Lupicia Momo Oolong Super Grade

[image: bag o' tea]
[image: bag o’ tea]

Tonight I thought I’d dive into one of my favorite teas. This is Lupicia’s Momo Oolong Super Grade, which is apparently their #1 best seller. I’m hardly surprised. This tea is great. The peach flavor is pronounced, and it is sweet enough on its own to enjoy without any additional sweetening.

[stock image from lupicia's website]
[stock image from lupicia’s website]

It’s a pretty tea to just look at, with the rose petals. The leaves are tightly twisted, and when set in to steep, they expand beautifully. Depending on my tea mood, I might use teabags instead of my teapot. But one tea I would never use the bags for is the Momo Oolong. The leaves need the space. They’re pretty large once fully expanded.

[image: pot o'tea]
[image: pot o’tea]

This is kind of a splurgey tea. It’s $13 for a 50 gram bag of leaves (don’t bother with the bagged version), but it is definitely worth it. You can get more than one steep out of the leaves per drinking session. I usually go for two or three pots with the same spoonful of leaves.

It’s a nice late afternoon or evening tea, since oolong has a lower caffeine amount than black tea. It’s not entirely absent though, so maybe stick to a morning brew if you’re particularly sensitive.

And as for food options, my old roommate Zed used to occasionally enjoy the spent tea leaves with rice. Like this but more basic.


Made a nectarine-peach shrub for an upcoming Ladies' Afternoon with @trufflewantssnacks. SO PINK.

A photo posted by sarah (@braisinhussy) on

Shrubs were a passing fancy of mine this summer. Shrubs are an old-style drink mixer, made with fruit and sugar and vinegar. This particular one I made with nectarines and peaches. I can’t remember how we mixed it, maybe with gin? Or some kind of sparkling wine? Bitters were involved, I think.

And I don’t remember the proportions I used in the shrub, so no recipe. But ooh, this cranberry-black pepper shrub looks like it might be nice for the holidays.

Drinkin’ Wine

When I start a glass of wine, I see it through to the end. There was a house wine we had in Cosenza, Italy, that seriously tasted like gasoline. I finished it. We were given some apertif in Prague that was like drinking a pine tree. I took the shot. Tonight, I had a wine I could not drink.

I was making my way through a flight of Italian white wines.

Drinking my new favorite from @roccafiore!

A photo posted by sarah (@braisinhussy) on

Not this one, unfortunately. (This is my current favorite Italian white wine. It’s amazing. I will never be able to buy it in the U.S.)

Actually, the flight overall was sort of a failure as far as my palate went.

2015 Montetondo Garganega Frizzante (Verona): this was like soda, it’d be refreshing on a hot summer day, but there wasn’t a lot of there there
2015 de Tarczal Pinot Bianco (Trentino): this one sucked all the moisture out of my mouth
2009 Vigna del Malina Pinot Grigio (Venezia Giulia): CHRIST THIS WAS AWFUL. I took a sip, said “GAH,” and then took a second sip because I’m an optimist but NOPE. I was like “can you please pour this out and get me a fresh glass and also some water and maybe you should check if this wine has turned or something because seriously it is FOUL”
2015 Poggio al Tesoro ‘Solosole’ Vermentino (Toscana): this could have been fine, but by this point my ability to taste things was totally shot

Afterwards I was talking with some of the patrons and staff, and I mentioned I hadn’t really been feeling my flight, so they opened up a bottle of something much, much nicer and gave me a glass for free. I guess the half hour and two or three more glasses of water had helped reset my tongue, because this was nice and honey and acid and just such a relief after that Pinot Grigio. Big ups to the bartender for good customer service.

much nicer wine
much nicer wine

So not my most successful night at the wine bar. Didn’t find any new must-haves, but I had a pleasant evening talking to folks and (eventually) drinking a nice glass.

Hollow Heart Vegetable

I am reading up on ong choy, or “hollow heart vegetable.” I went out to a Malaysian restaurant with Lydia and her husband tonight. I have leftovers of these greens which I’m planning to eat tomorrow for breakfast with a fried egg on top. I appreciate the usefulness of a “Class A Noxious Weed” as a food product. Waste not want not!

(I wonder if single people eat this dish on Valentine’s Day. If we don’t, I think we should.)

Improving on an Old Favorite

I think I've found a way to make my buttermilk curry even tastier.

A photo posted by sarah (@braisinhussy) on

One of my favorite discoveries from last year’s Blogtober/Blogsgiving binge was my Buttermilk Curry recipe. I’ve made it at least ten times since then, which makes it a pretty successful recipe in my book. I mean, I probably wouldn’t have made it quite so often if I hadn’t kept buying buttermilk, freezing it, forgetting about it, and then rebuying it, compounding the problem—but thankfully the ingredients are pretty cheap. Pork always seems to be on sale, so I just buy whatever chops are close to a pound and cut it into small pieces myself. I’ve also been upping the vegetable content with extra peppers (usually an Anaheim or Pasilla, but tonight’s used the smaller purple peppers from my garden).

