Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer? Yes, please.

I live in the northeast US. We see snow. Lots of snow. We are legendary for snow. So when warm weather finally arrives, we make the most of it.

As much as I love hot tea of all kinds, I’m not exactly enthusiastic about a steaming cup of Constant Comment on a 90-degree day. Call me picky; I don’t mind.

Fortunately, there is a lovely concoction called sun tea. 

Plain tea will always be my favorite. Look at that deep, rich color. Nothing beats the tinkling of ice cubes in a tall glass as tea is poured over them. Add a sprig of mint or a lemon slice and you have heaven. Okay, half of heaven. For the other half, I recommend cookies. Or pie. Or Ice cream. 

Ice cream and summer. Mmm.

Where was I? *looks up at masthead* Oh, yes. Tea.

Now sometimes I want a drink with more substance than regular iced tea. Hello, blender! Because I’m all about the cooking, here are a few of my go-to tea smoothies.

First, brew a cup of tea the night before: black, green, peppermint, whatever you like, and let it cool in the fridge.

When you’re ready to kick back on the porch or deck or lawn, assemble your ingredients. I use vanilla ice cream because I don’t touch yogurt no way no how. But if you’re a yogurt fan, substitute it for the ice cream below and add a few ice cubes for heft.  

Morning tea smoothie:
Black tea
Vanilla ice cream
Peach or banana
A dash of ginger
1/3 cup milk
Sugar to taste

Anytime tea smoothie:
Green or black tea
Vanilla ice cream
Strawberries, raspberries, a peach, a mango, a plum—use blueberries for the healthiest choice!
1/3 cup milk
Sugar to taste

The Marriage of Tea and Orange Julius for the Sophisticated Palate:
Constant Comment tea
Vanilla ice cream
Orange sherbet
1/3 cup milk
Sugar to taste

Mojito tea smoothie for hot summer nights:
White tea
Vanilla ice cream
Fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp lime juice plus a bit of grated peel
1/2 oz of rum (or to taste)

Bonus tea anecdote: People often ask me how much my ex-nun sleuth is like me, her creator. I can tell you one way she is definitely not like me: Now that she’s pregnant and her coffee intake is limited, she’s trying herbal tea as a substitute. She hates every flavor she’s tried. I don’t understand that woman.

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