Tag: tea

Plant Rant: Gunpowder Green Tea

Gunpowder Green Tea

Hello, friends! Welcome back to the blog! Today’s gonna be another Plant Rant day. The next plant in the line of fire is Camellia sinensis, or tea bush, specifically prepared as gunpowder green tea. Before the rant begins, allow me to provide a bit of background. This quote from dominiontea.com will explain it better than I can. 

“Gunpowder tea (also called Zhu Cha) is believed to have been first produced during the Tang dynasty (618-907 C.E.) in Zhejiang provenience of China. The withered and steamed green tea leaves were balled by hand into small pellets before being dried. Its English name came from its appearance as the tea pellets after drying look like shiny greenish-black pellets, much like gunpowder.” – Dominion Tea

Upon hearing that I wanted to buy gunpowder green tea, my gun and explosion enthusiast husband replied “I like gunpowder”. I told him that it was tea and I think he was disappointed. I don’t think I will be disappointed, though. I’m not the biggest fan of green tea, but I have ideas for how to make it work… 

First Impressions

My first experience with gunpowder green tea was in 2017 when I spent far too much money on some mint + gunpowder green tea from Teavana in Salt Lake City. I really enjoyed it. It was my first enjoyable experience with green tea that wasn’t matcha. (I have been known to slurp down matcha fraps like nobody’s business. Starbucks makes the best.) 

I am rarely a fan of green tea on its own, no matter how many times I try it. It leaves a bad aftertaste unless I put so much honey in it that it almost becomes green tea syrup. That mint + gunpowder tea was really nice, though, and I remembered that as I sort of lost control of my life and bought a pound of gunpowder green tea for myself yesterday. I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it, so that’s why I say I’ve lost control of my life. The total was a little under $30 including shipping, which isn’t terrible for something that should last me quite a while. The mission here is to find a blend that I will enjoy regularly even though I’m picky about green tea. 

Green Tea’s Benefits

I know green tea has several benefits, including caffeine. I’m a little scared to have this much caffeine within my grasp. I am a caffeine addict to the point where Mountain Dew does nothing for me anymore, even if I drink a liter of it in one sitting. We all know that is not healthy. I really should be reducing my caffeine intake to begin with. Going lower-carb has really helped with my energy levels, though. 

I also feel better in general as I eat fewer carbs. My hives are beginning to retreat and I feel better about life than I would if I were gorging myself on pasta every other minute. I’m down to about three small cups of coffee a day, sometimes a bit more. It’s far better than needing 5 or 6 huge ones like I used to. I can see myself leaving coffee behind someday in favor of tea, herbal or otherwise. 

Drinking herbal tea also helps when my chest gets tight from allergies. I call that chest tightness the Stick because it feels like there’s a stick in my throat when it comes around. I love the feeling of drinking hot tea when the Stick comes around. I wonder if the green tea will have the same effect. 

Emotional Regulation

I feel guilty for buying the tea in a way because I wanted to only work with herbals for a long time. I wanted to quit caffeine because I knew it was hurting me. I made it caffeine free for about a month before becoming very sad for long periods of time. It turns out that caffeine helps me regulate my emotions. 

I know that’s not the healthiest way to do things, but as I am becoming healthier, I feel better all around without as much caffeine. I’ve been having fewer sad days. Sometimes I still do have sad days, but they’re largely due to things happening mostly outside of my control. It’s awesome to see the sadness going away for the most part. Someday I’ll be able to regulate my emotions without caffeine. 

The Caffeine Queen

Speaking of caffeine, I don’t know if the tea will do a ton for me as far as that goes, but I look forward to finding a blend that’s actually tasty. If I manage that, I may drink enough to actually be wired. That would be a good time. Combine that with eating fewer carbs and I may have enough energy to get me through the day without wanting to nap, even if I am sad.

