Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday stills: Summer

I am a little late for this one. The heat has been getting to me. 90-95 + degree weather, with the humidex means it's been 104 and above, every stinking day for the past few weeks. Not to mention the lack of rain.

For me summer means a lot of things. Mostly that I ride my horse a lot more often and a lot longer.
I also have been training a lot more horses than my own this summer. I have taken on a good number of younger horses either needing to be green broke or older ones needing to be finished.
It means shorts and tank tops.
Swimming. A lot of swimming
Farmers tan.
Trail rides.
Farmers tan.
No rain!!!
The fair coming to town.
Lots of sun.
Farmers tan.
Mosquitoes that like to bite molest me. I itch the many itchy bites as I type.
Driving with all my windows open because my AC does not work and I really wish about right now it did.
Did I mention my bad ass farmers tan? Well it's bad. My legs are like white lightning, my arms and shoulders are a healthy brown.

And of course summer means I drink a lot more.
My absolute favorite being home made iced tea.I don't know a person who can make iced tea better than my mom... until I tried my hand at it. Sorry mom, my iced tea is pretty darned good. Maybe I am coming down with heat stroke I don't know.

It looks best in a neat glass pitcher like the one I bought a few days ago thinking gee, iced tea would look pretty good in that. It goes with my cool glasses.

It is really the easiest recipe ever and better than the sugary kind you buy at the store. You don't even really have to be around to make it. Just long enough to boil some water.

Heres the recipe. This is my own by the way. Feel free to adjust to personal taste. I don't like sugary tea so mines a little in the middle there. I really had to make it over again and measure how much stuff I used. I looked endlessly for an iced tea recipe and could not find one that did not use some sort of lemonade, splenda or other "fake" ingredients. What happened to tea, sugar and lemon?

So here it is. Sydney's Lemon iced tea. Adjust to your personal taste. Just like coffee, everyone likes tea different.
  • 8cups water
  • 6-8 tea bags depending on how strong you like your tea. I use orange pekoe, others like green tea, decaf etc. Personal preference here.
  • 2-3 lemons, squeezed OR substitute for 1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice, some like more, some like less it's personal preference and depends on the type of tea used.
  • 1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar, splenda etc. Again personal preference for how sweet you like your tea.
  • OPTIONAL- Fruit of any kind, cut into slices and frozen. I like peaches the best but you can use whatever you have.
I was not ambitious enough to take photographs as I made it but heres the directions because it is VERY important you follow them or your tea might end up tasting funny.

Bring the water to a boil in a pot on the stove.
Once the water is boiling add the tea bags and turn the burner off. Stir and let the tea steep for 3-5 minutes, making the water a rich brown colour. When you put your spoon in to stir, it should look a dark brown almost reddish colour.
Remove the tea bags from the water and the pot from the burner and let cool 1 hour minimum, ESPECIALLY if your container is glass like mine. It might shatter when the hot water hits it and you will have a big mess on your hands.
If you do not wait for the tea to cool before adding the sugar and lemon it will make your iced tea look cloudy and leave a weird texture in your mouth. Now if you are in a hurry and do not care what your beverage looks like you can add it then but I personally like my tea not looking cloudy.
Add sugar and lemon and stir until all mixed. I like to slice an extra lemon and put some slices in the pitcher. I freeze the slices and use them as ice cubes.
Put it in the fridge until it's chilled enough to drink.
I like to add a couple slices of peach because it gives this wonderful sweet taste to the iced tea along with the lemon. Plus once they thaw in your glass they are great to eat. Of course add whatever fruit you have. I like rasberries, strawberries, cherries and limes too.
Add a couple slices of frozen fruit and a lemon slice to each glass instead of iced cubes, which would water your tea down as they melt.

Serve to friends and enjoy. Or you can be like me and drink the whole pitcher by yourself. It's just too good! Happy summer.


allhorsestuff said...

Oou lala, that tea looked and am sure tasted great Sydney!
So sorry for the heat blast you and others are having...hard to maneuver much in that...except what one must or very early in the am.

I am about to order my own "Nurtural Bitless Bridle"...I think the beta would serve me best..but I am so enjoying the black leather one, I have been using. I love the western looking brow band and recently bought a piece of horsehair w/ braided top to hand from the point. It looks so cool.
If I sent you some of Wa's hair..could you make something with Red/White/Blue beads or strong threading to use on the brow band?

Stay cool gal!

allhorsestuff said...

it will "Hang" from the brow band..oops

Sydney_bitless said...

Even early in the Am it's humid as all getup here. Aren't we supposed to live in igloo's and ride polar bears in Canada? :P

allhorsestuff said...

Haha! Yea, the weather systems this year is strange-ola! I will work on my post from week 1 to 6 of the EW shoes. I had very little yellow pieces left and the right shoe was worn so thin, there was NO WAY to reset it! The mare and I have very rocky terrains that eat shoes! I am on my second set now..and with clips still + pad. With how large our rocks are..probably keep the pads too.

Brenda said...

ice tea is very refreshing. I make it with 3 decaf tea bags, 3 reg tea bags, and 3/4-1 cup real sugar. I was in GA for a week in May, and they had very sweet tea! I agree, the humidity and mosquitoes are terrible. Just make time for yourself to eat and relax. Ride early and get done early. You deserve the hot afternoon hours off.

gtyyup said...

Thanks for sharing the sounds great. I've got to get some lemons (and a peach) and give it a try!

LOL...I'm right there with ya with the farmer's tan ;~)

Sarah said...

will be trying the iced tea because though my mom AND dad can make it to die for, as well as sister, grandman, etc. I seem to be a flop! Apparently didn't get that gene. Of course no one can give me a recipe...its in their heads, So I'll be trying yours! THanks!
ps: I love the glass pitcher too! Its very pretty with your tea in it!

Shirley said...

The iced tea looks delicious, thanks for the recipe, I intend to try it. I also happen to have some frozen peaches from last summer! I didn't know about waiting for it to cool before adding the sugar (I'll be using agave syrup) and lemon. Thanks!

Rhonda said...

Thanks for a great-sounding tea recipe!

Dreaming said...

You are right, the tea looks spectacular in the new pitcher! I'll have to try the recipe. I love the idea of adding fruit.
Wow! It's hot up there! We've also been hot - it was supposed to get to 102 in Colorado Springs, but only got into the 80's here - but that was still a bit warm!

Jen said...

Have you tried tying a Bounce (or other) fabric softener sheet to your ponytail? I haven't the faintest idea why, but it seems to keep the little buggies at bay. Can't remember where I read it, but I tried it and to my surprise it worked.
Strange side note: No bugs or bites at all was an unexpected side effect of Chemotherapy (I'm guessing it was my toxic blood that kept them all at bay - er not that I recommend that route, mind you :o)

juliette said...

I hear you about the heat - we are feeling it too. UGH! I also am sporting the attractive farmer's tan! You have way more energy than me to ride/train many horses - I can barely ride one a day and then I collapse! Lovely pitcher and glasses and tea.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

YUM that tea looks soooo good. I hear you on the farmers tan, lol! My stomach looks like it does mid winter...WHITE! My arms, a lovely caramel.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I drink iced tea all summer, but since we have sunshine 28-30 days of every month, I never boil tea and just let the sun do all the work.
I've also cut back on my sugar intake, and now either drink it plain or with some herbal Stevia.

Oh and by the way, brown skin is not healthy skin. It's sun damaged skin. Your 'white lightning' skin is much healthier.


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