I've mentioned before that we have a beautiful herb/veggie garden. It's still alive, yes. I've grown some tomatoes, green peppers and carrots. All miniature and weird looking. Meh. The problem with having a herb garden is that you never need 6 tons of mint. Or thyme. Or parsley. Or basil. So I Google and I read and I ask anyone with a herb garden and what I gather is this: Nobody knows what to do with all the herbs.
I've tried making soap with the herbs. Don't. It turns black. I've tried just putting it in pots in the house. Meh. Everyone says, "freeze it with olive oil and use it in your food!" HOW ON EARTH DOES THAT SOLVE MY 6-TON-HERBS PROBLEM?! I want to use it, not save it for the apocalypse!
The only thing I'm currently excited about is making tea. I love popping some mint into my rooibos, but that's usually just a leave or two. So when I read about drying herbs I was very excited. You can make tea out of anything. Anything. I used loose rooibos leaves and mixed it with few of my favourite flavours. I dried my herbs by hanging them in a sunny, warm room.
It's good for indigestion, colds and flu, it helps increase
brain funtion and stabilizes moods. (Well...) Apparently
it also breaks down fat cells.
To make lovely fresh minty tea, you really need
a fresh mint leave, because when you dry it, you lose
all the lovely smelling oil. But if you want to put it in a little
tea bag like I did, just add A LOT of dried leaves. (Hooray, only 5 tons left)
Helps to settle an upset tummy, colds and cough, it's full of anti-
oxidants and relieves stress. It also acts as a stimulant, so
ditch your morning coffee and have some ginger-tea instead.
The same with mint, dried ginger doesn't pack the same punch
as fresh pieces. So add a lot of dried ginger pieces to each bag.
It relieves indigestion, soothes headaches and helps with insomnia.
Use the dried lavender flowers. Once you are finished with the tea bag
keep it and put it in your bath the next time you need a soothing,
Vanilla is as vanilla does. Boring, but good. When you've use a
vanilla bean, don't throw it away, put it in a glass container with some
loose tea leaves and then you'll have lovely vanilla infused tea. You can
even put the bean in some sugar to make vanilla sugar.
Here's what I did:
I bought round coffee filters to make it easier (no cutting and folding and origami-ing necessary) You get beautiful tea-tags online, I don't have a printer ( I know, what is this? The 50's? ) so I made my own from leftover cardstock. I used baker's twine, you can use embroidery thread as well.
\Stitch the filters, leaving about a cm open. Use the smallest stitch you have.
Look at these cute little pots. Ginger on the left and Mint on the right. Mix your loose tea leaves with the herbs you are using. (Taste first. Some herbs are stronger when dried) Put about a teaspoon full of the mixture into each bag.
Stitch them closed and there you go! Fray the edges of the thread a little before stitching it. It helps to keep them from slipping out.
(PS Speaking of gardening, Southern Hemispherians, now is the time that you want to start preparing your garden for all the marvelous things you want to plant. Remove all the weeds and if you've been making compost, work it into your soil.)