I’m actually writing this while caffeinated. They don’t call me the Caffeine Queen for nothing. Tea gives me a different sort of boost that’s softer, while coffee of any sort shoots me straight into the stratosphere. That’s another reason I’m excited to try this tea and blend with it. Soft caffeine would be nice for a change, especially as I’m gaining more energy. 

The Question of Blends

I know that jasmine and mint go really well with green tea, but I really want to try hibiscus and mint with it. The problem with this is that I’m currently out of hibiscus and running low on mint. This is unfortunate. I’ll grab more hibiscus next month. I want to only buy one herb or tea per month just so I don’t go crazy buying herbs. I have a bad herb problem, we all know that! I also want to blend it with lavender. It would be awesome to swap the chamomile for the gunpowder green in Frankenstein’s Sleepytime Tea to make an It’s Alive! tea. The idea of lavender, green tea, mint, and lemongrass sounds delightful. I might throw in some anise, as well. It could be cool to blend it with spices, too. 

Do you like green tea? What’s your favorite blend? Let me know in the comments! Stay cool!

-E

What’s Cooking? A Look Into My Kitchen

Hello, all! I have been very busy today and yesterday. I went to an herb store yesterday evening and the lady who runs it was super cool! She found all the herbs on my list and I walked out of there a happy customer. She even had vervain and agrimony! I was very impressed. She also had valerian root. Valerian root is a jerk to blend with. I blended it with jasmine, chamomile, lemon peel, lemongrass, and honeysuckle, and still the valerian was a jerk and overpowered everything. It did do its job and knock me out cold for the night, though. Kudos to valerian root. I wondered what I would do with all of these neat supplies today. I also went grocery shopping yesterday, so it’s been a busy day cooking and brewing tea. What exactly is cooking today? Let’s take a look!

Codfish For Lunch

What's cooking? Cod is...or was.

This beautiful mess is a Mediterranean codfish dish (say that 10 times fast!!) that contains asparagus, a whole leek, a whole onion, about a cup of olives, two tomatoes, olive OIL, a whole stick of butter, and more. My husband liked it and asked for a refill. He doesn’t normally eat a lot of food in one sitting in general, so asking for a refill is something very rare. It’s a high compliment! He also didn’t add additional salt, which blew my mind. He refers to himself as the Salt Lord, so seeing the Salt Lord eat a thing and not need more salt…dang. I’m impressed with myself. I really am good at cooking!

It was very easy to make and I didn’t hurt myself making it. Opening the asparagus can was a little tricky. Thank goodness my husband is here today or else I would not have been able to open it. Once the blasted can was open, everything else went smoothly. 

It took about 20 minutes to bake the dish and it was worth every minute. I was super hungry while I waited for it to bake, but I stayed strong and didn’t give in to my hunger. It was worth it!

It tasted super fresh and was delightful. The onion slices were too big, though, which threw off the balance a little bit. They did, however, absorb a lot of the butter and olive juice. It was  super nice and was probably that poor onion’s saving grace here. It was a big hit!

Taste the Herbs: Today’s Tea Making

Before all of the cod shenanigans, I made two slightly different pots of tea. A friend of mine loves hibiscus in her tea but is allergic to citrus. I took it as a challenge to make her some hibiscus tea without citrus. The blend I ended up liking the most contained hibiscus, cinnamon, lemongrass, allspice, and a tiny bit of peppermint. The first round was slightly more tart with a cinnamon finish and the second one had more pepperminty roundness, probably because I added more peppermint. My synesthesia loved it. 

I’m super pleased with how all of these turned out. Here’s a picture of the blend so far:

She should get her blend tonight or tomorrow. I’m excited to see what she thinks!

Stay tuned for more!

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Like Swallowing Fire: Special Edition Tea Making Post

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Hello, friends! I have created this very special special edition of Order In Discord to discuss something very important – swallowing fire.

If you’ve hung around here for a while, you might remember my ginger + turmeric + red pepper anti-inflammatory potion. Ever since making it that one night, I have wanted to make it again. While I was at the grocery store, I found fresh ginger and turmeric. I snatched some up (about 0.6 lbs each), checked out, and headed home.

