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Reblogged:Four Recent (Re)Discoveries

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A Friday Hodgepodge

1. Once a year, this beer snob takes a month-long "liver holiday," during which I avoid alcohol altogether. I usually do this between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but social obligations pushed it to January this year. And so I learned that Brits do a similar thing, called "Dryuary."

This time around, my bored taste buds prompted me to rediscover teas, which were an especially welcome break from the bad coffee I was trying to choke down at the time -- before I realized my coffeemaker was broken, and fixed it.

One of my favorites is a Chinese smoked tea, lapsang souchong, which I now can enjoy regularly, thanks to Amazon.

I learned about it long ago, but it was hard-enough to get that I eventually forgot about it.

2. Rediscovering tea led me to branch off into herbal tea, to avoid caffeine in the evenings. So far, my favorite of those is peppermint, which I was aware people often grow for themselves.

I was delighted to learn that peppermint grows so easily that it is regarded as a weed in some locales. Great! I thought. Can I grow it indoors?

With the kids old enough to be trusted around plants now, I've been thinking about having more indoor plants, and it looks like peppermint can be a good one in more ways than one.

3. I mentioned recently that I've been walking more.

I love to walk, but had been letting Florida's heat and glaring sun deter me for too long. Realizing that mornings are bearable -- and having to drop everything to take the kids to school anyway -- I eventually realized I could turn the break to my advantage by doing an hour-long walk through the neighborhood after the drop-off.

4. Earlier in the week, in the process of learning more about a musician I like, I learned of an interesting band called Gangstagrass -- which blends bluegrass with hip-hop. I don't have a firm opinion one way or the other yet, but I am intrigued.

The band is perhaps most famous for the theme of Justified, a television series I am unfamiliar with, but might also try. A live version of that song, "Long Hard Times to Come," is embedded above.

-- CAV

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Verbena (verveine) and lemon balm are some others that are easy to grow, though maybe not indoors. Herb teas, like most herbs, areĀ better fresh than dried.

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