Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Wonder where I've been? I've been in my garden! After a most upsetting incident where our ignorant ex-lawn maintenance company sprayed herbicides not just on our grass, but in ALL my flowerbeds, resulting in EVERYTHING dying, I've been toiling away ripping out the dead plants and replanting new ones. I'm still working on it, and I think it's going to take me at least a year to fix everything! The worst part is that my beloved fuchsia azaleas have died (RIP) and are unavailable until NEXT Spring! ****! ****! ****! 

My azaleas before,
after! (Sniff! Sniff!)

My only saving grace during this hot and dirty work is many glasses of "Agua de Jamaica." Agua de Jamaica is Mexican hibiscus tea, pronounced "ha-mica." Many countries enjoy this medicinal tea under different names, such as "sorrel" in the Carribean, "rosella" in Australia, and "bissap" or "wonjo" in Africa, just to name a few. In addition, not only is Agua de Jamaica fantastic for you, containing vitamin C, minerals, and a natural antihypertensive, it is dirt cheap! You make a concentrate, which can be stored in your fridge for at least 3 months, then to make a pitcher, you dilute 1 cup concentrate to 3 cups water and voila! My entire family loves it! It is always gone within a week! So, although I'm slaving away, at least I've got my delicious ice-cold Agua de Jamaica to make me feel better, literally!

Agua de Jamaica

Makes about 5 cups of concentrate

8 cups water
6 ounces (about 2 cups) dried hibiscus or jamaica flowers
1 1/2 cups sugar, or more to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste

In a saucepan, pour 8 cups of water and place over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add the jamaica flowers, simmer at medium heat for 10-12 minutes and turn off the heat.

Let it cool down and strain into a pitcher or jar. Add the sugar and lime juice, mix well, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, dilute 1 cup concentrate with 3 cups water, or to your liking, and some ice cubes.

Recipe adapted from patismexicantable. (Love her!)

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