These days, I find myself in the business of waiting.
Waiting for the woman in front of me at the boulangerie to choose her tarte.
Waiting for the pizza dough to rise.
Waiting for a phone call.
Waiting for the rain to stop.
Waiting for the sky to clear.
Waiting for the sun to come out.
Waiting for summer to stick around awhile.
By its nature, waiting gives you plenty of time to ponder plan prepare for whatever it is you're expecting hoping wishing.*
The latest brainchild of my idle time is a refreshing lemon iced tea with cooling mint notes, conceived on a rainy Monday in July with sunny weather in mind.
Lemon Mint Iced Tea just might be the silver lining in this cloudy summer.
Lemon Mint Syrup
juice of half a lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mint leaves, whole
Before cutting and juicing your lemon, use a vegetable peeler to remove several inch-long strips of peel.
Juice half of the lemon into a measuring cup. Add water to the lemon juice until you have one cup of liquid.
In a small sauce pan, combine the lemon juice, water, sugar and lemon rind. Over medium-high heat, dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally, especially at the beginning.
Once the mixture boils, remove from heat. Add the mint leaves, which have been washed and drained, and cover for 30 minutes.
Strain the mixture and discard the lemon rind and mint leaves. Cool and store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To enjoy a glass of iced tea, mix 2-3 tablespoons of the syrup (to taste) with 1 cup of your favourite black tea, steeped strongly and cooled. Serve over ice with lemon or mint garnish.
Notes: Experiment with different herbs (e.g., rosemary, basil or thyme) and/or flavoured teas to find your perfect summer blend.
* During all of this waiting, I've been spending perhaps too much time with Mr. Salman Rushdie, whose curious aversion to commas I find amusing.