Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Time for tea

Before you head out for Black Friday shopping or even when you return — which could be in the middle of the night — wouldn’t it be nice to have a hot cup of tea?

I really enjoy hot tea, especially this time of year.

My favorite is chai latte, but I also enjoy teas I prepare at home.

For years I’ve made Johnny Appleseed tea in my slow cooker because my entire family enjoys it so much. It’s soothed many colds and sore throats at my house.

Now I have a new fruited tea to add to my recipe collection. I saw a recipe for marmalade tea in Debbi Baker Covington’s “Dining Under The Carolina Moon” a few weeks back. I was intrigued with the idea of mixing a jar of marmalade into a batch of tea. I’ve said before, I love experiments, and this sounded like a fun one.

I changed around several things in Debbie’s original recipe, including substituting brown sugar instead of white, just as I do in the Johnny Appleseed tea. I also didn’t have a lemon, so I used fresh orange juice, and I added a stick of cinnamon to my steaming tea mixture to add a festive flavor to my tea.

The marmalade immediately starts to dissolve when it hits the hot tea, and the little pieces of orange peel float round as you stir. Debbi mentions the tea can be strained; we didn’t mind the orange pieces.

After I had a cup of tea, I poured what was left in a favorite glass tea pitcher and left the tea in the refrigerator for more than a week. Anytime I wanted hot tea, I just poured a cup and let it warm in the microwave. If you are fixing this for a crowd, I suggest pouring the hot tea into a slow cooker and leaving the setting on warm.

I’d still love to receive Christmas goody recipes from my readers to share in this column. Send to the email address below or to Lisa Batts, The Wilson Times, P.O. Box 2447, Wilson, NC 27894.

Johnny Appleseed Tea
  • 2 quarts water, divided
  • 6 tea bags or 3 family size tea bags
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen apple juice concentrate, undiluted*
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
Bring 1 quart water to a boil; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags.

Pour remaining quart of water and remaining ingredients into slow cook, mix in steeped tea. Set slow cooker to low or warm. Yield: 9 cups.

*I can no longer find the small can of juice. I buy the larger can and use at least half. I try to get most of the concentrated syrupy liquid that’s at the bottom of the can.

Marmalade Tea
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 family size tea bag (I use decaffeinated)
  • 12 oz. jar orange marmalade
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Juice of one orange
  • Cinnamon stick
Bring 10 cups of water to boil. Remove from heat and steep tea bags for 7-8 minutes. Stir in marmalade, sugar, orange juice and cinnamon until marmalade is melted and well mixed. Strain tea if deserved before serving.

Serves 10.

Adapted from “Dining Under the Carolina Moon” by Debi Baker Covington

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