I have a bit of an obsession with salt. I went through a phase tasting every kind of salt I could find, and I still get excited when I come across new types in specialty food stores. Last summer we happened upon a store called The Meadow in New York’s West Village that carries over 100 types of salt and I know this sounds a bit twee and hyperbolic, but I was pretty overtaken by the thrill of a wall of exotic salt from all over the world.
Oh, how I love my alembic copper still! I’ve been having such a great time experimenting with it over these past few weeks. The process of distilling plant matter in water to make hydrosol is creative and right brained, but it also engages my left brain in just the right way. It feels like alchemy, cooking, science, and sculpture rolled into one.
I live smack dab inside an urban forest of linden aka lime (Tilia) and at no time is that more obvious than mid-June-July when the trees are dripping with blooms. Their sticky sweet, floral scent is so strong, my bet is that even if you have never noticed the trees, chances are good that you are familiar with their smell.
Did you know that linden flowers make a sweet and delicious honey-like herbal tisane? The tea, made from dried flowers is popular in Europe, but virtually unheard of here in North America. It has soporific properties, meaning that it makes you sleepy, and is often used as a nighttime drink to calm and relax after a busy day.
Summer is really in full swing now and I can hardly keep up with the bounty that is coming from the garden. To celebrate the summer holiday season, I’ve put the eBundle version of my pocketbook, Drinking the Summer Garden: Homegrown Thirst Quenchers, Concoctions, Sips, and Nibbles on sale for $6.99 (that’s 30% off) for one week only.
For the price of one format, you get three files that will work on multiple devices:
- The MOBI file is designed to work with all Kindle models
- The EPUB file is an ebook format used by a variety of other devices and software (i.e. iPad, iPhone, Aldiko, KOBO)
- The PDF is the closest approximation to the printed look-and-feel of the guide and can be used on the iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, KOBO, or on your computer using Preview or Acrobat.
The sale ends July 8.
p.s. If you’re looking for something easy yet impressive to make with all of that mint in your garden I recommend Crème de Menthe. Cheers!
This Plains Pricklypear (Opuntia polyacantha) was a new addition to the garden, planted just this spring so I was surprised when a flower appeared. All of my other opuntias took at least one full season to put out flowers.
And what a stunning dusty peachy-pink colour it is! One of the small consequences of “going to the desert to see the really big cactus” (this is how I put it to my six year-old neighbour) is that I missed out on the first blooms produced by many of the cacti in my own garden, so I feel especially fortunate to have caught this one.