Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Backyard tea

In the south, tea is a given.  I should also point out that tea in the south is always iced tea.  No need to specify unless you go to a restaurant and want hot tea.  Your waitress will then look at you like you grew another head.

"You sure you want hot tea, hon?  In July?  In Tennessee?" 

The other thing about tea in the south, and the reason it's sometimes called "Southern crack," is because of the proportion of sugar to cup of brewed tea.  Approximately 5 to 1.  Am I kidding?  No, this stuff is like syrup. Now I'm not criticizing or anything, 'cause my husband and my kids love the stuff, but I can barely swallow it.

So, I make my own version.  And my kids have come to call it "backyard tea."  It comes by this name honestly, since the main ingredient comes right out of the backyard.  Here it is in spades, barely visible aside the oregano jungle.  This particular variety is called chocolate mint.

I also have pineapple and orange mint.  These two are a little more under control as they've just been planted this year.  The small plant you see in the front is coconut thyme - smells delicious, but I wouldn't recommend making tea out of it.

Making this lower cal version is easy.  Grab a handful of the mint of your choice.   This is chocolate mint in the pic.  I managed to find my way out of the oregano to take this photo.  Put this handful into a pot of cold water, turn on the heat until it boils, then take if off the heat and let it brew for a good hour.  I use honey to sweeten - but only two tablespoons for a whole pitcher.  If you like your tea syrupy, I suggest you go to Milo's, 'cause this herbal concoction ain't for the weak-minded. It's delightfully refreshing, low cal, all natural, and best of all, free.

Oh, and when I went out to pick the mint, I was harassed mightily by this volunteer squash plant.  Those free range vegetables have such attitudes.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds Yummy!! I just found your blog! Very cute! I just discovered that I love fresh mint in my tea!! And I like mine cold as well just like yourself!! Love the name that your kids gave it very sweet!! :O)



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