However, the real test is the taste, which I am eagerly (?!) awaiting. I can't say I care for the smell of the brewed tea. Well, here goes - first sip - orange peel and chemicals. But I press on for your sakes, dear readers. My tongue is feeling like a bunch of little tiny needles are poking it and all I can still taste is orange peel and fake vanilla. I put some cream in it and that has helped, but after about 1/3 of my cup, I have to say I think it it is horrible and the Earl will definitely not be leaving his calling card here! I am going to make myself some of that lovely unknown Assam. Himself says he doesn't mind it and "It's interesting". He will have my share.
I found a really good recipe that would be a lovely savory for a tea. It makes use of some of those tomatoes that are flooding our gardens. It came from a small Upstate New York garden magazine I can't remember the name of. It is delicious! I got rave reviews when I served it.
Fresh Tomato Pie
Oven at 400 degrees.
Core and slice about 4-5 medium to large ripe tomatoes, drain on several layers of paper towels for 15-20 minutes or more.
Make a pie crust for a 9" pie, prick it and bake for about 8 minutes (until a bit dry and pale tan).
Turn the oven down to 350 when you take it out.
Spread the crust with 2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard.
Layer the tomatoes in the crust, sprinkling only with pepper.
Mix 3/4 cup of mayonnaise mixed with 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, spread on top of the tomatoes.
Bake about 1/2-3/4 hour. You probably will need to cover the top with foil for the last half.
Cool and serve at room temperature.
Note: It called for 8 ounces of grated cheddar cheese under the mayo mix, but I thought that was too much, so I left it out. This way is more delicate and it is very pretty when you slice it. plus, you can make it the day before, if you are using a crust that resists sogginess, or you can brush the crust with beaten egg white before you put it in the oven. Actually, I think the mustard also serves that function.
My lavender bed really took off this summer. I am so pleased, because it is a brand-new bed and this was a tough summer. I got a few flowers, which are drying, but just this week the plants were big enough to give off the lovely, heady scent of lavender as we go by. Next summer, with the lavender, alyssum, day lilies, and roses, our noses will be in heaven. I try to plant as many scented flowers and herbs as I can, so there is something nice wafting around the garden all season.