CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Relax with tea, explore the world

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I’d already had a pretty fancy Friday evening with inspiring art and tasty tidbits at the Dishman Art Gallery opening. I still had something “behind the door” as my grandma would say. I’d been invited over to try some new Zhi teas a friend had acquired. He was also excited about his new Mueller electric kettle that lights up blue. When the water boiled, it looked like a lava lamp in there with all those dancing bubbles.

The tall oval tea cans held fragrant combinations of colorful blends. Based on aroma, I chose ambrosia and I chose wisely. Still more? The host offered honey to stir in and that put the treat over the top. But wait, there’s more. We all enjoyed two vintage Twilight Zone episodes that I’d never seen.

I credit the host and the Zhi, which asks drinkers to pause, reflect and connect. offers a lineup of the ways tea is very good for you. It’s even known to fight bad breath and allergies. That’s something to reflect upon. And now we have a new electric tea kettle just like his.

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Little foodies can grab their passports and discover the world. The last time you enjoyed spaghetti and meatballs, were you thinking of ibex and Corsican hare? Did you know Italy’s flag colors are green for pastures and valleys, white for snowcaps of the Italian Alps and red for the wars fought for Italian unification? Discuss all that with your children over chicken marsala and chicken Milanese. A box of fun comes to your door with eat2explore. A little passport comes with ingredients, instructions and facts. You shop a little and then create and learn. Explore Italy’s box includes Caesar dressing mix, panko, herbs, etc. There’s also a cool spoon rest and an even cooler flag pin to wear. Do you really need to have a kid to have fun with this program? Bring on the world. will get you through customs.

Smelly Proof a bold statement

It was red onions always for a friend of mine. She ate them daily, and had an elaborate system for lopping off the top and bottom for the choicest of rings. She wrapped the ends in what seemed like yards of foil then bagged them to keep the rest from smelling up her fridge. I couldn’t fathom her complaint that she could smell them through her plastic bags. Until the day she sent me home with her red onion surplus and I got a whiff.

That pungency on the plate is way different if inhaled out of context. Whew! Smelly Proof storage bags are here to help. They’re reusable, durable and lock in odors as they keep food fresh with airtight zippers, makers say. Use them for cooked foods, marinades, etc. Smelly Proof is sold on Amazon, at Walmart and directly on They’re almost too good to use, because you want to make sure you have plenty. Go ahead, stock up for kitchen, camping, travel, home and fishing. Keep some BPA-Free and FDA approved, made-in-America bags in your desk. The nylon re-enforced extra-strength poly seals in odors for months, the packaging reads. Bring on those red onions.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who loves finding new flavors and experiences. Reach her at