augury doggerel

Sunday, October 23, 2005


This tea is complicated. I could do nothing but drink it or not drink it. I have to drink it and then write about it, drink it and then write about it.

It is red. It is sweet and citric sour and bitter. I ask what kind of tea it is but the ingredients are a secret, says the woman running the tearoom, and I can know only what they call it, which translates to something like Gramps's Tea. But I can see parts.

In the cup, there is a slice of orange and a slice of lemon, or maybe two slices of lemon and a slice of orange, or maybe two slices of orange and a slice of lemon. These float. And on them and around them float dark scepters that, when I let one into my mouth, turn out to be whole cloves.
The most stimulating and carminative of all aromatics; given in powder or infusion for nausea emesis, flatulence, languid indigestion and dyspepsia, and used chiefly to assist the action of other medicines.
Mrs. M. Grieve
I think of spitting them out at first and then, out of curiosity and because I would be a filthy brute to spit something out in a nice tearoom with potted trees and secret recipes, I chew them and immediately become addicted to cloves. There are exactly eight cloves in one cup and then there are twelve in another and then I forget to count cloves. I use my spoon to mangle fruit and stir up the bottom, from which the bloated remains of raisins rise, raisins and cinnamon and maybe other detritus, and one or two more cloves. My tongue, half stunned by cloves, feels unexpected shapes in the peaks of my teeth.
Being extremely hard, it is difficult to grind cloves with a mortar and pestle so an electric grinder such as a coffee grinder is recommended.
Encyclopedia of Spices
I think I've lost part of a tooth and I blame the hard cloves and then the feeling comes back to my tongue and I find the rest of my tooth where I should.


At 10:10 am, Blogger tuckova said...

in the winter i wear ginger, clove, and cinnamon oil, & everybody loves me because i make them think of pumpkin pie and fire.

stunning and stimulating both, yeah. not suitable for summertime, though, because any amount of heat and it burns a hole straight through my skin, like an ant under a magnifying glass.

At 8:03 am, Blogger Anna said...

They are the most addictive chewies (fractionally more desirable than the subtle cardamom). But you do need to check your teeth in the mirror afterwards. I've been there - offering sweet breath and Fagin's black smile.

At 12:43 am, Blogger Anna said...

Hooray, I've been Fleetinged.


Post a Comment

<< Home