The week following a holiday always seems to require extra effort to get the household routine back in order and running smoothly.
It was lovely to slow down over Thanksgiving, play game after game of chess with the boys – their current fixation – or putter in the dappled yard while the chickens bustle about in the fallen leaves. Getting back to school and work, however, was a little bumpy. By mid-week I was feeling overwhelmed with everything on my plate – and I couldn’t ignore the tickle in my throat that indicated I may be coming down with something.
I thought about how I could jostle my calendar to make it all work, but then, over a quiet cup of tea, I decided to slow right down. Instead of jotting yet another to-do list, I took a few moments for myself, something that a mother who works from home seldom does. There is no lunch hour, no scheduled breaks, and certainly no quitting time when your work and your life overlap so closely.
Outside it was raining, but there was still a warm light falling on my kitchen counter. I reached for a handful of apples, picked a sprig of rosemary from the pot next to the sink, and unhurriedly worked to infuse a jar of apple tea. With the first pour, its fragrant vapors wrapped me up in a warm hug and my shoulders relaxed ever so slightly.
The honey soothed my throat and the apple infusion was pronounced, yet subtle, in the most charming way. I stood at the counter, looking out the window at the wind battering the trees and the carpet of leaves forming below them, and I drank every last drop.
In taking a moment to still myself, my outlook on the week changed. I was ready to move forward, steady and strong, and I instinctively knew what to cut out and what to focus my efforts on.
How to make a Roasted Apple & Rosemary Tisane
Three apples are all it takes to get this tisane started; I used Cortland, which gave a soft blush hue to the infusion. Wash them well, and place them in a little pan to roast.
Roast them at 350F for about 45 minutes until their skins begin to wrinkle and the juices begin to seep out. If you can double up on oven duty and tuck the apples into the oven while something else is roasting, all the better.
Cut apples into quarters and place them in a clean glass jar. Don’t worry about the core or seeds; they will be strained out later.
If any apple juice accumulated in the pan, tip it into the jar. Add a sprig of rosemary now as well.
Boil a kettle and fill the jar with hot water. Cover with a lid and let steep in a warm place for one hour. Remove the rosemary (unless you like a strong infusion of the herb, but too much and it can taste soapy), cover again and steep for another hour.
Strain tea into a cup and sweeten with a touch of honey. I like my tea steaming hot, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to reheat it slightly as it will have cooled considerably. Then float an apple slice on top, and find a quiet place to savor your cup and reflect on the day.
While my affections for apple cider haven’t changed, this mild apple tea is a completely different beverage, and one that I will be experimenting with further. If this pesky sore throat continues, I will be adding a little ginger to my next infusion, and perhaps a splash of apple whisky, too.
|Roasted Apple Rosemary Tisane||
- 3 apples
- 1 small sprig of rosemary
- 1 tsp honey
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Wash apples well, and place them in a small pan to roast. Roast apples for about 45 minutes until their skins begin to wrinkle and the juices begin to seep out. Meanwhile, boil a kettle.
- Cut apples into quarters and place them in a clean glass jar. If any apple juice accumulated in the pan, tip it into the jar.
- Add the sprig of rosemary and fill the jar with hot water. Cover with a lid and let steep in a warm place for one hour.
- Remove the rosemary (unless you like a strong infusion of the herb, but too much and it can taste soapy), cover again and steep for another hour.
- Strain tea into a cup and sweeten with a touch of honey. You may want to reheat it as it will have cooled considerably.
- Float an apple slice on top, then find a quiet place to savor your cup.
Do you have a favorite fall beverage?