So, as person who actually has burned water, the title of this post caught my eye right away! If you like hot beverages, read on. Catherine Noon is here to walk us through boiling, simmering, and steeping while we make a lovely cuppa!
Oh, hey – there is a GIVEAWAY. Make sure and check out Catherine’s latest book, Emerald Keep. If you comment on this post, you could win a free copy!
For me, I’ve made a meal out of the fact that I adore coffee. I have written recipes, shared ideas, and generally styled myself as a coffee person. However, I also adore herbal tea. And black tea. And…
Well, let’s just say I like hot beverages and leave it at that, or we’ll be here all day trying to define what I like. It’s probably easier to say what I don’t like in terms of beverages, and that would be, “gin.” Except that my herbal instructor pointed out that there are more kinds of fine gin that you can shake a stick at and we’re back at the first problem.
So, tea. It’s a common misconception, at least here in the States, that “tea” comes out of a cardboard box in a small paper mesh envelope on a string. The truth is far richer than that. High-quality leaves from freshly dried botanicals make all the difference. If you’ve never been, try visiting a tea shop in your area and explore the loose-leaf teas. There are some amazing blends out there.
Since I have a dodgy tummy, I’m forever getting tummy aches. A super easy, quick way to make a stomach tonic is to get a fresh ginger root from the grocery store, (most large stores have them in the root vegetables section; they look like small, misshapen dolls). Use a carrot peeler to slough off the outer skin. Slice two or three disks off the root and put them in a pan with two cups of boiling water. Boil for ten minutes or so, and then cool. Serve fresh or add some honey if the ginger is too strong to your palette.
What’s the difference between boiling the botanicals and letting them steep? As a general rule of thumb, you boil roots (at a rolling, bubbling boil) for longer than ten minutes, even up to twenty. For leaves and blossoms, you boil the water and then add the botanicals just before the boiling point, and just barely simmer for up to twenty minutes. You boil the roots because they’re tougher and need the longer time in the hotter water; you’ll basically overcook the leaves or flowers if you do that to them.
We had a lot of fun with this in our forthcoming book, Emerald Keep. The hero, Hunter Quill Mayer, is known for burning the leaves. It’s a recurring theme in the book and it makes me giggle whenever I see we’ve added it. I’m sure everyone knows at least one person who’s hopeless in the kitchen and can “burn the water.”
When Emerald Keeper Teeka returns to the city of Reghdad and leaves the harsh desert behind, he finds that not all dangers come from the Great Valley. The dangerous Daymonth is nearly upon them and no one can survive on the surface of the planet — but Senior Hunter Quill Mayer is trying to get to Reghdad, and Teeka, before the start of it. Even if he makes it, Emerald Keep denies Teeka’s Contract with Senior Hunter Quill, and Teeka discovers his enemy is more powerful than any of them suspected and he will stop at nothing to separate Teeka and Quill — even by striking in the very heart of the city.
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For author and textile artist A. Catherine Noon, it’s all about the yarn, both metaphorical and literal – spinning a yarn, knitting with yarn, weaving, sewing, painting, sharing stories and good times over a cup of coffee with dark chocolate. She teaches creative writing, creative expression and textile arts.
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