Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Taste of Africa - plus CONGRATULATIONS, INDIA

I was first introduced to Rooibos tea by Mme Ramotswe (the main character in Alexander McCall-Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books) who drinks gallons of the stuff, but it wasn't until my recent trip to South Africa (who would have thought the good old cuppa would give one an opportunity to country-drop?) that I had the opportunity to try it for myself.

And, for all of us writers who drink tea like Mme Ramotswe, I cannot recommend Rooibos highly enough. It's the only herbal tea I've ever come across which doesn't need honey to make it palatable or give it flavour. Of course, this doesn't please my friend, Pooh, but if, like me (and I know this may surprise some of you), you are not a bear with a penchant for honey, go out and get some. Rooibos tea, that is, not honey. It is so smoooooth and it also contains loads of those wonderful antioxidants, so is verrrry good for your health too. Plus, if you have a dairy intolerance, you can drink it without milk. Perfick.

(Perhaps I should point out at this stage that I am not actually running a competition for how many literary characters you can pick out from the clues mentioned in this post, ie: there will be no prizes. Although, come to think of it, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea? Perhaps I could send out a Rooibos tea bag as a prize? )

However, I digress. Eva suggested I write a travelogue anecdote or two but I seem to have got bogged down in tea today. So, if you don't mind, I'll leave this post here and give you a bit more of Africa next time. Besides, it's time for another brew - and off she went singing (with a cockney twang): 'So Charlie and me 'ad another cup of tea...' (not a literary reference but a musical one, as only the very ancient among you will know!)

(just in case you didn't notice this wonderful piece of news tucked modestly away in her last post entitled World Book Day.)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darling! Welcome home. Did Pooh stop by? Had fun babysitting him, except for that unforunate incident involving the mustard bottle...if you think a bear interrupted in hibernation is grouchy, try calming down a bear who's mixed up his honey with his mustard (although, I did mix them together - the condiments, not the bear - and introduce Pooh to honey-mustard. He was grateful and I got rid of two jars in one swipe. I was so thrilled with myself, I could hardly bear it.).

8:23 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

So now we're drinking tea instead of martinis! Hmmmm...

Annie, I must introduce you to freshly brewed herbal tea on your next voyage (to CANADA of course!). We call it tisane over here - well, some of us do - and the best kind is brewed with dried flowers and herbs. Think camomile tea made from tiny little dried flowers you select yourself. Yum.

By the way, did you know that the American black bear cub who was the inspiration for A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh was from Canada? He made his way to Britain via a native of Winnipeg, who named the bear "Winnipeg" and "Winnie" for short. (Sorry, couldn't resist name-dropping a little myself).

P.S. Way to go, India!!!!

8:30 pm  
Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

I've long been a fan of Rooibos tea and you can even buy it with vanilla added - which is great since EVERYTHING tastes better with vanilla - incidently, same rule applies for chocolate.

Anyway, glad to see you're back Annie, and big YAYS for India (YAYS is so a word by the way).

12:11 pm  
Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Oh wow, I didn't realise you'd recently been to South Africa - you MUST share loads of photos and experiences with us.

I LOVE Mme Ramotswe and Alexander McCall Smith too. :-)

Thanks for sharing India's news in a way that I can't miss it - CONGRATULATIONS India!!!!!!!!!!!

Sue :-)

12:18 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Yay to the vanilla idea, Amanda.

No wonder Pooh was so pleased to see me, Brown. Mustard honey indeed. I should report you to the RSPCP.

Indeed, I knew about Winnipeg, Eva - Pooh likes nothing better than sharing his happy memories of the place over a pot of honey or two.

I'd love to share my photos with you, Sue. Unfortunately, my techno-nouse is not quite up that - but imagine blood orange sunsets, turquoise oceans, mountains cloaked in green velvet - and you get some idea of the natural beauty of the place.

2:02 pm  
Blogger India said...

Ooooh I love a cup of tea, I do.

With my cake.

(Can't imagine that anything beats a lovely Eng. Brek. mixed with a bit of Earl Grey, but am prepared to let you try to convince me Annie. Get that teabag in the post.)

3:32 pm  

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