Thursday, July 29, 2010

Me and Iced Tea from Nancy D.

Every summer I keep a steady supply of iced tea in my fridge. I make it from a recipe I've had since I was, oh, 10 or something. It's straight from my copy of The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking, copyright 1973, my edition printed in 1975.

I keep making this recipe because it's the best iced tea I've ever had. There's a secret ingredient in the tea: real mint leaves added while the tea is hot and steeping. The practical side of me likes the added benefit of making use of the mint that threatens to overrun a corner of my backyard.

The nostalgic side of me likes to pull out this recipe book because I get to remember what it was like to make this tea when I was young.

When making any recipe was a real accomplishment.
When I spent my summers reading in the shade on the patio swing.
When I built forts in the treeline with my best friend.
When my best friend and I climbed the old cherry trees in her yard and ate all the cherries we could reach.
When evenings were full of games of kick the can or ghost in the graveyard.
When summer stretched out in front of me like an endless expanse of possibility.

So I'm off now to make another batch of tea. You're welcome to join me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dragonfly Rock

Time for a silly interlude. These guys were sunning themselves on a rock beside my driveway. It was quite a high traffic zone. The comings and goings put me in mind of that song involving a barley based beverage and a wall...

Five little dragonflies sunning on a rock, five dragonflies soaking up sun,
If one more dragonfly should alight on the rock... 


Six little dragonflies sunning on a rock, six dragonflies soaking up sun,
If one more dragonfly should alight on the rock...


Six little dragonflies and a wasp sunning on a rock, six dragonflies and a wasp soaking up sun,
Should one more dragonfly find room on this rock? That'd be...

Seven! (Plus a wasp.)

Seven little dragonflies and a wasp on a rock, seven dragonflies and a wasp soak up the sun,
Luckily that's all that alighted on the rock, so now this silly song is all done!

Monday, July 12, 2010

He Did What?

I just finished a YA novel and it was an interesting read. Except one thing bugged me. It was a little thing, a tiny thing even. But it jumped out at me and clobbered me over the head. And I swear I came across it three separate times in the book.

What was this tiny annoyance? It was this peculiar descriptive action I've never noticed in a book before. The descriptive action had a character doing this: sanding his hands together.

It stopped me short in my reading. Well, okay, that's unusual, it brings to mind a carton villain, but I could get past it. The first time. But the second? Then the third?

I enjoyed the book for the most part, but for me this is now the book where the guy sands his hands together. It's made the biggest impression on me. Can you overuse a quirky description or action or is it just me? I suspect it's an individual response.

Do these types of tiny details ever take over a story for you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Words and Warnings

I like to bake. Usually I just grab the flour and use it. But I couldn't help notice the new packaging this time. It was no special type of flour, just your regular run-of-the-mill whole wheat stuff. It was exactly what the words on the front said it was:

 But check out the back of the bag. Below the ingredients list there's that very helpful orange exclamation mark so you can't miss the allergy warning.

Because OMG apparently if you have a wheat allergy you need to be told that your whole WHEAT flour actually contains something called WHEAT!!

Good thing you were warned.