tea plantation

The art of Pu’er tea (part 3) – the tea plantation

We are going to end our Pu’er tea journey with what’s actually the very beginning of the Pu’er tea story: the tea plantation. We are looking at the ancient roots of tea as a commodity, originating in the deep southwest of China. The plantation I visited is located in Mangzhong. The tea is picked manually by farmers who are living in the village nearby or by hired, seasonal farmers. Often the complete village is mobilized to harvest the precious tea leaves. When they gather these leaves it is important to […]

Three tips for a newbie vegetable gardener

Three tips for a newbie vegetable gardener

Are you looking forward to spring? Can’t wait to start vegetable gardening? Did you buy seeds and make a plan for your vegetable garden? Find out which mistakes I made as a newbie vegetable gardener and what I learned from them. Don’t start sowing your seeds too early This tip depends on the zone in which your garden is located, but applies to most parts of Europe and North America. A nice sunny day in February can tempt you to start growing your seeds indoors. But the little seedlings that […]

yak hotpot

Yak hotpot in Shangri-la

During my travels in China I visited Shangri-la, a city in the north-western part of the Yunnan province. Shangri-la is known especially for the beautiful [but very touristy] Ganden Sumtseling Monastery and is often used as a gateway to Tibet. The region is inhabited by different ethnic groups, but the majority consists of Tibetans. One of the local Tibetan dishes is Yak hotpot. The base of the hotpot soup is very different from most hotpots. The yak meat is cooked in thin slices or large chunks -depending on the cook- […]

Mushroom growing kit

Good news for mushroom lovers!

Do you love mushrooms as much as I do? Well I got some good news for enthusiasts. You can now grow fresh mushrooms at home with a kit from archi-duc! You don’t even need a garden. Mushrooms to be grown by yourself on a layer of high-quality peaty soil. We tried the ‘brown champignon mushroom’ growing kit. What do you need to do: keep away from direct sunlight and wind always use the lid keep in room temperature (15-16 degrees) until new buds develop spray with water daily remove with […]

Black eggs of Owakudani

The black eggs of Owakudani

All this blogging about our chickens first eggs made me remember the time I ate the famous black eggs of Owakudani (Japan). Owakudani is an active volcanic valley in Hakone. When you visit this valley you’ll be greeted by a splendid view of Mount Fuji and an impressive amount of steam pouring through vents in the surrounding mountains. You’ll also instantly notice that … volcanic gasses are smelly! Apart from the volcanic steam vents and beautiful surrounding mountains there’s something more curious for you to visit: an egg boiling station. […]

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The art of Pu’er tea (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of ‘The art of Pu’er tea’. We started with a demonstration of a tea ritual (part 1) and enjoyed the meditative ritual of brewing tea. Today I would like to take you on a trip to a real-time Pu’er tea shop with me. These pictures were taken in the summer of 2014. Tea shops are very popular both amongst locals and visiting tourists (tourists in Pu’er are usually Chinese though). As we all know, tea culture is deeply embedded in Chinese daily life. Tea is an […]

First egg

First egg from our backyard chickens

I’ve noticed that my silkie hen Bashee‘s wattles changed from a really soft pink-brown into a red-brown color. I suspected she was maturing and we could expect an egg in a few weeks time. And there it finally was: one small and perfect first egg! Silkie bantam hens produce eggs that are almost half the size of a regular egg. Petite but cute! Maybe it’s just me or maybe you agree with me, but it’s so gratifying to find that first egg. I’m a proud chicken lady now.

cocktail

Bye Bye 2015!

Let’s celebrate the last day of 2015!  While reflecting upon the past year and making new exciting plans for 2016, we foodies nurish both mind and body. Time for some snacks and cocktails! We started the countdown with a cuba libre and some appetisers. Cheers! 2015 was an exciting kick off for our Besties Sharing Bites Blog and we surely hope that 2016 will be an inspiring, green-fingered and delicious year filled with laughter. Thank you for all your support the past few months. ♥  

Food related new year's resolutions

Three new year’s resolutions about food

It’s almost time to make some new year’s resolutions! Since our blog is all about good food, I made a few food related resolutions.   Buying groceries at The Food Assembly At The Food Assembly you can choose from a wide range of local products (fruit, veggies, bread, cheese, …) and order them online from local farmers. Once every week you can collect your order at a local Assembly meeting. You get a chance to meet the people behind your food and maybe even meet some neighbours you haven’t met […]