Monthly Archives: December 2011

Great gift for guys and chefs: iGrill.

I’ve made it a point not to learn how to turn the grill on… the Mr. likes grilling, does a great job at it, and it’s a great way to get him home from work on time…! And like most men, he also loves gadgets so I thought iGrill would be a perfect birthday present for both him and also for my Dad–who is a grillmaster-seeing as they are both December birthdays, a day apart!

iGrill is a wireless thermometer that uses Bluetooth to transmit the temperature of your meat to your iPad or iPhone or you can just use the super accurate temperature on its own. There are actually way more uses for it then just the grill; there’s no reason why it doesn’t work in the oven for any item or in a wine fridge. My Dad has been using it to track the temperature of his greenhouse. I think this fun gadget would be a great gift for any man or chef in your life this Christmas!

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Sri Lanka: Tea Factory.

I’ve already shown you how pretty tea country is, so now it’s time to see how tea is made!
All tea factories look just like this — four story long structures with lots of windows. We saw probably 30 factories while driving through tea country.
All the leaves the ladies have picked are driven to the factory three times daily.

They’re then sent up to the top three floors where  they’re then laid out to oxygenate and wither for about eight hours.

Tea production is a lot of back breaking work for everyone involved. 

Our bungalow The Tea Trails arranged our wonderfully informative guide Andrew… Here he is showing how pickers select only the first two or three leaves.

The tea master decided based on heat and humidity for how long to wither the leaves exactly… they are extremely precise and record everything by hand.

The walls of windows and fans make sure the leaves stay cool and at a constant temperature.
I thought all of the old machinery was so beautiful. After the leaves are withered on the top three floors they’re shoveled down a shoot into this grinder.
The tea is fed through a bunch more machines that separate leaves from stems and other debris.

As it is a very time sensitive process, everyone is bustling around!

Here the finer bits are sifted from the too-big bits.

Then the tea is laid out to further oxygenate for a few hours before being cooked in an oven.

Here the tea is coming out of the oven!

After coming out of the oven, it’s then further chopped and sifted for specific varietals.

And then finally packed up for sale at auction.
The tea is surprisingly dark and fine.

Norwood, where we toured, is ‘high-grown’ which is considered to be the best of the best.

I will now certainly notice tea from Ceylon and appreciate it a lot more now that I know how much work goes into it!

A big thank you to the Mr. for all of these great photos and also a big happy birthday to him as well!

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Foodie: Art of Entertaining feature.

I was thrilled to be interviewed for this month’s Hong Kong ‘Foodie’ magazine. I was honored to be included and happy with how the piece turned out. Read on for my holiday entertaining tips!!

Read the rest of the fun issue online here.

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