Last year I gave tea making a small effort after watching our patches of mint come in and then fade away each year unused. Owen and I harvested a load of mint hung it to dry and then tucked it away in little glass jars to be used during the winter. To be honest, I had serious doubts about how the flavor would be. I found myself thinking it would be sort of weak and tasteless. So at the start of winter last year, we sat around sipping other tea from other places while our very own homegrown tea sat lonely and untouched on the pantry shelf. So sad. Finally, on one particularly chilly evening, we threw some in a pot and, wow, were we surprised. It was such a wonderfully strong and flavorful mix of orange mint and spearmint that we abandoned all other foreign teas(meaning any not grown in our garden) until we had used our entire winter stash. Such a pleasant and warming surprise.
This year, with greater confidence, I have have been scurrying around collecting anything I can dry and store, knowing how wonderful it will be when winter strolls in and parks itself here in southern Ohio for many cold months. So, this week has been the week of citrus. No, sadly the oranges do not grow in our garden, but they did find their way into our kitchen and so, they fell victim to my insatiable tea hoarding sickness and the ferocious grip of the citrus zester.