31 December, 2021
It is brutally cold in Calgary and has been for two weeks or thereabouts. It’s been so cold, I actually did a little happy dance the other day when it rocketed up to -16! Right at this moment, it is -26 Celsius. That is -15 Fahrenheit. These are not temperatures I am thrilled about.
The snow, however, is glittering like diamonds right now in the sun. The sun that is putting out no discernible heat. It’s another day where I wonder why I live where the air hurts. Let me just put in a plug right here – if you have a dog that is not a husky, keep them inside….it’s too cold for you to be out there, it is too cold for them, also. And, as offended as they get, train them to wear the boots – their feet get cold, just as yours do. PSA over.
Given how cold it is, it is, as Sheldon on Big Bang Theory would say, time for a “hot beverage”. Not because anyone is feeling unhappy or unwell, but because it helps warm your hands and your belly.
There is, though, only so much coffee or hot chocolate a person can drink in a day, so I often switch to tea. I drink decaffinated because I have high blood pressure and, to be honest, my nerves are often quite wound up, so I choose roobios and herbals teas. I really like Chai so I drink Bengal Spice tea, I drink decaf orange pekoe, and I really like Sleepy Time tea before bed.
I just rediscovered London Fogs at Tim Horton’s a few days ago, though. Theirs is a little sweeter than I like mine…as much as I love chocolate, I don’t use a lot of sugar in most things, so sweet drinks shock the taste buds a little. As soon as I had it in my hands, I remembered I had the ingredients at home to make my own. I do not have decaffeinated Earl Grey, though, so I only get to indulge once a day and I try to make it fairly early
Let’s make a London Fog – they are so yummy and they smell so good. Very comforting.
- 2 TB vanilla syrup – sugar free for the keto or low carbers in the group
- Earl Grey tea – 1 or 2 tea bags or enough loose tea leaves to make a good strong brew (there is decaffeinated Earl Grey and either one is good)
- 1/4 cup warm half & half or another mildly flavoured milk of your choice
- 1 big cup
- milk frother
Heat up your water however you do it. I use a kettle or the Keurig. Pour the hot water into your big tea cup (my cups are all at least 12 ounces) and add your tea or tea bags.
While the tea is steeping, and smelling amazing, warm up the milk and froth it – I do use the microwave to do this, but you could certainly use a pot on the stove to do so. It isn’t necessary to warm the milk if you don’t want to – I do so it doesn’t cool my tea down too quickly. Heaven knows the ambient temperature will do that soon enough, I don’t want to add to the premature cooling. 🙂 I used about a quarter of a cup – just enough to put some foam on the top of the brew. If you don’t have a frother, don’t froth, it’s all good. I do recommend adding the warmed milk, though. It adds a lovely, creamy element to the tea that offsets some of the sweetness of the vanilla syrup. If you don’t add the cream, it’s not foggy!
Assemble. I just leave the tea bags in my tea because I’m lazy like that. Add in 2 TB of vanilla syrup – or whatever your magic number is – and give it a gentle stir. Top with the foam and breathe that bergamot scent in.
Go find a comfortable chair, get a good book, a podcast, a movie, a TV show or just enjoy some silence. If you have one, convince your pet to come warm your feet or your lap (or in my case, the back of my neck), kick your feet up and ignore the world for a little while. Indulge in some “me time”. Personal care is necessary and this is an easy way to take a moment for yourself and make it a bit of a ceremony.
I find a bit of ceremony gives “me time” more impact. If tea doesn’t do that for you, find a ceremony that does and do that on the regular.