Tea parties are a regular affair in the life of a young girl. Sometimes there are elaborate hats or flamboyantly dressed dolls in place of human company. To young girls, the doll wearing Victorian style clothing and with a politely placed handkerchief over her waist is not just some hunk of plastic at the end of a table. To her, that doll has a personality, a family, and friends beyond the confines of a childhood bedroom.
There are two tea parties that have gone down in world history: The Boston Tea Party and The Hatter’s tea party from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 nonsensical novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In the next few weeks, we will travel a tasty tea-infused journey through the novel that changed the notion of genre.
As if you don’t already know, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the story of a young girl who falls into a dream world full of characters like the always late White Rabbit, the mysterious Cheshire Cat, and insane Hatter who is stuck constantly stuck in tea time, and the Queen of Hearts, known for her appetite for flamingo croquet and daily executions.
Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland is so interesting because it falls into literature limbo: literary nonsense. Since being labeled literary nonsense upon it’s first publication, it’s drawn more intrigue than anything else. To this day it is one of the most widely read fantasy stories among children.
Like Hatter, I’ve gone a little mad recently when thinking of new recipes. Tea infused foods are the latest food blogger trend and I want in, but not in the way everyone else is in. I want crazy in, out of the box in, how does this recipe make sense in. And I’ve done it.
In the coming weeks, I will be posting recipes that all include a variety of Tazo teas from peppery Earl Gray to the minty Refresh.
Let’s start with my most absurd idea yet: Earl gray tea and lemon marinated cod.
For a week after I was struck with this potentially horrifyingly disgusting idea, I badgered my friends at work constantly. I spent a large part of my shift asking them, “Yeah but is earl gray tea and fish too weird?” They all cringed out a “No, not at all.”
When you think about it, if there’s a tea to make savory, it’s earl gray. It’s peppery and spicy, which allows it to be pared with tangy lemon and sweet honey, both used in the marinade. Cod is a mild flaky fish with a firm body, which allows it to hold up to a more experimental marinade.
That being said, I made this scary idea into a delicious reality.
4 Cod Fillets
6 Cups water, boiled
5 Tazo Earl Gray Tea bags
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3 Shallots, minted
2 Garlic cloves, minced
Seasonal vegetables; Mine included carrots, yellow squash, asparagus & vine tomatoes.
- Bring water to a boil. Steep 5 tea bags and 1 lemon in water for 5 minutes. Then, remove tea bags. Add in honey, brown sugar, shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until cool.
- Once the marinade in cooled, add cod and let marinate for 25 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- Remove fish, pat dry, and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle fish with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake for 12-15 minutes, until it is just flaky.
- While fish is cooking, rub your veggies with salt, pepper, olive oil, and juice from 1 lemon. Place on a grill and cook until they are tender.
“The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was ‘Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'” ~Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland