Good morning and Happy Friday to everyone! How are you on this frosty Friday? The coffee is ready and a treat of raspberry leaf tea as well! It’s not quite so cold this morning, with a cool -34F (-37C). There is a bit of a breeze this morning, but the sun is shining brightly, on the trees anyway, not down here yet. Takes a little longer to get the sun down here at the bottom of this hill. The first chickadee was here quite early this morning. Poor little guy. His back and head were covered with frost! He was sitting on the side of the bird feeder, legs and feet completely covered with feathers and he was pecking away at his breakfast. I knew what he was eating too, and I was right.
He had a piece of chopped peanut. I have been chopping up peanuts for the chickadees and nuthatches during this cold snap. Sunflower seeds give them good energy, but they have to work a lot to get at the food. The chopped peanuts are ready to eat and also are a good energy food for them. And they have been eating them up fast too. That’s good. I don’t mind helping them out a bit more in this cold weather. They need it. That little chickadee was here by himself for quite awhile before his little friends showed up. The early bird gets the peanut you know.
People ask about my raspberry leaf tea all the time so I will share what I drink. It’s possible to buy raspberry leaf tea, but honestly, it’s not as good as making it yourself, it’s fresh and tastes better. First you need to pick some raspberry leaves. If you can get wild ones even better, they do have more flavor. But any will do. I pick them off my landlord’s raspberry plants. Yes, I do have permission. And, you should use scissors to keep it nice a neat and that way you won’t hurt the plants. Also, don’t take the leaves off just one plant, just take 3 or 4 from each plant, that way it won’t be noticeable or hurt the plant.
Best time to pick will vary a bit, depending on where you live, but generally I think July is best. The flavor is at it’s peak then. Make sure the leaves are nice and green and healthy looking. Then comes the drying part, which is very important. Put a layer of leaves on a baking sheet, not too many, and put in the oven set at 150F, or up to 200F but no higher. This will dry them slowly enough to retain good flavor. Check on them about every 10 minutes, ‘fluff’ them up a bit and back in the oven. Make sure they are dry enough to crumble nicely, they must be DRY. Let them cool completely. After that store them in an air tight container, such as glass or metal, they just need a good tight fitting lid. Plastic containers can sometimes cause mold on the leaves.
Now, making a cup of tea. I use a stainless steel tea ball. Fill it half full for a cup, stuff them in good. Use boiling water. Not hot. Boiling. And pour it in the cup, not on your foot.😲 It hurts when you pour it on your foot.😬 Trust me on that one.🙄 Sigh. This tea is soothing for an upset stomach, and also if you have a cold or sore throat. You can also add just a little honey with it. Very simple really, just takes a little time. Oh, it’s also good iced on a hot summer day. I hope you all have a Fabulous Friday and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2021 Steve McLeod.