When Robert, The Devotea, puts out a writing initiative, it is hard not to comply. That is not to say, there is no choice of course. His requests usually come at a time when I am behind in my blogging, like now, mea culpa. His headlines are so intriguing; they always stimulate ideas for my written words.
Lets take a look at what’s going on now and see if I can apply the construct of my environment to this headline and include tea in the process.
Firstly, it has been COLD here in the North East. Normally, extreme cold weather is expected in certain parts of our country and that is why I would never choose to live in places like Chicago, Minneapolis, or Grand Falls, N.D. that has had an averaged low this year of 6.3˚F, totally out of the question.
At one point in time, I lived in Syracuse, N.Y. for a very short time. Yes, it was cold and gray most days, and when the ice storms struck, I could never understand how cars in driveways, from houses high on hills, made it down to the street. Recently, Syracuse also suffered from the extreme, according to the Daily Orange, they experienced 48.5” inches of snow in February this year.
Awed by the recent report, I had to make note in a FaceBook post with a statement of concession, I did not want to compete with my dear friend Rachel, iHeartTeas and this garnered much conversation about weather conditions.
I also left a note for a friend, who recently left “the windy city”of Chicago. She came back to New York attempting to escape the cold, I wrote to let her know, that this state of affairs was indeed her fault as I felt she brought the cold with her.
Not having any control over our weather conditions, I sought an answer to surviving this new state of frigid affairs.
Well, here goes:
To those of us in the North East lets start a Kick-starter campaign to bring Yaks our cities?
Why Yaks you ask?
According to some guides I have read, Yaks serve a variety of beneficial purposes in Tibet, and can be quite useful.
For Katrina, TeaPages, her part of the country has been hit, since November, with over 104 inches of snow and a Yak would have helped her out substantially.
Yaks are “capable of bulldozing through snowdrifts” and with their “heavy gait, provide a smooth ride”, that definitely would help in getting around town, though one would have to estimate the time it would take.
A Yak is “surefooted, and able to sniff out and avoid crevasses”, which in Katrina’s case would be potholes and ditches covered by snow.
They are “immune to snow blindness” which in a blizzard, would come in handy.
In Tibet, a Yak is valued three times the price of a horse and given Katrina’s situation, having one would make her the most popular woman in the county.
In terms of cost effectiveness, a Yak will gulp their daily ration of hay in the morning and spend their time on the road chewing their cud, so a once a day fill up is all it takes. And just think of the garden Katrina will have in the spring as the Yak excretion will fertilize the soil greatly, and that could also become a side business, the selling of fertilizer.
In addition to the benefits mentioned the Yak hair can also be used for sweaters (inner hair) and wool for other items like wool tents (rough hair).
Then there is Yak Butter to protect from the physical drying effects of severely cold weather on the skin. I have read Yak butter is used in Tibet to smear on ones’ face to keep the skin from drying out. Katrina, there’s another side business for you, Beauty Products. Could you just imagine a face cream combining Yak Butter and Green Tea?
When I was younger, my Great Grand Aunts would force us to drink homemade buttermilk during the winter months, they said it would help to thwart off colds (wonder where they got that idea).
In Tibet, Yak Butter Tea is a staple, drunk many times daily, and is said to be the “Tibetan National Beverage”. It’s properties, helps with hydration and nutrition that is needed in cold high altitudes of the Himalayas.
The possibility, in terms of keeping warm in our newly extremely cold climate, Yak Butter Tea would be a good alternative to a regular cuppa.
The Tibetans use female Yaks for the milk (take note Katrina) that is churned into butter that results in a texture closer to cheese than butter because, Yak Butter has about twice the fat content of whole cows milk.
The butter is then wrapped in large rhododendron leaves until ready to be used.
Black brick tea is steeped for a long period of time then the butter and salt are added and the brew is steeped some more. (see a recipe here) The process results in a brew of a dark brown color and sometimes can be as thick as stew.
I have had a U.S. version of Yak Butter Tea and found it to be more like a soup than tea and the version I had was a pleasant experience. Surprisingly, when I made the recipe, my daughter gave it a thumbs-up.
And lastly, Yak Butter can serve as fuel for light and possible heat Katrina, for those times when there is a power outage.
So now that I have given you all the benefits of Yak investment, at your next Town Council Meeting you may want to bring it up.
I hope I have succeeded in my assignment, Robert, Fine Words, Butter No Parsnips...
Thanks again Robert for all that you do to keep “the melding of voices” going.
Oh, by the way, today is a special day
- Photo credits: Backyard Snow, Katrina, TeaPages; Yaks “A herd of wild yaks at high altitude in Himalayas”; 28 December 2011; Nadeemmushtaque; Wikipedia; “Tibetan Butter Tea”, 5 July 2011, Wikipedia;
- Information source: “Bhutan: A Trekker’s Guide”, Bart Jordans, (Cicerone guides), 2010 January