Austin Tea Blend: Eat the Landscape

40% Turk’s Cap flowers

50% Bee Balm leaves

10% Mexican Tarragon

I have experimented with Turk’s Cap for a few years–with entirely mediocre results. I think this is finally a winning recipe. I treated it like a hibiscus flower and dried it for tea.

turks-cap-teabag-webturks-cap-tea-prepared

All three are native to Texas. Turk’s Cap prefers partial shade, and the other two require full sun.

I dried my leaves and flowers in the oven over a couple of days. 225F for about 40 minutes the first day–turning them every 10 minutes with a spatula. I let them dry for 2 days in a single layer in my kitchen. Then I put them in the oven again for 15 minutes to fully dry. That did the trick…this time.

Just so you know: Austin is fairly humid, so drying plants is a bit of a challenge. When I made egg white meringues one time, they took about double the time to make than Martha Stewart’s recipe called for. And then they got sticky by the morning. I sent them with my husband to work. LOL. sticky meringues. classy.

Tea bags! If you drink loose tea, you will already have bags, a strainer, or a teaspoon contraption. These are small, inexpensive items just to have around. Or you can take the nuclear option and just pour boiling water over the leaves like a madman.

Who knew radishes were so easy to grow?

This was the first time I grew them. Since it has been raining, I basically ignored them. Once my husband had to put organic garden dust on them.

Although the package said to plant them one inch apart, I would recomend one seed per hole two inches apart. They all sprouted. There would no need for me to have to thin the plantings if I had just gone with my gut and did one per hole.

Because they were that close, some got long and skinny instead of fat. I should have watched the crop closer. Some of the bigger ones cracked from too much moisture.

I have ton of radish greens now. I think I have done some Japanese pickling (Tsukemono) before with them. I have more than I care to keep. I will bring the left over greens to work. Maybe the guy who owns a Texas Tiny pig or the gal with the chickens can use them.

Look at the albino radish! Not a lick of color on it. I ate him right away. He had a milder flavor than the other ones I chomped.