Martha Stewart: Jasmine Shortbread Sandwiches with Grapefruit Curd – We do love all things tea. This recipe looks like a fun one to try for the weekend, with a few adjustments of course. 😉 Like using our Batnip Tea in place of the jasmine and making an Orange Curd as opposed to the Grapefruit. Time to put the kettle on! *This was posted to our tea society facebook page. Come give us a follow and join our tea conversation!
Emily stepped through the back door of Etta Diem’s Attic Shoppe and was greeted by a very intriguing sight: She wasn’t quite sure if it was a good intriguing or bad intriguing at first blush.
The backyard that spread out behind the eccentric woman’s equally eccentric home and shoppe was a visual example of one gardener’s dedication to flowers that chased after the color of a bruise. There were all manner of nature’s opulent takes on the color black, rich wine, the deepest of dark purples, and the occasional lush violet to highlight the depth of darkness the other colors portrayed. The young woman had never seen such a dark garden before. And despite such darkness of blooms their colors only served to make all the greenery around them seem so much more lush and alive. It even highlighted the pale color of the large collection of stone lunar moths that were spread out among the neatly organized flower beds.
“It was like the fabled woman that hid behind the veil of the night needed to have her own space to belong to when the sun was keeping the shadows at bay. This place was like a whisper and breath of midnight no matter the hour of the day. Emily decided she liked it. It suited the shoppe-keep well
Snapdragon Tea and its characters are copyright Bethalynne Bajema. All Rights Reserved
While sadly our Wormwood Queen is still on the mend (damn those skate rink gremlin! *shaky fist*) Miss Blue has packed up the tea wagon and will be representing the Orange Moon Tea Society at The Attic Shoppe’s table in the convention’s vending hall. We have a quaint little display that features Tea Bat Lenormand decks, postcards, prints, and our very first available samples of four of our teas for purchase! You will find our new Batnip Tea, Orange Moon Tea, Snapdragon Tea, and Butterfly Circus Tea all represented. We’ll have cute little sample tins for nabbing and larger tins with samples to smell and look upon our rather attractive teas. If you happen to be attending, please stop by and say hello! And get your first sample of the Orange Moon Society Tea! For more convention information follow this link.
Artwork by the Wormwood Queen.
Oh it’s here! After a long time of working to get the ingredients just right we are proud to announce our Absinthe Tea: Mere Henriot’s Elixir. This is a family recipe from our Orange Moon Tea Society member, the Wormwood Queen. Here is her story in her own words:
“I’ve always had a love of all things mysterious and magical. I remember at a very young age I would pick various flowers and herbs and attempt to make potions, perfumes, teas and tisanes. It seems this was an inherited trait. I come from a long line of those who infused magic into their every day lives, through palmistry, cooking, tarot and tea. And when I go back further, I see the penchant for Herbology has been there for quite sometime. It seems only natural that I would find myself recreating a family tradition relating to that most mysterious of drinks, the infamous Absinthe.
“Some credit the good Doctor Ordinaire with the creation of Absinthe. But as so often is the case in our patriarchal society, history has been shaped to recognize those that are deemed acceptable, credible, more reputable? My dear ancestors, the Sisters Henriod had long been creating medicinal tinctures and tisanes to help the people in their village of Couvet, Switzerland. Many of their recipes were passed to them from their mother and her mother before. Although the Sisters were well respected and their shoppe well patronized, they still needed to be wary of public opinion and the ever possible accusation of witchcraft. For even though the final Witchcraft Act of 1735 written into law led to prosecution for fraud rather than pacts with the Devil, both would result in death as the punishment.
“(In fact this same act was still used in the 1940’s to prosecute spiritualists and Gypsies. It wasn’t repealed until 1951.)
