The days are long and getting hotter around here. Cold, iced water adds some refreshment to the day. But I get tired of plain water when it’s this hot and I’m consuming lots of it, so sometimes I add blackberry and blueberry syrup. I bought these syrups at Fresno State’s Farm Store where I’ve been getting really good watermelons. That makes the water very tasty.
But sometimes I want a bit of a kick to my beverage. You know, some caffeine. Hot coffee just doesn’t sound good on 100 degree days. (My husband would disagree with that statement.) An occasional Coke is nice, but not healthy. This is the time of the year that I turn to iced tea to whet my whistle, stay cool, and get a pick-me-up in the middle of the day.
A dear friend of mine loved iced tea. She ordered it every time we went out to eat and actually requested the pitcher be left at the table. She could easily consume that much iced tea while we sat and chatted over lunch. She would buy large bottles of tea when she grocery shopped. Because of being disabled, it was not always easy for her to maneuver her purchases into the house after she got home from grocery shopping. She also lived on a very small, very fixed, very limited income. The bottled tea purchase seemed to be pure folly to me.
I suggested she could make a big pitcher of iced tea with just a few tea bags for far less money than she paid for those bottles of tea. It’s quite easy, I instructed her. Just boil water, pour over the tea bags, let it steep for as long as you feel necessary. Throw in a spoonful of sugar if you feel the need for a bit of sweet. Fill a glass with ice and pour the tea over. Divine.
Being a person who always liked the latest gadget, my friend thought that way too simple. Instead, she bought an ice tea maker. Yes, they actually have such a contraption. She used it for awhile to make iced tea, but by the time she died, she had again filled her fridge with the bottled stuff purchased at the grocery store. I gave it all away to a food pantry when I cleaned out her refrigerator. I sent the iced tea maker to Salvation Army with other gadgets she had only used a few times.
This morning, just as I did yesterday, I boiled water in a large Pyrex measuring cup, threw in a couple of tea bags and let the tea steep for awhile. Later I poured it over ice in a tall glass. Very refreshing. It got me to reminiscing. Guess that’s what a good glass of iced tea can do.