Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to wound yourself making iced tea

I love a good DIY post, don't you? Here's one I like to call: How to Get Second Degree Burns Making Iced Tea.

I grew up drinking iced tea all day, everyday (except breakfast).  My mother made a huge Tupperware jug of it and it lived in the refrigerator year round.  I think we may have been the only people in Grand Marais, MN (native or transplants) that did.  My mother's recipe involves Red Rose tea bags, lemon concentrate, and a boatload of sugar.

Several months ago I started making a green tea version which I would cold brew and add a modest amount of sugar syrup at the end.  If you really want to burn the crap out of yourself making iced tea you can't do it with a cold brew.  The second important element is a glass jar - very important for this post.

First, I'm assuming you'll be taking your nice cold glass pitcher out of the refrigerator and pouring that last tidge into a glass for yourself. That's how it works at my house and how I know it's time to make more tea. Then set the jar on the counter and put in your required number of tea bags. I use six for a two quart pitcher.  Fill your tea kettle with water and put it on to boil.  Start making dinner, I was planning on chicken enchiladas with chili gravy.  Make sure your children are on task with their homework. Take screaming tea kettle and start filling the pitcher while you are listening to someone in the other room yell to you about something that's supposed to be important, but you're not sure since you can't hear them clearly. Notice a crackling sound and see the cold pitcher break and hot water come gushing towards you.

I'm a little hazy with the specifics after that because hot water was on my thighs and my steaming wet skirt was clinging to my skin.  I do remember throwing the tea kettle and screaming, "I need to be in cold water!"  When I was looking to rent a house nine years ago I thought it was important for the four of us to have more than one bathroom, in case anybody had an emergency. Case in point!

The Chickster was brave and helpful.  She was very calm while she helped me untie my skirt and get it off. I was cussing and crying, I'm not too proud to admit it.  She turned the water on lukewarm and  told me to go ahead and get in with my clothes on.  It was cooling, but the beating water of the shower really hurt.  While I was standing there crying and freaking out I was realizing that for the third Monday in a row something bad was going on with my body.  First it was a pulled muscle in my back, then my molar that had to be removed, and now burns.  Seriously, can this be over now?!

Chicky let me know when the other bathroom was free and started filling the tub for me.  I sat in the bathtub for forty minutes, other than the burns on my thighs the rest of me was freezing.  Happily I had some silver sulfadiazine cream on hand so I didn't feel pressured to head off to the ER and wait for four to six hours for an intern to come in and look at it and give me a prescription of the same thing.

At the risk of raising people's traditional ire, I will confess I've not used it.  As soon as I was out of the tub Chicky and I applied pure aloe vera gel straight out of the refrigerator.  Before bed I used a salve I made and keep on hand of beeswax, honey, plantain, and chickweed.  In the morning it didn't look too bad, I had blisters but nothing looked incredibly unhappy.  I applied the purest honey in the world, Manuka, and re-bandaged it.  Today, the blisters are bigger, but there's no sign of infection and it looks like it's healing nicely.

I'd show you a picture, but it's not attractive and more than a little off-putting.

Yes, dinner did get made.  Richard came over and he and his sous chef, Chicky, did the work while I gave directions from a chair.  They were excellent! Unfortunately, we never did have any iced tea and now I don't have a pitcher to make any more.  Why was I brewing ice tea with hot water this time?  Honestly, I have no idea.  I may have been trying to save "the good water" I buy in bulk from Whole Paycheck or Weaver Street.  Clearly I need to stick with cold brewing.

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