Friday, June 1, 2012

Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime

Have you all started making ice tea yet?  I have a stash of teas, some of which I reviewed here, to draw from.  The really strong ones I will make for Himself, I like the milder ones, like the greens and Oolongs.  My method is to put the tea in a tea sock , pour cold water over it and stick it in the fridge for 5-6 or more hours.  Always use a glass pitcher and put plastic wrap over it so it doesn't absorb "fridge flavors"

Summer is salad, right?  I have been making quite a few, using garden herbs as little sparks.  Sometimes I just grab them all, sometimes I am more pointed in my creation, using only 1 or two.  I have discovered that about a 3-1 ratio of Greek yogurt to mayonaise makes a very tasty dressy, as the mayo rounds out the yogurt.  I've been making what I call Italian potato salad, which is Himself"s favorite.  The dressing is a vinaigrette with Italian herbs and garlic. I use a combination of dry and fresh herbs.  The next one I want to try is a pesto potato salad.  Two of my favorite ingredients.  I am trying to figure out how to use my teas in the salads.  We already use tea leaves to smoke things and in grilling sauces.

Herbs can also be used to add flavor to your tea.  We all know about a sprig of mint, but there is also lemon balm, lavender, lemon thyme, spearmint, in fact, the whole mint family.  Borage flowers are a beautiful blue and add a tiny bit of cucumber taste. There are many types of basil, especially what is known as Holy Basil or tulsi, which make lovely teas.  The red leaved basil would be especially pretty.   Edible flowers, like violas, nasturtiums, and marigolds can add color and charm.

Fruit can add color and flavor to your ice tea, either fresh or frozen.  Add a few slices of peaches or nectarines, perhaps a few choice raspberries, strawberries or blueberries.  If the fruit is frozen, it can be your ice cubes.  It's very common to use lemon slices with hot tea, why not try lime or orange or blood orange?  The tiny Key limes would be very delicate.  I would try them with ice tea as well.  Well, now I must go and put some tea in the fridge.

Ballenberg:  The interior of a very small, very old cabin.  Note the cradle is closest to the warmth of the stove.  The builders were smart, they attached a covered wood shed to the house so the families did not have to brave the bad winters to get wood for the fire.  In larger houses, there would be a huge fire box in one room, with the wood, that would heat three or four central  stoves and hence, the whole house.  Always a pot of hot water on.


Two Cottages And Tea said...

Hi Marlena,
Interesting post, I did not know you could use cold water to make ice tea. I've always used hot. I'll give it a try! Happy weekend to you.

Steph said...

I confess, I'm not much of an iced tea drinker. But I make a batch of sun tea every now and again...and I really enjoy iced tisanes. (I know about all the warnings of sun tea, but I make it anyway. ;-)

Marlena said...

Me too, Steph, on a really hot day.