It’s time to recycle the painted and yellowing newspaper that has been atop my art table for over half a year. The date in the upper corner reads, “December 29, 2012.” Sounds just right, since I painted a really blue, blue sky, on New Year’s Eve, as 2012 became 2013. Then on New Year’s Day I glued the landscape collage titled, “orange, yellow and blue.” I’ve made several pieces of art this year so far. “Hooray! Make more art!” I say. The next landscape background that I paint, will be atop a current newspaper. I’m thankful for my wonderful neighbors who will gladly set me up with yesterday’s news to make art upon. ~ Janean

July 15, 2013


my mom’s spice tea recipe

My mom’s spice tea is one of my favorite tastes of fall and winter. I started my day by making a big pot of it – even though I’m the only one in my house who likes it. It’s Comfort Food for me – in liquid form. My mom made it rarely when I was growing up. I remember spice tea on Christmas morning, snow days and when she’d host her evening card group a few times a year. Sometimes I even got to take the left over to school in my thermos. When you make it, the cinnamon and cloves make the whole house smell good and everything feel all right – inside and out. Happy New Year’s Eve Day, as my father wished me in an early morning e-mail. ~ Janean

Spice Tea

2 cups sugar

2 dozen cloves (or less)

2 cups water

2 or 3 cinnamon sticks

Boil together 15 minutes

Pour 8 cups boiling water over 6 tea bags (or 2 Family Size tea bags), let stand

Add to sugar mixture when brewed

Then add: 4 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 can frozen undiluted orange juice. Add 4 cups boiling water. Simmer, do no boil

Extra can be stored in the refrigerator overnight and reheated the next day. You may want to remove the cloves before storing because their flavor gets stronger if left in overnight.

My sister told me once with a wink that this recipe was supposed to be a secret, but I think it’s meant to be shared. 

a taste of home

upon waking

I know what I am about to do

the anticipation makes my mouth water

no coffee today

no herbal tea

made one mug at a time

today is a spice tea day

my mom’s recipe

a taste of home

the one I grew up in

the little house

at the end of the dead end street

the one with the kitchen so small

it was like an afterthought

oh, but the meals my mother made there

I smile at the memories

spice tea was special

not for everyday

for company

like when she hosted cards

the only outing with friends she went to each month

sometimes they’d come to our house

the living room would be filled with women

sitting at card tables in folding chairs

talking, laughing, snacking and even smoking

and no one smoked at our house

except my grandfather

the few times a year they visited

usually we went to them

spice tea became a Christmas traditon

mom would make it early

we’d drink it as we opened presents

ladled into Christmas mugs

one after the other

until the giant saucepan was empty

it is made for winter days and snow days

gloomy gray days

for the scent of cinnamon and cloves

makes you smile

even before the sugary citrus flavored tea

passes by your lips

I’ve burned my tongue more than once

rushing to take the first sip

oh, how I love it

today is one of those days

I didn’t make it on Christmas this year 

I usually do

it’s early morning on New Year’s Eve day instead

the spice tea is on the stove

my first mug is at my elbow

almost time for the second

it’s as good as I remember mom making it

my sister too

a taste of home

soul food

comfort in a mug

memories too

© 2011 Turquoise Tangles