You have to really enjoy drinking tea to order it in two pound batches. The school recently chose a new local organic tea supplier, and Sal had the opportunity to buy from their ginormous selection. The only catch was that they sell it in two pound batches, so whatever we picked had to be something we'd really want to drink. A lot.
Since Sal was opting for a black tea, I decided to choose an herbal. Apple-cinnamon tea sweetened with a bit of honey is one of my favoritest things in the fall and winter (second only to orange-spice tea), which means I go through it like crazy, so that seemed like the logical choice for ordering two pounds. While we waited for the order to arrive, I entertained lovely-cozy apple-cinnamon tinged fantasies of curling up in the library with a book, of our quiet Saturday mornings with the NPR lineup in the background and rainy gray outside the window, of day-long writing binges fueled soley by cup after cup of hot tea and a plate of something freshly baked by Sal.
Be careful what you wish for.
Because despite being double-bagged in heavyweight plastic, it turns out that two pounds of apple-cinnamon tea smells strong enough to give you a headache if you're within ten feet of it, and will probably knock you out cold after more than fifteen minutes of exposure. I had to shut it up in the kitchen cupboard before bed the night Sal brought it home to get a relief from the intensity.
Or so I thought. I woke up that morning -- UPSTAIRS AND ON THE OPPOSITE END OF THE HOUSE -- to that smell, and not in a good, "oh, what a lovely, cozy way to wake up" kind of way but more like a "ye gods and little fishes the smell is so strong that it's moved past any semblance of apple or cinnamon and moved into cologne of Hades territory". Down the stairs, the smell intensified. Open the door to the side of the house where the kitchen is, and it was like being punched in the face by a meth-addled Johnny Appleseed.
It was The Lentil Incident all over again.
When I got home from work that night, the smell had taken on a physical presence, infusing every room in the house. Opening all the windows couldn't air it out fast enough and the only way to get relief was to take the tea out of the cupboard (still in its double bags!) and set it out on the porch until we could transfer it to a more impenetrable container. Just the sight of the bag through the back door window gave me a headache.
The tea o'doom has since been divided amongst sturdy, sealed containers and no longer threatens nostrils within a one mile vicinty. Dividing it into smaller quanities seems to have cut its potency to more tolerable levels, eliciting something akin to the lovely-cozy apple-cinnamon fantasies I'd originally entertained. Cranked up to 11, but at least that's still within human survival limits.
The irony in all this? Sal's been so stuffed up with hayfever that he can't smell any of it.
- teryaki chicken meatballs
- green beans and caramelized onions (both from the garden, woot woot!)
- cubed egg (as in, an egg molded into the shape of a cube, because my husband is delightful and sweet and got me an egg cuber for an anniversary present; he also got me "All the President's Men for an anniversary present, but that has nothing to do with bento, so)
- red leaf lettuce green beans, sunflower seeds
- carrots, cucumbers, fresh peas
- tomatoes (from the garden!)
- boiled egg
- Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Bento: ranch dressing to top what became a hella big salad