Eating ginger is like swallowing fire.
Ginger and turmeric roots.

The first task was chopping them up. I was really scared to peel them because I don’t like sharp objects. It took a lot of courage to even cut them.

A bit of a digression here…

Before I picked up the ginger and turmeric, I heard a song that my dad and I both loved – “Walk on the Ocean” by Toad The Wet Sprocket – in the grocery store. I almost started bawling in the middle of the aisle. It’s been a really hard week for me with regards to grief. I think my dad was hanging around last night. My husband was talking to our housemate about how engines work while I worked on last night’s post about the sleepytime tea. Their discussion reminded me of one my dad would have. I thought of that song in the store, last night, and the process of getting over my fear of knives as I cut the ginger and turmeric.

The chopped turmeric.

People have told me that the only way to get over a fear is to face it head on. In the case of knives, I must learn to use a knife if I’m ever going to stop being afraid of them, so I did a courageous thing today and cut the turmeric and ginger up into little pieces.

Stock Pot Tea

After all of the chopping was done, I stuck the pieces in a stock pot and covered them with water. I put the pot on the stove on high heat, stirring it as it came to a boil. I also added 2 cinnamon sticks and a healthy (?) dose of crushed red pepper. I kept stirring as it boiled, and the result was a dark brown liquid. It was incredibly spicy by the time I pulled it off the stove, so spicy that it took 3 cups of whole milk to get the burn to go away at one point.

(Tip for those sensitive to spice: milk is good at getting spicy pain to go away, but butter is better.)

The tea in a mug.

It got less spicy as it cooled, or I got used to it, seeing as I’m on cup #6 of the stuff, I think. I’ve lost count. I still have a long way to go to finish the pot. I want to make this tea when I’m sick because it cleaned out my sinuses! It’s spicier than a lot of hot sauces I’ve tried at restaurants. I’m pretty sure that people who are used to spice would have no problem with it, though.

Like Swallowing Fire

At first I titled this post “Like Swallowing Fire” because I wanted it to have a cool name. After some thought, though, it’s more accurate than I imagined it it would be.

I have been doing a lot of thought about spiritual tests and the nature of grief these last few days. It’s been hard, especially with my dad’s birthday a bit ago. When I’m not writing blog posts, I deal in a lot of imagery because I love to write poetry. I think the image of swallowing fire goes beyond the taste of tea. In my life, I can either swallow the fire and show up to life, or the fire can swallow me. It’s my choice. I’ve been going through a lot of difficult things lately. Like braving the taste of spicy tea, dealing with grief, and cutting turmeric, I can either plunge headlong into hard things or run away from them. The question I must answer is: will this break me?

My answer is no. Absolutely not.

Thank you for reading.

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How Do I Cope With Setbacks?

Hey! As a kitchen witch, I do a lot of work in the kitchen. I was taught by my parents and my grandmother Mimi that food helps me. Food also helps others. I turn to food for comfort a lot, especially since I’ve been having a lot of setbacks and playing waiting game after waiting game. Food helps me cope with setbacks I encounter.

To me, a setback is where you have a goal and you’re trying to achieve it, but something sets you back and you have to either wait, find a new path, or both. I have some special ways to help myself and others cope with setbacks in healthy ways, some involving food, some not. Let’s get started!

1.) Find a new way to look at the setback.

First, I want to talk about looking at the setback in a new, different way. I’m not saying to look it as an entirely positive way, but instead to look at it from a different angle. Re-evaluate where you are. Let me tell you about one of the most major setbacks I’ve experienced recently. My husband and I found out that we likely won’t be able to get a house we really wanted. It might take longer since I’ve had a few plans fall through, as well. That’s forced us to look at our goal in a different way.

