Sunday, March 14, 2010

Musing Monday and Cookbook Countdown and Weekend Cooking

  Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about picture books, but before I get around to answering that....I'm going to talk about "Iced Tea" and my cookbook countdown.

  All of you bookworms and book bloggers, who don't care about my "foodie" side, you can scroll down to the bottom OR (please don't) just, um, ignore me and my blog post. I'll never know.

  Iced Tea. I'm trying to give up drinking Pop ( mid-west, north and Pacific Northwest term for soda pop), so I thought I'd switch to iced tea. I've always "liked" iced tea, I've just loved pop more. Pop is not so good for us, as we all know, so I'm on the journey to switch to iced tea.

  All this switching got me to thinking....why didn't Sweetened Iced Tea make it out west? Or even to the north?
I posed this question to my friend April the other day, when she was over for a visit. I said, "Sweetened Iced Tea."
April said, "what?" And then she "tsk tsk tsked" me.
She took on a very arrogant attitude and said, "It's SWEET TEA". (she grew up in Virginia)

  My apologies for ever having said "Sweetened Iced Tea," to all my southern friends. I DIDN'T KNOW!!! Because....I've never had Sweet Tea, except for once when I visited Virginia 3 years ago. It's way too sweet for me and if the purpose of switching from pop to iced tea is cutting back on the sugar, I don't see the point of it.
Having said that.... I do realize that my Southern friends would find the thought of Tea without Sugar, HORRIBLE. I get it...really, I do. It's a western thing.... Iced Tea...without sweetener of any kind. Although some people will add some sugar and stir and stir it, until it dissolves, but I don't think it can compare to real "Sweet Tea" that you make with a simple syrup.

  So, why didn't Sweet Tea make it's way out west with the covered wagons? What happened? Why wouldn't it?
It's a mystery! Seriously.....the westerners who do use sugar in their iced tea (and, there happen to be quite a few of them) would save themselves a lot wrist action (stirring) and I'm sure it would taste a lot better than to have granules of table sugar that never really completely dissolve in a glass of cold iced tea.
  This morning as the Handyman and I were driving to the market, I asked him if he liked "Sweet Tea". He answered, "Huh? I like Iced Tea" (sorry again, we are ignorant Westerners when it comes to Sweet Tea), so on that trip home from the market, I thought to myself...I'm going to make some iced tea...FROM A COOKBOOK, so I can add it to my cookbook challenge   .....making still over 200 cookbooks to go.

I came home with the idea of trying an authentic "Sweet Tea", but I went with this more Western Version first.
( I will make Sweet Tea in a few days---and we'll have a competition. You never know, we might be Sweet Tea converts! My dad likes Sweet Tea infused with mint from his garden. And he lives in Washington State.)
As you can tell.....the Immaculate Iced Tea also has a "Sweet Tea" recipe, which I'll be using in a few days.

I bet you didn't even know that people actually write recipes for Iced Tea! I took me by surprise.    I will be submitting this to  "Weekend Cooking", a weekly meme hosted by "Beth Fish Reads".   This is a new meme for me, but I think it fits me to a tea---it's mainly for book bloggers who want to do a food realted blog.  And this blog is just the opposite!  I'm a food blogger who has just started to include my book blogging.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. To see who else is participating go to Beth Fish Reads, Weekend Cooking, here.

  Immaculate Iced Tea, from the "Beat That" cookbook by Ann Hodgman.

I've had this cookbook for about 20 years. It is the sequel to "Beat this" by the same author. She has great recipes for "every day" items. I like this cookbook, but I don't use it/them like I should. That's the downfall of having over 200 cookbooks.
This one really does have everyday dishes, with just a touch of something a "tad bit" of horseradish in deviled eggs. I've been doing my deviled eggs that way for some time now, and no one has ever said "these are HOT", but they do eat them all..
And her apple pie... nutmeg or not? brown sugar or not? These are the things that keep me up at night. I can't remember just what she uses to make her apple pie a bit more special... that could be a post for another time.

