I'm a DIY (Do It Yourself) chick from way back, years before the current DIY movement really took off I was canning preserves in my grandmother's kitchen, knitting and cross-stitching with my aunt, and making jewelry for friends and family. Nowadays most of my DIY efforts involve the kitchen, homemade preserves, mustards, and snack bars for my kids and herbal teas. I love tea, I can appreciate a good cup of coffee but my day begins with a proper cuppa. It doesn't matter the brand I'm no tea snob. Lipton, Twinnings, Harney & Sons, its all good to me. I started concocting different herbal teas a couple of summers back and had since fell out of practice but all it took was my wee bush of chamomile to set me straight. Are you a fan of Chamomile tea? No? You must reconsider. My love affair began shortly after I first read the Tale of Peter Rabbit. His mother forced him to drink Chamomile tea for his stomachache, proper punishment for his traipsing around in Mr. MacGregor's garden. Peter hated it but to me it sounded so alluring. First chance I got I requested some chamomile tea from my own mother, and have been a fan ever since.
I started my patch of chamomile last year with a pack of seeds gifted to me from my uncle, he brought them back with him from Germany...real German Chamomile. I bet you've never seen a 5 ft., thirty-something, African-American woman do a happy dance over chamomile seeds before, comedy at its best I assure you. After that initial planting I didn't have much hope, but this year I was rewarded and now I will have tea and so will you. Just get yourself some fresh or dried chamomile blossoms and follow the instructions below:
2 cups fresh chamomile blossoms
8-10 oz hot water
fresh lemon juice & honey
- You will first need to dry your blossoms, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and let air-dry keeping out of direct sunlight. They will take about 2 to 3 days to dry completely. The 2 cups of fresh blossoms should dry down to about a 1/2 cup. Store in a glass mason jar with a tight seal in a dark, cool, spot for up to a year.
- To prepare your cuppa, take about 2T of chamomile and place in a tea ball. Put tea ball into your favorite mug and pour in 8 to 10 oz of boiling water. Steep for about 5 minutes, remove tea ball and add honey and lemon.
Tip: I will often take my dried chamomile and give it as a gift during the holiday season or to cheer up a sick friend. Invest in a few small drawstring muslin bags, put in about a 1/4 cup of dried chamomile in the bag and pair that up with a pretty teacup or mug and a jar of local honey.