Saturday, June 25, 2011

Are Ravens Really Blue?

Gee, I wonder what this is.

Today I need to reset all the bird feeders. I figured out that we did not get a bear visit again, but that the landscapre people just threw things on the lawn when they renewed the mulch and did not put them back. So, lots of clean up. I did get my tomatoes planted before vacation, but they look kind of puley-wally, as do my little basil plants. They are tiny for something 2 months old. I did discover that if you buy basil in the grocery store that has roots and was raised hydroponically, you can plant it in pots and it very likely will do quite well, provided you cut it back to just above the first or second leaf set. Which is why I already have 3 containers of pesto in my freezer. Oh yum.

Basil is such a great herb, smelling and tasting wonderful. For a tea party savory, make a pizza with just pesto and some extra oil on top, cut in small squares. If you want to gussy it up a bit, top with a small slice of fresh mozzarella and a bit of cherry tomato after baking. It would also go very nicely chopped finely in some savory scones, perhaps with some sun dried tomato. Some basil are very tiny and look like fat little globes, which would be perfect for a centerpiece or a take home gift for your guests. Tulsi, an Indian form of basil makes a very nice "tea" and is easy to grow from seed.

Blue Raven Tea Company sells some very interesting sample paackets of tea, both black and green. I purchased them and I am having the first of the blacks today. The samples are good for about 2 pots each, which is quite generous for under $10 for seven packets to a sampler. I am trying South Pacific Black, with largish dark leaves interwoen with gold petals. It smells like sugar cookies, with an overlay of fruit and floral. I brewed it the standard 3.5 minutes with boiling water. The aroma was still quite mild and sweet. The brew was quite mild also, faintly sweet and nicely tasting of coconut. No chemical taste, not overwhelming. I may have found a coconut tea I like. I have some in the fridge to see how it would be iced - I'll let you know

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