Since moving to a village in a different province than the one we started out in, the options of available local food have yet again changed a bit. This has brought on even more of a learning curve to my ever growing PNG Cookbook. Still though, it is amazing what you can do with what is available around you!
Step One: I grab a basket and my kid and we wander a few hundred feet from our house to find a hibiscus tree that has a lot of flowers on it. I try to get Jude to help me by holding the basket but that turns out to be harder than I thought because all he wants to do is dump them. 🙂 In spite of Jude’s creative ideas we do succeed in picking about 15 or so hibiscus flowers so we head back to our house.
Step Two: The stamen cannot be used in the tea as they are covered in pollen and what not so it must be separated from the rest of the flower. So I pull off all the petals and am left with my nice pile of pink petals! When it’s all said and done I need one cup of petals (which means they are mashed in there good to make a solid cup full).
Step Three: Next I bring six cups of water to a boil and then add all the petals. When the petals are all in there, I remove the pot from the heat and let it steep with a lid on for about an hour.
Step Four: All the petals need to come out so I strain the water through a wire sieve. When all I have is pink water with no petal floaters I mix in 2/3 cup sugar. Next, the tea needs to be chilled in the fridge, so in it goes and I hope to myself that our solar panels will collect enough sunny rays to keep the fridge going so we can enjoy the tea by dinner time. 🙂
Step Five: The solar panels did their job well, so we enjoy the hibiscus tea after our dinner! It has a very light and fruity flavor and is surprisingly refreshing! It’s our very own island version of Snapple! 😀
Naturally this is a tea I will only be making in PNG, as I can imagine buying so many hibiscus flowers in the states would be somewhat cost prohibitive! 😀 This is one of those time we can appreciate the little perks of living on a scorching hot island: free flowers for tea!