“Being clever people and recognizing their limitations for simply being women they decided to secure the help of their friend Pierre Ordinaire, a French Doctor who had taken up residence in Couvet and at the time, rather fancied their mother. They petitioned his assistance to promote this increasingly popular medicinal known as Absinthe. His charming nature, good looks and respectable title of Doctor were well embraced and he proved to be a most natural salesman. His credibility and successful promotions led to the purchasing of said recipe by a French businessman, Major Dubied, for a suitable sum. The Major then partnered with his son-in-law, Pernod to begin distillation. And the rest is history…until now…
“Privately, those of us in the Orange Moon Tea Society have been enjoying my Absinthe Tea at our parties and gatherings for some time. After long discussions and encouragement from the ladies in the Society we have decided to make the tea publicly available along with some of our other signature blends. We do hope you will enjoy!”
Try it for yourself HERE
On Friday night of her first week at the boarding house Emily decided to ask Minerva if it was time that she could tell the young woman her story as promised on her first day.
The two of them were sitting on the open, second floor porch where Emily had her first meal with her great aunt and her old friend. This was actually the pair’s favorite place in the house. It was quiet and set apart from the places in the massive house that could get loud with activity at times. It offered a lovely view of the outlying lands around the place. And there was no better view of the stars overhead at night. Emily approved of the spot. In fact it has also become her favorite place, especially after the sun had set and the lightning bugs took to the surrounding fields.
“So what’s your story Minerva?” Emily asked. She’d waited for Miss Emma to excuse herself to take a bath before asking. Her poor aunt’s bones tended to get to her towards the end of the day. As her bones got to her a little of her patience for her niece’s curiosity grew thin.
Minerva was sitting in her rocking chair gently moving herself back and forth. She didn’t answer at first. She continued to look towards the heavens with a thoughtful expression on her old face.
In the candlelight Emily was able to see the old woman in a somewhat different light. The warm glow of the candle flame had a wonderful effect where it almost made all the old woman’s age lines smooth out. In that light Emily could almost see what a younger version of the woman looked like. Her features were very petite and had a very youthful quality to them; like the face of a teenage girl who had yet to grow into what her womanly face would finally look like. Emily could see Minerva having been a very pretty young woman.
Eventually Minerva pulled her dark shawl around her shoulders and sighed heavily. All of her gruffness was released with that sigh. Without it Minerva almost sounded like a teenage girl playing old woman dress up.
“My story… your aunt would probably kill me for sharing that with you so soon. But it’s a beautiful summer night and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. That’s a good time for a memory tale. There are storms forecast for next week… I don’t like storms so much. I can’t talk about myself when there is thunder around. And lightning… ”
She fell silent again. Her mind was drifting back in time and it was no easy thing for her to do. She had to be in the right head space though. When she spoke her voice was that of a teenage girl. It was something surreal to hear.
“I was about to turn eighteen. I lived in a very well to do estate with my parents during Victorian times. I never had to want for a thing. It was an absolute wonder I didn’t become a spoiled, self involved creature like many of my female counterparts of the time. I attribute this to the influence of my grandmother. She and my grandfather worked hard for the lavish lifestyle my mother was born into. And when my mother married rich and doubled her fortunes, my grandmother made a decision to make sure her grandchildren didn’t become soft like their parents. I was her only grandchild so that gave her a lot of free time to focus on me alone. Read More
“She went everywhere that one. The more nomadic she became the more her senses began to change. In life Mab had been a quite ordinary middle-aged woman with an incredible green-thumb who loved her husband and was reasonably satisfied with her life because she was with him. When he was gone she became a singular creature who wanted to see everything, to know everything she could know. She traveled to Florida to see the coral castle and had lively debates about how old Edward had moved all that rock around. She visited the Winchester house and nearly stepped through one of the doors to nowhere. Though technically it did lead somewhere: Down, at a falling pace. That woman can tell you a story or two about her travels. Believe it.” This caused Miss Emma a thoughtful smile.
“One day Mab was presented with an experience that showed her just how greatly her senses had changed… how she was seeing so much more of the world than the average person.
