Thursday, August 28, 2014
I love cool summer drinks - though typically at our house we stick with just plain water.
When I was young, one of our neighbors served Meadow Tea Punch at every neighborhood gathering. No community picnic was complete without her punch.
Last summer I went back to my parent's community to attend their community summer picnic - and there is was - meadow tea punch. It is still THE summertime beverage in Welsh Run. Some things are too good to change.
Recently I had a craving for meadow tea punch and with a phone call found how simple this is to make.
There is a more detailed recipe but basically Meadow Tea Punch is a mix of equal parts of meadow tea, lemonade, and orange juice. If you want a small batch, mix a quart of each. If you are serving a crowd, mix a couple gallon of each. It couldn't be simpler.
For the lemonade you may use fresh squeezed, frozen concentrate, or the dry powder mix.
Similarly the orange juice can be frozen concentrate (diluted with water, of course) or whatever orange juice you have on hand.
But I don't know any shortcut to get meadow tea then to carry a dishpan and collect a bowl full of mint.
In our area, many farmsteads have a patch of mint growing along a shed somewhere. I was pleased when we moved here to find a patch already established by the garden shed. Mint is very invasive. Do NOT plant mint in your garden unless you want to fight it forever. The best place to plant mint is somewhere you can mow around it. Along the back of a shed is perfect.
I don't have a recipe for meadow tea. I fill my big pot with water (about a gallon and a half), bring it to boil, throw in a dishpan full of spearmint (maybe some peppermint too), remove from heat, and allow to steep for half an hour. Remove mint and strain tea. (Use a cheese cloth or an old sheet.) Sweeten with sugar or stevia as desired. Cool. Add water if it is too concentrated.
Meadow Tea is great just as like that but adding orange juice and lemonade definitely makes it special.
For me it is a taste of nostalgia. It is the taste of orange juice with an after-taste of tea. My husband says that it is super refreshing on a hot day.
If you have a patch of mint taking over your herb garden, try it.