Archive for ‘Food, Music, Misc’


My Butter Tea Latte

And now for something completely different.

I’ve been reading up on Buddhism quite a bit lately and one thing that has been mentioned a few times is Tibetan butter tea.  In Tibet, it is apparently made with rancid dri (female yak) milk.  Obviously, that’s in short supply here.

My butter tea latté

I searched on-line for a few recipes and found ones that called for blenders, made mass quantities etc.  I also looked for butter tea somewhere from a restaurant to see what it should taste like.  It turns out that the closest restaurant serving butter tea is in Toronto.  Having tasted the real thing (or at least as close to it as you can get here) I have come up with my own recipe that makes use of the milk frother on our espresso maker.  It isn’t as good as what was served at the Little Tibet Restaurant but I can swing it and find it less trouble to make than digging out a blender.  Here’s the scoop:

  • Make a decent black tea with about an inch of clearance at the top of the cup.  Let it steep for 5 minutes, remove the tea bag/pouch.  I prefer black lose leaf.  I’m using “Sylvakandy” at the moment but have been told that “Tou cha” leaves are best.  I haven’t found them in Kingston.
  • Add 1/4tsp of salt, stir
  • Melt a tablespoon+ of unsalted butter in the microwave
  • Add this to about 1/4 cup of milk
  • Froth the milk/butter
  • Slowly add milk/butter to the tea while stirring
  • Enjoy slowly

The butter tea in the restaurant was very thick, buttery and relaxing.  I haven’t completely recreated it but I’m getting close.  One recommendation I have is not to skimp on the salt or butter.  If you can, I heartily suggest making the trek to your closest Tibetan restaurant for the real thing as a point of reference.  I found it to be quite the pleasant experience.


Beautiful web design

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time these days learning about graphic design and typography.  It’s fascinating stuff.  Since heading down this path, I’ve found a couple of absolutely beautiful examples of web design.  In particular, Jason Santa Maria‘s article on the “Death Throes of Print” and Mandy Brown’s “this is a working library.”  Both offer simple but striking pages that just beg to be read.  Not only that, they don’t fall back on Flash and other proprietary technologies and render well on even the most basic of browsers.

If print is indeed in it’s death throws, one upside is that graphic designers and typographers are turning their attention to the web.  The results are striking.


Best Christmas Album of 2008: Bela Fleck & the Flecktones: Jingle All the Way

I love Christmas music.

Actually, that’s not completely true.  I love good Christmas music and absolutely despise the crap that you so often hear in malls starting the day after Halloween.

Luckily, there’s a ton of really fabulous Christmas music out there.  I know, I apparently own about a thousand tracks worth.  Honestly, for me, good Christmas songs – new and old with interesting arrangements, are one of the good things in life.

That’s why I’m so pleased that Bela Fleck & The Flecktones have finally released a Christmas CD: Jingle All the Way.  It doesn’t disappoint.

The album is available on iTunes.  With 17 tracks, it’s a good $10.  ($9 on Amazon’s MP3 store, if you’re in the US.)  Their take on traditional Christmas songs is about as out there as you can get while still being identifiable.  Edgar Meyer joins in on cello and the Tuvian throat singers also chime in on a few tracks.  Kudos to them for doing such an outstanding job, great stuff.  If you’re looking for an interesting Christmas album, I can’t imagine a better bet.


Testing… Testing…


Welcome to my blog.  I started this WordPress blog as a demo for the Kingston Jazz Society.  That’s done now so I thought I’d try this blogging thing.  (After all, I’ve read that blogging is past it’s prime, so it must be time for me to check it out.)

So, a bit about me:  I’m a sysadmin at the School of Computing at Queen’s Univeristy.  I live in Kingston, Ontario, Canada with my lovely wife, Phd candidate, Sarah-Jane Whittaker.

This blog will be about what interests me.  Probably some stuff on copyright and digital rights, lots about Linux, Macs, Solaris, tech in general, music, ebooks and print, web design, buying local, and other odds and ends.  Hope you enjoy! (Hope I manage to blog regularly.)