The good news is that, in the current political clime, I shouldn't have to participate for an overly long period. I fully expect to get a snazzy new tattoo, and shiny new badge, and an all expense paid trip to terminally exiting destination fairly soon. Seig Heil to the Great New American Empire.
I'm also noticing that lately most of what I've been posting here is really a drag. And for that I apologize.
I hope things are really going well with all four of you who might read this, and that you’re thoroughly enjoying this non-global-warming-related unusually balmy fall weather.
And me? Everything’s fine with me. Great. Just peachy.
Thus concludes the polite fiction portion of tonight’s missive. Although the first paragraph was a true and honest representation of my worldview and my desire and willingness to help anyone who needs it, what follows is the stuff I’ve been… what? Reluctant? Unwilling? Embarrassed? Exhausted? Some all-encompassing term that sends all that through a Cuisinart and distills it down to one spoonless black dog of a feeling. And I really do appreciate that people have their own burdens to bear, which is why I recommend, even encourage you to go back to the second paragraph and stop reading there. I understand, I really do,
I feel like I should post something, but don't really want to because anything I post would be tedious, mundane and depressing. Except for a visit Saturday last from the always lovely and entertaining morganaus which was amazing.
One day soon I'll may have to relate the woe and angst that has been June 2016. But for now, dear friends, enjoy! As they say, ignorance is bliss!
A group of men, technically headquartered locally (but not necessarily of the local population), who are paid more money than can reasonably be explained to perform a task that is of no lasting benefit to humanity, have bested another group of similarly elevated individuals who are theoretically based elsewhere. The masses are suitably ecstatic over this exercise in hyperbolic, aggrandized entertainment.
Perhaps, just perhaps, if comparable levels of time, energy, enthusiasm and, of course, money were directed towards undertakings that would actually improve the human condition, things might improve.
But I can understand that it’s much easier to wear appropriately colored clothing and cheer orgiastically for accomplishments that aren’t even your own than to, you know, actually DO something impactful.
It’s not even 7:30 am, and I’m already so tired of hearing about this. Humanity, your priorities are skewed.
The Footle Method of Freshly Brewing Iced Tea
1. It all starts with the tea. The best I’ve found (and I’ve tried lots) is Luzianne. It tastes amazing and brews strong without getting bitter – and it has to be strong to stand up to the ice. And because of, you know, reasons, I make a reduced caffeine version. Typically caffeine-free teas suffer in the flavor department. I get around this by using 2 decaffeinated family-sized tea bags and one regular family-sized tea bag per gallon of tea.
2. Next is the pitcher. I recommend Rubbermaid Servin’ Savers. They stand up to wear and last a long time with a bit of care. They also handle the heat of boiling water well. I have four non-colored ones that are in regular rotation, and several more in colored versions. The non-colored ones are for my primary version of iced tea, namely unsweetened with lemon. The others are to differentiate alternate versions (sweet tea, no lemon tea, etc.) for when I have parties (i.e. they never get used). I recommend you have at least a couple on hand – they’re significantly cheaper if you buy them locally rather that via Amazon.
3. I also suggest that you have a few 2 quart Servin’ Savers (I’m really fond of Rubbermaid products for informal beverage service – you can always pour it into something fancier if you have pinkie lifters coming over) on hand – I’ll explain why in a bit.
4. I also advise that you have a large, sturdy tea kettle. Mine is a Revereware
copper bottom, and it gets a lot of use.
5. You’ll also need a stout wooden spoon with a very long handle. Try and have one that’s dedicated to your iced-tea-making endeavors – otherwise you risk tainting your tea (EGAD!!) with the flavors of whatever you last stirred with the spoon.
6. Now, for brewing the tea. Fill your kettle and set it on to boil. If you’re able to drink is straight, tap water is fine, especially if you have some kind of filter (or just really good water – which I luckily have). If you have crappy city tap water, use whatever plain water you typically drink.
7. Strip the tags from 3 family sized tea bags (again, I use 2 decaf and 1 regular, but you can do as you please) and tie them together by their strings (this makes them easier to remove from the pitcher.
8. Ready your 1 gallon pitcher. If you want sweet tea, add the sugar to the pitcher. The amount will depend on your tastes, but a cup per gallon is a good starting point. HOWEVER, it’s healthier to not use it, and IMHO the tea is more thirst quenching and refreshing without it. Also, if you’re using alternate sweeteners, DO NOT add them now. They will develop an unpleasant taste after standing in the tea for a time, so add them to the poured glass for best results.
9. Allow your water to come to a full boil. When it’s whistling, take it off the heat and pour it into the pitcher. Carefully swirl the water around to dissolve the sugar, if added. Your pitcher should be around half full at this point.
10. Add the tea bags, dunking them a bit so they start to steep and don’t float.
11. Put the lid on the pitcher (to keep out whatever) and set it somewhere out of the way. Let it sit a minimum of two and up to five or so hours.
12. Start up at step 6 for another gallon, if desired. I usually make about four gallons on Sunday to last me the workweek – but then I drink a ton of iced tea.
13. After a few hours have passed and you’ve remembered that you are making tea, get the pitcher and your long handled wooden tea spoon. Use the handle to fish out the tea bags, then use the spoon end to squeeze them dry.
14. Add a healthy dollop of lemon juice, if you can tolerate it. It adds a nice touch of acidity, plus it acts as a preservative and helps extend the life if the tea. I use a good quality bottled brand, because lemons are expensive and messy, but you can do as your Smitten-Kitchen-self pleases. Again, this will be to your taste.
15. Add cold water to the tea to fill up the pitcher.
16. Get a tall glass, fill it with ice, pour your freshly brewed tea over and enjoy! YUM!
17. Oh, about those 2quart Servin’ Savers… as I said, I drink a ton of iced tea, and I like to take it to work with me. I like it cold, and we don’t have access to any ice here at the Middling Large Lumber Retailer. So…
a. I take one of the gallons of tea that I’ve made and divide it between three of the 2 quart Servin’ Savers. That fills each around a third full.
b. I then put them in the freezer and let them freeze solid.
c. In the morning before work, I pull one out and top it off with unfrozen tea and put the lid on.
d. I put it in my insulated lunch bag along with whatever else I’m taking to work that day. The tea stays cold (and undiluted) and the frozen tea lasts at least one day, and usually two. Plus it acts like an ice pack for everything else.
e. I also take along a separate reusable insulated glass filled with ice and tea to start the day, and so that I have a vessel to pour the Servin’ Saver into. Not that I would mind sipping directly from the Servin’ Saver, but the pinkielifters here at work would probably see that as uncouth…
So there you go – the Footle Method of Freshly Brewing Iced Tea. Hope it helps, lovely Catt! Also sorry about the formatting - it's the best I could do with limited resources. If you'd like a printable - and more legible copy, email me and I'll send you either a Word doc or a pdf.