What do we want to do now? How can we modify our goal to adapt to the setback? I’ve been job hunting and working here on OID to start. I know it’s a long game and a long road ahead of us. I’m not hunting for get-rich-quick schemes because I know it’s a long game, but am instead (trying to) be patient. By re-evaluating our goal, I’ve been able to realize that all is not lost because results were not immediate.

2.) Track your experiences.

This tip comes from this post on Nerd Knows Life. She writes about how tracking one’s own experiences can lead to inspiration in the future. I’d like to add that tracking your experiences can help you cope with a setback. I kept a journal for many years and it is very interesting to see how much I changed from a giggly, boy crazy 12-year-old to being crazy about my husband (whom you can read about in this post) to infinity and beyond. It is also interesting to see how I failed, how I coped with this failure, and how I ultimately succeeded.

It might help you to write down your experiences if that’s your thing. I have built an enormous body of work in poetry and music that also serves as a rough chronicle of my life and story. I focus more on the setbacks themselves in the music with more of both in the poems. My poem set “Futility + Joy” talks a lot about finding only despair in the first part and finding joy in the second part. It’s things like that that give me hope when I’m faced with a setback.

3.) Don’t panic.

This one is important, for I am a firm believer in getting what we need when we need it. As a result, I believe that setbacks aren’t here to make me panic, they’re here to make me learn. That helps me cope with these setbacks when they come. When I want to panic, I talk about what’s going on with my husband and people I can trust. They provide comfort and insight when I am sad about something. Because of this, I feel better. I also refer to the first point and try to look at things in a different way.

So let’s talk about short term solutions if you do find yourself panicking or sad.

How do I cope with setbacks in the short term?

1.) Practice self care.

We talked a few days ago about self care. I like to keep busy, you might like to chill out and do things that make you happy.

2. Make yourself laugh!

An example of something that matches my sense of humor from Tumblr.

Laughter is one of the best things I can get when I’m feeling sad, angry, or stressed. Browsing YouTube is always awesome. I also love browsing Tumblr occasionally because there are some funny things on there from time to time. Tumblr posts are great because a lot of them are off-the-wall. I have a Tumblr blog spanning over half a decade that’s filled with stuff like that. Find what makes you laugh and visit it often.

3. Relax.

How Do I Cope With Setbacks?
The mandolin I’m getting soon.

What do you like to do to relax? I love to play my instruments and write. In fact, the very act of blogging relaxes me. It took a long time to find out what works to help me relax, but once I found what helps, I learned how to use it. Running and painting also help. Painting is a huge help because it’s tactile and not something I often do. A lot of times painting is pure venting for me.

Last but not least, I love to cook and try new foods and teas! What helps you deal with setbacks?

If this post helped you, please consider buying the blog a coffee on Ko-Fi! OID runs entirely on donations. All the caffeine that we receive go towards growing the blog, buying new herbs, and trying new things! Click that lovely red button below!

How To Use Chamomile

How To Use Chamomile - A Tea Blend Guide

Hello, all! If you had a childhood like mine, you had chamomile tea to help you settle down before bed. It is a popular sleep aid and just the tea itself can be very calming! If I ever have little ones running around, I’ll whip up a batch of tea that includes this glorious herb before bed! It will be a staple of my kitchen. Did you know that this herb blends very well with other herbs? This post will walk you through how to use it and what to blend it with.

I love blending chamomile with other herbs. Chamomile is very mild and smooth. It doesn’t have the tanginess of hibiscus or the bite of mint. It blends well with many other herbs. I have tried it with blended with jasmine and blended with lavender, but I’ve found some other interesting recommendations from around the web that I’d like to try. Let’s talk about blends!

Jasmine + Chamomile

This blend is absolutely amazing and smooth. I made it for a friend whom I actually met in a coffee shop and then drank almost all of it myself. The blend is named “Smooth Criminal” because of how smooth and delicious it was. I blended it using a 1:1 ratio. It’s cool that I drank a lot of it, but I’m also sad that my friend didn’t get to try.

