We listened to this talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert – author of Eat, Pray, Love at the TED conference in February and were deeply moved by her words – her sentiment and her approach. She speaks of the anguish, the suffering of the artist and how we have all come to accept that as the plight of the artist. She however refuses, and takes us back to ancient times where we spoke of artists having a genius rather than being a genius – removing the burden on feeling like we don’t measure up. She acknowledges the genius, the light, the divinity – which reminded us of the sentiment of Namaste which we wrote about recently. It all came full circle for us – and hope you enjoy it as much we did.
Anyone who has attended a yoga class has said the words or had the words spoken to them – Namaste. It feels peaceful, it sounds peaceful and it has a beautiful aura to it – but what does it mean. Namaste, Namaskara, Namaskaram is a Sanskrit word and it is essentially a greeting. The words are always spoken holding the hands within a prayer position in front of your chest and slightly bowing your head. Loosely translated, it means ‘I bow to the divinity/light that is within you’. What a beautiful sentiment. We greet eachother – friends, colleagues, strangers, each and every day – we say hello in passing without thinking perhaps about the person in front of us – the soul, the light. And there it is – one single word to wrap up the acknowledgement of the light within you, the light within me.
The next time you see someone and greet them – think the word – even if you don’t say it – be conscious of it – it will make you smile and it may make you look at the person in front of you a little deeper.
We see so many teapots and teacups – but these we found truly beautiful and inspirational. They are teacups that are lovingingly adorned with handwritten haiku poems. The artist says: ‘…my hope is that those that drink their favourite blend from my cups will enjoy those peaceful moments as they read my original haiku.” If you’re interesting in purchasing these beautiful cups – you can do so at Teaspoon and Petals.
We use the expression all the time – but does anyone remember that Tea for Two is a real song – actually, it’s a 1950 Doris Day movie – below is the original trailer for the movie and below that is my favourite version of the song – a remix of the great Sarah Vaughan.
I was reminded the other day watching this clip of how much I loved watching Charlie Chaplin as a child. Not because I found him funny, but for some reason I was drawn to this man who I thought was the loneliest man alive. I always felt a little sad watching Charlie Chaplin. He wrote the melody for the now famous song ‘Smile’ for his last silent film “Modern Times” in 1936 – it’s still beautiful today.
Now I’ve never been a big fan of marshmallows – but a few months ago, I decided to make my own. I thought to myself, this treat was a recipe long before it became a commercial product on a shelf – which incidentally was the only way I had eaten it up until then. So I searched for some recipes and settled for the one from Thomas Keller of French Laundry. I figured that if Thomas Keller – chef extraordinaire – found this recipe worthy of his name, it was good enough for me. So I made my first batch – and oh my god – I realized I had never had a marshmallow in my life before. Forget the chewy, gummy mess you know out of a bag. Marshmallows – real marshmallows – should be fluffy and light. I dropped one of my delicious mounds of glory in a cup of Chocolate Chai and thought I had died and gone to heaven – aaaahhhh – now this was hot chocolate with marshmallows – oh how we had been deceived for oh so long!!!
Now most people would have been satisfied with this discovery, but I decided to take it a step further and thought … what if I infused my marshmallow with tea???? Because, well, this is how my mind works. So I made a batch – and quite frankly – the only thing more delightful than these precious white clouds was the look on my face as I bit into my first Cream of Avalon Marshmallow – pure bliss.
I know what you’re thinking – forget it – too hard – she’s nuts – who has the time to make their own marshmallows?? Believe me when I tell you – it takes longer to write out the recipe than it takes to make them. So pull out your mixer and make a batch!! You won’t regret it. And what’s cooler than telling your guests that you’re serving Smores for dessert with HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS!!!!
Boil 1/2 cup of cold water and steep 1 1/2 tsp of the tea of your choice for 20 minutes. Remove tea leaves and cool tea.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold tea. Soak for 10 minutes.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture. Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper). After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of oiled plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan.
Let mixture sit for a few hours. Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar.
We often talk about the romantic world of tea – yes it’s a commodity – yes it’s a business – but there is a long history and romance that surrounds this fascinating ‘commodity’. This fabulous movie captures that romance in a beautiful and quite ‘lyrical’ way. We love it. We’ll be arranging a viewing soon – so stay tuned for details…
Rick Smolan is a photographer – an accomplished photographer. Rick was sent on assignment by TIME to do a story on Amerasian kids in Korea – these are children born of American GI’s conceived during the Korean war. Unhappy with the way TIME delivered the story he saw in Korea, he decides to take a sabbatical and return to Korea to tell the story properly. As most of us westerners think – Rick thought he would make a difference to the story – little did he know that this story was going to change him. Watch Rick tell his story – it’s beautiful.