Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Iced Tea

Being born and raised in Texas, I am as familiar with drinking iced tea as my friend Joe is with ugly women. He says those ugly ones need love too.

While I suppose that most Americans have a glass of iced tea from time to time during the summer, we Texans couldn't survive without the brew on a daily basis 12 months of the year. We drink it whenever and wherever food is served, morning, noon, and night, and we drink it anytime just to be drinking it. We drink it at casual cookouts and formal dinners. And we drink as much of it in fancy restaurants as we do at barbecue joints. I sometimes drink it for breakfast. You will almost always be able to find iced tea in my house, morning, noon or night. Visit my house and don’t be surprised to hear me say, "Hey, how 'bout a glass of ice' tea?"

Iced tea is the sacred beverage of Texans and has been ever since ice became readily available some years ago.

The varieties are endless.

Plain old "ice' tea." But there's also sugar tea (highly sweetened), mint tea (with bruised fresh mint leaves), lemon tea, and sun tea (a gallon container of cold water and tea placed in the hot sun for three or four hours to develop ultimate flavor). I also like a squeeze of lemon or lime in my iced tea, but some wouldn't dream of destroying the flavor of their everyday brew with sugar or lemon or anything else.

So ingrained has iced tea become in our lives here in Texas, we too enjoy some satisfying and even legendary alcoholic libations based all around iced tea. Anyone for some Jack Daniel’s whiskey tea? How about a Long Island Iced Tea? Ever had tea punch?

We Texans love our iced tea. We are not fanatics about it, mainly because we pretty much take for granted being able to get a good glass of iced tea, properly served, 365 days at year at most any restaurant. And yes, we like it year round, not just when the summer days are searing. Iced tea – What a fabulous beverage! Your summer will go a lot better if you keep your place stocked with that delicious iced tea!

Wishing you the best. Ric

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mothers Day

The young mother set her foot on the path of life.
"Is this the long way?" she asked. And the guide said: "Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning." But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."
Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, "Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come."
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children, "A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, "Mother, we would not have done it without you." And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I have given them strength."
And with the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: "Look up. Lift your eyes to the light." And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, "This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God." And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage.
And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them."
And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates." And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: "We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence." Your Mother is always with you. She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every tear drop. She's the place you came from, your first home; and she's the map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you...Not time, not space...not even death!