When I make the curry with previously frozen buttermilk, it has a tendency to split and look unattractive. Last time I tried using a mixture of buttermilk and plain yogurt, but it still broke. Tonight, I tried sour cream, and BINGO. What a lovely texture! I feel guilty because it’s getting further and further away from the original recipe (which was a mixture of recipes anyway), but damn was it good.

I tweak a lot of recipes over the years, and then I never update my records here. Bad Sarah. But I’m amending this one tonight!

PS this photo looks a lot yellower on my phone (it looked a lot yellower in real life, too). not sure why my laptop screen is washing it out so much. it’s a very yellow-hued curry, thanks to the turmeric. be ye not misled.



(not my photo, credit to danschleifer23 on flickr)

The one thing on my list of “Dutch Food I Want to Eat” I didn’t get to this trip was bitterballen. They’re pub morsels, eaten piping hot with a good grainy mustard.

I found a recipe for them on The Dutch Table that calls them “fried gravy.” Now, gravy is Super-Not-My-Thing, but actually that makes a lot of sense regarding their texture. I think I may have to try to make these, but maybe figure out how to bake them instead… or try and convince my dad to add them to the Hanukkah frying cavalcade.


Damn @zarkmabaro for introducing me to these; they're addictive as hell. #borrelnootjes

A photo posted by sarah (@braisinhussy) on

Zed introduced me to these little nuggets of trashy goodness. The Google Translate version of the Dutch Wikipedia page tells me that translates (inexactly) as “drink nuts.” They are peanuts coated with a crunchy layer of grain, flavored in various ways. They’re often served at bars; they’re very salty and go well with beer. I brought back several bags from the Netherlands.

What does “Poesta” mean? Wiki tells me that the English translation is “Puszta” and it’s a region in Hungary. I thought the illustration on the bag was of onion and cilantro, but maybe it’s garlic? They tasted like they’d been coated in a ramen flavor packet, basically.

Oh, I found a site that carries a Puszta Pepper spice blend. “A typically Hungarian spice mixture with freshly grounded paprika, caraway, a whiff of garlic and onion.” Okay, I can get on board with that.

I saw Lydia this weekend, and we chomped our way through a bag of “Bacon Kaas” flavor—bacon and cheese. This taste was not as successful, I thought. It was certainly unique, though. You got mostly the cheese flavor, until you inhaled and got a wisp of bacon smokiness. It was bizarre.

These are the others flavors I brought back, they will be finding their ways to various parties where I hopefully not be noticed shamefully scarfing.

[image: two bags of boorelnootjes]
[image: two bags of boorelnootjes]

I thought I had a hookup to replace these when they’re gone, but apparently the Dutch specialty shop in San Jose closed last year. Drat. But according to their Yelp page, they sold a loooooot of expired products, so perhaps that’s for the best.

Gravity Teapots

The Elder Corgi Sister gave me one of these for the holidays last year. Mine’s the Teavana PerfecTea, but I preferred this video demonstration of the Adagio IngenuiTea. All the major tea people seem to have a version of this teapot (and I’m pretty sure all of them have punny names) (yes, yes, gravi-TEA, I know I could have used a pun in the title of this post BUT I RESISTED). They all work on the same principle. Place loose tea in pot, add hot water, let steep, then place over cup and let piss out the bottom. It’s great. I use the hell out of mine during the chilly months. Also when I’m sick—I’ve had a cold for the past ten days.

I have so much tea. I still have most of my Lupicia Lucky Bag. Plus when the Lupicia in San Francisco closed (BOO), we all went and bought a bunch more on clearance. I think I would need to be sick for at least three months to get through it all. (I really shouldn’t tempt fate by saying that.)

Belgian Fries

[image: french fries in a paper cone, topped with yellow curry sauce]
[image: french fries in a paper cone, topped with yellow curry sauce]

There was a lot of quick street food to grab while walking around Amsterdam (herring, for instance). Fries + sauce counted as lunch a few days. These were from Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx, the best Belgian fries from Amsterdam.

This place is basically just a hole in the wall with a walk up line (which is always full). They make the fries as the customers order. Zed and I ordered some with Belgian mayo (not sure how that’s different than “the classic mayo,” but it was delicious) and Andalouse sauce, which was more tomato-y. I saw it described somewhere as “kind of like thousand island.” A few days later I went back by myself and got the yellow curry sauce, as seen in the photo up top. It reminded me of the chicken curry ‘n fries I used to get at St. Stephen’s Green in Mountain View.

Fries for lunch today. I was oddly drawn to yet repulsed by the idea of Hannibal sauce.

A photo posted by sarah (@braisinhussy) on

Their menu doesn’t really go into what makes each sauce, unfortunately. What is Hannibal sauce? WHAT IS IT.