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Cook the Books: Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe and Bee Calm Tea #ourgoodlifebooklist

Cook the Books Club read Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber for the September selection.  Deb, from Kahakai Kitchen, is our host for this session.  Anyone who likes to read and cook can join us.  We will be making a new selection for the October/November event very soon, so if you are interested, join us by clicking here!

From the publisher: 

Nestled in the mountain shadows of Alabama lies the little town of Wicklow. It is here that Anna Kate has returned to bury her beloved Granny Zee, owner of the Blackbird Café.

It was supposed to be a quick trip to close the café and settle her grandmother’s estate, but despite her best intentions to avoid forming ties or even getting to know her father’s side of the family, Anna Kate finds herself inexplicably drawn to the quirky Southern town her mother ran away from so many years ago, and the mysterious blackbird pie everybody can’t stop talking about.

As the truth about her past slowly becomes clear, Anna Kate will need to decide if this lone blackbird will finally be able to take her broken wings and fly.

About the author:

Heather Webber is the author of more than twenty mystery novels, including the Nina Quinn series, and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She's a homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, and bake (mostly cookies). Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

My take:

Everyone knows about "the birds."  Even serious birdwatchers come to take in the phenom that is the blackbirds coming into town, roosting in a particular tree near the Blackbird Cafe, and singing at midnight.  There is a mysterious connection between the birds singing and the Cafe's special: the blackbird pie.  

Told from multiple persepectives, over a sixty day time period, this book hooked me from the first line. I was deeply immersed into the all the gorgeous details:  teas for maladies, blackbird pie (which is NOT made from blackbirds), lemon verbena soap, soups, baked goods... and the story of how a small town's personality comes alive when a few caring people take care of one another.  It's an important book, one that we all need to be reading now.  Tell everyone you know.

My inspiration:

With Cook the Books Club, we let ourselves be inspired by the content of the book to create culinary delights. I was torn in so many directions, but ultimately landed on what I had been contemplating for a long while, dabbling in tea.

From many wise lessons, I created my own destress tea blend I am calling Bee Calm Tea.  The "bee" part is the dash of honey and the calm comes from the three ingredients I chose from learning about what herbals are good for destressing.  I hope you enjoy!

Bee Calm Tea Blend
Terri Steffes

Bee Calm Tea Blend

A delightful blend to soothe away stress.


The Ingredients


How to Steep
  1. Combine all herbs together in a small jar or tea strainer.
  2. Next, bring water to a boil and pour boiling over herbs.
  3. Cover your herbal infusion to trap all the beneficial oils and herbal properties in the water.
  4. Allow steeping for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Stir in honey.
  6. Serve in your favorite tea cup.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @tsteffes on instagram and hashtag it #ourgoodliferecipe

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oooh, your tea looks delightful! I love playing around with teas and I could use a truckload of it today at work. ;-) Thanks for joining in--so glad you enjoyed the book!

  2. What a fun idea to try with tea!

  3. I loved this book too and the tea is perfect as it plays such a prominent role in the story

  4. Such a nice idea to create a tea: I like the name and would love to have a cup. I didn't know that holy basil and tulsi were the same: thank you!

  5. How creative, blending up your own special tea. It sounds perfect for de-stressing. I have so many herbs, etc. here and don't use the near enough. There are lots of teas that could be made!


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