Today has been the kind of day that gets me all tied up in knots. It frustrates me – that is a whopping understatement – to have to do something twice. And that has already happened more than once today.
I had already planned to write about making chamomile tea today – and as the day goes on – it seems I am in greater and greater need of a cup of the soothing stuff myself.
Years ago, I took my kids to a little farm class at Phillies Bridge Farm, here in the Hudson Valley. They loved it. I loved it. During each of the 3 hour sessions we would gather eggs, harvest produce, do a craft, and make something to eat. The something always included the eggs and the produce. One of the things they grew in the garden there was chamomile. The plants and the flowers are beautiful. Like a big feathery bush covered in tiny yellow and white daisies. From these plants we made tea. We just walked into the garden, picked some flowers, popped them into boiling water and ladled out. . .TEA!
Did you know that food you prepare outside always tastes better?
Last year I decided to grow some of this beautiful and useful plant myself and so I bought one. I bought one chamomile plant. It kind of piddled along ( what, you’re not a gardener? that’s a thing that plants do sometimes) and never really amounted to much. Early this Spring I noticed a lot of some kind of weed growing in the bed where I grow some of my herbs. . . I thought it looked like it was in the carrot family – kind of feathery. . . . During our way early warm spell (remember when we were gardening in like, January, or something? ) I yanked a ton of it out by the roots but there was so much of it that I couldn’t manage to get it all. A bunch of it continued to grow and I eventually (I never said I was an expert) realized that it was, in fact, chamomile!
Lots and Lots of Chamomile.
Well, there was no shortage of flowers for making tea. I think the whole plant can be harvested and dried. Doubtless my friend Kimberly at Serendipity Refined has the right of it, though I don’t think she is planning to make tea with her dried chamomile. The way I was taught at the farm was to just gently remove the flower from the stem by sliding each flower between two fingers and pulling up.
Once enough flowers are gathered – you only need a few teaspoons for a cup of tea – you can either put them in hot water or pour hot water over them. Just let the tea steep until it’s as strong as you like it. Once you’ve strained out the flowers it’s ready to drink. I added honey and lemon. Perfect additions. You can use the flowers fresh or dried though I admit to liking the tea I made once these flowers dried a lot more than what I made when they were fresh. To dry them I simply left them on this plate until they were crunchy. . . as I said, I am not an expert. Never claimed to be.
Expert or not, I managed to make a very nice cup of tea! I used this device (which I have never had a reason to use before) to put the flowers in. That eliminated the need to strain the flowers out.
So. Now that I’ve had my cup of chamomile tea – I can actually take a deep breath and relax. If you’ve never tried it, chamomile really does have a very nice calming effect. Several things went wrong today but one thing went very right. I found something that has been missing – and so now I am able to send out a special package to my 200th Facebook “liker” - Thank You, Sue Moen! And Happy Belated Birthday, as well. Thank you for being so patient. I made this for you this morning – I had all of the bits and pieces except the actual tag itself! I have been looking for them ever since I got back from the Haven Conference. . . I’m always telling my kids – when they can’t find something – to start cleaning up and whatever is missing will probably turn up directly. My advice, as usual, is sound. Started a deep cleaning of my bedroom and found it in no time flat!
Your package is on it’s way, Sue!!
I think I’ll go make myself another cup of this relaxing tea before I make finish making dinner. Maybe it will cure what ails me. What do you do when the day conspires against you? What’s your favorite way to shed the stress of the day?
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