*Swell?! Who am I? Beav Cleaver?
Last month while Sus and the boys were here for a visit, I made a batch of spiced tea mix. Over the years I’ve collected three or four different recipes for spiced tea. They all have the same main ingredients in common but the proportions are different. The tea mix my mom made when I was little contained ground-up Red Hot candies. I love the kick the Red Hots add but the sound made when Red Hots are ground in a coffee grinder makes my teeth hurt. Only one little nerve survived 2009 and it’s a frail, needy anemic one, so I’m not grinding Red Hots so as to not threaten its survival. I’m hoping it will grow strong and less nerdy so as to attract many more stronger nerves this year. But we’re not talking about my nerves today. No, we’re talking about spiced tea mix. Where we we? Yes, well, since I lean towards excess on a daily basis and am prone to indecision (my parents’ decision to branch out in ministry to those in recovery and the ones who love them is becoming clearer to you every post, isn’t it?), I make my tea mix by laying all my tea recipes side-by-side on the kitchen counter and then I choose the greatest quantity of each ingredient from each recipe for my mix. Then to complicate things further, I taste the dry mix and add more of certain ingredients to fit my taste. I do this any time I have more than recipe for a dish and I can’t decide between them. This may be the reason many of my meals never taste the same way twice.
So anyway, Sus and I worked on the spiced tea mix together and tweaked it until we both agreed it had just the right clovey-ness and Tang-iness. We consumed multiple mugs of tea while she was here and I sent a little container of mix home with her. Well, some time last week while I was in Kentucky, she ran out of tea mix. I know this because I received the following Tweet:
@whimzie I just ran out of spiced tea and you are nowhere near your recipe. This constitutes an emergency.
I giggled. I thought she was just being cute and quite honestly, forgot all about it…until two days ago. When the abuse started. First there was this Tweet:
@whimzie I am in DESPERATE need of your Russian tea recipe. BREAK THE GLASS desperate. I’m totally out and it’s 18 degrees. And I’m sick.
Just a word of explanation: She calls it “Russian tea.” I think I remember it being called that back in the day. I’m not completely sure of why it’s called Russian because I haven’t Googled it, but I have my own theory. I think it’s because one of the ingredients in the mix is Tang. NASA used to use Tang on its Gemini flights in the ’60s and subsequently many began associating this orange drink mix with the space program. The 60s was also the time of the big “space race” between the United States and who? Yes, Russia. Therefore, some call this Russian tea. I will now write a Wikipedia article declaring this to be so and it will become fact because that’s how the world works these days.
Back to the story, Gretchen Tweeted Susan wanting to know what Russian tea was (she hadn’t heard my theory read my Wikipedia article yet.) In answer to her question, @carpoolqueen “sweetly” Tweeted (like a little canary, I tell you):
Well, if @whimzie would get her act together and SEND IT TO ME, you’d know.
Our friend Rebecca must have also asked her what Russian tea was because Susan sent this message to her in response:
It’s a hot tea drink. It’s fabulous and heart warming. Unless your friend @whimzie forgets to send you the recipe and you’re out.
In the meantime, Susan incited other Twiter friends to join the melee. Suddenly Heather and Kellie were demanding tea recipes, too. Let the record state that during this time I was nowhere near Twitter. I was busy providing nourishment and comfort to my precious children in my ever-demanding but so rewarding duty as their mother (i.e., I was cooking supper.). When I finished my household duties and sat down to see what goodwill and encouragement I could spread to my friends who live in my computer, I saw all of the vicious Twitter demand and attacks and found this comment on my post about new recipes I’ve tried:
Where’s the little blue linky thing to the spiced tea recipe????? Sigh. What’s a girl gotta’ do to get it?
(Just so we’re clear, this tea mix contains no pharmaceuticals, legal or otherwise.)
So, without further ado, because for crying out loud, we’ve certainly had enough ado, this is my attempt to replicate the tea mix recipe we made last month. I’m also filing this recipe on SnoodleSnacks so it will be preserved for posterity and to prevent another crisis of epic proportions aka “a tea emergency.” You’re welcome and in the words of the great CPQ, aka Susan,
Have a nice day.
Whimzie’s Spiced Tea Mix (from Russia)
1 20 oz. container of Tang (I buy two containers because I like to add a little more Tang to mine.)
1 cup of dry lemonade mix
1 cup instant tea mix (sweetened; I like to use the one that has lemon)
A little less than 3 cups granulated sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 teaspoons cloves
Mix together. I use three heaping teaspoons per large mug of hot water. You can adjust ingredient proportions or serving size to your taste. If it doesn’t make your teeth hurt, feel free to add a handful of ground Red Hots OR just throw a few Red Hots into your hot water and let them melt….if you’re patient.
*Oh look! I actually have this recipe labeled “Russian Tea.” That’s nice.
P.S. For continued hot beverage enjoyment, may I suggest my homemade hot chocolate mix? It’s delicious! I’ve heard that it pairs fabulously with Kellie’s homemade marshmallows and I hope to find out for myself later this week!!