Bit of a tea related post today and news of some workshops I've been doing. First off, kombucha. For those not familiar with it, Kombucha is a fermented tea drink which is good for getting pro-biotics. I've been brewing my own green tea kombucha at home for around a year and have just started to try a few shop bought flavoured ones. V Revolution sometimes stock it and I picked up this maple flavoured booch the other week. It was delicious, lovely and fizzy with a smokey maple taste.
In other beverage news, we got a new kettle. I've never had a stove top kettle before but when I spotted this for £3.50 in a charity shop I couldn't resist it. The make is OXO and I love their kitchen equipment. It's a delight to use and I think I've been drinking more tea than ever. Especially after I won an Organic September competition in which the prize was Whole Earth cereals and peanut butter, Kallo rice cake products and a whole load of lovely Clipper Teas. Oh and a wheel barrow. I hadn't realised when I entered that the prize actually included the wheel barrow in the picture holding the food until a super duper wheel barrow turned up too.
A few weeks ago I had a little trip to London to see some things that were part of London Design Festival. I got to spend the Friday hanging out with my dear friend Helen. On the way to a design fair at Old Trueman Brewery we were sucked into the amazing T2 tea shop in Shoreditch and spent a good half hour sampling teas including some made with veggies!
Helen bought a great tea flask and I was sorely tempted but couldn't afford one just then. To my delight I managed to snap up the same one I'd been eyeing up in the shop a week later for a bargain price on eBay. This sparkly beauty definitely brightens up my morning commute.
Recently I've been trying to make the five ways to well being part of my day to day life. Specifically I've been tying to focus on the Keep Learning bit as it was an area that had become stagnant in my life.
I've been signing up for some free creative courses. Manchester Art Gallery hold a free workshop after work the first Thursday of every month. I went along with a couple of friends to the October one and loved it. We worked with artist Daksha Patel who is interested in using light in her practice. The picture below is by my friend Debbie. It started off as a simple line drawing. We then used a drawing pin to make pin pricks along the lines we'd made and then we put our pieces of paper onto an overhead projector and this is what they looked like projected large scale on the wall. It was such a fun thing to do and I'm really looking forward to the other workshops. I used to do loads of creative things and I've realised how much I miss that sort of activity and how much I need to do it.
I've also done a little craft workshop at my local library and most excitingly a cake decorating course!
I saw this on the Vegan Manchester facebook group and decided I had to do it. I've always been at a loss on how to do proper piping and always just end up spreading frosting on with a knife and then covering the top with sprinkles so it was fantastic to learn how to make my cakes look prettier.
The course was run by Georgina of the Cake Creamery who was a great teacher. Over two hours we learned how to do frosting roses and hyacinths, create fondant leaves and butterflies, use colour in different ways and how to assemble the cakes into a cupcake bouquet. Georgina had made vegan cupcakes and vegan buttercream frosting in advance so all we had to do was concentrate on the decorating techniques. It was an excellent afternoon and I felt a real sense of accomplishment by the end. If you live in the area and are interested in improving your decorating skills I'd definitely recommend you getting in touch to see when the next vegan course is running.