Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lost my shoe in the mud. I need some Sweet Tea.

I lost my shoe twice in the mud.
It's officially springlike enough to qualify for some sweet tea and porch sitting in the sun.
Vitamin D Here We Come!

Today's sun was happily shared with Chef Rick Kangas & his lovely friend Miss Lucy. I can't express how nice it was to just "be" in the sun with lovely company, snoozing puppies, no phones or electronics, and nature enveloping us.

"Louisiana Sweet" Ranch AlacriTea™
  • Luzianne Tea bags - 16 regular or 4 family size
  • Mint, fresh - handful pinched in clothespin, preferably Kentucky Colonel
  • Evaporated Cane Sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Liquid Stevia - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Lemons - stain juice of 2, Meyer preferred
Add boiling kettle of water to teabags & mint and steep exactly 5 minutes. Remove bags & mint. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add more hot water if required. Add stevia & lemon juice. Stir well. (see note below) Add ice & cold water to make 1 gallon and refrigerate. Serve in Mason Jars over ice. Garnish or not. Find a patch of sun and a rocking chair.

Note: I prepare this in a 2 quart Pyrex measuring cup. If planning ahead for a party I will make multiple batches and freeze in quantity and add water later to save space. Likewise, I may freeze half and prepare half to drink if I'm alone. Another short cut when you find yourself with a wealth of cut mint is to steep the mint 5 minutes, add the sugar and freeze the simple syrup to preserve the bounty to add later. Same with Meyer lemons - zest well, spread thinly on parchment to freeze dry and then bag or jar and freeze juice in an ice cube tray and crack frozen cubes into a bag. Return both zest and cubes to freezer until needed. ;)


  1. Mason jars! you can take the girl out of the South...

  2. It took all I had not to call the wrap around deck a veranda and not a porch. But it's a veranda!!!

  3. With or without the tea the afternoon was amazing! My head is swollen with ideas! Where to begin!!! Thanks for the eggs. They will be devored every so slowly to savor every bit of their freshness and flavor! The tea rounded the over-whelming experience. More tea and visits to come!

  4. Rick, the Ranch just does something - hard to explain until one has been here. And then it's still hard to explain.
    Maybe it's that one small place really can make a difference. Like the baseball field built in a field of corn maybe...but come here once and the dream is in you! Of all the things we have been offering, it took puppies to really get people to start coming. And now they are talking. :)
    And good things from the kitchen or land never hurt Dusti said, you can take the girl out of the South...

  5. You posted, yay!! :-) I'm looking forward to reading more about Ranch Alactrity. (And seeing photos... :-)

  6. More on Stevia from a query on FaceBook:

    The stevia plant is in the mint family. I eat mint, I eat stevia - don't see much difference. I used to grow it and steep a handful in my tea but I couldn't grow enough for iced tea season, so I buy the liquid extract. The other forms don't taste quite right - because they are processed & mixed with other stuff to make them into solids - and they are a major ripoff value-wise. Like any herbal extract or essential oil - go with organic & a reputable company. A bottle is not cheap but it will last you a very long time. Basically it tastes just like cane sugar but has no calories. It's not marketed as a sugar supplement because all the companies that manufacture artificial sweeteners don't want you to know about it. Diabetics have been using this stuff for over a century that I have been able to research myself.

    I tend to drink mostly water through the day but I like coffee and tea too, so to cut my sugars I make a simple syrup of stevia & sugar and add that to the latter.

    Basically you have to figure out what tastes right to you. For me 1/4 teaspoon extract is equal to 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a simple syrup. Some think a half cup less, but I'm not into super sweet. I've never baked with it - I save desserts for special occasions and go with the real stuff there.

    If you wanted to figure the caloric value of my tea you would take the value of the two lemons & the 1/2 cup of sugar & divide by 16 for 8 oz servings. (80 + 360)/16 = 27.5 calories per serving. But don't forget that you're imbibing caffeine in there too!