It’s that time of year when I am in love with spring. The tree pollen hasn’t started to get to me yet, my garden is still full of promise and dreams, and neither heat nor rain has driven me mad. All in all, it’s the time of year when I can’t stand to go inside any more than I have to, and I am giving my thanks to the person who invented laptops.
As I write, I am sitting here looking at the very first bud on my German chamomile plant. I sowed the seeds back in February, safely inside and separated from blizzards by our backdoor. Being a rather invasive little plant, it will stay safely in its pot. While one bud does not a harvest make, it does feel rather gratifying that I am on my way to growing my own herbal tea garden. The chamomile is only the first, and will be joined by plugs of other herbs later on. In the next several weeks, I should be receiving a lavender plant, and as soon as the farmers’ market opens, I will bring home some peppermint. I’ve also seeded some edible flowers that may make their way into a teapot as well.
I’m eager to try out a couple of recipes, including one for lavender lemonade (pardon the foray from the world of tea). When I find some good ones, I’ll be sure to share them. But for now, I wanted to leave you with my recipe for a refreshing pitcher of iced tea.
Boil one quart of water. When it boils, pull it immediately off the heat, and add eight teaspoons of black tea. I like Irish Breakfast for iced tea, mixed with perhaps one teaspoon of Scottish Breakfast. Add eight teaspoons of dried peppermint. If you are using fresh peppermint, double this amount. Add four teaspoons agave nectar. Steep for 3-5 minutes, then strain out the leaves and pour over ice in a pitcher. This will keep well for several days, if you can keep from guzzling it before then.
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