I have four adopted Chinese grandchildren whose mother is from China. I have tried to share our culture with the kids and this is one of the most fun things we ever did. We had a great tea party and learned some etiquette at the same time.
Lemon Verbena Tea Bread was one of many goodies served at our "Little Summer Tea Party".
1Combine milk and lemon verbena leaves and stems in a small saucepan. Heat on low just until milk is hot (do not boil). Set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a glass measuring cup, discarding lemon verbena. Add additional milk to measuring cup to equal ½ cup, if needed, and set aside.
2Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
3Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with reserved milk, beating at low speed just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lemon rind. Spoon batter into greased and floured 8-x 4-inch loafpan.
4Bake at 350˚ F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. Let cook in pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
5Combine chopped verbena leaves and lemon juice in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.
6After bread has cooled completely, pour herb-lemon juice mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a small bowl, discarding lemon verbena. Add powdered sugar and stir with a small whisk until smooth, adding additional lemon juice, ½ teaspoon at a time, if needed, until desired consistency. Spoon glaze over top of bread, letting excess drip down sides. Garnish with lemon verbena leaves.