This is a follow up to this post on drying my garden mint: http://tangibledaydreams.blogspot.com/2012/05/first-try-at-drying-mint-for-tea.html
So, last week I harvested some of my overgrown mint and hung it in the window to dry, with the thought that I might be able to make my own mint tea instead of buying it at the store. I hadn't tried drying my own herbs before, so it was a bit of an experiment. It seemed simple enough in theory. And in fact, it worked beautifully. A week of hanging in the dry Arizona air, and the mint leaves were crumbly.
I stripped them off of the stems, and sealed them up in an air tight container. There was enough to almost fill the container!
Now, yesterday we were juicing up the last of the oranges from the back yard tree, and I had a thought. I did a bit of a web search and sure enough, dried orange peel is also a good tea ingredient. And I know that there have been no pesticides sprayed on our tree, and the peel hasn't been waxed like the store bought fruit often is. (If I make this with store bought oranges, I'll be sure to wash them very well first.) So I had my sweetie take a vegetable peeler to the outside of the orange to slice off just thin orange rind part. I put the shavings on my food dehydrator, and put them on low for a few hours until they also became kind of crunchy. I let them sit over night to cool, and today I packaged them up too.
So tonight? I took a handful of the dried orange peel, and broke it up into smaller pieces.
I took a handful of the dried mint, and crunched it up too.
That all got added to a tea infuser.
Then the mint and orange peel went in.
And then I let it steep for awhile.
And now? I am sipping at a perfectly delightful cup of tea! It is gently fragrant, very tasty and mellow, with no hint of bitterness from the peel. And I know exactly where the ingredients came from.
(Hmm...except the honey. I don't suppose the dogs (or the neighbors!) would appreciate hives in the back yard, dang it. I'll have to find a local bee keeper next.)