“Drink magnolia dew in the morning; chew chrysanthemum petals in the evening.” The ancient Chinese loved the taste and healthy properties of flowers.
Full-blooming spring flowers are similar to the human body’s liver qi (vital energy) being in need of unfolding and stretching in Spring. Nourishing the liver means to dredge out the stagnated qi. Traditional Chinese herbal medicine often used flowers to do this, especially roses.
According to the traditional Chinese medicine book Herbal Justice by Zhang Shanlei (1873 – 1934), “Roses, clear and un-turbid, mild and not fierce, nourish the liver and increase appetite, promote the flow of qi and blood, dredge stagnation without bringing pungency or dryness. Among all the medicines for qi-fen diseases (i.e. interior heat syndromes), the most effective and mildest is the ambrosial and unmatchable rose.”
Rose tea is a simple, gorgeous way to consume the flowers. Serve it with a plate of tantalizing, golden, handmade almond tuile cookies to your girlfriends on a sunny April afternoon. Everyone will leave with pink cheeks and big smiles.
Pour boiling water into a teapot containing 18g roses and 3g black tea leaves. Cover teapot with lid. Steep 10 minutes. Add crystal sugar to taste.
Almond Tuile Cookies:
Ingredients (for 6 cookies): 1 egg, 25g berry sugar, 25g low-gluten flour, 10g butter, 70g almond flakes
1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Sift flour with strainer. Melt butter.
2. Separate egg. Mix the whites with flour and sugar; stir mixture into a smooth batter.
3. Add lukewarm butter to batter and stir evenly. Pour almond flakes into batter. Mix carefully to avoid crumbled almond flakes.
4. Pour six equal portions of the batter onto a large, non-stick baking sheet. Dip fingers or a spoon into water and use it to spread each portion into a thin round with a diameter of around 9 cm and even thickness.
5. Put baking sheet into oven. After baking for 12 minutes at 150°C, lower temperature to 130°C, and continue baking 10-20 minutes, until browned.
Photography by Hsuyi Shih