August 1, 2022 A time for reflection, harvest and turning toward fall. Harvest of the first grain continues at this time of year as a celebration and task for peoples around the northern latitude. Grain, that concentrated food that allowed civilizations to store nourishment, thereby, giving time for expansion and creative endeavor.
Last week, I took a delightful walk through the Herbfarm Restaurant's kitchen garden at Willow's Lodge in Woodinville, WA. I had the good fortune to manage this garden in it's beginning years, so I especially enjoy walking through and seeing it's continued forward growth. There, I found a raised bed filled with different maturing grains, which, I'm guessing are used in the Herbfarm's world renowned seasonal menu. What a beautiful tribute to this season, a gracious reflection of our shared ancestral inheritance, and a walk through a piece of my past that, like me, keeps changing through time.
Roasted Barley Hawthorn Tea
Today, finds me preparing for the late summer and fall herb conferences where I'll be teaching and vending nourishing herbal preparations for use and delight. Over the years the repertoire of herbs I use has come to fruition and, like the season, consolidated into a handful of tried and true allies. One central character of that materia medica is Hawthorn or the Crataegus genus of shrubs and small trees.
As the first harvest celebration is upon us and the strong, hot summer sun beats down, I'd like to share a recipe for a refreshing beverage using barley and hawthorn. Roasted barley is a staple "cha" or tea, enjoyed in many Asian countries. Adding Hawthorn brings a refreshing, slightly sour and heart strengthening element to the tea. And, this easy drinking tea can be enjoyed year 'round, cooling in summer and delicious as a nourishing hot beverage in winter.
Roasted Barley & Hawthorn Tea Recipe
1 pound barley: Dry roast in a heavy pan or bake at 350° in the oven on a flat sheet until golden with a sweet, nutty fragrance
1 ounce Hawthorn fruit: I used sliced, freeze dried, Chinese haw (while the taste will change, any hawthorn fruit will work)
Mix cooled roasted barley and hawthorn fruit together. Store in an airtight container.
2 Methods of brewing Roasted Barley & Hawthorn Tea
Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture per cup into a teapot, add boiling water, steep 10-15 minutes. Brewed a second time and see how the flavor changes.
Alternatively, place the tea mixture in a sauce pan with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer 10-15 minutes. Enjoy.
Using tea as means for social connection is a custom practiced around the world and further heightens the health benefits of this tea. Taking time to steep, sniff and savor the flavor, sharing time with friends in conversation extends the pleasure of sharing tea in the company of others.
May you find the space and time to savor a pot of Roasted Barley and Hawthorn Tea with friends and family soon.
Visit heartyhawthorn.com for more on Hawthorn
Visit eaglesong-gardener.com for new rumblings at RavenCroft Garden