10 July 2008

Summer Pleasures

Lovely Lily of Blog posted recently about summer pleasures. One of hers is iced coffee. One of mine: Iced Sun Tea.

In this case, black current, brought to me by a friend on a trip to Russia, purchased in duty-free shop in Hamburg, with Finnish wording on the Lipton package. I was amused by the package; love the tea.

I'm particular about how my tea is brewed and rarely buy iced tea in restaurants, particularly now that so many places where I live (not even in the South) serve that beverage abomination known as Sweet Tea. Unsweetened tea is a 'special request'. Ugh! Sun tea, more accurately cold-brewed tea, is a simple pleasure. I don't make mine in the sun; just place the tea into cold water and let it stand for about an hour. Watching the tea slowly sink to the bottom of the pitcher can be mesmerizing, if you're in one of those "don't have anything I really want to do right now" kinds of mood.

Even though I don't make Sun Tea outside, I think of this as a summertime pleasure. It is light and soothing and feels appropriate for the season. After I snapped this picture, I realized how perfect this picture was. Unintentionally framed in the picture is one of the tiles in my kitchen. With the flash from the camera a reflection was created resembling a sunset with a palm tree superimposed on the glass. What could be more summer-like than that?

The tile, actually, is of a May Apple (Podophyllum peltatum). One of the first things I noticed when I looked at this house was the hand-painted tiles in the kitchen. The owner explained that all of the represented flowers grew on the property. At closing, she gave me a book used by the painter for most of the tiles.

Thinking about summer pleasures and iced tea, made me realize how these tiles are one of those everyday pleasures in my home. They make me smile. I haven't seen wildflowers in the woods to match each of these tiles, although some, like the may apples make their appearance each year. Some I know would not be classified as wild because they are not native plants. Still, the tiles remind me that hidden in the woods throughout spring, summer and fall are little blooms that, when stumbled upon, will make me smile.

What do you see every day that makes you smile?

Blue Violets; White LadySlipper
Marsh Marigold;
Eastern Trout-Lilly;
Red Trillium


If you know the names of those I haven't identified (2nd, 3rd down on right), please let me know. Also if I've identified any incorrectly.


Dorothy W. said...

Those tiles are great -- they would definitely have made me want the house! And I love sun tea too -- the perfect summer drink!

stefanie said...

I like making raspberry sun tea. Mmmm. Your kitchen tiles are gorgeous. I'm not sure but the third one on the right looks kind of columbine-ish.

Cam said...

Hi Stefanie. I thought it might be columbine too, but wasn't sure. I've actually never seen this one growing here, although columbine will grow in this hardiness zone (5b).

Dorothy -- when we were debating the pros/cons of the house, the tiles were the first attribute that I listed in the "pro" column.

Kay said...

That is a beautiful photo - and I love those tiles. As for iced tea, that is an American tradition I would love to try sometime. I am a huge fan of hot tea - I have about four cups of hot tea a day. It's a very common drink for new Zealanders.

Cam said...

Kay, I never thought about iced tea being an American beverage. But, since I don't ever order it isn restaurants (around here, I find that it is usually over-brewed, or served with sugar), it has never occurred to me when I've traveled that iced tea isn't commonly consummed. You really should try it sometimes. Regarding sweet tea: I will sweeten my tea when I drink it hot, but, there is something about the crispness of iced tea that I think is blunted by sugar.

If, for some reason, I do want it cold and sweet, what I typically do is mix 1/2 glass lemonade (again not too sweet) and 1/2 glass tea. The lemon and the tea flattens the sweetness of the sugar.