I remember opening my first Cuisinart food processor carton at age 25 as one of those thrilling moments in life where you’ve just discovered something that could take you to new creative heights and change your life forever.  It did mine.

As I unpacked this gem, I distinctly remember being soooo careful, heeding the warnings in the box screaming out “careful, sharp objects!” The warnings were plastered in multiple places throughout the carton.  In fact, the warnings scared me so much that I decided to enroll in a series of six food processor cooking courses at a high-end cooking store before I even attempted to use the machine on my own.  This led to a series of courses in nouvelle French cooking, which led to a series in catering, then  food presentation….and so on and so on.  That was a few decades ago. The thrill and excitement have not diminished.  I still have that first Cuisinart as well as the late 70’s Gourmet magazines where I had first read about food processors.

Growing up, quality over quantity was a guiding principle in our household, whether it be food products, furnishings, friends, or entertainment.    We would rather “wait” to afford the quality we desired versus expeditiously settling for something less.

That principle guides me to this day and keeps me on track in life.  It will in this blog too.  Quality is always in the forefront.  Knowledge of where you get your ingredients is part of that equation too, as well as, how to store them and how long to keep them.  My mom, Betty, always used to say, “when in doubt, throw it out.”  I still use this mantra when it comes to examining something that’s been in the refrigerator for an undetermined amount of time, or teas and spices buried in the back of the cupboard.

Tea has always been my “go to” beverage.  Until the last few years, finding quality teas in America had been a true challenge.  It is exciting that we now have easy access to delicious, interesting, quality teas.

I love tea’s mystique.  There’s something about preparing tea for yourself or a friend which ignites introspection, relaxation, and conviviality.  The remarkably civilized etiquette of its preparation and consumption crosses into all aspects of culture, gender, education, economics and social strata.   On top of all that, quality tea prepared in quality water is good for you, and tea pairs well with foods.

I get supreme joy out of discovering, preparing, and partaking in thoughtfully prepared quality foods and teas.  From this, I wrote Tea With Betty, a tea manual with menus, recipes and food and tea pairings.