“She was in a large town sitting on a park bench feeding ducks. One of the ducks became startled and started flapping its wings most violently and quaking at something Mab couldn’t see. Finally the duck darted forward and sitting there was an ugly little creature she described as looking like a very old and angry sweet potato. It had arms and legs and a cruel little face where at that moment had a mouthful of duck feathers in it.
“When the creature realized that Mab could see it, it was just as startled as she was. They stared one another down until finally the creature became spooked and ran away. To this day Mab hasn’t successfully been able to identify the creature and at the time she didn’t want to figure out what it was. She was too busy being perplexed by having seen it. It was the start though. From that point after Mab would see things everywhere. And they were things that everyone could see if they wanted to. She realized people simply did their best to filter those things out.
“Mab began a diary and she recorded any little thing that she saw. She sketched these things and slowly began to accumulate her own little dictionary of strange creatures. Often she would visit a library in whatever place she was staying and look through books to see if she could better identify these creatures. When she discovered what a creature was she added that name and notes to her diary.
“Eventually it became apparent to her that she was mostly seeing some of the more mischief laden and nastier creatures talked about in myths or children stories. She wanted desperately to see the beautiful creatures of their kind but they were elusive. She might catch a colorful shadow but she never laid eyes on the shadow caster properly. But when she finally did, she realized why she wasn’t seeing these creatures. At least not seeing these creatures where she was looking for them. Read More
“It’s a Boy!” We are pleased to announce that our very own Wormwood Queen of the Orange Moon Tea Society is officially a Grandmother! (Whereby she promptly treated herself to a celebratory cup of tea and the purchase of some wrinkle cream.) Congratulations!
The trip downstairs was a minor maze. The outside of the boarding house looked large but it failed to give scope to just how large it could be inside when a crafty architect was able to add hallways and strange directions to a grand structure. When she finally found the kitchen on the first floor she was almost grateful to be in a place where she could at least request food. Thankfully there was someone to request such things from.
There was a mother and daughter duo in the kitchen. The mother was stirring a pot of cream of wheat and her daughter was jumping up and down wanting to know if she could go to the back door yet. The mother added a handful of blueberries to her pot and stirred. She finally found her breakfast stew complete and set it to the side. Only then did she turn towards her hyper daughter.
“Yes. But be quick. And bring the bowl back one way or another.”
The little girl squealed and darted out of the kitchen. Emily couldn’t be sure but it barely felt like moment had passed before the little girl returned to the kitchen with an empty bowl in hand.
“He took it! He took it!” The little girl chanted as she jumped up and down.
The mother smiled. “Wonderful! Do you think a little cream will get him to clean up the play room you refuse to neaten up?”
“Mom!” The little girl protested.
The mother shrugged her shoulders. “What? Dusting is one thing. Let him smell that homemade rotting play-dough you have hidden in your play room and see if a bowl of cream is enough. I mean really Sigrid… haven’t I taught you the value of fair trade?”
The little girl looked put off, but clearly what her mother was telling her made sense. When she noticed Emily looking on her demeanor seemed to change though. She crossed her arms over her chest and looked defiant.
“Joao would do anything for me, cream or not!”
The mother looked up and noticed Emily as well. Her eyebrow arched as she looked down at her little girl and gave her a crocked smile.
“Let’s not play things up for the new person in the room.” She poured cream of wheat into a bowl and handed it to the little girl. “No more Joao talk. Now go sit and eat your breakfast –and mind your manners! We have a new guest to the house.”
The woman turned to Emily and motioned for her to come closer. “Come on in and have a seat. This is my daughter Sigrid. My name’s Sonja. Would you like something to eat?” Read More
Sometimes things get pretty hot in Orange Moon Downs and an ordinary iced tea simply won’t do. For those nights we try this, it’s perfect for a hot summer evening! Brew 8oz of our Batnip Tea and chill overnight. Mix about a quart cup of chopped mango, a touch of honey, blend thoroughly. Add chilled tea and 2oz of fruit brandy, pour over ice! If desired, try adding a few cubes of frozen mango and a sprig of mint.