My Sweet Spot

My Mother, who had eight children, loved reading; more specifically she loved reading in bed with a cup of tea. If her door was closed, you didn’t open it, you didn’t knock, you didn’t even play outside that door, because Mom was in her inner sanctum and if you interrupted her you might be killed or at least seriously maimed. But as her children got older she would invite us in and we spent many nights curled up in bed together reading for hours. Now my two girls climb up into our bed and we read every night, it is one of the great joys of my life. Here are some of the books I’ve been reading lately but before we continue let’s get something out on the table. I read for enjoyment and I never remember anything I have read. So in no way can it be considered enriching. I can be a quarter of a way into a book and realize I have read it already. I love trashy books, fun books, kid’s books and some high brow books, so let’s just read and not worry about improving our brains and looking smart.

Here are some of my all time favorites:
1. City of Thieves, by David Benioff
2. The Hunger Games (the trilogy), by Suzanne Collins
3. Electric Universe, by David Bodanis
4. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
5. Unbroken and Seabiscuitboth by Laura Hillenbrand

Okay here is the other crucial part of this equation: Tea. Now, for you it could be coffee or a Gin Ricky, but for me it is tea. As a sweetener, lately, I go through pounds of honey, which is wonderful and is filled with calcium and good nutrients, to lessen the chances of going into sugar shock (it really was an obscene amount). I add Stevia powder to a little honey – can’t taste the Stevia and I am no longer in danger of becoming a diabetic. I also don’t mess around with milk; I go right for the half and half. As far as tea brands go, I range from Twinning’s, to Yogi Tea, to Celestial Seasoning. Right now I am on a Lipton Tea phase, the old standby is new again.

Here are a few of my favorites:
Black Teas
Lapsang Souchong – might be a bit of an acquired taste; my friend Mary calls it “stinky socks tea” but it is rich and smoky and a little exotic.
English Breakfast – a classic straightforward tea. A no nonsense, “pull up your socks,” tea. I think the British Empire drank lots of this while they went hunting for countries to colonize.
Black Chai – It’s cinnamon, cardamom and ginger, makes me want to put on heavy eyeliner and smoke a hookah.
Jasmine Green Tea – The jasmine flowers add a delicate fragrance; I always imagine Nicole Kidman drinking this tea.
Ginger Tea – This is great when you have a sore throat with honey and lemon or for some reason when you are reading Virginia Wolff.

My children now love to drink tea, continuing on the Huffman women tradition. They love TAZO tea’s with honey and lemon. Their favorites are: Sweet Cinnamon spice, Passion (hibiscus) and Mint. I make them a cup in the morning with breakfast. It’s a nice way to have them sit at the table an extra minute or two as we go over what’s happening that day.

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