Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10: National Iced Tea Day and National Herb and Spice Day

National Iced Tea Day

Normally, I drink my tea hot no matter what the temperature.  Most people think I'm crazy for doing that, especially when they learn I typically don't sweeten my tea.  However, every now and then, I find myself drinking iced tea and when I saw that today was National Iced Tea Day (and June is National Iced Tea Month) I figured I'd celebrate by making a pitcher of iced tea. 

I used a black tea called "Carolina Iced Tea" that I bought at a store in Chapel Hill, NC.  I brewed it strong then poured it still hot over ice.  I add no sugar to my iced teas (just like my normal tea) which allows for guests to add sweetener to their preferences.  I believe that while any tea that is good served hot is still good served iced, I find that the fruity and black teas are better than the white and green teas or the roiboos and herbal tisanes.  Some people add lemon to their iced tea, but I prefer not to.  In my opinion, iced tea is best enjoyed on a hot summer day while outside.

National Herb and Spice Day

Herbs and spices are awesome.  They add such flavor to dishes, sometimes making your food really pop.  TLC lists the 10 must have spices for American kitchens..  SimpleBites lists their top spices they believe need to be stocked in every kitchen and Simple Dollar lists their top 10 for spices to make your food tasty while keeping it cheap.  Confused by all the spices you see at the store?  CNN has a quick guide to a lot of spice and herbs.

As for which top 10 spices and herbs I couldn't live without?  Crushed red pepper, cayenne, cumin, ginger, thyme, black pepper, rosemary, garlic, bay leaf, and cinnamon.  Yeah, I'm one of those strange people who only has salt around if I'm living with roommates.  When baking, I often found that I could omit it from recipes or I could find a salt-free recipe.

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