24 August 2010

... and the last shall be first... (or, a Toast to Tuesday)

Behold, for this is the last piece of the first loaf baked in our beloved BigBlue (the soon-to-be-slumbering Aga), and a delectable piece of toast it was, too. Thank you, Maestro CR, for bringing the unbaked dough shape and doing the honors with innate skill and poise. First-time Aga baker he was, and what a success! We are in the planning stages of the next loaf, which will be baked sometime in the future at a location not yet determined. If you want to join us, get on the list now.
Tea & Toast ├╝ber alles!
Fondly, Dustin

13 August 2010

Lucky Friday the 13th (or a Flask on Friday)

Wouldn't ya know it? Here comes another lucky Friday the thirteenth... in fact, this one's super-lucky because our neighborhood is having one of its occasional Board Meetings. The "board" is one neighbor's fence; the "meeting," well, that's just us gathering together with armsful of food and drink to celebrate living in Paradise.

This is Wine Country, and a Board Meeting in our 'hood includes its fair share of fermented grape extrusions in bottles; but we drink other things such as a tea like Blend 1018 {pictured} --  one of our exclusive Edwards Premium Tea tea blends (yippee!) -- plus margaritas, juice in little coated-paper boxes (the little people especially favor these), hard stuff, and so forth. We do not mess around.

Happy Lucky 13th to you all, with a tea-stained kiss blown squarely in your direction from Dustin and his Trixie, xo

01 August 2010

Just a little cup and saucer I picked up somewhere...

 Well, I'll be honest, I discovered this attractive pair on **** as part of a larger set of matching cups and saucers, and if I told you the asking price (which no-one but me seemed to recognize as outrageously modest)  you would slap your forehead and exclaim, Darn why didn't *I* find them first? One of my luckiest foraging forays ever, and I am grateful to Trix for giving the nod of approval. Years in our collection haven't tarnished their beauty in my eyes, quite the reverse; the fact that these are such useful bits of beautiful teaware never ceases to charm and amuse me. Trixie and I deploy them for more than tea (as any creative couple would), and our guests comment on their loveliness whether we serve drops of tea, or little sweet things, or arrange posies in them, and we are so pleased to share the enjoyment of them whenever the opportunity arises.

Details: Asian (probably Chinese but possibly Japanese), true antique, formed with the classic translucent "rice" pattern in the porcelain which you can see in this picture if you stare at it properly (go ahead and stare, it's not rude). Cobalt stenciled and hand-painted underglaze on porcelain, with delicate hand-painted red and green enamels and gold accents, plus generous edge-gilding. Dragon images on centers of saucers, floral bouquets in bowls of the cups. Cups are 2.25 inches high and 3 inches in diameter at the rim; saucers are 4 inches in diameter. Each piece is signed in cobalt with the decorator's name (not stamped with a uniform stamp). They have a definite personality...

A spot of beauty on this Summer's day,
xo, Dustin