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Thursday, June 26, 2003

French week, anyone?

I am still miffed by the stupid ads by Carl's Jr. and unpleasantly surprise that I really haven't heard any uproar from civil rights groups or any media watchdogs. Can you imagine if the ads didn't make fun of the French but another ethnic group? I don't know, Asian, Black, something. It would never have seen the light of day.

I am so annoyed I'm going to be celebrating all things French for the next week. Sounds good? French Week chez Pim! I think I've seen a blog did something like that a while back, sorry don't remember who you are. I would credit you if I did, really. :-)

It's been so hot these last couple of days in San Francisco, really, so how about starting our French week with an iced beverage.
Mariage Frères, the delightful Paris tea salon, serves this refreshing take on the classic iced tea at their brunch service. (The recipe is mine of course, I couldn't wrestle it out of them)

32 oz water (about 4 cups)
5 heaping tsp of best quality loose leafs Earl Grey tea - preferably Mariage Frères French Bleu. Should you only have tea bags, you might as well stop here. The only thing they are good for is to rid your plastic containers of the smelly oily residue.
3 tbsp of mild honey (or to taste)
1.5-2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice, depending on how acidic the juice is.

Bring 32 oz of water to just boiling temperature, brew the tea for exactly 5 minutes. Strain the tea into a large pitcher, mix in the honey, then the orange juice. Let cool in the fridge for a bit before serving with ice---if you pour immediately the ice will melt and dilute all the magic from the tea. Cover it while in the fridge or you'd lose all the aroma and the use of your GOOD tea would be pointless.

A wee note on the tea pot: Make sure that there is enough room in your brewing basket for the leaves to open up properly. This means your tea ball, unless it's a giant one, should go the way of the bin. Most pots on sale in the US have brewing baskets that are too small, so be warned. The best thing to do is brew the tea loose in the pot and strain it into a pitcher after 5 minutes. This way your tea leaves will have all the room they need to do their magic.

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