Posted 02-14-2005 at 12:17:28
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...you guys been busy!!!
First, my sincerest sympathy to all who lost friends and companions, two- or four-legged, over the weekend. My heart goes out to you. It is never easy to say goodbye.
Fawteen, Tina, my raspberry tea was extremely basic... I always felt like a hunter-gatherer when I'd make and drink it. :)
I would go out and pull the newer, bright-green, soft leaves off the bush, wash them really well, and lay them out on a screen to dry. You can also just cut an entire branch (a small one, not the whole deal, heh), hang it upside down (cut side up, skinny side down) with a clothespin in a cool, dry, dark area, and just let it dry. The leaves don't look too appetizing when they're done, but they have a real mellow flavor, almost citrus in tone. Remember to pick quite a few, as they shrink up when they dry, and also it takes at least two-three tablespoons of crumbled-up leaves to get any flavor at all.
When they're dried out completely (three days to a week and some change), put the leaves in a brown paper bag and store in a cool, dry area. When you want to make your tea, you can use a tea ball or a linen bag, or do it the true old-fashioned way... crumble up as many leaves as you like according to the strength of tea you want, and dump them in the bottom of your mug. Then fill it up with hot (not boiling) water and let it steep, and then let the leaves settle.
I don't like that, since I don't like drinking leaf pulp, so I just bought a little tea ball. You can also now buy the do-it-yourself teabags, where you fill the envelope to taste, fold it up, and steep it like a Lipton's bag.
And as far as my girly parts go... I was talking about... oh, there's just no way to explain that and look right, is there? Ahem. My apologies to the comp'ny at large...