Regarding where to get these herbs, I like Frontier Co-op’s selection and quality! I’m not affiliated with them in any way, I just like their products. Another awesome thing is that they have free economy shipping on orders over $25. Pick up your jasmine and chamomile here and here.

Adding Lavender to the Mix

Lavender is another calming herb that smells great to most people and helps them chill out. If you like lavender, I highly recommend adding it to your tea blend. It’s got a slightly heavier flavor that I really enjoy. You can also add jasmine again, either by itself or with chamomile. Have fun with it and pick up your lavender here.

Here Be Dragons

Here are some blends that I have yet to try that looked interesting. I found them on the forums at TeaChat.com. Some people suggested pairing it with spearmint, hibiscus, or lemongrass. I personally want to try it with valerian (another sleep aid) for maximum sleep time. I’ll try all of them!

How do you like to blend chamomile, tea fans? Let me know in the comments!

If this post helped you, please do two things:

  1. Check my other tea post out!
  2. Consider buying the blog a coffee on Ko-Fi! OID runs entirely on donations. All the caffeine that we receive go towards growing the blog, buying new herbs, and trying new things! Click that lovely red button below!

An Anti-Inflammatory Potion

This post was originally published on 1 October 2019.

Hello, friends!

I’ve been fighting the universe a lot lately. I’ve had a near-constant coating of hives all over my body for almost 4 months now (since about June 10th) and no matter how many antihistamines are in me, they won’t go away.

It’s all good most days, just itchy. Hives itch. Badly. But then there are times that I get a pain in my throat and chest that I call the Stick, named so because it feels like someone is trying to ram a stick down my throat. I can’t take any painkillers except Tylenol, and I’d have to overdose on Tylenol in order to get that to go away. It goes away on its own eventually, but Tylenol doesn’t help a bit. It helps a lot at times to think “this is how it is, this is how it must be”, but then there are times when you want something to make it go away. Here’s where today’s recipe comes in. As my spiritual journey has progressed over the years, I’ve felt inspired by herbs. This is where a good deal of my power will be, I believe. I want to heal with herbs.

I drink an anti-inflammatory tea of my own making that helps keep the Stick at bay, but it must be consumed regularly and it likely won’t avert a crisis if the crisis is already there. The ingredients in the tea are turmeric, ginger, and red pepper, so if you don’t enjoy things with a kick, you might not enjoy it. It’s helpful to throw a pot on if you feel pain coming on but it’s not quite there yet. Gingerol in ginger, curcumin in turmeric, and capsaicin in red pepper all have anti-inflammatory properties. Another fun fact: capsaicin makes peppers spicy!

Here’s the recipe, done in ratios, or parts:

Anti-Inflammatory Spicy Tea

2 parts ginger, cut and dried
1 part turmeric, cut and dried
1/2 part red pepper flakes

Combine all in your favorite loose leaf tea infuser and let
brew in boiling water as long as desired. It will become
spicier the longer it sits. Pour into cups and drink up!

Enjoy your day! Stay cool!

Eris

October 1st, parts 1 and 2

Happy October 1st, friends!

It always seems like there’s a bad day before a good day happens. 2 October was a bad anniversary for me for many years, and I thank the Divine that I have mostly forgotten what that was all about. That’s a good feeling, a very good feeling, indeed…

Anywho, what’s up in the kitchen today? Good question. I want to talk about something I’m also awful at – keeping my spaces clean. But seeing as it’s the start of the witchiest month of the year, I am going to do a lot of cleaning and cleansing today. I don’t plan on cooking anything special today, but I will share a recipe at the end that’s magical by itself alone.

I will share three things about cleaning with you – my cleaning past, my cleaning present, and my cleaning future.

The Past

In the past, I fought anyone who tried to make me clean up. I viewed it as a terrible waste of time because it would just inevitably get messy again. So I would always drag my feet and complain about cleaning. It was nothing but a horrible chore to me, and I hated it. I took no pride in my work, no satisfaction in the end result. My work and my attitude were awful. Then I learned something.

