I let my son choose the tea this evening – it was a very busy day at work, and my office/bedroom got quite warm, so I had to wait until it was cool enough to drink tea. He chose one of my absolute favorites. Vanilla Swirl is a sinfully sweet and comforting blend of lemongrass, pineapple chunks (surprise?), white chocolate, amaranth, cornflower, stevia, and a few different flavorings. It’s a bizarre combination that leaves you with a creamy, lemony flavor that is actually quite a good dessert substitute.
It’s a delicious tea to enjoy with a nice sharp cheese, some dark chocolate, and a handful of nuts. Or with a mildly flavored dessert such as plain cheesecake or flan. The subtle vanilla lemon flavor lends itself well to a bedtime tea as well. One of the reasons I drink mostly herbal teas is because I find it a relaxing practice. I find it relaxing to drink regular teas as well, but I do so love having a nice hot cup of tea to warm me before bed.
Tonight was the sixth night of Hanukkah. A few people asked me if I still celebrate. To me, since I didn’t grow up with any of the traditions, it’s always been about saying the blessing and lighting the candles. There are no gifts, no games, no gelt involved. It’s just about bringing light to the darkest time of the year. And yes, even though I no longer have a Jewish partner, my conversion has always been for my own benefit, not his. I will continue to celebrate with my community (Or Haneshamah Reconstructionist Temple, Ottawa). I will continue to study and follow Jewish teachings. I’m not an overly religious person, but I find the quiet desire and effort to improve the lives of others around us to be a very strong draw to this particular shul and its members. I have found family here. And I am so, so grateful to have them in my life.
I have a lot of chosen family, and I’m thankful for all of them. My podcast and knitting friends, some of the very best pocket friends a girl could have, my work families, my outlaws (my ex-husband and his family)… I’ve been very lucky to be surrounded by some of the very best people. And my own family – sometimes a bit broken, sometimes a bit dysfunctional, but they’re mine. And my partner. I’m glad I don’t have to get through this bizarre life alone. And if we’re ever face-to-face, I would be honored we could share a pot of tea together.