Friday, 10 December 2010

Joy of Giving and Receiving

Do you have a list of favourite places that you would want to visit in your lifetime?

My cyberfriend, VB once told me there are two places that she must visit in her lifetime. It is not so much of the 'place' but the 'scenery' she wants to view. One of which is to be able to see maple leaves turning red in autumn. The timing has to be right and the weather has to be good too. I am glad she was able to catch the red maple leaves in 'full bloom' on her recent trip to Korea. I was very happy for her when she sent me a photo of her standing under an astonishing sea of golden yellow maple leaves. Me being so ignorant, didn't even know that maple leaves could turn yellow too (^^')

I got to know VB when she left her first comment on this blog 3 years ago. Even though we have never met each other, this kind lady has been sending me gifts 'on a regular-basis', so much so that I think she has even made it a point to mail me a 'goodies parcel' each time after her holiday trip :)

I grew up in a family where everyone got to learn to be independent. As much as we can, we try not to rely on others for help. We prefer to give than to take. I used to have this mindset that whatever kind gestures I received from others, I have to return it back one day, and, as soon as possible. As such, I prefer to give, as I find receiving any gifts in any form from others, could become an invisible burden. I will only have peace in my mind after I have duly returned the kind gestures.

I understand the joy of giving, and it is a tremendous pleasure knowing that the receiver loves and appreciates what you have given. But, it was only in recent years that I appreciate the joy of receiving, minus the self-imposed obligation. I am now able to view the whole situation in a different perspective. By receiving, you are actually giving the chance for the giver to enjoy the pleasure of giving and sharing. I hope I am right to say so.


It is with these thoughts that I enjoyed this cup of icy cold omija tea VB sent me...along with many other goodies :)

I am sure most of you would be quite familiar with Korean Yuja tea or commonly known as citron or yuzu tea (柚子茶). This is the first time I have heard of omija tea.


I googled and learned that omija tea, a traditional Korean tea, is made from dried fruits of Schisandra chinensis. Also known as 五味子 in Chinese or "five flavor berry" as it has a mixture of sour, sweet, salty, spicy, and bitter taste. 五味子 is also commonly known as 山花椒 (wild peppers?). No wonder, I thought I could smell pepper from a cup of steaming hot omjia tea!

This lovely pinkish tea has a slight tang to it and it tastes really refreshing when served cold. The tea is neither bitter or salty. It reminds me very much of drinks made with Roselle (洛神果) and it has a similar sourish sweet taste like hawthorn (山楂). The tea comes with tiny bits of nuts, I believe they are either pine nuts, almond bits, or sunflower seeds. When served hot, this lovely sweet and tangy tea is a great way to end a meal, especially if it is a heavy one ;) If you happen to go to a Korean restaurant, do check whether it serves this beverage, I am sure you will enjoy this drink, be it cold or hot.

As the season of giving draws nearer, here's wishing all my readers Happy Shopping for your gifts and presents for your friends and loved ones! And, in case you ask, my favourite places to visit in my lifetime: flower fields at Furano and tulips in Holland, what about yours? 

23 comments:

  1. This tea looks unique, where can i get these beside going to Korean's restaurant? Pls do let me know, thanks! :)

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  2. Hmm I love the yuzu tea. I have two bottles in fridge now, cos NTUC recently Korean fair got offer, and this brand, not bad.

    So nice of your cyberfriend. You have the same mindset as me. Rather give than take else the invisible burden will be very heavy and always in my mind. Recently, I am clearing all the kiddo's stuff, so am giving away things new or used through the free cycle forum. Feel very happy when someone else can give those stuff 2nd or 3rd life.

    Now even when I have "won" a giveaway, I also feel quite paiseh leh..... Sigh.

