Monday, April 6, 2009
First Spring Sun Tea
Today it is sunny enough to make sun tea! Yay. I may not have even thought of it, but our well water is tasting strange today, and I was sooo thirsty.I decided it was a great opportunity to use up some of last year's dried herbs. Does anyone else have the problem of working so hard to "put up" the harvest in various ways, only to find years-old jars of pickles languishing in the larder, or old, ice-encrusted bags of berries hidden in the corner of the freezer? Don't get me wrong; a high-light of my life is being able to eat food I've grown and processed all year 'round. Sometimes it's just hard to know how much to put up, or I just get tired of playing with my food. Sure I could whip up some dynamite mead out of all those old frozen berries, but it just gets to be too much, sometimes. I am constantly amazed at the abundance I live with and am surrounded by in my North American culture. It doesn't seem fair. In the meantime, I'll work on using up those 2008 dried herbs, before they get too dry and musty. This batch of tea got yerba buena, mint, oats, skullcap, stevia, a beebalm flower, lemon grass, and roasted chicory. All grown here on the farm, except for the chicory, which I like to add to give the tea some body. There is wild chicory growing everywhere out here, and once I did trundle all over with bucket and spade, digging up whatever roots would hand themselves over to me. I roasted it up and ground it, and my oh my, was that the bitterest brew I ever did taste! Undrinkable! Perhaps I should try again, at another time of year? I'd love to be able to harvest my own chicory! The lemon grass I used was fresh! Yes! I actually overwintered the pot of lemon grass in the house this year. She tolerates no freeze, or even near-to-freezing temperatures, so past half-hearted attempts at overwintering in the unheated greenhouse have failed. This plant happily sat out the winter in the house on the floor, next to the glass door. She got a little grumpy during bouts of super-cold weather (no doubt feeling that draft through the glass), but she's looking good. I won't put her outside until late in May. The tea is quite tasty; it only took a few hours to brew in the strong spring sun. Just a few leaves of stevia give it a slight sweet edge. I'm hoping the skullcap and oats will help Rick a bit with his allergies. The next batch will get nettles, too.Here's to ice-cold home-grown tea and sunny days!