Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stone Tea

Some people dream of owning a house on the beach, but I've always aspired to throwing a rock into a fire and then using it to boil water.

Last weekend, I achieved that lofty goal while camping on the Cape for Elise's birthday (we saw a seal!). Right on cue, heavy mist rolled in as soon as we crossed the Sagamore, and a roaring campfire did wonders to lift our spirits and dry our clothing.

I had a bit of a sore throat and, desperately wanting a cup of tea, I missed the creature comforts of a home kitchen. But then I realized that I had everything I needed right around me. I filled a steel travel mug with freshly snipped pine needles and water, then tossed a walnut sized stone into the blaze.

After about ten minutes, I removed it with a spoon, still glowing, and plopped it into the mug. The water immediately began to boil with fine bubbles reminiscent of a Guinness, which you can see if you look carefully at the above photo. For a strainer, I used my teeth.

The vitamin C-rich pine tea soothed my throat, and I was proud of having made my dreams of a cuppa come so thoroughly true. From now on, anytime I have a fire, there's going to be a stone in it and some tea in my future.

So it wasn't oranges with rosemary and sugar, but it still hit the spot.

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Michelle said...

Reminds me of raku pottery. After the glaze melts in firing, the pots are removed red-hot from the kiln and dunked into cool water to set the glaze. It doesn't take long to get the bucket of water to boil. We used to joke that in ancient Japanese tea ceremonies, where raku originated, that was how they boiled the tea water. So far, I've found no proof of this, but you never know.

Karen B said...

that is completely crazy! and great. how do you avoid ingesting too many cinders? I guess the fire sanitizes the stone?

Aaron Kagan said...

The stone was so hot that anything on it would have burnt up. But just in case you could always blow it off before adding it to the water. And there's always your strainer (teeth) to catch any debris.

One caveat: if you use a moist rock, I'm told it could explode.

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