Sure it’s another cold day in June, but if you believe in weather forecasts (like following your horoscope, only less reliable) you might want to prepare yourself for a hot summer.
Begin by bringing a pot of water to a boil. This would be a good time to clean out your tea cupboard and get rid of any of the nasty, odd, or just unpopular stuff like “Women’s Concerns”, “Memory Toner”, “Liver Cleanse”, and the like. Make a strong batch (that way you’ll use it up all the sooner) and when it’s cooled, keep it in a glass jar in the fridge (or the freezer). It’s surprising how much better the stuff will taste on ice in a parched mouth on a sweltering day. But this can be built on and some creative concoctions may take you for a very delightful ride. Black, green, or white teas are great here too. Obviously, don’t limit yourself to the dregs of your supplies; it’ll be just as much fun with the good stuff.
Recipe: Herbal Spritzer
½ liter strong herbal tea,chilled
½ c. Jamaican ginger beer
½ c. lemon soda
½ c. cranberry juice
Slices of lemon and lime
Sparkling water ‘to taste’
Stir and pour. If strong ginger beer is hard to find or you just never think of keeping it on hand, you can make ginger syrup quite easily while you’re making dinner. It’ll keep in the fridge for weeks (many) and a little goes a long way. It’s nice to have around to add to sparkling water by itself; good in stir-fries too. I’ve seen a lot of variation in recipes for it, so there’s flexibility in the amounts given; brown sugar works fine, although it’ll give it a darker color.
Recipe: Ginger Syrup
1 c. sliced fresh ginger root
1 c. sugar
2 c. water
Bring all to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and pour into a glass jar. Keep refrigerated.
Some interesting variations can happen when you tailor the tea to its companions……..e.g.,
Raspberry leaf and clover blossom tea with cherry juice and orange soda
Blueberry white tea with blueberry juice, lemonade, orange rind, and sparkling water
Chai tea with pineapple juice and ginger beer
And since we’re talking tea, whether you’re a devotee, a lapsed drinker, or a non-believer, have a look at this website: http://steepster.com/teas
I think you’ll find it fascinating even if only for the breadth of its information. Lots of photos too.
TO WRAP UP
Here’s a quick and effective way to cool off when the going gets HOT: take a strip of cotton cloth about 15-20 inches long. Soak in icy cold water and wring out not quite completely. Wrap it around your neck and secure with a pin or tuck ends in. This will calm down your thermostat for a good 20 or 30 minutes and you can keep refreshing it w/ cold water. If you’re on the go and can only manage to get some paper towels from a restroom, you can improvise with that for welcome relief.
Here are some parting shots from my morning walk……..