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Amalgamation of Capital
from white2tea
the weekly tea: amalgamation of capital
This last weekend, my youngest brother, my oldest sister and I left our respective homes to meet in the rough midpoint of where we live.
Naturally, I wanted tea, which meant bringing all the tea apparatus: gaiwan, filter, tea cups, and my much beloved Zojirushi water heater. I also brought a deeply incompetent plum galette (of a sort, recipe below), and this doozy of a tea.
Tea roasted in bamboo
Yes, this tea really is named “Amalgamation of Capital.” Yeah, that guy is wearing a monocle. No, I don’t know why it’s named that. It’s a sweet, sultry shou pu-erh that’s been roasted in bamboo (that’s what you’re seeing in that photo above) which gives it an accent that lands somewhere between floral and woody.
I want to say that my siblings and I shared tea and enjoyed ourselves. What actually happened was that my brother was like “no, no tea, I want coffee” and my sister had a tiny bit but we were all in tearing hurry because there were races to be run.
My husband, who is That Kind of Person, did a 28K. This particular 28K had about 7800 vertical feet of gain in the middle of it (to the top of the peak in the first picture). It was incredibly hot. He barely finished. Vomiting was involved. 
My sister and I did a more relaxed 11K with a mere 1700 feet of vertical gain. This completely destroyed me. I’m still sore. My little brother signed up for both of those races and, since he apparently is the only one of us in possession of good sense, took one look at the weather app and did neither.
We had food, enjoyed each other’s company, suffered deeply, and then drove home.
This was once a reservoir
This isn’t the first time we’ve made this drive. It’s not even the second or the third. But it’s definitely the driest we’ve seen the mountainous high plains on the Western part of this country. Levels in reservoir after reservoir have sunk, not just a few feet, but a dozen yards, leaving small shimmering pools where there were once bodies of water.
This comes alongside news of similar drought in Europe, of even more intense drought in East Africa, of intense heat and massive fires in China, of flood and a dearth of clean water impacting nearly two hundred thousand people in Jackson, Mississippi, and glacier-burst-induced flooding in Pakistan. It very much feels as if we are passing a climate milestone while not enough people pay attention. 
Every part of the world is experiencing thousand-year disasters, except they’re happening every year or three.

recipe for a messy plum galette
(Time to make: 10 years)
Is this a plum galette? Maybe?
I promised you a plum galette recipe. The base for this one comes from my friend Rita, but I did put my own spin on things.
  1. Plant plum trees. Wait until trees are finally beginning to produce full-size fruit, approximately ten years. (You can substitute store bought plums.) Pick plums, wash, cut in half.
  2. Make a tart dough. Like I said, I used my friend’s recipe, but it turns out, I tried to halve it and didn’t remember to halve the water until I’d poured more than half of it in. I ended up with a very shaggy dough. Use literally any other recipe than my disaster. It’ll turn out better.
  3. Make a frangipane cream. I used this one.
  4. Roll out the tart dough, or, if you’re me and you screwed it up but have no more butter to make another one, vaguely push the over-wet dough into a shape that’s vaguely flat. Flat-ish. Whatever.
  5. Spread the frangipane cream on top. Then arrange your plum halves all over it.
  6. Slather yuzu citron ginger tea on top.
Ah yes: this is double tea time! If you’ve never had a yuzu citron tea, you can typically get them from an Asian grocery store that carries a decent amount of Korean or Japanese teas. A citron tea looks like marmalade, and if you’re sick, it’s the perfect thing to mix with hot water. Amazon sells a citron ginger tea here.
Bake until it’s done. Please don’t ask me at what temperature and for how long because I truly screwed this one up with the dough and basically had to wait much longer until the dough wasn’t wet. The end result looked like this.
Tada! I guess? This is a pastry?
I feel very much like that moment in the Simpsons when they unveil Homer’s car and it’s horrible and there’s just…stunned silence.

What is power, anyway?
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Here we are, in a historic heat wave that is almost certainly not going to be the worst heat wave we will see in our lifetimes. Probably not even the worst we will see in the next ten years. We have a global crises where the people who are most likely to suffer are the ones who are least responsible.
There’s often a sense of helplessness: that those of us who want things to change have so little access to power.
I love writing historical romance because it reminds me that change under daunting odds is in fact possible. This is kind of spoilers for The Heiress Effect, but Oliver, the hero of the book, starts off believing that power comes from having connections and influence with those who make the laws, that if he wants to do good, he needs to cozy up to them and convince them to make changes, however small they might be. 
This doesn’t turn out the way he thinks, because kissing up to those with power to try to convince them to let go of power just convinces people with power that having power is fun, so why would they let it go? 
What did convince people with power—both historically and in the book—was a million-person gathering in London that scared the living daylights out of them.

Get The Heiress Effect on:
SEE YOU next week.
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