A broken heart

I came home one day to find my treasured tea strainer broken. It has definitely stood the test of time, as I think it celebrated its 9th birthday over Christmas. You legened tea strainer, you.

I got it for Christmas from my dear friend Klara, who always got me nifty gifts. This one I remember particularly as we had a spending limit of about 50:-, which comes to about £5. I don’t remember what junk I managed to get her. Probably a pen.

I’ve carried this tea strainer with me from K-town, to Montpellier and now London. It has seen a lot of teas and I don’t have the heart to throw it away.

My favourite tea at the moment is a Jasmine Pearl Green Tea. It’s such a light and easy-going tea and truly smells like a meadow. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such wonderful (and fragrant) scents before.

Obtained from JING tea, these tea-nutters know what they’re talking about. On my tea tin I can trace exactly where the tea comes from (picked and handrolled in White Cloud Garden, Hunan Province, China), which is, to me at least, valuable knowledge.

I’ll enjoy this with a brilliantly easy bread recipe sent to me by the charming V from home. I made the Rye and Apple Bread on Friday, and there’s a couple of slices left. I’m expecting them to go today.

50 g butter
5 dl water
2 sachets of easy bake yeast (or 1 packet of fresh yeast)
2 teaspoons seasalt
2 tablespoons runny honey (or I used Sweet Freedom natural syrup made of 100% fruit)
7 dl wholegrain rye flour
6 dl strong white flour (use stoneground if you can)
2 grated apples

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add water. Heat the liquid to 37 degrees (if you’re using fresh yeast) and pour into a large bowl. Add yeast, salt, honey and the flours. Don’t add all the flour at once.

Work the dough by hand or in a mixer until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Let rest and rise under a tea towel/cling film for 30 minutes.

Knead the dough on a floured surface and add the grated apples. If the apples contain too much liquid and the dough gets sticky, add more flour.

Shape two round loaves and put them on a tray with baking parchment. Sprinkle some flour and let them rest for a further 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Beat an egg and brush the bread, adding sea salt and rosemary. Bake the bread for around 45 minutes in the middle of the oven. If they look slightly burnt, cover with tin foil. The loaves are ready when you tap on the bottom and they sound hollow.

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