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  3. i have not seen this tea but i'm a tea lover and i'm sure it taste great! I agree with what u say, no wonder you have been giving. ;) Tangible things aside, You are always ready to give your valuable advices and knowledge that you have to us readers, be it thru comments and replying to emails. I really appreciate it. It means alot. Thanks! :D

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  4. It is v sweet of your cyberfriend. :)

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  5. I would want to go Provence and see the field of lavender :)

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  6. I am loving the warm haughty tea. :)

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  7. Sounds like you have a great cyber friend.

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  8. This drink looks very refreshing!

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  9. hi there
    i chanced upon your blog recently and it's such a gem! i love reading your blog posts - they're so inspiring! and i'm reminded of how i miss baking. i'm actually away from home and in canada now on a student exchange programme, so i haven't been able to indulge in my favourite hobby of baking. but since pre-mixes are so cheap here, i might just try baking sometime soon!

    your pictures are all gorgeous and you have great skills and creativity!

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  10. HHB, I am same as you will feel invisible burden when recieving gifts but at the same time, I enjoy it heeheehee....

    I have many many favourite places that I wanna visit in my lifetime, one of must visit will be to see aurora borealis or australis aka northern or southern lights.

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  11. How I bet your friend truly appreciate the maple leaves. And oh, the tea sure looks great!

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  12. Jasmine Yeo17/12/10 9:24 pm

    I love drinking 五味子 the very first time I drank it in Jeju Island 2 years back. The taste is really very unique. I also bought the same type of 五味子 that you received from your friend. If I don't remember wrongly, it comes in a box of 20 sachets. It didn't taste as good as those homemade type that I drank in Korea. Nevertheless, better than don't have. There's this dialect saying that goes, "No fish, prawns also good". =)

    There's this Korean shop in Beauty World located in Bukit Timah, selling 五味子. It's comes in a bottle instead of in individual sachets. I believe we can find it in other Korean speciality shop too.

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  13. Hi! I have been visiting your blog to check out your lovely recipes...the korean tea looks very festive with its amber colour :) I would love to visit Japan to see the beautiful cherry blossoms some day in this lifetime:)

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  14. I´ve just find your blog and it´s really lovely, I like it very much.
    (I´m just drinking tea, black tea, but I like every one)...
    If I were rich...I´ll travel arround the world, all over...North, South, East & West.

    Kisses from Spain

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  15. Hi HHB,
    Thanks for sharing the nice information of the tea. It sure does looks good to drink, cheers. I just wanted to say "Wishing you and your family A Merry Christmas and A Happy, Healthy New Year"

    Kind Regards

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  16. Hi! Just came across your amazing blog! I shall come back and read some more! If I could visit any where in the world I would visit Australia!

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  17. Hi HHB

    I know you used the neilsen massey pure vanilla extract for your bakes. I recently got my colleague's brother to help me buy a bottle from US. when i opened it just now, i didn't smell anything like vanilla at all (i have been using bake king's vanilla essence), instead it smells more like alcohol. also there are no black specks in the custard i made. i thought bakes using this pure extract will have black specks? does your extract smell and taste like alcohol too? i paid about US19 for a 8 oz bottle... thks
    regards
    octopusmum

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  18. HHB, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  19. sound you are real close to your cyber friend... so cool

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  20. You echo my sentiments exactly. I still have problem figuring how to react when something is given to me. Receiving and returning favors is a burden I still grapple with. Nice read! Happy new year !

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  21. HHB,

    Hope you and your family had a good Christmas!

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  22. What a blessing to have VB in your life. Isn't it amazing how you can bond with someone you meet through a blog, yet never see in person?

    I'd like to go to England and France. England is where my blog almost-sister lives and France because it's France.

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  23. Hi octopusmum, sorry for the late reply as we just came back from an overseas trip. Vanilla extract will not have any speckles...only vanilla paste will give your speckles. Yes, vanilla extract is made with alcohol, have you tried baking with it? You will know the difference once your cake is baking in the oven. You can get the extract and paste from PH...I saw it several months ago.

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