There was a crisis in the nursery kitchen. We had run out of peppermint tea.
Well I like it.
So I thought ‘We’ve got loads of peppermint in the garden. I wonder if I can make my own.’
I had read in a herbal remedies book, ‘Make an infusion with the leaves of the herb allowing three to five minutes.’ I never quite knew what an infusion was.
But necessity being the mother of invention I picked a handful of peppermint leaves, put them in a teapot and poured boiling water over them. I left it a few minutes then poured it through a tea strainer to keep the leaves out. If you want you can leave a single leaf in your cup as a sort of garnish to show others that this is the real thing, any more and it becomes a floating salad.
It smelled much better than a shop teabag and tasted even better.
So now I am looking at what else can be ‘infused’. I had read about Nettle Tea and Red Sage Tea, so they are next on the list to try. I suppose a little caution is required as some herbs can have very strange effects. The other concern is making sure you have identified the herb correctly.
I expect our grandmothers knew all about making your own drinks from the garden and hedgerows, but when black tea came into fashion all was forgotten to keep up appearances.
It’s very much like the way that the brewing of ales and ciders from the garden is almost forgotten, just left to a few diehard rustics.
It’s getting a bit like the potions class at Hogwarts in our kitchen now.