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Tempting Tea

Happy LBJ Day! That's right. President Lyndon Baines Johnson's birthday is an official state holiday in Texas. It's a great time to make Lady Bird's recipe for Lemon Squares.

This week we are staying cool by drinking Agua de Jamaica, that very special refreshing herbal tea, which in Mexico is called an agua fresca. Y'all enjoy! See you next week!

Did you see last week's newsletter Paradise Pie

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Enjoy this Texas Cooking recipe and have a great week!


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Agua de Jamaica

Agua de Jamaica is a delicious herbal tea from Mexico. It has a strongly refreshing, sweet taste, and is a beautiful ruby red color. It is offered by some Mexican restaurants as a refreshing alternative to iced tea. Hibiscus flowers are called jamaica in Spanish. (Pronouced ha-MIKE-ah -- not like the Caribbean island)

  • 2 cups dried Jamaica flowers (or two ounces)
    [Buy hibiscus flowers]
  • 9 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 lime

  • Rinse and drain the dried jamaica flowers in a large colander.
  • Bring the water to a vigorous boil. Stir in the jamaica flowers.
  • Stir continuously for one minute while the mixture boils.
  • Remove from heat, and let steep for one and a half to two hours.
  • Strain the mixture, pressing the leaves so all the juice squeezes out. Discard the flowers. Taste. If it is too tart for your taste, add more water and/or sugar to correct for tartness and sweetness.
  • Quarter and squeeze a lime to take the edge off.
  • Makes one large pitcher of beautiful tea.
  • Notes: Wet hibiscus leaves are very strong in color and flavor. Be careful to steep your tea in a bowl that will not stain.

    Serve agua de jamaica as a substitute for regular iced tea. Hibiscus flowers are rich in Vitamin C. Dried hibiscus flowers may be tough to find, but they are more and more available in bulk at health food stores. (In Austin, they are available inexpensively at HEB grocery stores) Look for them near bulk coffee and teas, or order hibiscus flowers online

    In America, this drink is very similar to Red Zinger herbal tea, but do try using the real hibiscus leaves. The difference in taste is significant.

    Jamaica are dried hibiscus flowers H. sabdariffa var. sabdariffa and are also called roselle or Jamaican sorrel.

    Kitchen tools you'll need:
    Carafes, Metal Strainer, Kettle

    More: Watermelon Agua Fresca, Blackberry Mint Julep , Peach Iced Tea.

    Lone Star List

    Here are some things that caught my eye this week!

    1. TMBBQ: How to keep Brisket Juicy because nobody wants dry brisket.
    2. Mexican Please: Easy Calabacitas Soup recipe
    3. Two Sleevers: Roasted brussels sprouts with bacon.
    4. Tag Sale Tastes: Salad Nicoise recipe perfect salad for August!
    5. Eater Austin: TABC: Texas bars can reopen if they serve food from a food truck.
    6. New in the Book Pile!
      Southern Smoke by Matthew Register.

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