In this Junk Yard Tales: All Together Now story, “Conquest of the Junkyard Pond”, it's freezing cold in the Junkyard. When Mr. Flinch runs out of water for tea, he asks his Junkyard friends for help. They simply need to go to the Junkyard pond to retrieve some ice to thaw. But the whole world is frosty and frozen. Who will step forward as brave arctic explorers?
I don't know what kind of tea Mr. Flinch prefers, but when there's snow and ice piled outside my door I love a cup of piping hot, herbal citrus tea.
While you can buy commercially blended citrus tea, it's basically just dried fruit so it's incredibly easy, fun, and frugal to blend your own.
A few notes to help you get started.
First, the last time I made this I was able to buy dried pineapple, but couldn’t find dried citrus or apples. Obviously, if you can find the latter two fruits dried, you could save yourself the drying step.
Second, in that same vein, feel free to make substitutions according to what fruit you can get your hands on. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think a handful of dried cranberries, for example, would be a delicious addition to this recipe.
Last, using whole fruits means this makes a lot of tea. Don’t let that scare you away, though. Decanted into pretty half-pint jars, this tea makes a wonderful hostess gift for winter parties.
### Citrus Tea
(Makes about a half-gallon jar of dried tea mixture)
6 ounces dried pineapple
1 tablespoon dried sage leaves
1 tablespoon dried lavender
If you don’t have a dehydrator, never fear — just dry the citrus and apple slices on bake sheets in your oven, using the lowest temperature your oven will allow. (Less than 200 F is good; you can prop the door open to keep the temperature lower if you need to.) I dried the fruit for this recipe overnight.
Once the fruit is all dried, chop or crumble it into small bits. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, and use a pair of clean hands to mix them well. Store in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.
To make a cup of tea, boil about 8 ounces of water. Allow the water to cool for about 10 seconds, then add a heaping tablespoon of the fruit and herbs. Let the mixture steep for 3 to 4 minutes, then strain out the solids and enjoy the citrus-y, herbal warmth.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.