A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Girl Friends and Summer Drinks

It's in the 60's today, but it will soon be hot again and this time of year always reminds me of a story about two ladies...in the afternoon, sipping brandy slush. It was in the late 70's that a friend introduced me to brandy slush. It's a wonderful, sweet, cooling, beverage for a hot summer day....served in a tall beautiful glass..frosty on the outside. Great for a party, but be careful. My experience is one that I'll never forget. It was a hot summer and just before dinner, my friend who lived across the street, came over to visit with her two little boys. We planned to take our kids to McDonald's for supper. Both of our husbands were gone and we didn't have to cook. I had made up a batch of slush and it was just freezing in my freezer. I got out two glasses and filled them up. We sat and visited and really enjoyed this delightful beverage. My teenage daughter said that she would make us another one. Now, the slush hadn't been in the freezer for the full time. My daughter scooped the slush out from the center of the container. The brandy hadn't frozen and lay there just waiting to be scooped up. We started being silly and giggling after several sips. The kids got away with murder that late afternoon. (Do people say that anymore?) They played and tore through the house, while their silly mothers were drinking on the patio. Later, I found out the reason for our silliness. We were drinking pretty much pure brandy. It is a story that is brought up over and over again in our family memories...the day that Mom drank too much of a good thing.

Here is the recipe...if you would like to try it. It's really delicious and we've made it many times since then...it's really an innocent drink...we just made a mistake.


7 c. water, 2 c. sugar, 7-Up, 2 c. water (boiling), 4 tea bags, 1 (12 oz.) frozen orange juice, 1 (12 oz.) frozen lemonade, 2 c. brandy
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Cool. Steep tea. Cool. Mix all ingredients in ice cream pail. Put in freezer overnight. To serve: Scoop slush into glass 2/3 full. Add 7-Up. Serve - enjoy. Garnish with cherries and orange slices if desired.

I make a lot of iced tea in the summer too. I can't have caffeine...so mine is an herbal tea or decaf teabags. I like Luzianne Tea the best. Here's my recipe.

Balisha's Iced Tea

6 to 8 tea bags
1 quart hot water (4 cups)
1 quart cold water (4 cups)
1/4 cup honey, optional

Get out a 2-quart size sauce pan. Put the hot water in it and bring it to a boil. Add the tea bags. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. No more, no less. Set the timer. If the tea sits for too long, it will extract bitter elements from the tea leaves, making the finished product taste horrible. I find with decaf tea...it should steep a little longer maybe a half hour. When the time is up, remove the tea bags. Put the cold water into a 2-quart size pitcher. Pour the hot tea into the pitcher, over top of the cold water. You put the cold water in first, because the hot tea could melt the pitcher, seeing as it is so hot. The cold water acts as a buffer, and cools the tea. Add the honey if you like, stirring to dissolve it completely. Put the pitcher into the fridge to cool. Or it can be poured directly into an ice filled frosty glass.

Now this is supposed to be a gardening blog.....so here's where the garden comes in. I like to decorate my tea with a lemon slice, a sprig of mint, sometimes an orange slice with a maraschino cherry on the straw. There are lots of herbs in the garden that will make a fine tea. I personally like the mint teas also a friend makes one with raspberry leaves. She harvests the leaves and dries them. She drinks it during the winter.
Tasty Prairie Tea from my friend Mimi...

A naturally sweet herbal tea, which has no caffeine and is loaded with trace minerals.'Tasty Prairie Tea' because some of the ingredients are indigenous to the Prairie. A cup of it before bedtime or to soothe a sore throat.
1 part fennel,1 part rosehips,1 part hibiscus flowers,1part red raspberry leaves, 1part peppermint leaves,1 part chamomile. Add 2 tsp of loose leaf tea to one cup of boiled water and steep for five minutes. Sweeten with honey if desired.

Hope you all can keep cool on a hot day with some of these ideas. I drink Iced Tea with dinner almost everyday...but not in the winter. It's a special summer drink.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Your slush sounds great;) That would be a good drink to bring to our picnic Saturday afternoon. I guess you're lucky the kids didn't try a little sip too while you ladies were busy.

Balisha, have a nice holiday weekend. Enjoy the fireworks if you go. I can see them from my farm but I'm pretty far away. Think I'll head over to Winnebago and watch them up close.

Balisha said...

Hi Marnie,
Have a great 4th. We are going to visit my daughter (who served the slush) in Wisconsin on Sat. She lives on a lake, and the whole family will be there on my side.

OhioMom said...

I think I will make this slush sans the brandy, since we don't drink alcohol .. it sounds yummy with the juices and tea. I also drink a lot of iced tea in the summer :)

Barb said...

Your drinks sound great for a hot summer day. Hope you have a great 4th of July.

Lily said...

We're back. I'm laughing at your post, what a fun memory!
Lily is having a special Birthday Raffle and I am wondering if I could use the pictures you posted of the Lily of the Valley?

Balisha said...

Hi Ohiomom,
I would probably make it for me...without the alcohol too. It affects my heart rate, so I don't drink much alcohol anymore.
Hi Barb...thanks for commenting.
Hi there Lily,
Sure you can use the pictures. Have fun.
I hope you all have a great 4th of July. Be safe.

Pat said...

Love the slush story...sounds like slush is something my best friend Bonnie and I would like while sitting on the porch on a summer afternoon as we solved all the world's problems.
Have a wonderful weekend,