August 12, 2005

Coffee, tea or me?

Overheard in Olathe, Kansas:
Olathe Grandma: “I haven’t tried that new restaurant, oh what is the name? It's over by Zio's..... Oh - Hooters! Yes, that's it. Have you eaten there yet? ?”.
Me, barely containing laughter: “Um, Grandma, do you know what they mean by Hooters?”
Grandma: “No. Why??”
Me:”The place is well known for their waitresses wearing tight shirts - flat-chested girls need not apply, if you know what I mean.”
Grandma, giggling: “Well, in that case, I could get a job there!”.
And this is Reason #7843 why I love my Grandma so much! Of course, I don't why I am so shocked, this is the very same devout Baptist Grandma who would joke about needing to go into Priscilla's Adult Toy store to buy something for Grandpa - and she would giggle the whole time. It's all in the giggle, folks. Anyway, I have never been to a Hooters, but I would be there in a heartbeat if I could talk my Grandma into going. MUST GET TO WORK ON THAT ONE.

More Grandma Stuff: Leavenworth Grandma’s 80th birthday party is tomorrow. Should be a barrel of fun. Actually, I have to say, LG doesn’t look a day over 70 - seriously. She looks AWESOME and is truly a testament to clean living - good food, no smoking, no drinking, no caffeine. This is the same women who hops into her red Ford Escape 3-4 times a year to head out to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, South Dakota - or wherever else her whim takes her. She flies like the wind, too! She likes to say that she is into her 3rd childhood and at this rate, she is working into her 4th. Go, go Grandma!

Rancid Recipe: I fell in love with Honest Tea years ago. At the time, it was very difficult to find in the Kansas City area but I loved it so much, I would drive over an hour round trip just to buy it. Now, of course, it is easily found in the area, but in the meantime, I had found a certain cheapness to my bone and went on a quest to make something at home - I wanted a highly spiced, yet lightly sweetened tea that I could enjoy whenever I wanted. Granted, it is not the same as Honest Tea, but I like it. Apparently, over the years, a few of my friends have decided they liked it as well because I consistently get requests for the recipe. It is one of those things that I would just throw together and I never kept track. Anyway, I promised my friends that I would come up with an official recipe. Note: Anyone remotely familiar with making Indian chai from scratch will notice the similarities - sans milk, of course.

Chai-Spiced Iced Tea

1 qt water
1 cinnamon stick
5-6 cloves
5-6 cardamom pods (slightly crushed to open the pod)
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tbl loose leaf tea (Lipton’s is the brand I use)

1. Bring water to boil with cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom in it.

2. While water is coming to a boil, fill 1 gallon pitcher 1/3 full of ice, then fill with water to slightly over halfway full. Add 1/3 cup of sugar and mix.

3. Add the loose leaf tea to a teapot, then add the boiling water. Let steep 5-7 minutes, depending how strong you prefer it. I think brewing the tea in this method is key - it is the English style and well, those dudes seem to really know their tea, right? If you bring the water to boil with the tea leaves already in it, the tea will be quite bitter.

4. When the tea has steeped to desired strength, add the tea while using a strainer to the ice water/sugar mixture. Mix well. And THAT’S IT. See? No mystery, I was just too lazy to write down the steps.

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