- Every spring I plant my garden with the greatest of intentions. I plan and plot, and I care for each plant as if they were a small baby. By mid-July I’m tired. I hate having to water the plants, and I often skip days – multiple – in between watering, even when it’s 98º F and 86% humidity *because* it’s 98º F and 86% humidity. Today was one such day.
- I made a calendar with the kids, and we put Post-It Notes all over it on summer activities we wanted to do, outlined the summer camp schedules and sporting schedules and the like, and filled in the appointments. We then proceeded to forget about it for a month.
- After staring at the summer to-do list and realizing that no matter how hard I try I am just going to fail, I ordered solar print sheets. Perhaps we can cross that one thing off the list. Maybe I should throw away our 12-week-old pizza box we’re saving to make into a solar oven. (Nope, not a chance.)
- I am terrible at thank-you cards. I know this seemingly has little to do with summer, except that I really wanted to find a way to thank the people who helped when Magnus split his head open at the playground during Lene’s soccer practice. That was 3 weeks ago. Mm-hmm.
- We had to pick up some of our mess to host a barbecue for one of Ole’s side businesses this past weekend. I felt like I was reborn, such was the ecstasy of clean floors and walls. I promptly invited over some other friends to come have dinner before we smeared the walls with mud again.
- My house is no longer clean.
- I have no fewer than 7 loads of laundry that need to be folded. I’m of the belief the wrinkles in each and every t-shirt and pair of shorts add character to my kids’ ensemble. You are not allowed to tell me otherwise.
- I’ve noticed my children have started wearing their swimsuits as underwear. This is potentially due to the fact that they swim daily, but there is a high probability that it’s on account of all the underwear being buried in the pile of wrinkled laundry.
- We picked blueberries on Tuesday. This means we’ve picked berries every week for 4 weeks. Judging by the raspberries in the back yard, this will continue to summer’s end. This is the definition of perfection.
- I just referenced summer’s end.
Here in Minnesota we spend months waiting for the return of the sun, and when it gets here, it’s come and gone too quickly. Already I feel the pull of autumn just around the corner tugging at the hem of my tank top, and we’re presently placed in the bull’s eye of summer, the thick of it.
It’s easy to get caught up in the go-here-go-there attitude of summer. The minute we are finished with one activity, we’re on to the next, and in between we’re trying desperately to slow the speed of the sun moving across the sky.
We are terrible Americans, consuming far more tea than coffee in this house, especially in the summer when the tea comes cold and served in a frosty glass. This evening the kids finished off one jar after another, and when the pitcher was gone they impatiently watched the color seep into the water. We prefer ours with a slice of citrus or a frozen berry or two, but for freezing, we tend to mix the fruit in liberally.
The slight citrus green tea with Mighty Leaf’s Sunburst Green Iced Tea pairs well with a number of summer berries. We opted for the last of our strawberries, but feel free to mash mulberries, marionberries, blueberries, raspberries, or whatever you may have on hand. Mixed with a bit of honey to sweeten the sauce (adjust according to the berry sweetness) and a few cups of tea, you have all you need to create a cooling summer treat.
1/2 cup granulated sugar or 1/3 cup honey
3 cups brewed green iced tea
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the strawberries and the sugar/honey until the strawberries are boiling, stirring frequently. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Set the pan aside to cool.
Once cool, mix in the green tea, stirring to thoroughly combine. Pour into popsicle molds, insert ends, and freeze until firm, at least four hours.
Once frozen through, unmold and serve immediately or wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to eat.
Makes 10 3-ounce frozen pops.
With all the coming and going, it becomes easier to rely on gas station stops and bottled beverages over the summer. Still, instead try pitchers and cups for your picnics, filling them with your own cold brewed tea. (I am all about the cold brew – just add tea bags, stick in the refrigerator, and wait. Mighty Leaf’s 1/2-gallon pouches make it even easier.) In an effort to reduce summer waste while simultaneously being refreshing in the sweltering heat, I’ll select a commenter to receive a Mighty Leaf Iced Tea Brewing Kit that includes:
- A Takeya Iced Tea Pitcher that works wonderfully in the refrigerator door but also has a spill-proof seal that lets you slide it into your shorter shelves on its side, too.
- A Takeya Green Glass Bottle for iced tea on-the-go.
- A selection of four Mighty Leaf 1/2-Gallon Brew Iced Teas
I’ll choose a commenter at random on Saturday, July 20th at 11:59 p.m. EST to win the Mighty Leaf set (supplied by them).