September 21, 2012

Pickling, Best Tea Factory, and Mexican Fare...

Lots has happened in the past few days, including dog sitting, so needless to say, I've been busy!

Here are the highlights:

Celestial Seasonings Tour:

If you have never been to this factory, its no brewery, but it is a close favorite!  Over 100 teas and herbal blends to choose from and a great tour, I learned so much and tasted so many new teas I've never heard CS make before.  Thoroughly impressed...I think my favorite were Sweet Harvest Pumpkin and Morning Thunder (a black tea and mate blend!).  I learned more than I knew about tea and was able to appreciate the great business Celestial Seasonings provides with their partnership in other countries (from when they started in 1969).  My brother and I with our hair nets:



El Centro:

I think this is the best Mexican (flare) food I've had.  Not traditional, by any means, but a fun environment and great fresh food.  Their happy hour is exceptional, and as a margarita snob, their margs were delicious!  It might be on the pricey side, but worth it with fun friends or great celebration.

Pickling:

This was my very first endeavor in pickling!  I helped can pie filling last year, but I have been wanting to learn more so that I can pass on the tradition and live off of my garden longer in the year.  Here are the basic steps:

You need to follow a recipe from a canning book, but you mix vinegar, sugar, water, and salt together to form the brine with which you can the pickles.  We cut up pickles (both dill and sweet style, although they were both dill flavored...):



While you chop, heat up the cans:




Here are the jars filled with pepper corns, mustard seed, dill, and pickles:




Me pouring brine:





But DO be careful that the glass doesn't cool off too fast, because to cook in a water bath, transferring cool jars to boiling water can crack, as shown here:



I will let you know how the rest turn out!!!

Cycle class at 24 Hour Fitness followed by Boot Camp tomorrow in the park...be there or miss out on a fun workout!  



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