Tea For Two
“Tea is a drink that just tastes better when you’re enjoying it with a friend or two.”
~ ~ ~
I just returned home to Austin from visiting my Cousin Julie in San Antonio and she always has a fresh pitcher of brewed tea on her kitchen counter. I had a glass of Julie’s tea and told her there was something special about it. She said the tea was made how my grandmother “Nanny” liked it, so you know in a flash it became my newest-oldest favorite drink! Shazam!
Julie said Nanny would add a flavorful tea called “Constant Comment” to regular tea as she brewed it. She sent me home with a few bags of the stuff and now I’m brewing my tea the way my Grandmother liked it best. Since I haven’t enjoyed any of my Grandmother’s foods since she was living in the 1990s, this has become a way for me to celebrate my Mom’s Mom’s favorite beverages. Pretty. Darn. Cool.
Cheers to you, Nanny … and Julie!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ While I grew up drinking Lipton instant tea I actually think Luzianne makes a better brew.
♥ For brewing, I use a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker.
1 tea bag | constant comment brand tea
2-3 tea bags | regular tea
per instructions | water and ice
optional | lemon wedge
ii. what to do
1. Brew the tea as you normally would … but include one bag of the magical constant comment tea.
2. Pour brewed tea over ice.
3. If you want to make it extra special, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and a friend or two – share the moments of the day over a great cup of tea.
I still remember the “clang-clink-clang” made by the stainless teaspoon as I scooped the tea mix from the Kiker household staple – the Lipton tea jar. I’d drop a couple of spoonfuls into mom’s plastic strawberry iced tea glasses, add tap water, stir, then fill with some ice cubes. Mom would add a sliced lemon if we were going gourmet all the way, like for the Thanksgiving feast.
While we’re on the topic of ice cubes, one of my childhood chores (yes, Laura Ingalls wasn’t the only one with them), was to keep the ice cube trays full. Why? Well, modern conveniences like automatic ice makers didn’t exist in most homes so I had to make ice the old-fashioned way. Magic!
Tea. Simple and refreshing. Let’s “jooj” it up a bit with Mom’s recipe for Russian Tea.
Два чая, пожалуйста
(two teas, please)
1 cup | instant tea powder (unflavored)
2 cups | orange instant breakfast drink
3 ounces | imitation lemonade mix
1½ cups | sugar
½ teaspoon | ground cloves
½ teaspoon | ground cinnamon
ii. what to do
1. Mix all of dry ingredients together. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar.
2. When ready to serve, add 2 slightly rounded teaspoonfuls of the drink mix into your cup of choice.
3. Add boiling water.
Makes: 1 quart
Foodie Tips ~
♥ The dry mix makes a great gift ~ especially during the chilly holidays! Place the powdery mixture into a glass jar, wrap with ribbon and gift away.
♥ This tea is also good served over ice.
♥ Who doesn’t like sliced lemon with their tea?
♥ Make sure and check out the recipes below; the bottom two were donated by my super-cousin Alison-Sutton-Bergin. All I can say is… “Gig That!” The recipes are slightly different from mom’s and that’s inspiration to try something new. The top “spiced tea” recipe is from Debbie (Alison’s mom)… and the bottom recipe “instant russian tea” is penned by Alison’s dad, Bill(y).