LASR Anniversary: Nikki Andrews

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

SUN TEA
Ah, summertime. Don’t you just love those long days, vacations, open windows? Not to mention the food. Sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches, strawberries. Cold beer, cream soda, and iced tea.

Delicious, real iced tea is so easy to make. You don’t even have to put a kettle on. Just dump 10-12 teabags in a gallon jug, fill it almost full with fresh, cold water, and set it out in the sun. In a few hours, when it turns a rich, deep reddish-brown, add sugar and lemon juice to taste and maybe a sprig of mint. Serve over ice. Heaven.

Nothing at all wrong with that recipe, but how about a few tips to make it even better? I’ve been making sun tea for twen–thir–fort…er, a long time, and I’m happy to pass along a thing or two I’ve learned.

First, use a glass jar. Plastic ones are cheap and easy to find, but they have a nasty tendency to develop an unpleasant aftertaste. Glass stays clean and unscented. Plastic heats up fast and cools down fast; glass coddles your tea, warming and cooling it gently, so the tannins don’t get overcooked and bitter. If you can find a jar without a spigot–like the ones old-fashioned deli pickles come in–so much the better. The spigots inevitably leak and they’re almost impossible to keep mildew-free. If all else fails, remove the spigot, take the jug to a good hardware store and find a seal that fits. Wash it well and use a little silicone to hold it in place.

Try different tea blends. If you like a tea hot, you’ll probably like it iced. Replace a couple of the black tea bags with herbal teas or fresh herbs. Mint, lavender, and rosemary make lovely tea. (If you use fresh herbs, start with small amounts until you learn how you like them.) Try sweeteners other than sugar. With the tea brewed so gently, you may find you need less or even no sugar. Stevia is very sweet and calorie-free. Some people like honey. Use a few berries or other fruit instead of sugar, but put them in each glass. They’ll get kind of goopy in the jug. Substitute orange or lime juice for all or part of the lemon; my favorite is about 1 part lime to 3 parts lemon.

One last thing. Try making moon tea. Start it before bed and it will be ready when you get up. Because it won’t get as warm as sun tea, it will have a delicate, subtle flavor. Use a light hand on the add-ins, and serve it to your sweetie for a little romance under the stars.

perf5.000x8.000.indd When a long-lost painting turns up at Brush & Bevel, a decade-old mystery is reawakened. What really happened to artist Jerry Berger and his model Abby Bingham? Was it a murder-suicide, as the police proclaim, or was it something far more sinister?

Gallery owner Ginny Brent and her loyal staffers, Sue Bradley and Elsie Kimball, each take a different path to unravel the mystery. Together, their discoveries start to form a cohesive whole. But as they get closer to the solution, they discover to their horror that art is not the only thing that can be framed.

About the Author: Nikki Andrews has worked as a picture framer, craft store clerk, and admin assistant, but in her real life she is a writer, editor, and songmaker. When she’s not at her desk, she may be releasing salmon fry on the Piscatquog River, making jams or sweaters, or exploring her surroundings on foot, bike, or snowshoe. She lives near a waterfall with her amazing husband, their persnickety cat, and assorted wildlife.

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Comments

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors; what strikes you about their work?

    • I love Jodi Picoult and Garth Stein for confronting difficult issues with honesty and compassion; Dick Francis for his fully-fleshed characters; Tony Hillerman for the sheer, understated beauty of his prose; Ann McCaffrey for her strong, vibrant women; Charles Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould, and Neil Degrasse Tyson for scientific passion and clarity; Tolkien for inventiveness; Janet Evanovich and Douglas Adams for humor. I could go on…

  2. Rita Wray says:

    I like the sound of the book.

  3. We can hardly wait until spring to make sun tea, nothing tastes like it.

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