When I threw myself into housework while very sad, my life got better. I started to take pride in my work and have satisfaction when I did well. I made my own cleaning spray the way my mom taught me, and I got very good at cleaning. Then I got sick.

The Present

After I got sick, it got harder to clean and while my housemates took over, I still felt really bad about leaving a mess. I stopped making my special to do lists at that point and lost a lot of focus and vision for my life. I’ve known for a long time that working on something – anything – is one of my best ways of doing self care. After learning about witchcraft and the importance of having a clean space, I want to get back into cleaning up because the kitchen is a mess and it’s driving me nuts. So that brings us to:

The Future

As I get better at cleaning again, I know my mind will become more orderly, as well, and I’ll feel better about life. When my husband and I get our own place someday, I want to keep it immaculate and do things like dry herbs in there from a possible herb garden. I think it will be easier to keep clean because it would be two people’s (read: my) messes instead of four people’s. That’s my plan.

Now, enjoy the famous spray my mother taught me how to make.

Mom's Countertop Spray

You will need:
Spray bottle
1 part vinegar
1 part water
10-20 drops essential oil of your choice

To make:
We have a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water,
so fill up the spray bottle with both ingredients
and drop the essential oils in. Shake well and use.

Note: DO NOT use on wood.

The spray will damage it.

Have a good day! Stay cool!

Eris

A few hours later….

I DID IT!!

 
 
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The kitchen is clean, the sink has been rinsed out,

 
 
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and the tea shelves have been decluttered.

 
 
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My immune booster tea.
 
 
 

I didn’t intend to clean the shelves, I just got very frustrated that I couldn’t run like I wanted to and it just kinda happened. I was also procrastinating going to the store, and my husband said I should procrastinate like that more often. I guess I can, but it’s a special kind of procrastination that combines the desire for physical activity and change in environment with the desire to be productive and NOT go outside on a rainy day. I was not happy about today’s rain. It’s cleared up for now, but it was still wet and the ground was covered in puddles when I managed to finally go outside. Pretty, but not fun to walk around in. I did my thing and am back home slamming immune booster tea because I wonder if I am getting sick. I am probably just being a hypochondriac. That’s life.

 
 

In case you’re wondering what my immune booster tea is, it’s two bags of Traditional Medicinals Immune Booster echinacea tea plus one bag of chamomile tea. It should have a nice calming effect.

 
 

Now you might be wondering what that has to do with witchcraft!

 
 

From everything I’ve read, every witch practices differently and you don’t have to practice in the same way anyone else does. I’m not big on banishing negative energies aloud, but I do believe that by cleaning up my workspace, I am banishing the negative energy in my head, at least. If your environment is clean, your head is more likely to be clear….and you can make better food in safer conditions if you are cooking in a clean kitchen.

 
 

Remember, I am still awful at this, but we all have room for growth. The purpose of this blog is partially to hold me accountable, and I expect my readers to do just that. I want to continue to grow, not remain stagnant.

 
 

Also expect me to grow in my knowledge of herbs, spices, and oils.

 
 

Thanks for reading, and stay cool!

Eris

 

Hello!

I’m Eris. Welcome to my blog!

I’m what the kids call a crazy kitchen witch. I love to cook, share recipes, and talk about spiritual things. I am very new to the term “witch”, so bear with me as I figure stuff out! Everyone practices differently, so I’m trying to find what suits me. I’m leaning towards herbal and food magic. You’ll find me on my computer blogging, talking to my friends, in the kitchen making food or tea, or doing my thing on Pinterest! I’m building a witchy compendium of goodness there and I’m quite pleased with it. Follow me!

I’m blogging buddies with Tori at The Less than Perfect Life and we both cook and do awesome stuff with herbs, so you’ll be hearing from and about her, too! She’s awesome.

Watch this space and stay cool!

-Eris

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