i would walk to their house after my weekly lesson, and join grabbie for a cup of tea at her kitchen table. my favorite was Russian Spice Tea, and she would always drop a starlight mint into the bottom of the teacup. ( we always used *teacups,* mind you. coffee mugs are too thick for daintily sipping tea.)

comfort for me most definitely can be found in a steaming cup of something. i find it amusing that here on my desk right now are no less than 4 mugs!! a girl has got to be prepared!!

here is a recipe for Russian Spice Tea. i hope you find time to curl up with a *teacup* full of it this fall!

1/2 cup instant tea powder
1 cup sweetened lemonade powder
1 cup orange-flavored drink mix (e.g. Tang)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine instant tea, lemonade powder, orange drink mix, cinnamon and clove. Mix well and store in an airtight container.
To serve, put 2 to 3 teaspoons of mix in a mug. Stir in 1 cup of boiling water. Adjust to taste. (starlight mint optional!!)


Amy said...

Sadly, we're not low enough in degrees for hot drinks yet. But, I am envying from afar. Beautiful comfort!

Jennie said...

Love your SPT ideas. I too am a mug lady... hot cocoa is my thing.

Jenny said...

I can't believe your weather already got cold. Just last week you weren't able to enjoy your lovely orange attire. Homemade hot cocoa is the best! Love your mug :)

michelle said...

So cute. I love herbal tea, my favorite is Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice with some flavored creamer like coconut cream or creme brulee or something decadent like that! And I never turn down a good mug of hot chocolate. I love the smell of coffee grounds, too. I'm sure I could develop a taste for coffee if I let myself, so I try to stay far away from that smell!

Barb said...

Great minds think alike!

Jill said...

I love Russian Spice Tea! Although, I have to admit, I have never tried it with a starlight mint. I will have to have a go on that one.

Thanks for your SPT challenges, they are great!

Claudissima said...

OH i love anything in a mug...I love tea too...cute cute picture.

Claudissima said...

hey i keep wondering what is that list at the end of your post...

Emmanuelle said...

I love the smell of coffee too. I don't like drink coffee for breakfast but I would like to wake up with the smell of it :)

Anonymous said...

In the colder months I always start the day with a hot cup of something as well- your recipe looks excellent so I must try it. Cute picture!

Natasha said...

Oh I love Russian Spice tea! It's a holiday favorite. I love coffee too but these days it's mainly iced - was 93 degrees here today.

Elizabeth said...

I love hot mug too. Something I miss often here. It is just way to hot and sweaty.

pjmesser said...

I love a mug full of hot cocoa in the morning! I have been adding a hershey's kiss to mine- it makes it extra good. I am really going to get on the SPT bandwagon! I keep meaning to... thanks!