Category Archives: drinks

sweet tea

Cat Johnson's Sweet TeaThere are a lot of things I love about summer. Open windows and fresh breezes. Flowers. Sunshine. Warm summer rainstorms. And sitting on the front porch drinking iced tea. Strange, but I don’t drink it inside, only outside. Nor do I drink it in the winter. Only once the weather turns warm. I guess it’s all part of the ritual.

I used to be a typical northerner and make iced tea from that fake powder stuff. Boy have things changed. I can only blame it on the influence of the guy who is my military, and also my southern (aka redneck) consultant. He taught me the difference between the fake stuff I was raised on and the real stuff they make in the south, sweet tea, which will only be pronounced in my head with a long ‘a’ sound as ‘swate tay’.

So now I boil water, and use actual teabags, and only kind of wash the container between batches because he said to never use soap on the plastic pitcher or it will ruin the flavor. And I put the sugar in while it’s hot, before it goes in the fridge, because as any good southerner knows, you never ever sweeten tea after it’s cooled.

Now I do break tradition and add some vanilla stevia drops to mine, or sometimes peppermint stevia drops. He doesn’t approve of that at all but what can I say, I was born and raised above the Mason-Dixon line so I figure I can break some rules and I do serve it in a mason jar, so that makes up for it.


dreamstimefree_148418I laughingly joked last week on Facebook that I should be able to deduct a new coffee maker as a business expense on my taxes because any writer knows caffiene is a tool of our trade. I was only half joking, and I definitely wasn’t in a good mood after yet another coffeemaker bit the dust.

So there I stood in my kitchen with one Grind-n-Brew which ground the beans just fine, but refused to drip, and a slightly older Grind-n-Brew which would drip fine but wouldn’t grind. Thank God my hoarder tendencies made me keep my half broken coffeemaker. Little did I know I’d need it for my counter-coffee-maker lineup. That’s when I decided I was done with both Cuisinart and with the combo machines.

So I took my coffee, once I finally got it made, and I googled and I found what I hope will be the Cadallac of coffeemakers and provide me with years of caffeinated bliss–I bought a Viking. They make great stoves so I figured why not?

I also ordered a separate burr grinder and so far, so good. Yes, we’ve had two mishaps. I’m so used to my Grind-n-Brew that I keep forgetting to actually take the grinds out of the grinder and transfer them to the filter basket in the coffeemaker. But I’ll get over that eventually.

What sold me? The Viking’s claim to fame was that it heats the water to what experts say is the optimal brewing temperature–195 degrees fahrenheit. The longevity of this machine as compared to the short-lived Cusinarts has yet to be proven but I have hope…and now, nice hot coffee…and a pretty new maker. And I’m going to need it too, since tomorrow is new release day for FLANKED, and as you know there’s no rest for the wicked.