Thursday, August 7, 2014

_The Hancock News_ Column- July 23,2014

Our dog, Calvin, has his quirks. Ever since he was a puppy, he has insisted on keeping a toy in his mouth most of the time. It’s as if he knows he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from chewing on or licking the people and things he loves. I appreciate that about him because he’s not once chewed on any of the children or their toys, which I cannot say is true in reverse.

Also a habit since puppyhood is his insistence on doing his business only in tall grass or weeds. While this makes it difficult for him when we’re staying in a hotel with a well-groomed parking lot, I certainly can’t complain about it since we have had relatively few instances of pooper-scooper patrol here at home.

One habit of Calvin’s I imagine is not unique at all in dogs is his love of napping. Morning, afternoon, or evening, you can find him sprawled out and snoozing in the middle of the hallway or in his favorite spot at his master’s feet. When it’s really hot, he finds a spot in front of an air conditioner vent.

In these dog days of summer, I feel just like Calvin. During the hottest times of the year, I want to flop down and do a bunch of nothing. Not only do I want to avoid the chore of cooking, but the hot stove makes me miserable. Who wants to make the air conditioner work harder by turning on the oven?

I don’t even feel like eating half the time. Regular food seems so heavy when the heat and humidity are already pressing down on me. Fresh fruits and vegetables are light and appealing, but cleaning, peeling, chopping, slicing, dicing, and dressing is more than my sun-drained brain and body can handle. Of course, we have to eat, so prepare the food we must.

There is one summer delight that is both light, cool, and simple. Yes, it is so easy that even the novice who can’t boil water can make it. You don’t have to turn the stove on or dirty a knife. The only equipment you need is a large glass jar.
It’s sun tea, and while man cannot live on tea alone, sipping a cool glass of iced tea with supper or while sitting on the porch is a gratifying reward for laboring over a hot stove making the food.


The recipe for making sun tea is inexact. You can tailor it to your own tastes. You may use regular tea, herbal tea, or a mix of the two. You can use bagged or loose tea, but make sure if you use loose tea to pour the finished tea through a strainer before drinking it. 

Any sweetener you like can be used in whatever amount you prefer. However, unlike brewed iced tea, I’ve never had sun tea have any bitterness which makes it especially suited to needing no sweetener at all. 

Summer Sun Tea

1 gallon of water in a large glass jar
5-7 tea bags (or equivalent of loose tea)
Sweetener of your choice (optional)

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