Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meadow Tea Punch

 

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.


7 comments :

  1. There actually IS a shortcut to making meadow tea! Ever freeze meadow tea concentrate? You need 4 qts water, 4 cups sugar, and 4 cups fresh tea leaves. Bring water to a boil; remove from heat and add tea leaves. Let set for 15 minutes, remove leaves, add sugar and cool. Put in containers and freeze. To serve, combine one part concentrate with 3 parts water and enjoy the taste of fresh meadow tea anytime!! :) So handy to have in your freezer!

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    Replies
    1. I have made meadow tea concentrate before and my mom said that it works good for meadow tea punch. Thanks for sharing!
      Gina

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  2. As a former PA gal, I grew up with meadow tea and miss it so much!! Duh...why don't I plant my own tea?! I believe I will next year. Thanks for the tip on where to plant it. I suppose container planting would work, too? I'm a new follower, and as a fellow Mennonite mom of 4 young ones, (10,8,6,4) I enjoy relating and garnering tips. :-) I live in MS, now.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for writing Lois! A container should work fine. I have seen mint grown in the half barrels. Sounds like you and I have very similiar children's ages!
      Gina

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  3. Yum! I would like to try this. My mom made a special meadow tea/lemon concentrate that was so special. This sounds good, too!

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  4. This sounds like it would be quite nice and as my mint is plotting backyard domination, I think I shall give this a try.

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  5. My recipe for tea concentrate is 4 cups water, 2 1/2 cups sugar, and 2 cups leaves. Boil water and sugar, then take off burner and add leaves for 15 min. Strain and pour into containers and freeze. I know it's a lot of sugar. I do use a bit less, but I get a lot of compliments on my tea :) This punch recipe sounds yummy!

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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