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I love the change of seasons and genuinely enjoy autumn, but this gardening season was SO short and I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the green, growing things just yet. With my garden freezing on June 21st, it’s hard to complain about the abnormal fall heat wave we’ve been having here in Utah. My growing days are numbered and the big end-of-season frost is going to be here any day. (Possibly even tonight!) Trying to savor every last sunny second I have in the garden. I’ve been drowning my summer’s end sadness in tall icy glasses of herbal sun tea, sitting under the finally full bean trellis. My feet grounded in the dirt. The warmth of the sun on my face.
I should have posted this recipe earlier in the season, so it could have been enjoyed all summer, but my health has gone to hell in a handbasket so I had to let a lot of things go. I hope you understand and forgive my radio silence on this little journal. Better late than not at all. And hey, now this recipe is here, quietly tucked away, for next year… a little something to look forward to. These days, we all need a little more of that.
Herbal Sun Tea
Here are the basics:
Pour 32 ounces of boiling water over 1 family-sized herbal tea bag (or 6-8 individual bags) in a 1/2 gallon mason jar or other 64oz container. Cover and let steep out in the sun for a couple of hours. I stick my jar out in my backyard. You could put it in a window, wherever the jar will get plenty of sun. After the tea has steeped, remove the tea bags & stir in 2 single-serve packets of True Lemon lemonade. Add some lemon slices and a handful of mint, if that makes you smile. Then fill up the rest of the jar with cold water and give it a stir. Serve sun tea over ice with a lemon wedge, because you’re fancy like that.
Make It Your Own
I love this pretty concoction of hibiscus and lemonade, but there really is no strict recipe, so feel free to mix it up however you like. Don’t like hibiscus? Swap it out for your favorite herbal tea. Raspberry would be wonderful! Not a lemonade fan, leave it out. Want more lemonade flavor? Add another packet. Prefer your drinks sweeter? Stir in some honey or liquid stevia before you add the cold water. This is totally customizable, so do what brings you joy.
In the old days, my Nana made sun tea with cold water and let it sit in the window all day. Because that can promote bacteria growth, and I have autoimmune issues that are kicking my trash, I choose to use boiling water and only steep it for a couple of hours. But you do you, Boo. Want to keep with tradition, go for it. Like I said before, this herbal sun tea recipe is customizable and isn’t set in stone.
Play around with it and make it unique to you.
Make a Moment
In the midst of the busyness of the season change, I hope you take a minute to savor the last few rays of warmth. I am learning that I have to intentionally make quiet moments happen because they rarely pop up o their own and I need them desperately. Maybe you do too?
Stop, turn the phone to silent, walk out under the sky and take a long, deep belly breath. Wiggle your toes in the grass. Listen to the breeze through the trees. Laugh at a memory. Repeat an affirmation. Set an intention. Feel an emotion. Drink something happy. Whatever you need to do to sip in a little bit of serenity so you can face what’s next with your chin up.
Good things are coming.
You got this.
Aaaaand, getting deep about herbal tea? Yeesh. Carry on.