I love trees. Love them.
When I was little I would climb the huge trees in our back yard on the Alberta prairies, never quite as brave as my three brothers who scampered as high as they could go, but brave enough to find a good thick branch for sitting on and dreaming from. I loved it up there, hidden behind leafy branches, dappled by sunshine like a little human meadow.
Winter was my favorite time to explore the snow-covered woods at my grandparents house in northern British Columbia. The drifts were huge and the woods silent as my brothers, cousins and I tramped through, dreaming up escape routes from the Nazis and Russians who were surely marauding nearby. We built forts and gave chase and eventually dragged our red-faced, drenched selves back to Grandma’s house for hot chocolate and homemade Danish cookies. It was marvelous.
I’m drawn to the woods wherever I go. The pine needle carpeted forests of British Columbia and Washington State, the birch groves of Russia, the gum and Eucalyptus bush of Australia. Tramping through the Black Forest in Germany to find ruined castles or alpine lakes is sheer pleasure, as is ambling through the New Forest in England, stumbling upon idyllic cottages and catching glimpses of wild ponies.
While walking in a park in Allora this week, I saw this beauty of a tree and was smitten.
Its deeply riveted and weathered bark begs to be touched and provides the ideal climbing surface for a rogue strand of vine.
I would normally steam the milk in my frother so that it would be wonderfully foamy, but alas, it kicked the bucket a while back and knocked out the house power at the same time. 🙂 Although I miss the creamy foam on top, the taste of the London Fog is just as lovely with warm milk instead of steamed.
London Fog for Two
1 Tbsp Earl Grey Tea leaves (or two teabags)
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp vanilla syrup (To make your own vanilla syrup, boil together 1.5 cups sugar with 2 cups water for 5-10 minutes until a syrup forms. Remove from heat and stir in pure vanilla extract. Cool and bottle.)
- Place tea leaves in tea pot and cover with two cups hot water. Let steep 2-5 minutes. You want it strong for this drink.
- While tea is steeping, heat milk in small saucepan over medium high heat. DO NOT BOIL. As soon as it is hot, remove from heat and whisk until frothy. (If you have a milk frother, just use it)
- Pour tea through strainer into two cups.
- Stir in 1 Tbsp vanilla syrup into each cup.
- Pour 1/4 cup of frothy milk into each cup.
- Serve hot.