Monday, December 1, 2008

Winter tea pickings

Falmouth MA is full of walking paths, which for some reason were all but abandoned this past summer, but over the Thanksgiving break I was happy to see lots of people out and about. The foraging for the year is coming to a close, but I keep going out 'one last time' and this time it was a batch of winter tea that I will dry up and try soon. The stuff: wintergreen (enormous amounts in Beebe woods), white pine needles, hemlock needles, rose hips - intensified in flavor since there have already been a few frosts, and some northern bay thrown in there too. Not sure about this last one, since I've read that bay (as in bay berries) around here is more intense than the European bay that we find in our spice racks. We'll see.

I've been enjoying Cape Cod by Thoreau this past week too. He travels around (c. 1849) and meets the locals, walks the beaches, observes what plants grow in the sand, and generally offers a glimpse into life on the cape 160 years ago. He has success making candles from the bayberries. Props to Henry David - I tried that once when I was about 10 and got about 1/2 teaspoon of wax.

Falmouth also has a town dump which has a take-it-or-leave it swap shop that my mother frequents. The current word, and I verified it myself, is that people aren't leaving as much stuff as a few months ago? The bad economy? Anyhow, dump some stuff off if you are in the neighborhood.

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