Archives for posts with tag: teas
Truffles with nuts and chocolate dusting in de...

truffle magic!

The pinnacle of the dark, dreary days of winter is a purgatory that rests between Christmastime and Spring… February. Installed into February is a day that is supposed to be a celebration of “Love”. Many lament the commercialisation of Valentine‘s Day, and resent the high expectations and sadness that come with so many of our holidays.

Traditional Valentine’s expectations dictate that one should enjoy chocolates, give expensive gifts, and be in love. Well, let’s take some of the good from those traditions and embrace them! Even if you are single, you deserve some chocolate. Actually, you deserve more chocolate. Feeling a bit bloated after a winter’s eating? This is an opportunity to sharpen your skills in making HEALTHY treats. Herbal-infused organic chocolate truffles, anyone? Or perhaps a cup of Healthy Hot Chocolate? True love. Love is in a good cup of tea, a soothing bath that invigorates the spirit, or a beautiful hand-made gift box to hold treasures.

The brains behind the Fleurbain concept, Tammy Schmidt, Clinical Herbal Therapist and Natasha Henderson, visual artist and arts instructor, are offering an Herbal Creativity Spa Weekend workshop in February. There is an option to take one or both days during the Herbal Creativity Spa Weekend, on Friday the 11th from 7 to 10pm and Saturday the 12th from 1 to 4pm.

Friday night, we will enjoy a relaxing glass of wine (or herbal tea) with some dessert treats and fine cheese. Participants will learn how to make an herbal Love Potion. The Love Potion is a special euphoric herb that is distilled in a vodka base. Everyone will get to take home a sample of this to try themselves! Tub Teas are all the rage, and for good reason. What could be better than infusing your entire body in an organic, herbal bath that is designed to soothe the body, mind, and spirit? Participants will learn some of the properties of the herbs used in this special Valentine’s Tea Bath, and take home a sample. Finally, we will make a Boudoir Gift Box, a gift box made from scratch that will be decorated with fine fabrics, papers, lace, and beads. It will be suitable as a gift box for chocolates, jewellery, fine treasures… and can be re-used to hold your favourite special things.

Saturday afternoon starts off with a healthy, delicious beginning. Participants will learn how to make Healthy Hot Chocolate (yes, this version is truly healthy), and enjoy a cup. While sipping our treat, we will make organic chocolate truffles, which will be flavoured with high quality, organic herbs for unique flavours. These are perfect to tuck into the Boudoir Boxes made the previous evening. Then we will think about the physical and mental well-being that a good bath brings, and make a felted soap loofah for our next bath. These soaps combine sheep’s wool with a high-quality Ginseng or Evening Primrose soap to be an exfoliating and moisturising addition to your bath. Finally, we will create a batch of Love Tea to take home and enjoy.

All courses use the finest quality, pure and organic ingredients. Take one afternoon or evening for $75, or treat yourself (or a friend!) to both sessions for $135. Location of workshops will be in a Montreal artist’s studio, converted to a Valentine’s Factory for our workshops. Please email fleurbain(at)gmail.com for information and registration.

Advertisements
This is what we found one day on our way to buy some wool to make felted soaps.
Les Délires du Terroir – bières, fromages et gourmandises du Québec.
It is at 6406 rue St. Hubert, just below Beaubien.
The cheese and gifts looked nice and so did the beer.
We had no idea that there were so many microbreweries in Quebec!

The shop is rustic, yet tastefully decorated, the clerk was very friendly and helpful, it was a pleasant little shop. We thought to sample a couple of beers each in order to offer up a little review… but… (see illustration below).

... when the clerk pointed out this sign, we got three each.

And now what you have all been waiting for… beer reviews!

The “Rousse Whisky” from Les Brasseurs du Hameau is a ‘strong beer’ that avoids all the evils of usual ‘strong beers’, which are lagers that taste malty, hopsy, sweet and heavy. Having none of that, this is a pale ale whose ‘strength’ derives from the addition of Scotch Whiskey.  Its a perfect winter beer.  I think the best description for the taste is the old skating trick of ‘cracking the whip.’ The medium-bodied beer comes around, and the whiskey cleans up with a final kick. Delicious.

La Marie Framboise from Microbrasserie Saint-Arnould is fresh and light with a distinctly raspberry flavour.  I really like it! I must admit this is the perfect beer for people who prefer a nice, refreshing drink. It’s not too unlike Hoegaarden, except with a raspberry touch.

La Carrotte Du Lievre is a carrot beer (yes! Finally! Carrot beer!) by the Microbrasserie du Lievre. I found the beer to have a gentle yet snappy smell of fresh carrots. As I drank it, the carotty bouquet seemed to dissipate, so that I just enjoyed the beer as a beer, rather than a novelty. I quite liked it. It was a good, round taste that settled over the centre of my tongue. Not bitter at all, but not too sweet, I would say it would work well with fried foods or an autumn/winter soup. Oh, yes, it would add a fantastic kick mixed into a stew! Interestingly, not everyone has so enjoyed this beer… as with all things in life, a lot depends on your personal taste.

DhamNation is a sexy-looking beer. A black label, with spare red lettering, it is “strong” (7%) so I thought I’d be in for something really special. As it stood, I was a bit disappointed. By the Brasseurs du Hameau, it was an average-style of beer. Just a beer. Granted, I am a little spoiled in my beers, as there are dozens of fine local brews available. It wasn’t Coors, no, but it didn’t measure up to my dear St Ambroise line of beers. Worthy of drinking, certainly, but not what I’d hoped for.

Folie Douce Biere au Bleuets is by Les Brasseurs RJ, one of my favorite micro breweries. They make the infamous Cheval Blanc. Mmm. Well, this blueberry beer is quite surprisingly bitter. The blueberry scent and flavour is not strong, nor is it sweet. The colour is a distinct red, and is very cool-looking. Serve it in a clear glass! Upon further reflection, the blueberry taste is present, but it is subtle, something that builds. The taste is similar to slightly tart, unripe blueberries. I enjoyed this one, but feel it is mostly suitable for summertime. Does remind me a bit of a crisp, fruity cider.

Lastly is the Black Watch Scottish ale. I was attracted to it by the big, furry eyebrows on the label. As it turns out, eyebrows are something of a fetish for the beers from Les Brasseurs de Montreal. This beer makes my eyebrows shiver and curl! The first sensation is incredibly tart.  This is followed by a brief flicker of sweet that is washed away by another wave of tartness. The taste is precise, tight and frugal like a staunch Presbyterian. Perhaps that’s why it’s a Scottish beer!

Teas and painted chocolates, deluxe and beautiful, are available too.

%d bloggers like this: