Simple Pleasures & Sun Tea

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“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” ~Oscar Wilde

This time of year I usually head to the kitchen to make my coffee first thing in the morning, and while I wait for the water to boil I make a new batch of sun tea. We go through about a gallon of the stuff a day. If I’m busy I just throw 5 or 6 Twinings English Breakfast tea bags in my sun tea jar, fill it with water and set it out on the deck. When I have more time, I like to make this:

Tropical Fruit Sun Tea

(from Art Smith’s cookbook Back to the Table)

1 cup loose, fruit flavored, black tea (I like Mrs. Kelly’s Minneapple, Mindy Kelly was the tea blender for both of the tearooms I worked for. The BEST tea in the twin cities!)

zest of 1/2 lemon

zest of 1/2 orange

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup sliced, crystallized ginger

10 cups bottled spring water

orange and lemon slices for garnish

Place the tea leaves, lemon and orange zests, cinnamon stick, and ginger in a large square or rinsed cheesecloth. Tie into a bundle to create a tea bag. Pour water into a clear glass jar. Add the tea bag to the jar, cover tightly, and place the jar in a sunny place outside. Let it steep for 4 hours. Remove the tea bag. Refrigerate tea until ready to serve. Serve in ice filled glasses and garnish with the citrus slices.

This weekend has been perfect for sipping sun tea out on the deck. I brought a beach towel out there yesterday, rubbed down with Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil and read a few chapters of The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde.

doriangray1

I am thoroughly enjoying this book and it’s subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) commentary on social class, beauty, and mortality. It’s undertones of homoeroticism must have caused quite a stir in the 1800’s. While reading it I’ve been reminded of other books that I’ve read in the same genre (Gothic Horror Fiction) such as Faust and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It’s great.

Yesterday evening we had the brilliant idea of grilling up some gourmet burgers using a recipe from our favorite burger recipe website. We made #20, The Mona Lisa… and it was so wonderful it brought a tear to my eye 🙂 We had Bombay Sapphire gin martinis with the burgers. Mmmmmm….

cheeseburger-20-DSC_0684-e

To make the Mona Lisa Burger

Spread about a tablespoon of garlic mayonnaise on the bottom half of a buttered, grilled Cibatta roll. Top mayo with sliced Sicilian olives, sundried tomatoes that have been soaking in extra virgin olive oil, a slice of purple onion, a 1/3 lb. grilled beef or bison burger, gorgonzola crumbles, 2 slices of crisp bacon, a few arugula leaves. Slather the top of the grilled Cibatta roll with more garlic mayo and place on top of the burger.

We topped off the day with a Netflix movie. Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams. It was hilarious, suspenseful, and beautifully done. I loved the overall “steam punk” feel of this flick.

sherlock-holmes-movie1

How are you spending this beautiful weekend?

~Melissa

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  8 comments for “Simple Pleasures & Sun Tea

  1. Kimber Dunn
    May 17, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I’m not a burger person, but that sounds like it would make a delicious pasta in some form or another!! It sounds yummy enough that I’m tempted to eat a burger now!

    And all your tea posts have me convinced. I’m prowling the net for a sun tea container and teas right now!! You’re a fabulous influence! hee hee

    And Sherlock was fabulous! We saw it Christmas day and loved it!!

  2. May 17, 2010 at 11:01 am

    The burgers really turned out good, and now we’re thinking we may have to try one of those recipes on cheeseandburger.com every couple weeks! You’re right, the sundried tomatoes, gorgonzola, Sicilian olives, onion, garlic and arugula would be fabulous tossed with a little EVOO and linguini 🙂

    If you have a big (1 gallon) pickle jar, you could use that for sun tea. Also, Target has a nice selection of them. Some with a side spigot, some without…

    Enjoy, Kimber, and thanks so much for your comments!

  3. Kimber Dunn
    May 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks!! I ordered an orange zest, a cranberry and a green. Can’t wait to start a new summer addiction and lay off the coffee for awhile.

  4. May 18, 2010 at 4:41 am

    ooh! sounds fabulous! who did you order the tea from?

  5. Kimber Dunn
    May 18, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Boca Java. I have been ordering my coffee from them for a couple years now. Thought I’d try the tea and then I’m cancelling my service. The coffee is good, but I want to try other places more often, and now more tea too.

  6. May 19, 2010 at 6:23 am

    some of my favorites are: Mrs. Kelly’s (a tea blender located in the twin cities. Her teas are the teas we served most at the tearooms where I worked) Tea Source, Harney & Sons, and Teavana.

  7. Kimber Dunn
    May 21, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks for the heads up!! I’ll check them out!

  8. May 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    please share your favorites! i’m always on the lookout for a new blend 🙂

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