One of the many things I loved about Grenada was the spice market. Mace is the lacy covering of the nutmeg seed, in its seed pod.
***NOT MY PHOTOGRAPH***FROM THE WIKI ENTRY***
I had heard of mace before…it’s the stingy crap you spray in the eyes of your attacker. Right? I’ve just done a Google search, and without spending a lot of time researching, I can’t tell if the stingy crap is at all derived from the plant…but I’m not here to talk about that. 😉
I have never used mace as a spice, as it’s sold in its pulverized form. I imagine, considering the flavor of tea, that it would be somewhat yummy in pumpkin pie…other than that, I’m clueless.
What I have enjoyed is using WHOLE mace, the entire nutmeg husk, to make tea. I was able to find very small quantities of whole mace here and there, but I wanted a BUNCH to make tea whenever I wanted. I finally found an amazing deal for 2 lbs, $30, straight out of Malaysia. 🙂 (I could have ordered whole mace from Grenada, but it was much more pricey than this deal.)
It was well-worth it to me, and I waited expectantly for 2 weeks for its arrival. I do think it’s a beautiful little thing.
I was ready when it came to me, with my milk. I make mace tea with milk and just a bit of brown sugar.
The effect of the tea is very relaxing for me…and as I continue to await unemployment approval, as I continue to look for work, as I continue to do my best to stay positive and try to sqash my stress…sometimes some all-natural assistance is nice. Honey is not affected by the tea…so I suppose it can be different for everyone. We have found we react very differently to other things like caffeine & sugar too…but he does agree that the tea is yummy! There is definitely a specific flavor to mace tea…it’s…well…spicey! But not in a fiery way…
I begin by grabbing a decent-sized handful and putting it in a pot to boil with a serving of milk. When I make this tea I use about 2 cups of milk…more than a “serving”, but enough to make me feel cozy & comforted & fill up a big mug.
I put the heat on low-medium until it begins to boil and then I turn it down to simmer for about 5 minutes.
The tea takes on just the tiniest, slightest shade of red…maybe it’s broken flecks of mace. 🙂
Eventually, a film will form atop the milk…I’m assuming this is the protein in the milk getting all bindy and crazy. This is when I know the tea is ready. The film isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but it’s part of the experience…so I love it. 🙂
I pour the tea through a strainer into my mug with about 1 tsp of brown sugar in the bottom and enjoy it super hot (just like I enjoy my coffee). The film sticks to the mace and I have been known to pick it off and eat it. Is that weird? 😀
I rinse the mace off and use it again…I never use it more than twice, simply because of loss of potency (whether this is real or all in my head, it’s just how I do it).
I must have been in dire need of this tea tonight beacuse I didn’t stop to photograph it in my mug. 😉
If you see whole mace for sale, even just a little…I encourage you to buy it and make mace tea on a chilly evening…or just when you need to feel a little more cozy on the inside.