It has been almost a week since I last posted. My ground is frozen solid, no more seed catalogs have come to my doorstep and I have a cold. Not the best of times. At least I'm still enjoying the fruits of my labor this summer. Since I have a cold, I've been drinking a lot of tea.
During the day it is green tea, but at night my homegrown variety comes out. If you remember way back, I put in a tea garden this year. I had three kinds of mint, lemon balm, and chamomile. I didn't use them much in the summer as I hate iced tea, but now is perfect.
My lemon balm didn't dry well. The lemon smell disappeared totally. It smelled like parsely when I opened it up. Ick. I don't want parsley tea. I want lemon flavored tea. So I tossed that. I might resort to my lemon thyme at some point since that one dried quite fragrantly.
The chamomile went bonkers this summer. I just kept picking it every week (what a tedious chore), but I got about 3-4 cups of dried flowers out of a little 18"x24" patch. I would have had more but I got really tired of picking the flowers so just quit doing it after a while. It took a me a bit to learn to dry them well. The first batch mildewed, so I dried the next batch longer. Success. I love the taste of chamomile and since I'm such an insomniac it is a perfect tea for bedtime. It a relaxant and an anti-anxiety tea.
But I rarely use the chamomile alone. I like to mix it with a little peppermint. My three varieties are chocolate mint, orange mint and candymint. These are all peppermint varieties. I learned in past years that I really hate spearmint, so I stick to peppermints. The chocolate mint is my absolute favorite of the three. I really don't think it tastes like chocolate like so many people do, but it does have a very rich flavor that is lacking in most peppermints. And it goes beautifully with chamomile.
And just so you all know, orange mint does not taste like oranges, but is called that because of the color of its leaves in the fall. I do like it a bit better than the candymint. The candymint is a slightly harsher taste. They are all good however and good as an addition to my green tea too.