Commercial iced tea is loaded with sugar and isn’t a great source of antioxidants. Homemade is a much healthier choice. This homemade version isn’t too sweet, so you can either adjust the amount of honey or your taste buds!
6 regular black tea bags
4 cups (1 L) cold water
1/4 cup (60 mL) honey
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (90 mL) 100% pure blackcurrant juice (not from concentrate)
Fresh mint leaves, washed and patted dry
The night before the picnic: boil water. In large teapot, add tea bags, pour boiled water over top, and let steep for at least 5 to 10 minutes. (I prefer a stronger tea flavour for this drink, so I let the tea steep for 10 minutes.)
When tea is at your preferred strength, remove bags. (Use the leftover bags in your garden as compost.)
Pour tea into large measuring cup that will hold at least 5 cups(1.25 L) hot liquid. Add honey, and stir until dissolved. Add blackcurrant juice, and store covered in the fridge.
The day of the picnic: pour iced tea into thermos. Pack a container of ice cubes.
To serve: Add ice to glasses and pour in tea; garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Makes 4 cups (1 L).
One cup (250 mL) contains:
75 calories; 20 g carbohydrates; 1 mg sodium
Source: "Picnics & Potlucks", alive #344, June 2011
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.