And I’m back!! April has been a mad mad month – from the point of view of a struggling blog writer that is. Easter vacations, piles of laundry after holidays, house guests and to add to all of that, the kids were off school for 3 consecutive Wednesdays of the month! Coincidentally we had Report Day and 2 national holidays all on Wednesdays.
A day a week did not seem like a lot until I analyzed it – the day was typically Wednesday – just when everyone has warmed up to the work week, there’s a break. A day off for the kids means 3 days off my relaxed housewifely schedule – On Tuesday I shop for munchies and fix up playdates (oh sorry – my teen does not do play dates any more. He `hangs out’ with friends. Playdates are for wusses). On Wednesday, drive them around or entertain their friends. On Thursday, pick up assorted books and things lying around, generally clear the clutter and take a breather. On Friday, get set for the weekend…you get the drift ; ) Or as L&M puts it ” All these are just excuses, you’re just getting lazy about your blog” . If you’re a mom, I know you’ll understand. And if you’re not, well I’ll beg your indulgence.
I’m only just starting to discover the joys of being a teen mum (a mum of a teen that is!!). The constant interactions with friends, the music that fills the house when his pals bring their guitars over and they jam all afternoon, the sudden and exciting appearance of a gang of classmates who were wandering in the neighbourhood and decided to ring our doorbell, a friend who suddenly decides to stay to dinner and puts me in a panic over whether he’ll be happy to eat the typically Punjabi chane-chaval (1-black-garbanzo-curry-500×500-kalynskitchen.jpg_) I’ve cooked.
On one of those Wednesdays off, A’s gang of 7 decided to land up. It was a hot hot day and I know how these kids love a cool cool drink. Fizzy drinks are always in demand but for the last few years my kids have been fans of bottled ice tea. WHAT do they put in it? My boys would drink gallons of it if I’d let them! To my mind its a sugary drink perhaps a shade better-for-you than fizzy drink, but that’s it.
Legend has it (and many of us are familiar with this) that iced tea in its modern format was the `invention’ of Richard Belchynde, a merchant and tea plantation owner. At the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904, he was giving away samples of his (hot) tea but found very few takers because it was a blisteringly hot day. Tired and frustrated, he bought a whole load of ice and dumped it into his stock of tea, and voila! A refreshing new drink was born. That’s the legend and a nice one it is. My kids love this story.
Historical evidence however shows that iced tea made with green tea was being consumed in America at least a hundred years before this incident.Cookbooks dating back to the early 1800s refer to recipes for iced tea. Heavily spiked with alcohol, ice tea punch was a refreshing beverage. One popular version was called Regent’s Punch, named for George IV, the English Prince Regent at the time. Regent’s Punch even today is an elegant and stylish party beverage, quite different in tone and tenor from the bog standard punch of my college days.
So it kind of feels like the natural descendant of Regent’s Punch should be Long Island Iced Tea right? Nope – the potent cocktail has NO tea in it! So let’s not even go there…
But I digress – this blog was about kids and their love of iced tea. One afternoon when a thirsty horde of just-teens descended upon my house, all smiles and hugs and whassups, I decided to mix up a big jug of their ambrosia, fresh.
It’s not a unique or earth shattering method, it’s a simple recipe, full of good ingredients, refreshing and fun. Celebrating the joy of friendship (from my son’s perspective) and of motherhood (from my perspective), in these last few hours of Mother’s Day 2012, I share with you, my recipe for iced tea.
FRESH ICED TEA (prep time 5 mins, makes 6 large servings)
* Black tea bags – 4
* Sugar (brown or white. I use brown) or honey, or a mix of both (or you can make a sugar-free version, tastes great) – 6 tbsps approx (yeah, I know, that’s a lot of sugar…)
* Lemon – a large squeeze, to taste
* Fresh mint (optional)
* Ice, cold water
– Pop the tea bags and sugar in a large jug and add boiling hot water, enough to cover the tea bags. Steep for 5 mins,
– Add a whole bunch of ice and cold water, and stir. Remove the tea bags.
– Add fresh mint and a squeeze of lime. (It’s still early to pick my mint, I want to let it grow a bit, so there’s none in this jug)
– Taste, adjust sugar and lemons according to how you like it. Serve right away or pop in the fridge for a couple of hours – it gets better as it sits around.
– Hug your kids, enjoy!