The dog days of summer are in full swing. Now I love hot summer days. Give me the heat over winter’s cold any day. I suppose it’s a good thing I live in the South. But this year it seems like the heat is more oppressive than normal. Almost unbearably so. And after a long, hard, hot day’s work, it sure is nice to come home to central air and a cool shower. Most days I am dog-tired and utterly drained. Hey, do you suppose that’s where the phrase “dog days” comes from? Makes sense to me.
But I love summer. I really do. I feel sorry for those people who spend their summer mostly indoors. I know people who work inside jobs and they cannot fathom how I work in the heat every day. But when you’re used to it, it’s not so bad. Going from an air-conditioned building to the blazing heat of 5:00 – yeah, that’s rough. But if you’ve been outside since 7 AM, it’s no big deal. Sure it’s hot, but not in the same way. And it’s not dangerous if you stay hydrated and avoid prolonged periods in direct sun. Being as I work in construction, I generally stay in shade.
Of course, I’d rather be in a hammock in the shade. With an icy cool beverage in my hand. Like iced tea, my favorite part of summer. I am an avowed tea addict. I’ve consumed so many gallons of iced tea this summer, I bet I have tea flowing in my veins instead of blood. There a lot of things I love about summertime. Sandals. Tank tops. Swimming pools. Shorts. Flowers blooming. Strawberries. Ice cream. Sun tans. Thunderstorms. Cook-outs. The beach. But iced tea is definitely at the very top of that list. I have tons of iced tea recipes but my favorite is, not surprisingly, the simplest. Ten teabags steeped in 4 cups hot water for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar, 10 cups cold water, ¼ cup orange juice concentrate, and ⅔ c. lemon or lime juice. Voila! Spectacular iced tea, the quintessential summer beverage.