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Back-Cooking With Herbs

Yankee Lore  Next Page On Site

The world of herbs
J.E. Kinghorn

Adelma Grenier Simmons owner of Caprilands' in Coventry CT. has  recently passed away and will be sorely missed by countless individuals around the globe.  A trip to Caprilands' was always an adventure for people interested in the cultivation, folklore and medicinal benefits surrounding herbs. Adelma dedicated her life to gaining knowledge in all aspects surrounding herbs and was considered to be an expert in her field. This article will be dedicated to Adelma Grenier Simmons.

One of her pleasures in life was enjoying a delicious cup of herbal tea. I have extracted from her 1990 booklet, `Tea and Tranquillity' two of her favorite tea recipes along with Louisa May Alcott's Apple slump dessert recipe. Louisa loved this dessert and ultimately named her house `Apple Slump'.

`Caprilands Tea' was reputed as the most popular tea.  It was brewed with rosemary as the base with equal blends of mint, sage and thyme added along with one or two tea bags of china tea.  The mixture was then brewed for fifteen minutes and served with lemon, sugar, cream and honey.  I used two teaspoons of rosemary to one teaspoon of the additional herbs and two china green tea bags  when trying this blend.  The instructions were not specific as to the quantity of the herb to use.  However, it was specific that rosemary was used as the base for this tea.

`Sage Tea' was usually keep brewing on the back of the stove at `Caprilands'.  A simple tea but quite good.  Use two heaping teaspoonfuls in an average two cup teapot.  Pour boiling water into pot and allow to steep for ten to fifteen minutes.  Sage tea was considered for generations as the most valuable and beneficial to your health of all the herb teas.  

`Apple Slump'

6 apples-peel, core and slice.
1 cup of sugar*
1t cinnamon
Combine ingredients in tight-fitting lid  sauce pan and heat to the boiling point.

Soft Dough
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 t salt
2 t baking powder
1/2 cup of milk
Prepare soft dough and drop from a tablespoon into the hot apple mixture.  Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.  Serve with warm New England Nutmeg Sauce.

New England Nutmeg Sauce
Mix together:
1 cup of sugar
1T flour
Stir in 1 cup of boiling water. Cook, stirring constantly until sauce begins to boil and thicken slightly.
Add 1t butter and simmer gently for five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1t of nutmeg.  Use sparingly.

* I found that one cup  of sugar rendered this recipe too sweet. The nutmeg sauce is basically sugar, therefore cutting back on the sugar you put in the apples will help cut the sweetness.  A dash of lemon juice will help also.

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