Last night, we had quite a storm. I was awakened at 11 PM and was still in a half dreaming stage when I thought the house was lifting off its foundation. It was really an odd sensation. The wind was like none I have ever experienced, blowing hard and loud. My husband got up to check on things and said the rain was blowing in all directions. I was told the tornado sirens went off, although we did not hear them. Thank the Lord, there was no major damage. Up the alley from us, there were some trees down that caused the garbage truck to have to back all the way up the alley to collect the trash. When I walked the dog this morning, I was surprised to only see some scattered trash, leaves, and branches. The air felt freshly washed and was sweet with the scent of honeysuckle. The mist was rising from the hills, and the birds were calling to each other across the valley. Reminds me of the song “I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses; and the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses. And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known.” Early morning out in nature is a sweet time with the Lord.
As I walked around the yard, I observed a number of the plants were bowed over from the rain and wind, but I am sure they will revive in the sunshine. This year I wanted to experiment more with herbs. I planted lavender, basil, and dill seeds which have not made their appearance yet. The cilantro from the last year reseeded itself and is growing nicely. The parsley and mint came back again. Last year the parsley grew in abundance, but this year it is wanting to bolt. I keep breaking off the flowers hoping it will continue to produce. Last year I was still harvesting parsley in December.
When I was a child growing up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, the mint grew wild in our meadow. Several times in the summer, my mother or I would gather some and she would make “meadow” tea. I still enjoy the taste, but so far our children have not come to like it. This morning, I harvested some mint and began to make tea. Here is the recipe I use.
Meadow (Mint) Tea
2 cups packed with mint leaves (I remove the leaves from the stems and discard the stems.)
1/2 cup honey (or 1 cup sugar)
4 cups boiling water
Place mint leaves in glass bowl. Add sweetener. Pour boiling water over leaves and stir to dissolve sweetener. Place glass plate over bowl. Let sit over night. Strain off leaves. Place in pitcher and add enough water to make a gallon. The tea is not extremely sweet, but I like it. You could add more or less sweetener to suit your taste. Unless I am taking the tea to a gathering, I usually freeze it in quart containers since I am the only one in the family who drinks it. Enjoy this refreshing treat on a warm summer day!