Well, it was time to finally take down the Christmas tree today. Here you can see where I gently placed it on our leaf-strewn lawn (no snow here in California, sigh….) before it is unceremoniously thrown into the dump truck. Am I the only one who has waited this long for the dreaded task? I know the holidays are over and the tree is dry, but it still smells great and taking it down means I have to get on with the new year and normal life. Looking at my calendar I saw that it is the second week in January. So I resigned myself to the fact that the deed had to be done. Fortunately, I could turn to my built in support system to bolster me for this unpleasant chore. My annual source of comfort and solace: Christmas fruit cake from my sister and a steaming cup of tea.
Every Christmas my one and only sister, Jan, presents me with her hearty, flavorful fruitcake. I know that fruitcake has been given a bad rap, but my sister’s version is seriously delicious with nuts and dried fruit and none of that funny artificial stuff. Anyway, once Christmas is over, the trimmings are put away and it’s time to move on with life, having a slice of Jan’s fruitcake with a nice cup of tea helps me ease back into reality. My January comfort food.
Of course, these days, the selection of tea is magnificent. Daunting, actually. So many choices from favorite standbys to exotic organic herbals. Having been reintroduced to dried herbs recently (I live only 5 minutes away from what many consider herbal mecca: Rosemary’s Garden) I’ve been enjoying my version of a lovely hot tea that was offered at a little workshop I attended last year. Containing anise seed, cinnamon, nettles and chamomile, this soothing blend is delicate and slightly sweet and also has terriffic nutritional value. Nettles contribute vitamins A, B & C, anise seed is both antiviral and an expectorant, cinnamon is warming and has antiviral properties and chamomile is relaxing. At this time of year when it’s cold, when viruses are floating around and we are all in need of the rest that winter should provide, this is a very appropriate brew.
Maybe you’d like to try this tea yourself? Here’s the recipe:
JANUARY COMFORT TEA
(See notes below regarding allergies and pregnancy)
1/2 tsp. Dried Nettles
1/2 tsp. Dried Chamomile
1/4 tsp. Dried Cinnamon pieces
1/4 tsp. Anise Seed (not Star Anise which can be toxic!!!))
Place above ingredients into a paper tea filter, tea ball or tea strainer. (I like to use tea filters as pictured, because they allow for plenty expansion of tea ingredients.)
Pour 3-4 cups boiling water over herbs and let steep for 10 minutes, up to 30 mintues.
This tea should NOT be ingested if you are pregnant, since, even though the ingredients are quite diluted, both nettles and cinnamon are to known to effect uterine contractions.)
Do not ingest if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums or related, since chamomile is in the same plant family.
Can be enjoyed as is. For sweeter tea, a small amount of honey or stevia may be added.
Helpful for colds because it has antiviral properties.
Helpful for stress due to the nutritive value of nettles and relaxing properties of chamomile.
Thanks, Jannie, for the fruitcake and the snowman mug. They always cheer me up!
I’ve enjoyed sharing this with:
So what to you think? Leave a comment and let me know!