I have a lot of lemon balm in my garden.
Like, a lot.
No really, a LOT LOT.
So much so, that I included a little video at the end of this post of me attempting to harvest lemons in the lemon balm patch. Because that’s how it totally works, right? Oh.
Have you ever seen or smelled or used or loved or touched or held or cradled lemon balm before? Well, for starters, it grows like a weed. It IS a weed, actually. Not to be confused with, “it is weed actually.”
It kind of looks like mint, and will take over your entire life if you don’t watch out. It has a soft lemon flavor that’s not overpowering, and I just find it luverly.
A few years ago when we started gardening, it randomly appeared in this one section of our garden bed. Just appeared out of nowhere, like a sign from the ancient Lord of the Gardening . . . Rings. So we kept it and let it do its thing. And now I’m afraid it’s going to swallow me whole.
But not until we make some tea first, cheelahs!
You already know how to do this, I know. I just thought it would be a fun little dain-TEA (don’t paper cut me) adventure for us to take together on this pleasant Frawdee morning.
In my instructions I give you two ways of making tea. One for hyperactive impatient freaks (me), and another for the rest of you who possess the ability to know how to be calm and balanced in your life.
I guess this is why I need this tea. To be like the rest of you. Even though it’s completely hopeless. (said like Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid.)
The quickest way to do this is to keep it fresh. So fresh and so clean clean.
You pick the leaves, rinse the leaves, pat them dry, stick them in your tea ball or infuser and that’s all she wrote.
OR, she could write a little more and you could dry them. You can either hang them in the sun (like two photos up), or lay them between paper towels and keep them in the oven on a very low temp for a while, until they’re crispy and dark and dry, just like the corners of my soul.
I feel calmer already. I think. Wait, do I? Or is it mental? OMG IS IT ONLY MENTAL? SOMEONE HELP ME.
You just want to see my silly video, don’t you?
Homemade Lemon Balm Tea:
What it took for about 4 cups of tea, I think:
* a garden that has lemon balm in it
* I’m just kidding, 6 to 10 cups lemon balm (or a big ole bunch)
* boiling water
For the impatient person (me), just snip a bunch of balm from wherever you can find it. Rinse the leaves of any dirt, bugs or boogie monsters. Pull the leaves from the stems and pat them dry.
Boil water. Stick the leaves into your tea vessel of choice. Vessel is kind of a gross word.
Steep for about 20 minutes. Done!
Now, for those who have patience (not me), there are two ways you can dry them. One is to hang them outdoors for a few days, until dark and crispy. And dry.
Another is to preheat your oven to 200. Arrange the (rinsed and pat dry) leaves in a single layer on a paper towel. You can keep layering and stack up to 5 paper towels if you want. Put the stacks on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven off and leave them in there for seriously a long time. Overnight if you want.
Crumble the dried leaves and store until you’re ready to steep!
I apologize for what you’re about to endure. To actually hear the video (which is even worse), just click the little sound button in the upper left hand corner. Ugh.
Are we still friends?