I realized that I have walked past this bright coloured huge mushroom 100 times without knowing it´s edible. Chicken-of-the-woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) grows everywhere, mostly on old or almost dead oak, aspen or white willow trees in spring and summertime.
It´s easy to make sugared petals but it adds a lot of colour and some extra floral vibes to your bakes. I used mallow flowers because that´s what blossomed near me at that time. You can aslo use other flowers:
- Rosehip or rose(Rosa)
- Johnny Jump up heartsease(Viola tricolor)
- Pumpkin blossoms (Cucurbita pepo)
- Garden phlox(Phlox paniculata)
- Lemon-scented geranium(Pelargonium crispum),
- Rose Geranium(Pelargonium graveolens)
- Peppermint-scented geranium(Pelargonium Tomentosum)
The name of the tea “Ivan Chai” was coined by the Western World. “Ivan” is a traditional Russian name, while “Chai” means tea in Russian. It´s also called Kaporie Chai by the name of the village between Estonian border and St.Petersburg.
Nettle crisps are another away to use those nutritious weed leaves without too much trouble. The best time for picking nettles is when they are young and don´t grow blossoms yet.
I tried that famous Russian ivan chai first time couple of years ago and thought I had found another one to call my favorite tea. I used to(still do) love Greek shepherd’s tea(Sideritis) but it isn´t always that easy to find it in fresh quality. I don´t mind classical fermented eastern teas but as I´m sensitive to caffeine I can´t enjoy them in the evening unless I want to stay up until morning. I tryed to ferment raspberry leaves and I totally adore the taste of that tea now.
We have always gathered wild raspberry leaves and sometimes even the whole braches in springtime to make a detoxing and energizing tea. Raspberries are one of the first ones here to open it´s leaves and as it´s growing so rapidly everywhere around the island´s sandy pasture lands and on natural hugelbeds (et. sakla vallid).