A Fine Winter

“Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev’ning in.”
-The Task: The Winter Evening/William Cowper



The strong winds of the Atlantic winter are bearing down heavily upon our little home. It’s our first true winter storm here on the Island of Prince Edward. Fresh snow is falling fast and being whipped into looming snowy drifts around our barn and yard … winter storm warnings have been advised. Stay home and off the roads, they say …. that is not trouble for us! The wind is so strong, it literally shakes our home. A little bit frightening to feel your bed shake at night, but this old home has been around for a hundred years … I am sure it can withstand another winter storm.

One of my favourite seasons is most certainly winter – when one can finally relax (once my bed stops shaking from the wind!) and rest after nearly a full year of outdoor labour and schedules run by the natural calendar … winter, to our family, is the time of rest and refreshment.

It is time to pull out the handicrafts, wool, needles and crochet hooks, puzzles, musical instruments, dust off the books and let yourself be creative … for me, the dried herbs, stashed safely away in my herbal cupboard, are calling my name … it’s time to begin making tinctures and medicines, salves and so forth.

Today has found me making my own blend of tea for that afternoon tea time … my sweet and favourite neighbour in Ontario would often have this brew on hand for me when we had our little visits on her back porch… I miss our tea times and would love to have her over again!


The tea is a blend of dried beets (grown in our garden), dried apples (from the local apple orchard), almonds and cinnamon sticks.

I dried the beets and apple pieces in our cookstove warming drawer – I had two do this step twice as the first time, I did not fully dry the apples enough.



Once dried, I store it safely in an antique mason jar.


Using a beautiful tea strainer makes the tea time more enjoyable, don’t you think?

Lately, I’ve been dreaming about a plot of land to grow more herbal tea varieties … I may not have mentioned, but when we re-located to Prince Edward Island, I brought along all my herbs … dug up and saved in pots, strapped down on a rickety old trailer behind our family vehicle, my ‘tea garden’ travelled with me. Now it is resting under a winter blanket of snow, but soon, it will be growing again. I am so thankful that every herb made its way safely here and flourished in the past summer sun. My idea is to grow more herbal varieties and perhaps sell some tea blends online … Prince Edward Island tea blends … a tea garden … doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to spend the summer?

So, as these wild winter winds blow around me, I will be sorting through my jars of herbs and sipping some lovely soothing teas … won’t you join me?

January 16, 2022 - 8:18 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Now that you mention it, I think I remembered that post! That sounds beautiful surrounded by wildflower! Aw, thank you for thinking of me. Stay Warm!

January 15, 2022 - 1:15 pm

Gigi I have it separate from my vegetable garden – it’s own plot. I think I posted pictures before but I will check … I keep it separate as herbs spread and I don’t till my herbal tea garden. Yes, I love the idea of having a wee little table set up for tea drinking IN the tea garden. In fact, I did have that this past year – surrounded by a circle of wildflowers … it was pretty! I will remember you when I get my chocolate mint dried!

January 15, 2022 - 1:09 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Aw, thank you for responding. I thought it would be an area of herbs used in teas! Do you plant it in its very own spot? Or do you plant it in your main garden? I guess I have never heard anyone use the name tea garden before. I can only imagine a charming area call a tea garden, with a place to sit while enjoying tea from the little garden. I may had to add that to my back yard one day. I would love to try the chocolate mint it sounds delicious! Hugs to you sweet friend! Stay Warm!

January 14, 2022 - 5:59 am

Gigi Alissa, I just buy it from the local hardware store. It is unscented and not kerosene – just regular lamp oil. I hope that helps.

January 14, 2022 - 5:59 am

Gigi Lynnea – do you live near the ocean? I’m glad I’m not the only one who brings plants to new homes! πŸ™‚ I also brought all my house plants, including my mother’s large Thanksgiving cactus.

January 14, 2022 - 4:39 am

Gigi Teresa, it would mean the growing of herbs for tea – such as chaomomile, lemon balm, mint (so many varieties!), and bergamot. I wish I had done a better job at describing it at my last residence- but I am so glad to have brought all my herbs with me – this spring, they will flourish again and I will make sure to do a proper post on them. My favourite mint is chocolate mint! It’s delicious in a tea!

January 13, 2022 - 8:25 pm

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Dear Gigi, what a lovely idea selling PEI teas. I have never heard of a tea garden before. Please, share a post on it once it begin to grow again. That sounds so interesting, a lot like a cottage garden! Stay warm! Hugs Teresa

January 12, 2022 - 6:16 pm

Lynnea Dear Gigi,
I share your love for the winter season and find it a very comforting, restful time.
I enjoy seeing the snow-covered hills from our front window while being warm and cozy inside, sipping hot tea, as I am at this moment. πŸ™‚
We have our lovely quail friends that take shelter underneath our front porch from those cold whipping winds you speak of. I can relate to that frightening feeling when our little home is hanging on tightly amidst the squealing, creaking sounds going on all around outside! We’ve lived here for many years and I’m grateful God has kept us safe and sound through them all.
I love how you brought your “tea garden” with you on your moving trip to your new home there. It reminded me of our long moving trips and how I would bring along our houseplants to give them a new home wherever we were. They were like part of the family! πŸ™‚
That sounds like a combination of tasty goodness in your tea with the beets, apples, almonds, and cinnamon! Does the beet flavor come through or is it more for the lovely red color? I will enjoy learning more about your tea making (and possibly selling!) adventures, and hopefully sample some one day! πŸ™‚
Thank you for the visit and all your lovely photos! Keep warm and cozy!

January 11, 2022 - 2:46 pm

Christina Prince Edward Island tea does sound delightful! It sounds like a great future venture for you and the family. Lovely tea cup.

January 9, 2022 - 6:58 am

Alissa Neal Hi. Would love to know the name of the lamp fuel that you use. I have inherited my grandmother’s lamp and would love to start using it but am a little wary.

January 8, 2022 - 1:18 pm

Monica Sounds lovely and delicious!! Enjoy your true winter, my dear friend!