(officially adding this cookbook to my cookbook countdown)

  The Iced Tea she makes is a great Iced Tea. It's fresh tasting and's just good. I grew up with my mom making "Sun Tea", but it's been forever since I've had Sun Tea, but I think I like this better. It's a bit stronger. I remember the Sun tea being kind of weak. I guess that depends on how many tea bags one uses.

 Immaculate Iced Tea
10-12 tea bags, any type
1 teaspoon sugar
1 quart boiling water
3 quarts cold water

Place the tea bags in the bottom of a heat-resistant container. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar. "I don't know what the sugar does"--obviously it couldn't actually sweeten that much tea--"but it makes all the difference" says Hodgeman.
Pour 1 quart of boiling water over the tea bags and sugar; let the concentrate steep for a full 15 minutes. Add 3 quarts of cold water, fish out the tea bags and chill the tea until you're ready to serve it.

It. Is. Good.


  Now, the "Musing Monday's" musing. Do you have a favourite picture book, either from your own childhood, or reading to you children?

  Well, I have to tell you, that I misread the question. I got all excited about which picture book had my favorite illustrations. So, even tho, these aren't my all time favorite pictures books, they rate right up there in the top 20.

  They are classic books, with classic authors and illustrators. And.....they are not in color.
Can you believe it? How "old school" (is that still a term that is used?) is that? I like that old time illustration. But that doesn't mean I don't love the newer illustrators too...

Are you ready for the unveiling? okay.....
One of my favorite picture books is "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey.
I even own 2 copies....

How can one NOT just love these illustrations?

I can not WAIT to share them with my grandchildren!!
I know they will love them as much as me.

And I cannot forget "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf, drawings by Robert Lawson.  I love Ferdinand!!

  As I finish this post, I have to show you my "children's library" which sits inside the closet of a guest room (my youngest son's room, when he lived here ), it is now where I keep all the children's books I have collected over the years. As you can see, I had a lot of picture books to chose from.


Nise' said...

I forgot about Make Way For Ducklings! I have Ferdinand on my list too.

Jenny Girl said...

Make Way for Ducklings....OMG I'm having a flashback. I do remember that one. I was so worried over the babies and my mom would don't worry they will be fine. I have to call her and tell her about that.

I just started drinking home brewed ice tea, because I like to change up from diet soda. You know something different. I'm going to give your recipe a try. Thanks!

Oh yea, and here's my musing

Beth F said...

LOL!! Who knew there were printed recipes for iced tea in modern cookbooks. I drink my iced tea (and hot tea) black! I do make sun tea but you have to use a lot of tea bags and let it sit all day in the sun. I don't drink pop -- but that's just because I never did develop a taste for it.

Michelle B said...

Shhh. Don't tell anyone, but I don't like sweet tea. I think it's too sweet. I do drink "plain tea" by the bucket year-round.

caite said...

As to picture books, I seem to have blocked out most of my childhood. Except one collection of fairy tales, name unknown, I can't remember being read anything.
Maybe why I learned to read at an early age. :-)

Karen said...

That is such a neat collection of children's books! I'm not really a tea drinker, but if I can find iced tea with just the right amount of sweet, I love it!

bermudaonion said...

I laughed about the sweet tea. I've always lived in the South, but my mother's a Yankee, so I never acquired a taste for it. My husband drinks it, though. I tell him that it's nothing but colored sugar water.

Julie P. said...

Holy moly! I'm glad you found me too! Thanks for sharing. We have a copy of MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS that looks just like yours. You sure do have a lot of kids' books!

teresa said...

aw, i LOVED those books growing up, how fun! and the tea looks just delicious!

Jessica White said...

I am SO impressed with that collection of books! WOW!

Joie de vivre said...

I've never had sweet tea!

sadie said...

Who made the picture thing with the babies in their halloween costumes? it's cute.

Karen said...

I'm back a year later. I still don't care much for iced tea. LOL

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