My brother and his family left this afternoon. I am lucky to get to see them as they were really up visiting Mon Amie’s (my sister-in-law) family. Some people may consider this “double-dipping” but I don’t mind in the least. I just hope Mon Amie’s family doesn’t mind them scooting out a little early.
We had an eventful day. I just assumed we were running late this morning, so we got all the kids in the car and headed down to Meeting/Church. On the drive down, I called The Hunni, and he informed me that we were running half an hour early!
My brother was driving back down in Illinois today, so we just went out for dinner. We decided to go to Cabela’s, so the kiddos could do some running around while they waited for their meal.
Only Little Man spilled his drink. Only Little Man ran off three times–each time he went down a level to the fish. Only Little Man fell asleep in the car ride home. He had just exploded a wild and wonderful place, and was exhausted from his adventure.
Coming home to a cold house and no company is no fun, so we made some Russian Tea and finished off the bagels my brother had bought at Panera. The Russian Tea took off a little of the chill and a little of the loneliness after having family around.
Now if you want to make instant Russian Tea, you just mix up Tang and a couple of other ingredients, and you have Instant Russian Tea.
- 2 cups orange breakfast drink mix
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened instant tea
- 1 envelope (.23 ounce) unsweetened lemonade soft drink mix
- 1 teaspoon ground Spice Islands® Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/3 cup red-hot candies
- ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT (for each serving):
- 1 cup boiling water (from Taste of Home)
However, I grew up with my mom cooking up the real thing. Start by getting a large pot of water boiling.
The spices are typical of fall flavours with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, nutmeg (whole or ground), ginger (this is candied ginger), and (if you like licorice) some star anise.
“Star anise comes by its name honestly, with its star shape and a licorice taste similar to regular anise, only stronger. Star anise is the seed pod of an evergreen tree (Illicium Verum) grown in southwestern China and Japan. It is about one inch high with eight segments and a dark brown rust color. Like regular anise, star anise gets its distinctive licorice taste from a chemical compound called anethol. However the two are not related botanically – star anise is a member of the Magnolia family.” (from here.)
I didn’t have any star anise, but I buy it at World Market when I can spiced peaches.
Slice up some oranges and a lemon. I didn’t have anything but a little Clementine peel, but I added it anyway. You could also add pineapple slices.
I had my large blue pot filled with boiling water, so I dumped in two handfuls of tea.
I then added the spices and lemon and orange slices. I scooped the orange juice concentrate out as I didn’t want the entire can to slide out and splash boiling water all over me.
Then you add a sweetener. Red Hot candies are an option. So is wonderfully-refined-tastes-divine white sugar. We used honey. I just added and tasted to get the right sweetness.
I gave everything a stir and then turned the temperature down to a low simmer. I left it there for another 5 minutes.
I didn’t strain the tea, but you may want to. I also took out the lemon slices right away. The lemon peels can make the tea bitter if they are left in too long. The orange slices don’t seem to do this.
Ladle up some mugs and ward off the loneliness.