This is the first of many posts that will feature something "for tea lovers" that isn't tea. It may be something that might go with tea, or something I think appeals to the same sensibilities as tea. I know that's a bit abstract, but go with me on it, won't you? I think you will enjoy it.
Do you make homemade jam? I used to be intimidated, but now I am completely smitten with the simple, yet magical process of making jam, not to mention the results. I have Preserving by the Pint by Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars largely to thank for this, and highly recommend it if you're looking for a place to start, too.
I've come to appreciate jam as a sort of edible snapshot of the season. There in your jar, whenever you choose to open it, are the perfectly sweet-tart strawberries you found at the farmer's market in early June, or those drippy, honeyed July nectarines.
While peak season fruit needs only sugar and maybe a bit of lemon juice to make it sing, I have a garden full of edible herbs and flowers, and the subtle floral or herbal note they add makes for a really special jam.
To do this, wrap the herbs with cheesecloth, tie the bundle up tightly and toss it into the pot to steep as the fruit cooks down per the instructions of your favorite jam recipe. Stir the herb bundle around with the fruit until the jam is set, then pull it out with tongs and squeeze as much of the liquid (and flavor) into the fruit as possible. Finish by processing the jam as you normally would.
Besides the nectarine chamomile pictured above, you'll find strawberry rose geranium, apricot lavender, raspberry lemon verbena, blackberry lemon verbena thyme, and red plum tarragon jams in my cupboard-- all ready for tea and toast.