Summer is about road trips, hikes in cool forests, ice cream cones, toes in the sand, jangly pop songs and iced tea. All things are high up on my summer list. Even though we’re not planning one large go-all-out vacation this summer, I’m looking ahead to camping, short getaways and just puttering around my balcony garden. As far as balconies go, we’ve got a decent amount of space outside and I’m starting to get the hang of growing things with a north and east facing light. The euphorbia we’ve got is going nuts in a good way and it looks like the pieris japonica, honeysuckle and the clematis with the shiny, showy leaves are all growing well. My fingers are crossed and hope to grow more green & colourful things. A recently scored lovely vintage planter from Craigslist is just waiting for some colour and herbs! If you’ve got any good container garden tips for North facing light (or filtered light as the case may be) or good gardening book suggestions, please leave me a note in the comments. I want to get a handle on this gardening business before the summer passes me by!
My green thumb is excited for summer but the rest of me is glad to have a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge. I’m not sure where I got the idea to pair earl grey tea with hibiscus but it’s a winning combo. Floral and tart with a hint of natural sweetness. Just look at that colour red! It’s stunning and makes a pretty looking and refreshing summer quencher. What’s even better is that you just drop the tea bags into cold water – no need to turn on the stove or wait for boiling hot water to cool down. Just steep in the fridge – easy! Make sure to pour it into your most inappropriate bad joke glass. If it’s bowling-themed, all the better!
I love that I don’t need to add any sweetener to this drink, it’s perfect on its own. But if you like, go ahead and add some agave syrup into your glass. If you really want to bump up the good times adult-party-style and why wouldn’t you? Mix this iced tea blend with some lemonade and rum for a delicious take on an Arnold Palmer.
And since I’m already soliciting for advice, I might as well ask for some cabin cooking advice! Next week will be our 8th wedding anniversary and we’re planning a short trip out to Tofino & Ucuelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island. There will be tidal pools to explore along with beach walks and forest hikes. I’ve never been before so I’m super excited! We’ve rented a tiny cabin and plan on doing a lot of cooking while we’re there. Thing is, since I have no idea how the kitchen is stocked, I’m at a bit of a loss about what menus to plan. Luckily, Tara over at Tea & Cookies makes a great start with her post entitled “What do Bring with You for Vacation Cooking” and a similar post was on the kitchn yesterday. Any seasoned cabin-ers out there with tips? Should I pre-prep or pre-make most of our meals in our home kitchen and then transport them via cooler? What if I have a hankering for sour cocktails and I can’t find a reamer for my lemons? What parts of your kitchen do you bring along with you? HALP!! And thanks in advance!!
earl grey & hibiscus cold-brewed iced tea
Hibiscus tea makes a great iced tea and not only because of its brilliant red colour. Earl Grey pairs nicely here, adding its own floral & citrus overtones. This tea has a natural sweet/tart flavour, so you might want to try this without any added sweetener at first. If you do want to add something, agave syrup is a good choice since it dissolves quickly in cold water.
4 hibiscus tea bags
3 earl grey tea bags
5 c cold water
agave syrup, to taste (optional)
lemon or lime slices, to garnish
In a large glass pitcher, add in the tea bags and cover with cold water. Place pitcher in the fridge overnight. You can add agave syrup directly to the pitcher or individual glass and give it a good stir, if you like a sweet tea – I leave it out. Garnish glasses with lemon or lime slices when serving.