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1. Tuscan white bean soup. Extremely rich; if you’re mixing bouillon from a paste, I recommend using about half the amount it says on the pot.

IMG_60122. Home-made exotic teas. I’ve cut back on sugar and alcohol lately. Most of the time I don’t eat sweets or drink tasty, tasty mead because I want sugar or alcohol, especially; I just want something that tastes special. (Or I’m somewhere where the only food is junk food.) These teas taste special.

Tea ingredients

From left to right: Chamomile peppermint; red Christmas tea (red tea, vanilla, peppermint, cocoa nibs; recipe here); black vanilla rose. The ingredients mostly come from the local co-op, where I measure them out myself.

Homemade teas

3. Showering by candlelight. Our tiny bathroom features a super-bright white light and a super-loud fan, plus the drone of the hot water machine. (Brits only sort of understand plumbing. Frankly, they’ve been resisting it ever since the Romans showed up with their baths.) Putting a candle on the one horizontal surface–the sink–removes the sensory overload and gets me ready for sleep.

4. Homemade chai concentrate. No sugar, and very tasty for homemade chai lattes.

5. One student’s offhand comment after a tutorial: “Oh good, I actually understand it now.”

No thanks to: writing first drafts of conference papers.