As the weather gets hotter, my main beverage shifts into iced teas. Because I can’t handle too much caffeine, I keep pitchers of iced herbal tea in the fridge for hydration purposes.
Allegro Coffee Roasters used to be a locally owned business—they had a coffee shop where they actually roasted coffee in the back a few miles from my house. I’m not a huge fan of coffee (understatement: I hate it) but they had amazing house-blended teas as well, which they served as nitro teas.
Nitro tea was one of the most extraordinary joys I’ve ever had. The bubbles gave it a perfect, smooth head, and there was something about it that enhanced the flavor. Which—I have to say—was extraordinary. Whoever blended their teas really did their job. The teas are full-flavored, not one note, and really designed to be their own experience, not just the lesser, inferior cousin of coffee, as teas at many other places are.
Pre-pandemic, I used to go to Allegro with my laptop and get a nitro tea and some food in the summer and work on their patio. During the height of the pandemic, when things were carry-out only, I’d get the nitro tea to go and walk around the neighborhood, enjoying it. Now… Sigh.
Allegro Coffee was purchased by Whole Foods, and then Whole Foods was purchased by Jeff Bezos. Of course I didn’t realize this ownership change until they closed the local coffee shop due to “operational changes” and now you can buy their coffee and tea only through Whole Foods and Amazon.
I adore their tea, and I still buy it, because it is excellent tea. But it does make me sad that I can never have the nitro tea again.
(Yes, I am aware that you can get home nitro brewing kits—I even got one once, but found it so intimidating that I hid it away somewhere and now have no idea where it is. Maybe I will try to locate it this summer.)
I know that most of the country has a worrying lack of rain, but this is because Colorado apparently has it all. In Colorado, records are being set and rain is coming down pretty much daily, which is weird and wrong.
In some ways, this is good: we have outdoor plants! These plants do not currently need any outdoor water. At all. Probably need less, to be honest.
In other ways, it….ah, still good. Last year we ripped out all our grass (OR SO WE THOUGHT DUN DUN DUN) and replaced it with a wide variety of native plants to build habitat etc etc etc.
Okay, so small confession: at least in our front yard, the people who lived here before us had buffalo grass growing. Buffalo grass is a warm weather grass (it greens up over the summer and goes dormant in the fall) that is actually also native to the area. But our buffalo grass was kind of weird and scraggly and not doing well and getting taken over by our neighbor’s bluegrass.
We did not, however, pull out all the buffalo grass roots, because it turns out that native prairie grasses that are adapted to low water conditions have like ten billion feet of roots. I didn’t think it would matter because see above about scraggly.
Fast-forward a lot. The buffalo grass started coming back. And back. And back. Now that we have had a million years of rain (exaggeration) it is now well above the normal height of prairie shortgrass. There has been altogether too much hydration! We are approaching jungle territory. And because it’s now been interspersed with a lot of other plants, we can’t just mow it without chopping everything down.
So wish us luck!
Maria, the heroine of this book, finds soup very comforting, and I think it’s because soup is for me, the perfect thing to put in your mouth. It is hydration. It is food. It is salt. It is comfort.
This is the only mention of hydration in this newsletter that doesn’t have a twist to it.
Some of you know that my husband runs 100 mile races for fun, because he likes that kind of fun. His main issue with the distance isn’t actually his feet or his muscles—it’s his stomach.
This book, written by scientist/chefs who produced food for Tour de France writers, explained some common gastrointestinal distress for long-distance athletes that fit my husband’s symptoms to a T. I grabbed him and pointed at the text and said “this, this, this is it!”
I was expecting this to be a cookbook with recipes, but it actually turned into a really fascinating, deeply scientific explanation of why gels are very bad for your stomach. It is a really great explanation about how hydration with too many calories can cause pain, and particularly with maltodextrin-based gels, how in theory they aren’t supposed to create this issue, but it breaks down in the gut to deliver the osmotic pressure of a thousand hammers.
This is probably not relevant to most of your interests, but I figure this will be very exciting for exactly seven of you, and I wish you joy with it.
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