What a wonderful Market - I love a place you can purchase TEMPEST TEA and all your coffee, cheese, eggs, bread, aprons, baked goods, vegetables, meats, flowers, plants, chocolate, spices and so much more. Support local if you can. Tammy
Beautiful green tea blended with pomegranate and Maine raspberries
Enjoy the warm flavors of fall in Cozy Autumn Tea - a warm black tea blend with fruits of the season, vanilla and cinnamon. Warm up. Enjoy!
This year, I am living an ‘intentional’ summer!
Living in Maine, we have a small window of summer – July and August. Yes, that is it. So many years I get to September and say, “What happened to the summer?” as I am packing up my bathing suit.
Not this year! I want to hit September saying, “I can’t eat another lobster!” and “I relaxed so much, I feel so rejuvenated!” and “I have never rode my bike and swam so much!” And “I have enjoyed every farmers market all around me!” and “I have found all local ingredients for our teas!” And “I am so rested!” And “I am filled to the brim with the richness of summer.”
So how do I get there from here? How do I slow down like a cup of lavender tea….every minute of this summer? How do you enjoy your summer?
A few weeks back, I was dropping something off at my mothers and she had picked up a new bench at a lawn sale. It was outside on her front lawn, the same lawn that I grew up and played on. It was a beautiful old wooden bench. As we sat on the bench, on this beautiful morning, we talked about the gardens, our grandchildren and our upcoming week.
That is when I realized what summer was all about for me. It was about slowing down. Slowing down enough to really talk to people – not the fluffy stuff – but what is really going on, riding my bike on scenic routes – not just a chore to lose weight. It is about drinking tea on the porch as the rest of the house sleeps. It is about eating the bounty of the summer gardens and Maine ocean. It is about going to bed later and sleeping in longer.
What if I could spend this summer being a child again? What if I could spend a lazy, relaxed, enjoy each moment kind of summer?
Summer has already started with a day on the lake with my work friends riding a platoon boat and a few days on a remote island (Criehaven) with my long time precious girlfriends and a trip to Mount Apatite Farm (Farm to Table catering and flowers – Cooking Carol) in Auburn to cut the most precious lavender with my granddaughter Sara and my sister Becca’s daughter Ashly.
Carol met us in the driveway, on her 24 acre farm, on a beautiful sunny afternoon. We toured through her old farm house catering kitchen (love!) and then out to the gardens. We were met by a snake! I wanted to scream and run to the car and tell her to pick the lavender and bring to the car….but with two 12 year old girls beside me….I bravely said, “Oh a little garden snake.” Both girls watched the snake and slowly moved on. Carol shared her gardens with us all – with no shoes on!! At one point,
I looked over at the girls and they were swinging and laughing.
The lavender patch was beautiful. This lavender will make the most relaxing Cuppa Lavender Tea (Tempest in a Teapot). All chemical and pesticide free blue lavender. I can hardly wait to get back to the blending house to
dry it! I felt like I just met an old friend in Carol. When the girls heard she bakes and cooks and had a full freezer they jumped up to see the goodies. Many $$$ later – we left with tons of lavender for tea, chickpea shepherd’s pie, a chocolate mousse cake, a strawberry rhubarb pie, and turmeric veggie pockets!
Summer of 2016 – I am intentionally going to enjoy you!
Written by Tammy Smith (Wife, mother, grandmother, Blogger, Tea Lady)
It all started a year ago in a few antique / thrift shops with my good friend Dotti, the Goodwill and the Salvation Army. I fell in love with ceramic water pitchers. I kept purchasing them each time I found a new one. All colors and sizes – I bought a short white one, a fourteen inch tall hunter green one that was painted yellow inside (odd!) and a short plump navy blue one (LOVE!). Maybe it was the universe getting me ready for what was to come…my sister, Becca, and I purchasing a tea blending house.
At first, I put the pitchers up in the cupboard. Nope, not good enough, I had to see them. They make my heart sing – they can’t be hidden. I pulled them all back out and displayed them around my kitchen on the shelves and others holding my wooden spoons and utensils.
Our first endeavor owning Tempest in a Teapot – testing iced tea blends. How much tea to a bag? How long too steep before the tea turns bitter? I researched on line. Tannins are released in the process of steeping tea – and if over steeped too many tannins are released and cause the bitterness in tea. A lot of the Southern Ice Tea recipes call for ½ teaspoon of baking soda to take out any bitterness brewing ice tea. It works!
I prepared two test batches of iced tea Mint to Be green tea and Gentleman’s black tea. I put ¼ cup of tea into each bag and tied them off. I decided on the perfect ceramic pitchers for the occasion – The little short plump navy blue one and the taller green with yellow lining. I filled my beautiful pitchers with the tea and boiling water. I steeped them for nine minutes and took the bags out. In the fridge they went overnight. I woke up three times in the night, I was so excited!
Sunday morning, I opened the fridge with such anticipation!! The Mint to Be looked great in color (clear and light green) and in taste (soft and refreshing). A successful test.
The Gentleman’s…….the Gentleman’s…..where the heck was the Gentleman’s tea? The pitcher was empty. Not a single drop. I stood there for a few minutes. Who drank the tea? I have children and grandchildren that are in and out of the house. Where was the tea?
There is my beautiful golden in color tea – my Gentleman’s tea – all over my fruits and vegetables – the beautiful golden liquid is still dripping down to the bottom of the fridge and down under the fridge on the floor. My little beautiful favorite blue ceramic pitcher had a leak in the bottom. I did for a minute think of licking it up!! I still love my navy picture – but it is back to holding wooden spoons. Tammy Smith.