Tuesday, September 29, 2009

my new favorite tea - holy basil/thai basil blend

This was a decent sized basil harvest, the result of pruning my garden where the dozen variety of basil plants had grown to a few feet high. I picked mostly holy basil (tulsi) and some Thai basil, which has a slight licorice taste. I dried the branches, lying them flat on a blanket. I gave the leaves about an hour in sunlight, to have the plants soak in all of that light. Then I let them dry in the open air.
Once dried I plucked the leaves and cut them into smaller pieces. I saved a bunch for cooking, and still have several cups left. So I am using the leaf blend (because I accidentally got the two basils mixed up) for tea. I am drinking it iced with a little agave nectar, as it is hot here this time of year. Delicious! I just put the dried loose leaves right into a cup of water, let them soak and steep a bit, and I eat the leaves as I drink the tea.
Of course a more civilized person would use a strainer, but I love the taste of the wet, chewy leaves.

Friday, September 4, 2009

my favorite plant

Before I left for the summer I planted several small tulsi plants, many were just babies. I returned home after three long months away, no idea of the state my garden would be in. As we were driving down the highway toward the house I told my husband, "All I care about is that my tulsi survived." Even though we have irrigation, I was worried maybe they hadn't done well with the brutal summer heat and no rain.

I was so, so happy when I got home. A few of the tulsis didn't make it but the majority were enormous! They must have tripled in size. I was thrilled. There was alot of pruning to do, but that didn't matter. I got to eat all of the flowers for days and save the dried seeds to grow more.

This entire summer I had found myself munching on fresh grown herbs, flowers and veggies wherever I went. Lavender mostly. From France to Palo Alto to my mother's garden. This seemed to be almost an obsession. I must miss the minerals and energy I had come to expect from my garden snacking -- nasturtiums, pineapple sage flowers, arugula, rosemay flowers, Italian basil, Thai basil, and of course, tulsi.

Call me Peter Rabbit.

I have never loved a plant more than I do tulsi. Shh, don't tell the others. There is something so special about this plant. After all, it is holy basil.