Mint & Lemongrass Iced Tea

It’s hot!  How about a nice glass of iced herb tea? With the mint and lemon grass competing for space in one of my raised beds, I decided to help all of us out by taking some of each and combining them into a cooling drink.

There are so many recipes out there for herb teas, but you just bring water to boiling, stir in chopped leaves and some sweetener and let it brew.


4 sprigs of mint, leaves, and stem

4 stalks of lemon grass with the bulb attached

4 cups water

1-2 tbs honey


Wash the herbs under cold running water.

Fill a large saucepan with the water and toss in the herbs.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain into a container. Add honey to taste. Let cool.

Pour into a pretty jug or glass and add ice and lemon or lime slices or wedges if you like.

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Planting The Seed Of An Idea

Well, it's back in the weeds again as I begin research on a new book. Not literally into the weeds of course —but wait —maybe I will have to get into the weeds, ahem, plants, as I plot my new novel.

I was just getting started when I researched aspects of botany for my novel, Joyous Lies. The February 2021 release of this book happened at a moment of interest in the just-being-discovered life of plants. My main character in that novel, Maelle, is a botanist trying to prove that plants can hear and communicate danger from a predator to their companion plants.

I made that up.

But my research led me to it. In May 2021, forest ecologist Suzanne Simard released Finding the Mother Tree, in which she wrote about the communicative powers of trees. "How," she writes, "they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize their neighbors, and remember their past; how they have agency about their future; how they elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication."

Simard's book is a standout in its original field research, but for some time, scientists have been conducting laboratory studies on plant communication. I

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Spangled Strawberry Semifreddo

Last week I was invited to a lunch party. We ate strawberries fresh from the garden on a long table under a spreading maple tree. They were the sweetest I’d ever tasted. 

It reminded me of a recipe I posted for that Italian treat, semifreddo. As the name implies, it is close to ice cream, but not quite. But with strawberries on my mind, here is a refresher for this splendid dessert.

For the Fourth of July, I added blueberries to this dessert’s red and white coloring. And some edible sparkles to make it a spangled strawberry semifreddo!


3 cups fresh strawberries

1 tsp lemon juice

½ - ¾ cup sugar

12 oz heavy cream or whipping cream

4 oz Greek yogurt

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup washed blueberries

Silver-colored decorative balls or sprinkles from the children’s birthday section of the supermarket


Take a loaf or brownie pan and line it with plastic wrap so that the wrap folds over the sides and can come up and cover the entire filled pan.

Cut the green stem off the strawberries and wash and quarter them.

In a small stainless-steel pot mix the sugar, lemon juice, and two and a

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