Friday, July 6, 2012

Hibiscus Zinger , the Porch and a Stack of Books

  The temperature is climbing faster than the pole beans and  I'm ready to settle down for a long summer spell with a pitcher of my favorite herbal iced tea and a stack of books in a nice old-fashioned porch chair, feet up and nothing to do but read.

Hibiscus Zinger

  For me, summer vacation means delicious free time to indulge my passion for a good book.  I used to read voraciously as a child, burning the midnight flashlight to finish 'one more chapter, Mom, one more page.'  Now I read slowly, savoring the language, like sipping  fine wine.  I stop often to daydream about faraway places and distant times.

  My current stack of books includes 'Handling Sin' by Michael Malone, a fat summer read if ever there was one.  So far, it's hilarious and I'm enjoying accompanying Raleigh Hayes as he tries to find his eccentric and possibly senile father who escaped from the local hospital and took off in a yellow Cadillac convertible.  Dad is leading his son on a wild , if irreverent , chase across the South.
The Porch

  I will start 'Still Alice'  by Lisa Genova for my August book club meeting in a week or two, a novel about a professor who is diagnosed with early Alzheimers.

  Next is 'Tree Smoke', by Denis Johnson,  a novel about Vietnam, which I've been wanting to read for a while.  It's another chubby book, my favorite kind for the long days of summer.

 I am also working my way through 'An Interior Castle', by St Teresa of Avila.   I came across a reference to this book in 'The Marriage Plot,'  which I just finished for July's book club meeting , and I am interested in learning more about St. Teresa, so I downloaded it onto my Nook.  

  If it stays too hot to weed , I may finish all of these books by August!

      My favorite iced tea, 'Hibiscus Zinger', contains equal amounts of  the following herbs:

                                      * Lemon Verbena
                                      * Lemon Grass
                                      * Lemon Balm
                                      * Peppermint
                                         Raspberry Leaves
                                         Rose Hips
                                         Hibiscus Flowers
                                         Juice of one half of a  lemon or a lime
                                         Stevia to sweeten

The * herbs are the ones I  grow. The others I  purchase in bulk, although I have collected rose hips in the wild.

I blend the teas in large quantities and store them in Mason jars.    To make a pitcher of tea, I  use  8 heaping teaspoonfuls(in a muslin tea bag) to 4 cups of boiling water, steep for 15 minutes, then add the warm tea to 4 or 5 cups of ice. This makes about 8 glasses of iced tea.

Dried, blended teas

Summer Bliss - a cool spot, a frosty drink and a good book.


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