It All Comes to a Tea

I have been awaiting my food dehydrator rather obsessively- it took a week from Amazon! Longest domestic ship time ever! Meanwhile, Chicago’s turned into the Amazon and my tea garden has exploded. I need to preserve those leaves before the new growth forces them out!

My lemon thyme was the first volunteer. Badly lopsided and needing to be thinned out. I reached quite a monumental moment, trimming those leaves and placing them on my trays. How to explain? This simple, lost-art sort of thing has been my goal for ages, but for so many reasons, I could never start.

Until now. I’m not growing any flowers, it’s all tea and a few select herbs, as that’s what I’ll use. I made some lemon thyme shortbread cookies soon after I bought the plant. Those were good.

I filled three trays with my thinned-out trimmings. Three trays! That’s amazing!

Then, I began to worry. Maybe this is wrong. This feels wrong.

I closed the dehydrator up, turned it on, and watched a movie. Pretty quickly, the house began to smell of lemon. That was divine.

They’re small leaves, so I checked on them in an hour, and had something of an emotional moment. What have I done! This is so barbaric!

I turned this:

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into this. Drived, shriveled up. Dead. I killed my plant! On purpose!

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Yes, I realized this was somewhat irrational. Logical, but irrational. I took a deep breath, and did it again. This time, to my prize herb: bee balm. I bought it because I remembered reading about it and making a mental note to buy it, not thinking I’d ever find it. Found one! Then had to go look why I wanted one.

Bee balm is a tea, also commonly referred to as bergamot. I love bergamot. It’s apparently not the same bergamot added to Starbuck’s earle grey latte (formerly called London Fog, which was a way better name), but even so.

Well before Starbuck’s, however, it was used by Native Americans for many medicinal purposes, and then by colonists as a tea replacement following the Boston Tea Party.

So, I bucked up, took a breath and several leaves, and went from this:

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to this:

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Life is good 🙂

 

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