Another thing I love about October is that it signals the beginning of hot drink season! We've had some unseasonably warm weather this year so I haven't had many occasions to drink something hot other than my usual morning coffee. Hot drinks chase away the chill, help me want to drink more liquid and satisfy my sweet tooth, all at the same time.
When cooler weather arrives, I like to look for new varieties of herbal teas that the stores where I shop have added. I like the wide variety that Celestial Seasonings makes but I tend to buy teabags that are idividually wrapped. CS makes what I call "exposed" teabags in a waxed paper lined box. That's not so bad when I first open the box but, organizational junky that I can be, I get a tiny bit unsettled thinking about that nearly empty box sitting in my cupboard taking up valuable shelf real estate!
My most favorite fruity teas are usually orange or mixed berry flavors. My least favorite are lemon and apple. I love the smell of lemon and apple teas but for some reason the enjoyment just doesn't translate from smell to taste. I don't generally sweeten fruit teas since they have an inherent sweetness already. No cream, either.
Spicy teas offer a nice pick-me-up mid-morning whether or not they are caffeinated. There is a non-caffeinated tea that I particularly like called Chai Roobios. The brand I like best is Yogi but the store where I have always purchased it no longer keeps it in stock so if I want it, I have to order a whole case of it. I've done that once but think I'll move on to another brand. I just don't want 8 boxes of the same tea sitting on the same aformentioned shelf real estate! My favorite way to drink chai tea is with a few drops of stevia, a few drops of vanilla or rum flavoring and a bit of coconut milk. Yum!
Hot Chocolate weather, for me, doesn't usually start until after Thanksgiving but I'll talk about it here since it fits into the "hot drink" category. I don't often have hot chocolate since I haven't found a brand or recipe for a sugarless cup that I like. I avoid sugar for the most part, even natural sugars, so I rarely have it anyway. I have a recipe for a mix that my Mom used to make that I really like but it is loaded with sugar. The last time I mixed up a batch (I think it was a triple-batch) I had one cup and packaged the rest as Christmas gifts for friends (along with a bag of homemade gingerbread marshmallows). Any suggestions for a good brand or recipe of sugarless hot chocolate would be welcomed!
After coffee, my favorite hot drink is Alpine Spiced Apple Cider. I drink the sugar-free variety not only because I dont need the sugar, but I also like the taste better. I just now discovered, while typing this blog, that there are some recipes using the spice cider packets. Some look pretty tasty! My Mom also had a recipe for a cider hot drink mix, but again... loads of sugar.
The mug that you saw at the top of this blog was bought by my Mom with me in mind. It wasn't particularly a gift for me because she kept it at her house for me to use... and for anyone else to use if I didn't get to it first! It is one of my favorite mugs to use. She bought it because I was involved with a homeschool group called CHILD. There is a poem on the back that says:
A Hundered Years From Now...
it will not matter what my bank account was,
the sort of house I lived in,
or the kind of car I drove..
but the world may be different because
I was important in the life of a
Also take notice of the little wooden holder for the teabags. That was originally intended to be a cracker tray. I made it in woodshop when I was in Middle School. Mom kept stuff like that. I didn't care about that sort of thing but now it is kinda neat to have.
Tomorrow I invite you to join me for the final day of this series. Make sure to have a hot drink and about 5 minutes with no distractions. I think you'll enjoy!