House Wine-Part II

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t Rosethorn Manor-we work hard and we play hard.  While I admit, I do on occasion love the punch of brisk and sweet southern tea on a roasting day, I normally cannot consume things so sweet.

In our house my husband, son and I all three have different tastes when it comes to tea….kind of like the three bears, which is why the second house wine in line is Herbal Sun Tea (this is actually a tisane, however for the sake of common generality we will use them interchangeably).  There are certain flavors this pagan girl craves in the summer heat and it is mint and lemon and nothing better fills that craving as fresh herbs from the garden.  This spring we have been especially lucky to have my four favorite tea herbs of sweet mint, lavendar, lemon balm and sage already showing growth and ready to use.

All four of these herbs, along with chamomile, make a healing sun brew that can be consumed all summer.  I have the particular challenge of dealing with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and the combination of these herbs go a long way in helping deal with the symptoms while also aligning my body with the healing energies of earth and sun.  This particular tea is good for all women whether you have female ailments or just want a healthy healing concoction for your lovely bodies.

House Wine Part II

Tisane herbs from the gardens of Rosethorn Manor

Lemon balm has a refreshingly bright lemon flavor and is a feminine herb known for its association with the Melissa-Priestess of Bees.  It works to balance the hormones and boost circulation as well as acting as an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal; it reduces cancer cell size, lifts depression and aids in menstrual discomfort.  Its sedative properties reduce anxiety and stress and gives the tea a soft smooth quality.

Sage has a sharp pungent flavor (so I go easy on this in the tea and adjust the flavor accordingly).  It is related to the rosemary plant and has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties.  It is beneficial for bones, brain, skin and the immune system.

Lavender is an amazing all round feminine super herb that I use in every area of my life cooking, cleaning, healing and spell working.  Definitely one of my herbal totems and allies.  As a tea it reduces stress and anxiety, aid in sleep and relaxation while still keeping the mind present, it reduces the pain of cramps and calms the overall system working as an antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory.  A wonderful ally with endless uses.

Mint, in general, is a cooling herb that tastes amazing and is known to help reduce testosterone.  Spearmint, in particular, is known to decrease androgen levels and reduce the levels of free testosterone in the blood, which is especially important if you have PCOS.  Mint is a digestive and anti-oxidant and serves to lift depression as well as combat some cancers and clear the mind.

Chamomile has antipeptic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-allergenic and serves to soothe the body inside and out as well as aid in sleep.

I also like to add stinging nettle when in season and fennel seed which is wonderful for the female systems.  I used to use hops from our vine outside the front door, however, I have learned that hops contain high levels of phytoestrogens which are not good for me.  For most women it can be a lovely addition to their tea blend, however, if you have PCOS, make sure to check your hormone panel to see if you are high or low in your estrogen.

Feminine Balancing Herbal Sun Tisane recipe
1 large handful of Chamomile or 6 Chamomile tea bags (while I grow chamomile I really love the flavor of Celestial Seasonings Honey Chamomile)
3-4 sprigs Lavendar 

1 large handful of Lemon Balm

 

House Wine II Tisane

House Wine II Herbal Tisane

1 large handful of Mint -though flavor-wise I go easy on the Spearmint as its pretty strong
1-2 large springs of culinary Sage

Place all the herbal darlings into a 1 gallon glass jug or sun tea pitcher (not plastic) and place out in the sun for the day.

I do sweeten with honey at times, however, I do this last because it will start to ferment on the occasion you forget it.  When it’s really hot out I will leave the tea out overnight to bathe in the full moon when she is out and just generally cool down before placing in the fridge.  Though you will want to have two pitchers because as soon as one is made it will be drank and another needs to be brewing.

Blessed (Bee) and Enjoy the Season of Sun Tea Brewing!

House Wine-Part I

Preferred House Wines of the Witches of Rosethorn Manor

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othing quite quenches the taste buds on a hot day than iced tea.  People all over the world have some form of tea obsession.  At Rosethorn Manor, the house wine-nectar of the Goddess is tea.  We drink it year round for slaking our thirst, warming up, cooling off, comfort and healing.  Opinions in our house are split between the herbal sun tea and southern sweet tea (ask any southerner or my son and the world just isn’t right without some sweet tea).

We grew up drinking iced tea in the summer with crushed mint from my Grandma’s garden and I just couldn’t get enough of it.  However, it had very little if any sugar in it.  Sugar just wasn’t something my sis and I had much of growing up and I never really developed a taste for it.

Fast forward into the future 20 years….I’m in college the second time around…….and along comes a Virginia Boy.  Well, this Virginia Boy and I become fast friends and he waxes on about his Mamma’s southern sweet tea…he can’t find it anywhere up here in the north, people have tried and nobody, but nobody can make tea like a southerner he tells me.  Well, having spent time in Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, I can attest to the fact that this Virginia Boy is correct, our tea is not made so sweet~as that is known as hummingbird water up here in the Pacific Northwest.  BUT…this boy has thrown down the gauntlet and I am not known for walking away from a challenge (and I’m just plain tired of hearing him whine about tea).  Off I go, bound and determined to conjure this homesick boy some Southern Sweet Tea.  Now mind you…..this witch can cook and this witch can conjure, so this witch is pretty darned good at figuring recipes out.

Down the road a couple batches and I am just not getting the recipe correct and it’s making me a little pissy (this was in the day before everything was all over the internet).  It was never sweet enough and something was just a little off.  I asked this Virginia Boy what was in the recipe and how much of what?  He said he didn’t know as he’d never made it, but he knew it when he tasted it.  Finally, I broke down and asked if his Mamma could possibly be sweet-talked into parting with her Sweet Tea recipe?  The Virginia Boy gets on the horn with his Mamma, who very graciously parts with her recipe.  What was the missing ingredient you ask?    Baking soda and waaaaay, way more sugar than I was using.  The finished product was actually something I couldn’t quite stomach too much of, but it was taste-tested by the Virginia Boy, who said it tasted just like his Mamma’s.   I did tease him and reminded him I was a northerner.  The Virginia Boy just smiled and told me I must have a southerner’s heart to make southern sweet tea.  I will admit the baking soda threw me for a loop, however it does really smooth out the flavors of the tea.

The recipe for this Southern Sweet Tea is as follows:

6-7 tea bags-(Liptan is okay, but Luzianne in the red box is better and trust me, it does make a difference in flavor, I don’t know why)

1 1/2 -2 cups of sugar

Place these in a bowl or 4 cup measure and pour boiling water to the top.  Stir the sugar until dissolved. When somewhat cooled add a pinch of baking soda and stir.
Garnish with fresh mint or lemon

Now….in reality, I just cannot make the tea with this much sugar.  My husband doesn’t like things so sweet either, however, I have a teenage son who believes the more sugar the better.  For years I got away with making it with a lot less sugar,  though my son just returned from visiting family in South Carolina and has experienced the difference.  Since I can no longer pull the reduced-sugar wool over his eyes, I make it with a combination of sugar and stevia or just stevia.  I know southerners are probably rolling their eyes skyward, but as I said-in this house that’s hummingbird water.  We still love us some Southern Sweet Tea though.

Southern Sweet Tea and Herbal Tisane

House Wines @ Rosethorn Manor

To see the second preferred house wine by the Witches of Rosethorn Manor please continue to House Wine Part II