Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Almost one full shelf in my spacious kitchen cabinets is devoted to tea.

Think about that! Between boxes and tins of black tea, boxes of herbal tisanes, jars of dried herbs from the garden, and a small loaf pan full of bags of loose herbs from the local co-op, there's enough there to keep me in tea for the whole winter.

On a recent visit to two terrific markets, I stocked up on the good black teas I love so well, especially the Irish breakfast and a couple of holiday blends.

I do still have a jar of Moroccan mint tea, made with decaf green tea along with dried lemon grass and Moroccan mint from my garden, and I need to strip the stems of this year's harvest of Moroccan mint to see if that would be a good herbal substitute for Earl Grey tea.

But the remainder of my stock of herbal blends has been dwindling, despite my recent routine of a cup of chamomile in the evening. Most dismaying of all, I finished the last of my homemade "sweet dreams" blend, which includes chamomile and lavender and lemon balm and mint and a handful of other "secret" herbs.

This particular blend has almost a charming fairy-tale quality to it as it combines delicate flowers and herbs picked at midsummer and promises a sweet, restful night filled with delightful dreams. It's the favorite of the fair Titania, and I assure you, she is no fool when it comes to such matters. Laced with a hint of lavender honey, this is a drink that soothes and comforts and lightens all your woes.

Then sigh not so, / But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny.

(Yes, it may even have you quoting Shakespeare. It's that good.)

Since I had run out of this herbal blend... as had the fair Titania... I decided that I would take a little time this afternoon to mix up more. I had all the ingredients to hand, including this year's lavender harvest and the lemon balm and orange mint from two years ago, so into the bowl they all went. I mixed and stirred them gently, lovingly, whispering wishes for delightful dreams and merry mysteries, and sifted the petals and leaves into small glass jars.

Can you capture magic in a bottle? Perhaps you don't think so, but I like to think that the sweet essence of summer lingers in this light tisane, and when I sip it, I could almost swear I hear the fairies laugh and invite me to dance under the moon with them.

To drink their health... and to dream...


At 11/16/2005 5:06 PM, Blogger curious servant said...

You know... I haven't had a good cup of tea in quite a while.

I think I'll get some tonight.

At 11/17/2005 4:58 PM, Anonymous Tina said...

That's the kind of feeling I get when I drink Tazo's Calm tea blend. Somehow I suspect your lovely sounding blend is even better!:-)

At 11/21/2005 7:52 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Yes, it's rather lovely, if I do say so myself. And I am trying to break my coffee habit of late and switch to teas in general, enjoying a cup of the Irish breakfast tea in the morning or some rose hip herbal tisane in the evening. Hope you're both enjoying your own favorite blends!

At 11/21/2005 4:20 PM, Anonymous Tina said...

I am much enjoying my favorite blends! I've cut WAY back on coffee lately as well, replacing it with tea.

I only drank one (large) mug per day anyway, but I discovered that it was the cause my "tension" headaches. I read an article in Shape magazine that said most so-called tension headaches are actually mild migranes, triggered by things like coffee, lack of sleep, and certain foods (depending on the individual). I switched from coffee to tea and, Poof! Far fewer headaches! (I still have to indulge occasionally, though.)


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