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Gorgeous Old Trees and a Cup of London Fog

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.

I love its sturdy trunk and massive spreading branches, the hollow at its heart that would’ve been perfect for a blond girl to hide in when she was little.

Its deeply riveted and weathered bark begs to be touched and provides the ideal climbing surface for a rogue strand of vine.

Its roots are covered with all sorts of interesting detritus: gnarled branches, fallen berries and twigs, curly-edged leaves in a rainbow of colors. Splendid.

So as I dream of dark forests and mysterious woods, I sip a London Fog, a delicious concoction of strong Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. It’s just the sort of thing to drink on the front porch of a cabin in the woods.

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.

Do you have a favorite tree or forest?

London Fog for Two

Ingredients:

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.)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. Pour tea through strainer into two cups.
  4. Stir in 1 Tbsp vanilla syrup into each cup.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of frothy milk into each cup.
  6. Serve hot.

 




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Ginger L - Krista, I am SO glad that you posted this today! I saw your photo yesterday and couldn’t stop thinking about London Fog tea. I’m going to make it this week! 🙂 Wish we could share a pot of tea and chat – but I guess blog posts will do. 🙂 I love reading your posts and seeing your gorgeous photos!

Liz Posmyk - I’ve never heard of London Fog before, Krista, must try it! Delicious post. Very autumnal!

Tracy A. - London Fog sounds divine! I too used to climb trees. However, I would take a seat on a branch a pretend to be a secretary. Not very forward thinking I’m afraid, but a happy childhood memory!

jenny_atasteoftravel - I’ve never heard of London Fog tea either! I do love your tree….it made me think about what makes a perfect tree but I decide that there is no such thing! All trees have something that makes them special!

Maureen Shaw - I used to have a favourite gum tree in Wodonga in Victoria but we left it for the new people who live there now. I’m in love with this tea!

Hotly Spiced - I’ve never heard of a London Fog! I love the image of that stunning tree. I went on a bush walk yesterday and found it very therapeutic xx

GourmetGetaway - I used to love climbing trees as a kid. I would climb to a point that had a good branch to safely sit back in and rest and then I would stay there half the day. SO much fun. Great story. I am not sure about vanilla syrup in my Earl Grey tea though. I prefer no sugar so I think it may taste too sweet for me. Nice childhood memories though, thanks xx

Nancy - I’ve never heard of London Fog before. Licorice tea or lemongrass & ginger are my faves.

Joanne (eats well with others) - I don’t think I’ve ever actually been in a forest or woods! But I will happily live vicariously through your photos and words.

Jackie Smith - Trees are such wonderful creatures, aren’t they? Loved this beautiful fellow you found and photographed. What a stately character he is!

LindyLouMac - Now that is a special tree. Yes we had a stunning old oak tree on the farm we lived on for twenty plus years in Surrey.

Rachel Friesen - That tree is magnificent. It reminds me of the elms that line my parents’ neighbourhood, though none are quite that thick yet. I love the shade they provide, but for climbing, I preferred the pines that grew in the neighbourhood park. If you didn’t mind the sap and the prickles, they made for a glorious, winding trip to the heavens. These daysa, however, I think I’d prefer the London fog. Thanks for the recipe – I had no idea it was so simple!

Anna Johnston - I have never heard of London Fog tea, although not really a fan of Earl Grey, so maybe that’s why?! I love the way your posts take me to another time. When I was growing up, there was a giant tree in our backyard in the bush, we called it ‘Big Tree’, my brothers and I would play as you did. It was magical! I haven’t thought of the tree for many years. Such a great childhood memory.

Cathy - A stunning tree Krista – thank you for sharing it with us. I too had never heard of London Fog before – it does sound delicious.

Andrea and John - I love trees too – just think how old they are…

Breanne @ This Vintage Moment - I loved climbing trees when I was little as well! Often with a book or my imagination and I would stay there for hours. Beautiful post.

Krista - I would love to share London Fogs and a chat with you, @disqus_BaUyvMeZWo:disqus 🙂 Someday!!

Krista - I first had it in rainy, cold Washington, @lizposmyk:disqus , and it was so comforting and warming it quickly became a favorite. 🙂

Krista - Oh that made me smile, Tracy. 🙂 I did my fair share of secretarial play myself and absolutely loved it. 🙂

Krista - What a lovely thing to leave for the new owners, @disqus_v9uRgGTGfe:disqus 🙂 I’m sure they will love it too. 🙂

Krista - You are quite right, @jenny_atasteoftravel:disqus I don’t think I could pick a favorite tree either. 🙂

Krista - I think it might be an American drink, Hotly Spiced, for I’ve never seen it in Australia. 🙂 Your bush walk sounds wonderful. 🙂

Sosae - Oh God bless you for this London Fog recipe! Wow…I’m making this asap! Beautiful photos, as usual…

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