Does the list from the photo above look familiar? Okay, perhaps you aren’t as OCD as I am when it comes to preparing the holiday meal. What can I say I like to have a plan and not worry about whether my bird will be done when my guests arrive or thank heavens this has never happened…after they’ve left! Either way, whether it be making a 14 page agenda to navigate your 7 course Turkey Day Dinner or paying the pizza delivery boy at the back door 5 minutes before your guests arrive…company and feasting can be stressful! My advice: abandon your turkey baster, plop (and I do mean plop) in your cushiest chair and for Pete's sake take time for yourself!Yes folks as hard as that may be the worst thing during the holidays is to be a grumpy frazzled host or guest. No of course it it’s not a good idea to deep fry onions at 4 AM because dag nabbit the store was out of those French’s onion crunchies. Gosh darn it though we've all been there in some way, shape or form. So...what’s a sleep deprived overzealous cook worrying about whether she should make lemon merengue cheese cake or butterscotch creme brûlée to do? (Thanks to my friend C. for the inspiration there!) Pipe down, take a breather and make yourself a cup of tea that's what! And not just any tea...holy basil tea.Why holy basil? Because holy basil, otherwise known as tulsi, is an adaptogen meaning it helps us cope with stress. Wait there's more! Tulsi also is known to prevent colds and flus as well. Even better it contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help digestive disorders. Stress reducing, will keep you free from picking up your adorable little nephew’s runny nose and it will help calm your stomach from the gargantuan meal you are about to consume…why would you not want to drink this tea?! I’m not saying you are going to be Bahamas, beach sitting, piña colada sipping zend out from a cup of tea. No I'm not Wonder Woman, but If nothing else your holy basil tea will at least make you stop your hustle and bustle for a moment and do something nurturing for yourself.
Now, how does one obtain this little cup of paradise? I plant holy basil in the spring and then wait till late summer flowering. Mid August it gets picked and then into the dehydrator on the herb setting. When dry I bottle the leaves and into a mason jar for safe keeping. And don't worry, if you missed out on planting there are other options. Next time you are out and about swing by your coop or natural food's store bulk area and look for loose leaf holy basil. If you can't find that head to the tea aisle and look for the Organic India Tusli Teas. Both loose leaf and Organic India will deliver the super calming, very necessary adaptogens your body will be craving.
So instead of trying to figure out how to keep Aunt Ethel and Uncle Fred from discussing their colonoscopy and bickering about whose fault it was for forgetting the TUMS focus on a little self-care for yourself this holiday season. Arguments will happen, food will be spilled, Uncle Fred will inevitably get gas...we just can't control some things! Others things like giving ourselves a break and a mini recharge through a simple cup of tea can be. Self-TLC...get on it!
Holy Basil Tea
Makes as much as you dehydrate
- holy basil leaves & flowers
1. Gather holy basil on a sunny afternoon after the dew has dried and the volatile oils have become concentrated.
2. Remove the basil leaves from the stem and set on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate on the herb setting at 95ºF. This will take approximately 8-10 hours.
4. After the basil has been throughly dried, remove from dehydrator and allow to cool. Remove the basil from the trays and store in a glass mason jar or airtight container.
5. To make the tea boil water and pour over a teaspoon of leaves. Allow to steep approximately 3-5 minutes. If you'd like add extras to your holy basil blend herbs such as peppermint, lemon or ginger. A dash of honey never hurts either!