Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sunday Skiing

It was a perfect day for cross-country skiing: the blustery winds had calmed down, and the sun finally came out. After a night of being up and down from call duties, I heartily welcomed a good stretch of the legs in the open air.

With our skiing gear packed in the car, E and I drove to a nearby park where we had planned to meet some fellow skiiers. Less than twenty minutes later, we were on the trails. The mild breeze was bracing on my cheeks as I lightly glided on the plowed trails which weaved in and out of the woods.

We passed over a pond, recognized only for its lack of flora on a wide expanse of whiteness, dipping down into a concave bowl ringed by trees. But as I leaned over the wooden bridge, its slats now packed with snow, I saw puddles of melted ice here and there, breaking up the snow-covered monotony.

The sound of crunching made by my skis as I glided along crisply alternated with that of the poles skimming the flanked snow on both sides of the trail.

With our faces flushed by enjoyment and exercise, we decided to take a refreshment interlude. I unearthed my warm thermos of tea safely ensconced in my backpack and prepared earlier this morning. The tea was a brew of the lovely Ancient Snow Sprout, a Chinese green tea. I poured the tea and inhaled the pleasing aroma. The warm liquor, still steamy, yielded its welcomed honey taste as I sipped gratefully.

Hours later, nestled in a corner of our favorite Japanese restaurant, I wished E a happy birthday over a dimly lit candle. Between sips of sencha, I tucked into a warm piece of bread pudding -which E partook rather abstemiously- atop a pool of creme anglaise. The melange of creamy sweetness and eggy airiness contrasted nicely with the more austere nature of the sencha.

As we lingered a bit, I thought with drowsy pleasure the apposition of other unlike natures which end up complementing each other so well: skiing and tea, tea and more sweets....


Anne R. said...

This is lovely, and the final note on tea as contrast is something I've noticed often, especially with tea and rich foods: tea and biscuits, tea and eggs, tea and buttered toast. Made for each other.

Happy birthday to E!

Cha sen said...

My mom has a saying that roughly translates as," the tea cuts through all that richness"

If only that were true!

Arachne Solitaire said...

Do you mind if a coffee drinker listens in on your musings? It's difficult to imagine a cup o' joe that could be as warming, after an exhilarating ski, as the Ancient Snow Sprout you so beautifully describe.

Cha sen said...

Arachne Solitaire,

Coffee drinkers are definitely welcome, and no pressure either to convert to the other side:)